They say that in Mexico we do know how to turn the tables, in more ways than one. It is not only a saying to refer to that ability to change the subject, in the kitchen this preparation of nixtamalized corn is so versatile that it can take any form: tortilla chips, chilaquiles, flautas, tacos and a delicious etcetera in which the enchiladas.
This dish shows us that the simple combination of tortillas and salsa has infinite possibilities, rolled up, folded, with all kinds of chiles, meats and accessories.
They were already being prepared in the 19th century, they were present in a chapter of The Mexican cook (1831), where enchiladas and tamales are listed as “light lunches”, recommended to be taken in private in the morning.
But the stomach doesn’t obey rules, so in the street stalls of Mexico City, the enchiladeras They would settle down with a stove, their sauce pots and huge comals to sell, especially outside the pulquerías, where they were in great demand.
In the middle of the 20th century, Chava Flores united pulque and enchiladas in city life in his song Saturday, Federal District: “From twelve o’clock the pulquería was filled, the masons finished scratching,!What spicy enchiladas did Otilia make!, the fritanguera that puts her comal there”.
This dish is consumed throughout the country, we tell you some of its many flavors.
Mole, green and red
In some kitchens the most common are mole, red and green, especially the latter; however, they do not have a single recipe either.
The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy explains that the technique varies according to the place: in the center of the country it is customary first fry the tortillas and then bathe them in sauce, but in the north it is the other way around: first enchilada it and then fry it; while in the southeast they don’t usually fry the tortillas, they are simply soaked with sauce.
A Chilango emblem, Swiss enchiladas were created in Mexico City at the beginning of the 20th century, in a restaurant known as “the House of Tiles”, according to the Encyclopedic dictionary. They are called Swiss because they contain a lot of cream and cheese.
They are known as enchiladas de leche or chiapanecas to the tortillas fried in lard and bathed in a sauce of mulato and ancho chilies, milk and raw eggs. They are prepared in Durango.
In the 1940s, Josefina Velázquez de León published a book called Guanajuato cuisine, where he declared chicken enchiladas as a regional dish of the state.
It is an important dish for Guanajuato, it has even had several editions of the Enchilada Festival, in 2017 they announced a 50-meter “Monumental Enchilada”.
The mineras are representative, prepared with tortillas fried in butter, guajillo chili sauce, stuffed with ranchero cheese and chopped onion; served with lettuce, more cheese, pickled chili slices, carrot and potatoes in pieces.
“They are very famous and considered the most typical appetizer, they are sold mainly at night. Because it is a very popular appetizer, there are many variants”, details the Encyclopedic dictionary.
One of its variants is illustrated enchiladas, dipped in ancho chili sauce, stuffed with pork.
In Puebla they call this preparation wrapped, which is known as enchiladas in other states. Here the mole ones stand out, the flagship flavor of the state. They are made with shredded chicken, aged cheese and onion.
The Encyclopedic Dictionary explains that before in restaurants the word enchilada was not found on their menus, but wrapped, but tourists were confused, so over time they have changed their name.
This dish is typical of Guerrero, it is made with a mole of ancho chilies, the tortillas are filled with chorizo, they are served with lettuce and cheese scrambled with oregano, onion, radishes, cream and slices of poblano chili.
Totolapam style enchiladas
Also in Oaxaca, those of red or black mole are typical, they are called Totolapam style.
These are distinguished because they are not made with tortillas: the dough is colored with ancho or red chili and filled with cheese, onion and sauce, they are more similar to a fried quesadilla.
They are served with onion, cheese, cream, lettuce, beans, guacamole and even another sauce.
Colima-style enchiladas are less spicy, made with a sweet guajillo and ancho chili mole, filled with a stew of ground pork, potato, carrot, peas, green beans, raisins and almonds.