A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Impromptu Sonoran Enchiladas

There was a bit of leftover tamale sauce in the fridge, a mediocre, tomato-enhanced batch I made a few weeks ago to go over the last of the 2007 Christmas tamales from the freezer. I used the rest of it to make some Sonoran enchiladas. I added some of Lawson's carrot-habanero salsa (the orange stuff) for heat and brighter flavor.

Sonoran enchiladas are a good thing to know how to make: instead of making a whole bunch of corn tortillas, or dealing with the flabby bland excuses for corn tortillas available in Columbia grocery stores, you just make a few Sonoran corn cakes and you can have homemade enchiladas.

My recipe varies. Sometimes I make them partially out of grits, which I soak first to soften; sometimes they're all cornmeal or masa harina. Here's the basic recipe, adapted from James Peyton:

1 1/2 cups masa harina or cornmeal
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 egg
up to 1 cup water

I don't measure very carefully. These can get too wet easily, so be careful with the water.

Form into 4 cakes. Pan fry over medium-high heat until browned. Set on paper towels. Assemble enchiladas.

This particular batch was part northern New Mexico, part southern Arizona, and part Central America: I topped the Sonoran cakes with chopped white onion, leftover Anasazi beans, a fried egg (all Four Corners/New Mexico traditions) and some white cheddar. Equal parts gringo-style red chile/tomato sauce and Belizean carrot-habanero sauce made this quite the ethnic blend. It was also a pretty good finger in the eye of the idea that there's some monolithic thing called Mexican Food.

1 comment:

Kris said...

This is so beautiful! I agree that tortilla cakes are way better than commercial corn tortillas--our grocery store ones will stay "fresh" for months, which makes me wonder what kinda preservatives are in there.