Seasoned Crema Fresca

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons skim milk
scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
scant 1/4 teaspoon pure red chile powder
scant 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Salsa Fresca

2 serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 pound tomatoes, preferably Roma, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
11/4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
pinch dried Mexican oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

The tomatoes and cilantro should be chopped by hand. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.


1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 pound Muenster cheese, grated
3/4 pound poblano chiles (about 3 chiles), charred, peeled, cleaned, and cut into strips about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide
1/4 pound white onion (about 3/4 of a medium onion), cut into strips about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for sautéing)

Mix cheeses together in one bowl. Sauté chile rajas (“strips”) and onion until soft, about 10 minutes, and transfer to another bowl. Set both bowls aside.

Turnover Dough

4 cups masa harina, available in grocery stores (Quaker and Maseca are good brands)
vegetable oil for frying (about 3/4 inch deep)

Follow directions on package, kneading dough until it forms a ball; do not overwork. Dough is the right consistency if a finger stuck in it comes out clean. Roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Put each ball between two sheets of plastic (such as from a zipper-style freezer bag) on a tortilla press and press as thin as possible; finished diameter should be about 4 inches.

Cup tortilla in palm of one hand and sprinkle with equal amounts of poblano-onion mixture and cheese mixture (about 1 tablespoon of each). Fold over and crimp edges together.

Heat oil over medium-high heat and fry turnovers until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with bowls of salsa fresca and seasoned crema fresca.

Note: Turnovers can be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator for up to a day, and fried at the last minute. Makes 2 dozen turnovers.

Recipes from Round and Round, April 2001
Enchiladas de Chile Ancho Recipe
Rosario’s Tacos Callejeros Recipe
Tortilla Turnovers Recipe