Enchiladas: a Delight of Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Enchiladas in Mexico are a dish varied as the types of ingredients for quesadillas: the salsas, the fillings and toppings can differ from one state to another. They can even vary from home to home.

By Dania Vargas Austryjak Tuesday, August 11, 2015 comments

enchiladas mole.JPG


Beloved dish in all its presentations.


As you might know, Mexican gastronomy has a long relationship with maize, from which tortillas are made. It is a practical ingredient that serves as plate or companion for other dishes, but sometimes tortillas themselves are essential to the dish. So is the case of one beloved and authentic Mexican delight: Enchildas.


This dish is as varied as the types of ingredients for quesadillas: the salsas, the fillings and toppings can differ from one state to another. They can even vary from home to home.


This dish is so simple and delicious. In general terms enchiladas are lightly fried tortillas, bathed in salsa, filled with some preparation, folded in half or rolled and topped with extra flavors. But some of the favorite types of enchiladas are the following:




These, as their name might suggest, come from Puebla, a state that is known for its magnificent mole. These enchiladas consist of chicken-filled tortillas, folded in half and bathed, seriously bathed, in hot and spicy mole sauce; then topped with some fresh cheese and cream. Some people might prefer onion slices and sesame seed, just the way  raditional mole is served. These are also known as enmoladas.


enchiladas mole.JPG

Original Image: “Title unknown” by A01333649, used under CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


Rojas o verdes (red or green)


“Red or Green” refers to the salsa. Basically these are like the poblanas but differ in the salsa. The salsa verde is made with tomatillo or green tomatoes, serrano pepper, onion and garlic. The ingredients in the red salsa include tomato, onion, garlic, pasilla and guajillo peppers. Green enchiladas are usually topped with queso fresco and cilantro. The red ones can be topped with cheese, and put in the oven to melt.


Suizas (swiss)


One of best known variety of enchiladas. These are so creamy, cheesy and delicious. They are also filled with chicken, bathed in a creamy salsa verde, topped with a lot of cheese, then put in the oven until the cheese bubbles and creates that golden crust. Enchiladas suizas are widely found in the country, and are a favorite of many.


enchiladas suizas

Original Image: “Enchiladas Suizas” by Steve Dunham, used under CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.




This type of enchiladas is a little different. For this dish, the salsa is prepared only with guajillo peppers, garlic, cumin and oregano. The tortillas are dipped in the salsa and then fried. This way the salsa sticks to the tortilla and when fried it gets a smoky flavor. Then they are filled with ranchero cheese and diced onion. Afterward, they are rolled and placed on a plate with fried potatoes and carrots. Finally, topped with lettuce and more cheese.




This version of enchiladas has another twist. Here the masa for the tortilla is mixed with chili paste from ancho peppers. The uncooked tortilla is filled with a preparation of diced onion, cheese and some of the chili paste. Then these are closed sort of like an empanada, cooked lightly on a pan and fried before serving; topped with some cream and lettuce.


Of course this is just one guide on how these authentic Mexican treats are prepared, as we know the steps and ingredients may vary from cook to cook. But no matter what type of enchilada you try, they are all filled with flavor and Mexican love.