© 2023 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cheese Enchiladas


Norman & Janet Van Aken © 2016

Rather than give out a specific Enchilada or Taco Filling for this recipe we encourage you to be adaptive as to what is in the farmer’s markets etc. You can go with a basic cheese and vegetable mix or a braise of heritage pork with roasted peppers and everywhere in between. 

Yield: 8 Enchiladas

1/3 cup vegetable oil

8 (8-inch) corn tortillas

2 Cups (more or less as you like) Enchilada Sauce, (Recipe Below)

(PER ENCHILADA you will need) 1/3 Cup of Your Favorite Enchilada or Taco Filling

Sour Cream, as desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Put some of the prepared Enchilada Sauce on the bottom of an 11 3/4 by 7 1/2-inch glass baking pan.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Now lay a tortilla into the hot oil, removing it when toasted on both sides. Let excess oil drip off.

Dip tortilla into the Enchilada Sauce and lay it on a plate to work on.

Scatter some of the prepared Taco Filling of your choice and roll the tortilla like a cigar.

Lay the enchilada in the prepared casserole dish with the seam down.  Repeat the steps with each tortilla, fitting them tightly into the pan.

Spoon some of the Enchilada Sauce over the top of the enchiladas. (Not too much or they will get soggy). Top them with shredded cheese as you like.

Bake them for 12-16 minutes.  Serve with the Sour Cream if you like etc. etc.

HOUSE ENCHILADA SAUCE, (for Enchiladas, Chilaquiles Etc.)

Norman & Janet Van Aken ©, 2016

This sauce can be used for many dishes of Mexican and/or Tex-Mex styles.

Yield: 1 quart

For the Sauce:

2 ancho chilies, stem and seeds removed, toasted on a comal or pan until fragrant

1 Cup Chicken Stock

2 Tablespoons pure olive oil or bacon fat

3/4 Cup red or white sweet onion, peeled and chopped medium

1 jalapeño or serrano chile, stemmed. Seeds discarded if you want milder sauce

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

1 Tablespoon sugar

1) 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, pureed, (San Marzano is our choice)

1 Tablespoon of Chipotles en Adobo, pureed

1 cinnamon stick

2 Tablespoons oregano leaves, chopped, (after measure the leaves)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

After the anchos are toasted put them in the chicken stock to soften.

Put a medium-sized, heavy saucepan on the burner on medium. Add the olive oil (or bacon fat), onion, fresh chilies and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened. About 6-7 minutes.

Now add the sugar, chicken stock & anchos, the pureed tomatoes, chipotles en adobo, cinnamon stick & oregano and simmer about 20 minutes. Now season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Remove the cinnamon stick and discard it. Blend it all in a blender taking care as the liquid is quite hot.



Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.