The red enchiladas recipe, Cotija style

Cotija is a small city with a population of about 19 000 habitants located in the gastronomically rich Mexican state of Michoacán. It is notorious for its cheese, the Cotija cheese, and also this recipe for preparing these popular red enchiladas that were named after this city's name. This cheese is rather salty and it crumbles easily, with a flavour between Parmesan and Feta cheeses.

Recipe for the red Cotija style enchiladas


* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced,
* 24 tortillas,
* 10 ancho dried Chiles,
* 1 small onion,
* 2 ripe red tomatoes,
* Fresh Cotija cheese, crumbled
* 1 pound of manchego cheese in thin slices (use feta cheese as a substitute if you can't find any),
* Thinly sliced cabbage,
* 1 teaspoon dried chicken broth,
* 1 can of Chile jalapeños,
* 2 cups (1/2 liter) of 15% or half-half cream.

Ingredients for the salsa:

* 4 diced tomatoes,
* 1 onion chopped to small bits,
* 2 teaspoons of dried oregano spice,
* 1 glass orange juice,
* 1 teaspoon dried chicken broth.

Cooking Instructions:

1) Start by preparing the Chilies; put them in hot water until tender, then discard their seeds and chop; mix them with the tomatoes. When they are mixed together blend them further using a food processor with the onion, the tomatoes and a little chicken broth added.  Pulse to blend coarsely, do not liquefy. Pour everything in a skillet making sure the sauce remains a little thick; heat it up until  the first sign of boiling is seen and then reserve for later.

2) For the next step, grease a pan; then warm up the tortillas in the micro-wave oven. After, for each tortilla, carefully dip it the sauce we just did, then roll your tortilla into the typical enchilada shape, with some chicken at its center.  Place the stuffed tortillas in the large pan.

3) Stir the cream in what is left of the sauce; and when everything is uniformly mixed pour it into the pan into which the enchiladas are.

4) Sprinkle the crumbled manchego cheese over the rolls, take your pan to the oven and bake at 325 °F, until the cheese melts.

5) Now for the salsa: put the tomatoes and chopped onion in a bowl, add the orange juice and all other sauce ingredients except the jalapeños, as those will be added individually, up to each guest's taste.

Preparing each plate, place 3 stuffed tortillas, some sliced cabbage and the sauce to taste.

Serve immediately, while your enchiladas are warm!