Cast Iron

Potato and Carrot Enchiladas

February 26, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

When Helenthenanny and I were growing up in Buda, Texas, we lived one house down from our friends Amanda and Emma Esparza. We would walk across our neighbor's yard almost every day to play games with them. We were always thrilled when we'd walk over and find that their grandma had come by to visit and cook- she is incredible. Everything she made was insanely delicious, but her enchiladas were everyone's favorite. This is my adaptation of her classic recipe, which one clever cousin was thoughtful enough to write down and share with us.

One quick note- I am incapable of making these enchiladas without covering most of the kitchen in chile sauce. It is absolutely worth the mess- this is one of my very favorite dinners. —arielleclementine

What You'll Need
  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 1.5 cups very hot water
  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" dice
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and diced medium
  • vegetable oil
  • 12 high quality corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces panela or monterrey jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Tear open the dried chiles and remove the stems and seeds. Tear each chile into 4 or 5 smaller pieces, and place torn chiles in a bowl. Cover with about 1.5 cups hot or boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to rehydrate.
  3. Meanwhile, put the diced potatoes and carrots in a medium pot and cover with water. Add a generous amount of salt, and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Drain and return to pan.
  4. While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, prepare the chile sauce by transferring the rehydrated chiles and about a cup of the chile water to a blender, and blending until smooth. Add more of the chile water if needed, to reach the consistency of a smooth gravy. Pour the chile sauce on a dinner plate and set it next to the stove.
  5. Set a cast iron skillet over medium heat and pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the skillet by about 1/4 inch. When the oil is hot, one at a time dip a corn tortilla into the chile sauce, wipe the excess sauce off with your fingers, and gently drop the tortilla into the oil. Immediately grab your tongs and flip the tortilla, let it sit in the oil for another second or two, and then use tongs to quickly transfer the tortilla to another plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas, stacking tortillas on top of each other as they come out of the oil. (Note: I have made these enchiladas many times, and I still always manage to horribly mutilate the first tortilla I fry. I'd recommend buying more than 12 tortillas, so you have some room for error.)
  6. When you have finished frying the tortillas, remove all but 2-3 tablespoons of oil from the cast iron skillet. Mix about 1/2 cup of the leftover chile sauce with the drained carrots and potatoes, so that they are well coated, and transfer to the cast iron skillet. Fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, so you have some brown crusty bits. Remove from heat.
  7. Assemble the enchiladas. Carefully peel one fried tortilla off the stack and fill with about 1/3 cup of the potato/carrot mixture, a tablespoon or so of grated panela cheese, and a sprinkling of raw diced white onion. Roll up and place in a casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Transfer the casserole dish to the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes, so that the cheese can melt and the tortillas can warm up again.
  8. Garnish the enchiladas with crumbled cotija, sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime, and a smattering of cilantro leaves.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • arielleclementine
  • Waverly
  • dani
  • Lori Lyn Narlock
    Lori Lyn Narlock
  • Lizthechef
I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).

28 Reviews

za'atar September 18, 2013
I really enjoyed these! The pepper sauce had a really nice fruity taste and came together so easily. In the future I might add some additional liquid to the dish because mine came out a little dry, but I loved the flavor!
arielleclementine October 21, 2011
thanks Waverly and dshush for your lovely comments! dshush- what a great idea to use yams! i bet they taste phenomenal with the dried chiles! definitely trying that next time.
dshush October 18, 2011
Made these DELISH enchiladas on Friday - ate them for dinner Friday, breakfast Saturday, lunch Sunday, and dinner Monday. Had to fight my husband for them on the last day. I made the full recipe and then put the pan in the fridge and just heated 2 at a time in the oven. Only changes I made were using yams instead of regular potatoes and seasoned the chile sauce pretty generously with salt/pepper. These are awesome and I will definitely make them again soon. Would also be great to make for friends with new baby or death in the family, etc.
Waverly October 12, 2011
These sounds delicious! Saved.
dani August 10, 2011
I missed this recipe when you first submitted it. Sounds great!
Lori L. March 3, 2011
These look fantastic. I just had a potato enchilada this summer for the first time. The salsa was also made with potatoes and carrots--it was almost stew like. They were the most delicious enchiladas I've ever eaten--and trust me I've eaten a lot! I can't wait to try your recipe.
arielleclementine March 3, 2011
that's awesome, thank you! i hope these come close to the other potato enchiladas you sampled this summer!
Lizthechef February 27, 2011
Not only is this a terrific recipe but it is pretty darn healthy too...On my list to try -thanks!
arielleclementine March 1, 2011
thanks, Lizthechef! a fair amount of oil clings to the tortillas after frying, but even with that, i think these are a fair bit healthier than the standard tex mex enchiladas!
hardlikearmour February 27, 2011
Holy wow, do these sound good!
arielleclementine March 1, 2011
thank you so much, hardlikearmour!
fiveandspice February 27, 2011
Wow! These sound absolutely wonderful - and what a lovely memory!
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
thanks fiveandspice! we were lucky girls :)
Midge February 27, 2011
Saving this for sure. YUM.
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
awww- thanks Midge :)
gingerroot February 27, 2011
Oh yum! These sound insanely good. Thanks for the recipe.
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
hooray! thanks gingerroot!
totalnoms February 27, 2011
Yup, definitely going to have to try these! I'm trying (unsuccessfully, but trying none the less) to cut some of the meat out of my diet. These look satisfying enough that I wouldn't miss it!
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
fantastic and thank you! these are definitely filling!
aargersi February 27, 2011
YUM on these! Most assuredly worth the mess. I will have to try them soon unless, ahem - you deliver? :-)
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
haha! thank you! maybe i could pack them up in jars to replace all the ones i've stolen from you in the past year!
testkitchenette February 27, 2011
This is definitely on my menu this week, for me and my brother and sister in law (my first real personal chef clients)! Gracias!
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
oh how fun! i really hope you like it! thank you :)
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
and congrats on the personal chef gig too!
Sagegreen February 26, 2011
arielleclementine February 27, 2011
thanks sweet friend!
mrslarkin February 26, 2011
Holy guacamole! These sound ama-za-zing.
arielleclementine February 26, 2011
thanks mrslarkin! you're the best :)