Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Easy Enchiladas

My table-excuse the mess.

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite types of food is Mexican. Even if you don't care for hot and spicy foods (like me), you can usually find something in your typical Mexican recipe or restaurant that will suit your taste. One of the best (and easiest to make) Mexican foods I've ever tried are enchiladas. The ones I made and that I've seen in many restaurants use flour tortillas, although some recipes call for corn. Either way, it's pretty hard to mess them up.

I've heard that the key to making a good enchilada is the sauce. You can buy canned sauces and sauce mixes, but sometimes you may want to make your own. If so, here is an easy, quick recipe.

1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder, or to taste
1 ½ cups beef broth
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt (optional)

Basically you stir everything together until it's smooth, bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

For beef enchiladas-

1 lb lean ground beef
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or colby jack work well)
12 flour or corn tortillas
16 oz of picante or enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Next, brown the beef over medium-high heat and drain for fat. Stir in 1 cup cheese and ½ cup of the sauce. Take a 13x9 inch baking dish and spread another ½ cup of sauce in the bottom. Warm the tortillas (about 5-10 seconds per tortilla in the microwave), then spoon about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture into the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place in dish seam-side down. Now, pour the remaining sauce and cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is well melted.

Some people also use shredded beef or chicken for the filling. It's entirely up to you.

The good thing about enchiladas is that the recipe is easily adapted for vegetarian diets. Cheese enchiladas are easy to make, and you can add in other vegetables such as onions or mushrooms to suit your taste. Here is a basic cheese enchilada recipe.

1 15-oz can of tomato sauce
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
1 12-oz package of corn tortillas
2 tsp Creole-style seasoning
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, diced
1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms
1 6-oz can sliced olives (green or black)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, stir the tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasoning together in a bowl. Now, warm the tortillas, dip them in the sauce mixture and fill each one with the cheese/vegetable mixture, roll them up and place them seam-side down in a 9x13” baking dish. Then, sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until cheese is bubbly and well melted, about 25-30 minutes.

Like I said earlier, enchiladas are easy to make. If you want a dish that is easily adjusted to meet the tastes of your family and doesn't take very long, enchiladas are the way to go.

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