It’s imperative that the chile powder is 100% ground dried New Mexico chiles…NOT the mix of spices sold as chile powder that you find in grocery stores here.
This is the type my dad, a Santa Fe native, was raised on, as were all of us kids. It’s a stack of fried corn tortillas, cheddar, chopped onions and a really rustic chile gravy. And it’s all topped off with a fried egg. It is my all-time favorite comfort food. The chile powder you find around here is almost always a blend of spices. That’s an absolute no-no in my family. We use pure ground New Mexican chilies. So, I order the chile powder online – at http://www.buenofoods.com, (specifically – http://www.giftbasketsjust4u.com/pubs-us-bin/giftbasketsjustforyou/GBJstore.cgi?user_action=list&category=Traditional) It’s the Special Reserve chile powder – and have it shipped from New Mexico.
My dad’s family has been in New Mexico for centuries, literally. We’re all proud of our heritage, and our food. In fact, my aunt Eloisa Bergère Brown – who’s also my madrina (godmother) – published a special family cookbook that we all have. It’s loaded with great traditional recipes and humor, which includes the name, “Our Kind Of Food For Our Kind Of People.” That’s where I get my recipe for the chile gravy.
Sloane Brown’s Enchilada recipe
Chile gravy (from “Our Kind of Food For Our Kind of People by Eloisa Bergère Brown)
3 tablespoons red chile powder
1 heaping tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons oil (or fat if you need comforting)
1 large clove garlic – chopped
1 cube chicken boullion (optional but good!)
Enough water to make a gravy-like mixture, maybe 2 cups
In a medium hot pan, brown flour in oil, add chopped garlic. Stir in powdered chile and brown for ONE minute…no more. (It’s bad, really bad, to burn chile. If you do, you and every else has to leave the house.) Add water, as you would to make gravy, a little at a time, then stir. Add optional boullion cube. Keep stirring a while longer. Then let simmer for at least 15 minutes on low, low burner. I find the longer you cook red chile, the tamer it gets. Just the opposite with green chile.
3 Corn (NOT flour!) tortillas
Lots of corn oil
3/4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped raw onion (this can be a sweet onion if you want)
A cup of chile gravy
Fry the tortillas in medium hot corn oil to your preference – soft or crispy. Drain on paper towels. Put one tortilla on a plate, sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese, and 1/3 the onions over it. Ladle some gravy over that. Put another tortilla on top of that and repeat. Add a third layer the same way. Fry the egg, leaving the yolk runny, and place on the top. Break the yoke before eating, so it drizzles over the whole thing and creates a gooey, glorious mess. Enjoy!