Cheesy Enchiladas


Chile Gravy (see recipe below)
3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 10 ounces)
1 cup vegetable oil
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup finely chopped white onion (about 1/2 medium onion)


Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly coat the bottom of two 13-by-9-inch baking dishes with 1 cup of the gravy each. Mix the cheeses together in a large bowl until evenly combined, and line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 5 minutes. Test the oil temperature by carefully dipping the edge of a tortilla in the oil—it should bubble vigorously. Once the oil is hot, use a metal spatula to carefully submerge the tortillas one at a time until bubbles form around each, about 5 to 10 seconds. Flip and fry an additional 5 seconds or until the edges of each tortilla are slightly crisp but not browned. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, separating the layers with paper towels.

Blot the tortillas with paper towels to soak up any excess oil, then fill each with 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture and 2 teaspoons onion. Roll to enclose the filling and set the tortillas in the baking dishes, seam side down, placing 12 enchiladas in each dish. Evenly distribute the remaining 1 cup gravy over both baking dishes and top with the remaining 2 1/2 cups cheese.

Bake until the enchiladas are hot and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Chile Gravy


3 whole ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 medium white onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano


Place chiles in a small saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until chiles have softened, about 5 minutes.

Pour chile mixture (with cooking liquid) and onion in a blender, cover the lid with a kitchen towel, and blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and blend to combine.
Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft and tender but not browned, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour smells toasted but garlic remains pale in color, about 2 minutes more.

Whisk in ancho chile powder, cumin, and oregano, then slowly pour in chile mixture. Whisk until chile mixture is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season well with salt.

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