This enchilada dish was prepared for me by a another backpacker while traveling around Mexico years ago. He was from another part of Mexico and traveling around the country while on break from school. We were staying at the same hostel in the colonial mountain town of Zacatecas in the northern central highlands. The hostel happened to have an oven — a rarity in those parts.
Food being a principal uniting factor for humanity, we decided to share what happened to be our favorite meal: enchiladas. He insisted on preparing his mom’s specialty. I was more than happy to agree. We decided that dinner wouldn’t be complete without a couple of cold lagers to play backup support to the dinner. We bought a few caguamas (large bottles of beer) to drink while cooking and wash the heavy fat-laden dinner down the pipe.
Conversation revolved around food, Mexican life, food, beer, girls, food, family, and more food. We both agreed at the end of the night that it would be enchiladas that would one day bring about our demise.
Enchiladas are a Mexican staple and can be prepared countless different ways with countless different stuffing ingredients. What makes them enchiladas more than anything else is the sauce (lots of chili powder, hence the name) and to a lesser extent, the cheese. The only other main ingredient which is necessary is the same ingredient which makes all meals better: good company to help enjoy the meal.