"Every Friday night we had stacked cheese enchiladas made with red chili sauce and blue corn tortillas," says Sam Baca, who is now community liaison for Cornerstones Community Partnerships, a Santa Fe group that helps restore small-town historic churches. "I remember the exact taste, but I can't duplicate it. I even have the same pan my mother used to make those enchiladas. Maybe it's the chili - we liked our chili fairly hot. People would dry red chilies, grind them, and come around door-to-door with three, four, five kinds in the back of a pickup. To this day, those enchiladas are my favorite food."
3 blue or yellow corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons ground New Mexico chilies (also called chili powder)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat (made with 2% milk) cheddar cheese
Nonfat or low-fat sour cream (optional)
1 can (8 oz.) pinto or black beans, heated
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons diced tomato
How to Make It
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat, cook tortillas, in a single layer, until soft and lightly toasted, turning once, about 3 minutes per batch. Set aside as toasted.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and stir until limp, about 5 minutes; remove from pan.
Mix ground chilies and flour in pan and stir over low heat until chilies smell lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
Whisk in broth until smooth. Stir over high heat until sauce boils, about 2 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Dip 1 tortilla in chili sauce, coating both sides, then set on a microwave-safe plate. Top tortilla with half the onion and a third of the cheese. Repeat layers, using all tortillas and onion. Pour remaining chili sauce (it thickens as it cools) over this stacked enchilada, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Heat enchilada in a microwave oven at full power (100%) until hot in center, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Top with sour cream and accompany with beans, lettuce, and tomato.