When I moved from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, I anticipated that I would experience many changes, but I never really considered the consequences of losing access to my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants. Sure, there are a few decent Mexican restaurants in the area, and with Southern Chester County's growing Mexican population, I'm sure there will be more. But Mexican isn't Tex-Mex. There are no cheese enchiladas.
Today, my mom and I set out to recreate genuine, restaurant-style Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas, with their savory chili sauce and mounds of gooey cheese. These enchiladas would not contain goat cheese or swim in a pool of tomatillo salsa. The cheese must be yellow, and the sauce brown.
We started in the most logical place: searching out recipes from friends or bloggers who live in cheese enchilada country. It soon became clear that these people have no need to recreate cheese enchiladas in their kitchen; they just go out to eat. Many did express sympathy at our plight and disbelief that there are parts of the world in which children grow up without access to Tex-Mex. Undettered, I turned to the most logical source of restaurant-style Tex-Mex recipes: Homesick Texan. Texans stuck in New York can't go out to eat and order a competent enchilada, after all.
There I found a recipe that called for all of the essentials. Lots of yellow cheese, onions, and a savory, simple chili sauce. Nothing fancy. No goat cheese. Overall, her recipe is good, although I made a few tweaks. I included a half tablespoon tomato paste to give the sauce a little depth the juice of half a lime to brighten things up.
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
Juice of half a lime
2 cups beef stocl
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.