Berta’s Michoacan-style red enchiladas look inside out—the opposite of the carefully stuffed and rolled enchiladas we are used to seeing, says Michelle Vazquez of the northwest Chicago area.
Watch out, because they will soon become one of your favorite Mexican dishes, Michelle predicts. Her mom Berta specialized in Michoacan cuisine, and this was one of her most-requested platos.
“Not many people make enchiladas estilo Michoacán,” Michelle explains. “Your standard enchilada is a rolled tortilla stuffed with meat, whereas these are fried and are not stuffed with anything. All the ingredients are on the outside which makes them the most unique. It is always great to see people from other parts of Mexico try these and see them enjoy it.
Berta’s legendary potato- and carrot-topped enchiladas were dipped in a a delicioso guajillo chile sauce and sprinkled with tangy cotija cheese, Mexican crema, shredded cabbage and other garnishes. They were so loved, her mom had fans lining up to buy them. “I remember Mom selling these on the weekends,” says Michelle, ”And always making more than enough for my siblings and me. They were very popular in the area I used to live in. People always came asking for them, and wondering when she would sell some more.”
Michelle is entering this family-famous dish in our Familia Kitchen Your Favorite Enchiladas recipe contest in honor of her mom and their family’s roots in the western Mexico state of Michoacan.
”This style of enchiladas is unique to our state and not many other places do them in a similar style to us. My mom taught me how to make these. It was a great experience learning to make a traditional dish that I could pass on to my family and have them enjoy it, and build a memory around them as well,” Michelle says.
”This recipe has a lot of sentimental value, as it was handed down to just my sister and I before my mom passed away. It is a recipe I will always cherish.”
Michelle first heard about the Familia Kitchen’s enchilada contest from her friend since middle school Odalys Lorenzo, a college student who submitted her own Tia Rosie’s green enchiladas with chicken, serrano chiles and squash. Michelle and Odalys knew that Berta’s enchiladas would also be warmly welcomed by Familia Kitchen’s community of cooks seeking to cook our way home to all the Spanish-speaking places we come from.
Not an experienced Mexican cook? Do not worry, says Michelle. “This is a very quick and easy recipe. I usually make them at least once a month since my family is a fan of them. However,” she adds, ”some family members are not a fan of the idea of the meat being on the outside rather than the inside. They say it is more work to eat, but I know they are just teasing and are enjoying it nonetheless.”
Whichever type of meat you choose—chicken or asada—can be cooked to your preference, says Michelle. Her family usually goes for chicken marinated in guajillo red sauce and lightly fried.
So, go ahead and invite a crowd of family and friends, she says. And put them to work helping you plate and serve the enchiladas as soon as they turn golden-brown, while they’re still hot. ”The ingredients are fresh and always taste the best when they are eaten right away. It is a very easy dish that can feed many people.”