This isn’t the greatest photo—it was hard to keep my hands off these!
While you may think of enchiladas as stuffed, rolled tortillas, this version looks more like an empanada. Originating from the state of San Luis de Potosi in central Mexico, legend has it that a woman named Doña Cristina brought a bag of corn to be milled, and during grinding it picked up bits of chili that had been ground before it. Though at first, she was upset, she made do with her burnt sienna-colored dough, folding it over pieces of cheese before frying them on a griddle. Enchiladas Potosinas were born, and are now a common find across Mexico, from gas stations to restaurants. While this version differs slightly in that the enchiladas are fried in a bit more oil and contain a mixture of squash marmalade with cotija (or feta) cheese, they adhere to the spirit of the OG with a dash of ground ancho chile added to the masa.
1 1/2 cups Zucchini and onion marmalade/mush
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Goya adobo seasoning with pimentón (or a mixture of 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp pepper)
2 dashes Chalula’s hot sauce
6 ounces cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup masa
2 dried ancho chiles, seeds removed and finely ground (you can use a coffee grinder to do this, just make sure to clean it out before and after)
1 ½ cups plus more water as needed
- Place the zucchini-onion marmalade in bowl, and add the chili powder, cumin, Goya adobo seasoning, hot sauce, and feta cheese. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
- Place masa, water and ground ancho chili in a bowl and mix with your hands until a dough forms. To test if the moisture content is correct, take a small handful and squeeze it through your fingers. If moisture content is correct, the mixture will squeeze out like playdough, and no cracks will form. If cracks form, add a tablespoon of water at time and test again. Cover bowl with plastic wrap until ready to use.
- To make enchiladas, first place parchment paper on a sheet pan. Take about 3 ounces of masa and roll into a ball. Place ball in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to roll it into a circular shape, about 1/4 inch thick and 5 inches across. Take a circular pastry cutter and trim edges. Repeat, laying each round on the parchment paper and covering with a damp towel.
- Pour 2 inches of canola oil in a Dutch oven or cast iron pan. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 340 degrees (I use a thermometer to get the temp. If you don’t have one, take a small piece of masa and add it to the oil. If hot enough, it should start to bubble around the edges upon contact).
- Take a masa round and place it on top of the plastic bag. Place 1 Tbsp of zucchini-onion mixture in the center and using the plastic bag as a guide, gently fold over the top. Carefully press edges together and return to sheet pan. Repeat.
- Prepare a second sheet pan by lining it with paper towels.
- Once oil is at 340, use a slotted spoon or spider to carefully place two enchiladas in the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until golden and puffy, then using your spoon or spider, place on the paper towel sheet pan.
- Serve hot with sour cream, Cholula’s, and cold beer.