Before stuffing corn tortillas with Monterey Jack and queso blanco, Louis Lambert dips them in hot oil to soften them, then covers them in a pungent salsa roja—a red sauce made with dried chiles and tomatoes.
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1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the baking dish
3 1/2 cups Salsa Roja
Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded queso blanco (1/2 pound)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 pound)
3/4 cup minced onion
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. In a medium skillet, warm the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over moderate heat. In another medium skillet, warm 1/2 cup of the Salsa Roja over moderate heat. Using tongs, dip the tortillas in the oil, coating both sides, until softened, about 5 seconds. Coat each tortilla with the Salsa Roja and transfer to a plate, stacking the tortillas on top of each other.
In a medium bowl, mix the queso blanco with the Monterey Jack. Set a tortilla on a work surface and spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese and about 1 tablespoon of minced onion in the center. Loosely roll up the tortilla like a cigar and set it in the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese and onion. Pour the remaining 3 cups of Salsa Roja over the rolled enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top.
Bake the enchiladas for 25 minutes, or until heated through and the sauce is bubbling. Scatter the cabbage and tomatoes over the enchiladas and serve hot.
The Spanish grape Tempranillo is one of the standout varieties in Texan vineyards, where it takes on a fruitiness that's tasty with these slightly spicy enchiladas. If it's hard to find, go for a Tempranillo from Spain.
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