Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Easy Beefy Enchiladas

A few shortcuts for this recipe lead up to big flavor with minimal effort!

Okay, so maybe this isn't THE family friendliest meal in the world, depending on your family.  For the little ones, this enchilada sauce may be a little spicy.  For the picky ones, there are onions and black olives in there to fuss about.  Sighhh... sometimes, a girl has an urge to cook something that SHE wants.  There's always mac and cheese in the house.... right? (I need a few guilt overriding votes of "Amen, Sista" here.) 

All that said, it IS a very tasty and really easy recipe.  It would be great for a pot luck function, would freeze nicely, and will be great for my lunch tomorrow.  It could also be put together one evening or morning to be popped into the oven when you get home from work.  My honest opinion is that they are even better then next day than when they are initially made.  Yummm...
 
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Ingredients:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • salt, pepper, ground cumin to taste
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce (I used mild)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 - 12 corn tortillas
    • (or flour tortillas if you prefer)
  • 1/2 small can of chopped black olives
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack/Cheddar Cheese
  • garnishes
    • fresh cilantro
    • sour cream
    • lime wedges
Step-by-Step: 
Crumble and brown a pound of lean ground beef in a skillet.  When it's about half done, add the chopped onion. You could save time here with the frozen chopped onions that I'm always telling you about.
Once the onions and ground beef cook down, add seasoning.  I like LOTS of cumin (more than what is in my hand here), ground pepper and salt. 
 Add a can of chopped green chilis - another time saver.
 Make a quick roux of equal parts oil and flour (1 Tbsp each).

Stir until is just gets a little brown and nutty, not dark.  This is going to give our sauce some additional body instead of just being thin and runny out of that can.
Add the can of prepared enchilada sauce.  I'm sure some old Mexican grandma has a wonderful recipe of how to make this from scratch; but hey - this is an after work meal!  I have people to feed! (And mac and cheese to make)
Let the sauce come to a complete boil.  Turn down to medium and let it cook for a few minutes to thicken.
Add the heavy cream.  Yum. 
The reason I like the cream in it, if you must know, is that I think enchilada sauce can be a bit acrid for my taste.  I want a rounder, softer mouth feel and a creamier consistency.
Ladle a bit of the thickened sauce into a casserole dish.
Set up an assembly line:  Tortillas, sauce, meat, olives, cheese, dish.
Briefly dip the tortillas into the sauce.
 Add a spoonful of meat onto the tortilla.  Caution - it's going to start getting pretty messy here.
 Add a few pinches of chopped black olives.
 Add a BIG glop of cheese.  Yum.
 Roll the enchiladas.  Then place them seam side down in the pan.  Squish them together as you go.

Pour all the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  You don't want them to be dry after you bake them.
Spread the remaining cheese over the enchiladas.  Here is another time saving thing.  I am one of the biggest proponents you will find for buying cheese in a big hunk and grating your own.  It just tastes a LOT better.  The shredded cheese oxidizes and gets a little bit hard and I don't think it's as good.  But!!! Again - this is the short cut version... so alas - I used the cheese in the bag.
Sprinkle the top with fresh cilantro.  Oh How I love cilantro!  The flavor is so big and bright and Mexican'y!!
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  This gives you time to make a side dish (and that mac and cheese for the others).
And this is the final version!  Voila!

Easy beefy enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream, some fresh cilantro and a side of Mexican rice!
Now don't forget to squeeze that lime over the enchiladas before you dig in.  The acid from the lime juice further brightens the flavor palate.   

¡buen provecho  (bon appétit!)

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Method:
Crumble and brown a pound of lean ground beef in a skillet.  When it's about half done, add the chopped onion. You could save time here with the frozen chopped onions that I'm always telling you about.  Once the onions and ground beef cook down, add seasoning.  I like LOTS of cumin (more than what is in my hand here), ground pepper and salt.  Add a can of chopped green chilis - another time saver.
Make a quick roux of equal parts oil and flour (1 Tbsp each).  Stir until is just gets a little brown and nutty, not dark.  This is going to give our sauce some additional body instead of just being thin and runny out of that can.  Add the can of prepared enchilada sauce.  I'm sure some old Mexican grandma has a wonderful recipe of how to make this from scratch; but hey - this is an after work meal!  Let the sauce come to a complete boil.  Turn down to medium and let it cook for a few minutes to thicken.  Add the heavy cream.  Yum.  The reason I like the cream in it, if you must know, is that I think enchilada sauce can be a bit acrid for my taste.  I want a rounder, softer mouth feel and a creamier consistency.
Ladle a bit of the thickened sauce into a casserole dish.  Set up an assembly line:  Tortillas, sauce, meat, olives, cheese, dish.  Briefly dip the tortillas into the sauce.  Add a spoonful of meat onto the tortilla.  Caution - it's going to start getting pretty messy here.  Add a few pinches of chopped black olives.  Add a BIG glop of cheese.  Yum.  Roll the enchiladas.  Place them seam side down in the pan.  Squish them together as you go.  Pour all the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  You don't want them to be dry after you bake them.  Spread the remaining cheese over the enchiladas.  Here is another time saving thing.  I am one of the biggest proponents you will find for buying cheese in a big hunk and grating your own.  It just tastes a LOT better.  The shredded cheese oxidizes and gets a little bit hard and I don't think it's as good.  But!!! Again - this is the short cut version... so alas - I used the cheese in the bag.  Sprinkle the top with fresh cilantro.  Oh How I love cilantro!  The flavor is so big and bright and Mexican'y!!
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  This gives you time to make a side dish.  Now don't forget to squeeze that lime over the enchiladas before you dig in.  The acid from the lime juice further brightens the flavor palate.  

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