If you go to most Mexican restaurants in Texas and order enchiladas, you get something rolled in a tortilla, usually chicken, beef or cheese, covered in a red spicy gravy called enchilada sauce. In our life along the Rio Grande River, especially the part that runs through El Paso and Las Cruces, we found a different meaning of enchilada.

There, a corn tortilla was fried in oil, just enough to soften, a spoonful of salsa colorada poured over it, then a puño (handful) of grated cheese and grated onion. This was repeated to make a stack of three tortillas, like a stack of pancakes, then topped with chopped lettuce, a sunny side up egg (runny yolk of course!) and a final dollop of salsa colorada, sprinkled with more cheese.

When you cut into this stack, all the juices run together and it’s marvelous. As we have gotten older, the stack has gotten shorter. I am now down to one tortilla, and my dear sweet wife has her egg in a bed of lettuce with salsa colorada on top. Also, from our years in New Mexico, we usually use tortillas made of blue corn maseca.

Once upon a time, a tour bus of “blue hairs” unloaded at The Shed, a famous Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe. One of the participants was heard to say

“get back in the bus, Martha, we’re not eating here the tortillas are moldy! “

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