Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Whole Enchilada(s)

We love to eat out at Mexican restaurants when we get the chance. Most of them we don't call by name...we just call them, "the place with the realllly good white queso" or "the onion obsessed salsa place" or "the place where they serve you so many homemade tortillas you could build a second home out of them."

If it weren't for the artery clogging nonsense, I think my husband would request tacos every night of the week. Even though we love it so much, beyond tacos, cooking Tex-Mex recipes is a little intimidating to me. When it's done right, in my mind, authentic dishes take a LONG time to make. And I don't have a long time. In fact, if I had tilted the camera up just a few inches, you would have seen the lit up baby monitor in the background. If it can't be made and thrown in the oven within the confines of naptime, it ain't happenin' around here.

With that said, I was delighted when my mother-in-law passed down her enchilada recipe to me. This is by no means an "authentic" enchilada dish, but it passes muster with the tex-mex lovin' folks around my table. It's an open a few cans, mix it all together, and throw it in the oven kind of dish. And it's so yummy that I just can't help but share it with all of you!

You start by making the filling:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of cheddar cheese soup (no one said this was healthy fare)
lb. ground beef, browned and drained

I recommend that you season your meat like you would if you were making tacos. Some people choose taco seasoning packets. They make me cringe for some reason (I want to know what's in it!) so I usually throw in some chopped onions, minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and a little salt and pepper while the meat is browning. Mix it all together over medium heat until it's warm and bubbly.

Now you'll open a large (15 oz-ish) can of enchilada sauce. I use red. I can't help myself.

One tortilla at a time, slather on a spoonfull of enchilada sauce, followed by a heaping spoonful of the meat mixture and top it with a little shredded cheese. I've used Velveeta in the past as well. It's whatever suits you. Someday I want to try a blanco queso filling. Again, I never said this was healthy.

Roll them up just tight enough so they'll stay put. You can squish them down a little to help them stay in place. The filling will drizzle out a little. No worries. Repeat until you've got a pan full, or until you've used up your meat mixture.

Aren't you getting hungry??!

Just squish 'em all in together. Don't worry about crowding. They like being close.
After they're all assembled, pour the remaining red sauce all over top. I like to make sure each tortilla is at least 3/4 covered. If the tortilla doesn't have a fair amount of sauce on it, it will be crunchy instead of soft. I also sprinkle a little cheese over the top. Mainly because it looks prettier. And who doesn't like a pretty enchilada?

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. You're basically heating it all up so just check to make sure it's all nice and hot before you take it out.

I doubled the recipe since I was making dinner for a large group of friends. Doubled, I fed 10 adults and 3 children with a pan of leftovers for the next day. They also brought chips and dips and I served rice so keep that in mind.

The final product, pre-sauce.

I have discovered an incredible cilantro lime recipe as well that was the brainchild of one of my friends. I'm hoping she'll be willing to allow me to share it with all of you. It. Is. Fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures look great Sarah. You can teach me after I get a fabulous camera.


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