- For the Chili Gravy, make a light roux by melting the shortening or lard in a skillet and stirring in the masa harina. Stir and cook a few minutes until the masa harina has browned a little. Add the chili powder, water and salt, and continue to stir and cook until mixture has thickened. Set aside and keep warm.
- For the Enchiladas, lightly grease a 9x13-inch Pyrex dish, and preheat your oven to 400°F degrees.
- Chop the onions, grate the cheese, and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a second skillet on medium heat. (It's ready when you see the oil "shimmer".) Have the corn tortillas ready.
- Putting the enchiladas together is just a series of steps. And if you're the kind of cook that freaks out when the kitchen gets a little messy, you might want to consider finding a good Tex-Mex restaurant instead.
- Pick up a tortilla with tongs and dip it into the hot oil for two or three seconds. This first step is to soften the tortilla.
- Remove the tortilla from the oil, letting the excess oil drip back into the skillet.
- Dip the tortilla into the chili gravy, coating both sides.
- Place the now-coated tortilla in the 9x13-inch pan, put a handful of grated cheese and onion on the tortilla, fill from end to end so that it is plump, and roll it up.
- Place the rolled tortilla seam-side-down in one end of the pan.
- Repeat ths process with the remaining 11 tortillas. The pan should be full.
- Pour the remaining Chili Gravy on top of the enchiladas.
- Sprinkle the enchiladas generously with more cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Serve at once.
Makes four servings of three enchiladas each.
A word about chili powder: The most-recommended chili powder in Texas is Gebhardt's, and for good reason. Lately, I have started trying chili powders for sale in the bulk sections of the major H-E-B and Central Market grocery stores with great results. For the enchiladas in the recipe photograph, I used their "San Antonio"chili powder, which is darker in color and has a taste of cumin. Of course, you can always get your hands on some dried chiles pasillas and make your own chili powder. Behold the extraordinary powder for Tex-Mex enchiladas!
See, also, our slighty more complex, but incredibly good, recipe for chili gravy. Not so quick, but in a class by itself.
And remember this: Buy a product called "chili powder" -- not cayenne, not crushed red pepper, not ground red pepper.
Total time: 50 Min