This recipe came to us through Auntie Evelyn. Peg Watson was her friend.
The two tortillas on my red plate almost look like a pile of mashed potatoes; it isn’t. The plate has two tortilla crepes and salsa.
When I was making the recipe, the hardest part was making the white sauce; I don’t remember watching Marlys do it, and so I was unfamiliar with the various stages the sauce would take. And I was nervous because of the note to not brown the sauce. When you start out, the sauce takes on a brown tone due to the color of the butter, and the cooking of the flour; I was afraid that this was the brown color I was to avoid. But it wasn’t; I kept stirring and trying to get the flour cooked so the taste of raw flour wouldn’t be in the sauce. When I started adding the milk, the white color for which I was looking came through.
While Peg calls the recipe crepes, I almost see it as a white sauced enchiladas. The technique is similar to the making of the rolled enchiladas, except we are using flour tortillas which don’t need to be softened. But, we fill the tortilla, roll it and put it in the baking dish. Then we top the rolled tortillas with a sauce and cheese.
One thing I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t have tomato in the sauce. I have always been partial to white sauces- like Alfredo sauce for my pasta; maybe that is one reason I am drawn to this recipe as an alternative to the Enchilada sauced recipes.
(Peg Watson, 1980
- 12 flour tortillas
- 12 thinly sliced ham pieces (or leftover ham, turkey or chicken sliced thinly)
- 12 slices thinly sliced monterey jack cheese
- 12 ortega chili’s (or to taste–about an 8 oz can)
- 1 large sauteed onion
- a few dashes Beau Monde seasoning.
- grated cheddar cheese
Place a piece of meat, cheese and chili on a tortilla. Roll it up. Place in baking pan seam side down. When all are rolled, cover with a thick white sauce (4 cups) (see below) to which has been added sauteed onion and Beau Monde seasoning. Cover with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 1/2 hour and uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve with salsa. (If you increase the amount of white sauce it is softer).
- 8 Tablespoons butter
- 8 Tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- Salt and pepper
- dash of cayenne
(For each cup of milk use 2 tablespoons each of butter and of flour).
Stir together butter and flour, and cook to make a roux—do not brown. Stir in slowly the milk. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook until thickened.
For the meat, I used a couple slices of the ham one now finds in the market- specifically, I used the Land-o’-Lakes Black Forest Ham. I couldn’t find sliced monterey jack cheese, and so I bought a 1/2 pound brick, and used the carrot peeler to slice off strips; I used a couple strips per tortilla.
I decided to go with the hint about serving with Salsa, and made the salsa recipe.