Enchiladas 2 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.24.11 Red Chile 2.0

I opened the fridge and saw a jar of red chile puree, left over from our chile-fest the other weekend, and thought, instantly: enchiladas. Italians have their red sauce, their seminal tomato "gravy" that gets right to the heart of who they are as a people, a culture, and New Mexicans have their own version, a thick, smoky and deeply complex puree of toasted chiles that is their lifeblood. My mother poured hers from a can—routine at that time, but seems like sacrilege now. It was my grandmother who taught me to lightly toast the leathery, dried chiles in a hot skillet, then soak them before pureeing them in the blender. I've got my own methods now, but the whole process still connects me to the women who came before, the ones who made pink beans and sopaipillas and tamales with their own hands. This is the food of my people, and it tastes of courage, the earth and love.
Tagged — cheese enchiladas