It has long been a running joke in my family that they cannot cook. They do not like to cook, they rarely do it and it is often wondered how it is that they ended up with someone like me. But my mother is known for two things that she can make well, her salad and cheese enchiladas. And while they might not be the most authentic of enchiladas this was one of the first things I ever made with my mother in the kitchen so they kind of have a soft spot in my heart. These are simple, mostly involving ingredients you already have in your pantry; the recipe itself is also relatively easy, if not a little bit messy. But they are fun to put together so grab someone to play around in the kitchen with you and make a little bit of a mess.
So what should you drink after these are safely in the oven and your hands are no longer sticky with sauce? While my family may not have been the best chefs they made up for it with their wine cellar. One way or another we always had dinner and with dinner there was always wine. Maybe enchiladas and Mexican food in general seems to call out more for beer than wine, and don’t get me wrong beer is great, but these enchiladas actually go exceedingly well with a glass of Cabernet Franc. Whether you find a single varietal bottling or select a blend Cabernet Franc this wine has a lovely inherent bright acidity that pairs well with the tomato based enchilada sauce and can stand up to some of the spice in this dish. Plus it has that signature spicy herbal note that is mirrored so nicely in the enchiladas
- Peanut oil for cooking
- 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 lb Monterey jack cheese, grated
- 2 28oz can red enchilada sauce (I like Las Palmas)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 white onion, chopped small
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 can large black olives, drained
Grease 2 9 x 13 baking dishes and pre-heat the oven to 350°F
Mix the two grated cheeses together.
Heat a one small skillet and one large skillet side by side over medium heat. To the small skillet add a small amount of peanut oil and to the large skillet add one can of the enchilada sauce. I like to add a nice pinch of cayenne to the sauce because I like a little more heat but that is totally optional.
In the small skillet one by one heat the tortillas for about a minute until they soften, then transfer them to the skillet with the warm sauce and dunk to just coat. Remove quickly as they will start to disintegrate if left in there too long (this is where two people really comes in handy).
Transfer the tortilla to a plate on the side of the stove and sprinkle with the cheese mixture and some of the chopped onions. Roll the enchilada and place seem side down in one the greased baking dishes.
Repeat this process for the rest of the tortillas until you fill both baking dishes. You may need to top off the sauce somewhere in the middle with the second can. Pour the rest of the sauce from the skillet over the two trays of enchiladas and then sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Finally, dot the top with the olives. Place the trays in the oven and cook for 30 min until the cheese is bubbly and melted.