We’ve only lived in New Mexico for a few years now. And before we moved, I knew virtually nothing about the state. But now I know one thing, they are passionate about their food, in particular their chile. In fact, the official state ‘question’ is: Green or Red? This of course, refers to green or red chile sauce. And no, it’s not ‘Texas’ chili with an ‘i’, that’s a soup or stew (I’m not going there, Texans!); it’s chile with an ‘e’, as in chile peppers.
You’ve probably heard of Hatch green chile and you’ve probably seen little cans of chopped green chile in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery. And to be honest, I had never really used them much. After moving here, that had to change, as everyone asks you which is your favorite, red or green, and you had better have an answer!
Unfortunately, the green and red chile sauces that are slathered over burgers and omelets and enchiladas and everything else, at the restaurants around here, are frequently made with flour. You should always ask. Sometimes the green chile sauce is made with cornstarch instead of flour. It’s even rarer to find a red chile sauce made with cornstarch. So for a couple of years, I had never eaten red chile sauce, not being adventurous to make my own. Last year though, a co-worker of mine mentioned she was making red chile enchiladas for another friend of hers with celiac disease and I mentioned that I had never eaten red chile before because of the flour issue. The next week, she brought me some for lunch as she had made the red chile with cornstarch and had decided that she preferred making it that way as compared to with flour. They were wonderful!
So, you’re probably asking, which is her favorite? I have to say that I like green better but maybe that is just because that is what I am most familiar with. And so recently, at our local Costco, they were selling huge jars of the 505 Roasted and Diced Green Chile (blue label). Of course I bought some, and every time I’ve been there since, and then I got to thinking about what I wanted to make with it (and all the other jars in the pantry now!). And since you all know I have been on an enchilada kick…here it is.
(Oh, and I forgot, pinto beans are big here in New Mexico too….)
New Mexican Green Chile and Pinto Bean Enchiladas
An original by Renee
1# potatoes, 1/4-1/2″ dice – I used yellow Dutch baby potatoes
1-1/2 cups of onions, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups roasted and diced green chile (like 505), divided use
2-3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
24 corn tortillas
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add potatoes and cook potatoes until ‘al dente’ (Can you say that for potatoes?). Drain and reserve.
In a large skillet, saute the onions with a bit of oil. When they have softened, add the garlic and saute a minute or so longer. Stir in the spices and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring frequently. Then mix in beans, potatoes and 1/2-1 cup of green chile. Taste and add more chile if desired. (Some batches of chile are hotter than others. So depending on who you are feeding and their spice preferences…). I added 1 cup of chile to this batch. Heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and stir in 1 + cups of cheese.
Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a couple of large baking dishes. Spread some green chile in a shallow, wide plate or bowl. Heat a small skillet, with a little drizzle of oil. Heat the tortillas, one at a time, flipping them over, until pliable. (This is key! Otherwise your tortillas will break when you roll them!) Add more oil as needed during the process.
Immediately turn the tortilla into the green chile and rub the chile all over both sides of the tortilla. Place tortilla in baking dish. Add filling (not too much!) and roll up, placing the seam side down in the dish. Continue with remaining tortillas and filling. Spread additional green chile over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or so. Serve with sour cream to cool your mouth!
You could also omit the green chile in the filling and make Karina’s quickie green chile sauce (and her enchilada recipe is wonderful too!) and pour over the top before baking, then top with cheese. This would be a more traditional style of enchiladas, baked with a sauce.