In a dry skillet heated on high, toast the New Mexican chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the chiles and add the bay leaf. Leave the heat on until the water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let the chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Once hydrated, discard the soaking water and the bay leaf then rinse the chiles. Place the chiles in a blender.
Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a medium saucepan heat the oil on medium-low heat. Add the onion and the garlic and while occasionally stirring, cook until softened and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the onion and garlic to the blender, along with the cumin, oregano, and broth. Puree for 5 minutes or until smooth.
Pour the sauce into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until warm and slightly reduced. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if needed. You should have about 3 cups of sauce, though if you have a bit more or less that’s fine.
For the enchiladas, first preheat the oven to 350°F and pour the oil into a 9×13 baking dish. To quickly warm the tortillas, place them in the baking dish (it’s okay if they overlap) and make sure they get covered in the oil. Place the uncovered in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the tortillas are soft and warm. Remove the tortillas from the baking pan and keep covered. Pour half the red chile sauce into the baking dish.
To assemble the enchiladas, place a warm tortilla on a clean surface and add 1/4 cup of the cheese and then roll the tortilla. Place rolled tortillas in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Evenly pour over the enchiladas the remaining salsa, then top with the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Top the enchiladas with the onion and jalapeños, and serve warm with guacamole on the side.
Dried New Mexican chiles can be found in the spice or international section at many supermarkets or at Mexican grocers. If you can’t find them, guajillo chiles are a good substitution.
Red chile cheese enchiladas | www.homesicktexan.com