New Mexican Flat Enchiladas were a Henson family tradition when I met Matt and he was always so happy to make them. I haven’t had them in a really long time. We never had them very often and then at some point Matt deemed them too unhealthy. In retrospect, the timing seems to have coincided at some time around the years of the death of his parents. I do remember moving to Texas and Matt buying the large strings of dried red chilies for his mother. It was a special tradition for him. There wasn’t really a written recipe, and it was me who did the work of hydrating the chilies, blending them and straining them. I love these sorts of traditions so it wasn’t a chore for me, just time consuming and therefore done just for special occasions. Lately, I’m having a craving for them…
chili beans or kidney beans
New Mexican red chilies, soaked in boiled water for 30 minutes, blended with just enough soaking water to make ketchup like and strained to remove skin and seeds
Matt always fried the tortillas in oil. He cooked the ground beef and onions, added the sauce and beans and then layered meat mixture, tortilla, meat mixture cheese. “How many layers do you want?” he would ask. I could never figure out if he counted layers by meat or by tortilla because I considered the meat at the bottom a layer and you always finish with meat and cheese. It must have been that I would ask for 3 layers meaning meat and would have to define it as meaning 2 tortillas. Matt always had at least 3 tortillas but wouldn’t necessarily eat the whole thing. Generally, a pound of beef made our two enchiladas and that was it.