Thursday, July 08, 2010

Enchiladas two ways

by two of our favorite ladies...

I made Sandwiches' version last night and I like several things about it. I love the gravy texture and flavor - smoky, spicy and smooth. I also love the chopped onions in the filling that cook only slightly in the oven. flavah!

I did a couple things differently to suit my whims. I didn't fry each tortilla, I filled and rolled them as-is and then served the dish with tortilla chips to crumble on the top for the missing crunch. I schmeared a layer of refried beans on the tortilla before sprinkling on the cheese and onions. I also think the oil in the gravy nicely crisps the baked edges that stick up out of the sauce. I also added a can of Rotel to the gravy to get some tomatoes in there and stretched the gravy over 12 enchies. After baking, I served portions over chopped lettuce, sour cream and PW's restaurante salsa. (I'm getting so chubby, but at least I'm happy at dinnertime!)

tex-mex cheese enchiladas
(Recipe adapted from Homesick Texan)

for the chili gravy
1/4 c canola oil)
1/4 c flour
1 t garlic powder
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried chipotle
2 T chile powder
2 c vegetable broth (or water)
1 t habanero hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), optional

In a medium-sized pot, heat up oil over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour mixture browns, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle and chili powder and cook for another minute, all the while stirring like the dickens. Add in broth and turn heat to low, whisking sauce to smooth out any lumps. Let the sauce simmer and thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, add in a bit of water and whisk.

for the cheese enchiladas
1/2 t vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
One small onion, diced
2 cups chili gravy

Preheat oven to 450F. Brush a small skillet with vegetable oil and heat each corn tortilla on both sides until pliable and warm. Set aside, keeping them wrapped in a clean tea towel until they are all finished.

Mix together the cheese and onions into a medium-sized bowl. Pour half a cup of the gravy into the bottom of a square baking pan. Assemble the enchiladas by putting a handful of cheese and onions into the centre of the corn tortilla and bringing the edges together so they overlap. Place each rolled tortilla into the baking pan seam-side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the gravy over the enchiladas and sprinkle any remaining cheese & onions over top. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted. Makes 8 enchiladas.

and now for Elise's...

I like this one when I want a very tomatoey sauce. I make hers as specified, but pull my refried bean trick on these too b/c I'm so hungry!

Enchiladas Recipe

A note about the tortillas. The corn tortillas must be softened before they are rolled and baked in the casserole. Frying them gently in a little oil greatly enhances the flavor of the tortillas. [She's right, but it's time and fat and sometimes I need more time and less fat]


Grapeseed oil (or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil)
12 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa (Mild prepared salsa or make your own using cooked or canned tomatoes, roasted green chiles, onions, cilantro, oil and vinegar. Do not use salsa made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes for this dish.)
3 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
Olive oil
1 lb of jack cheese, mild cheddar or longhorn or any mild yellow cheese, grated
A handful of cilantro
1 cup of sour cream
Half a head of iceberg lettuce [Elise loves iceberg, but any wide stemmed, crunchy lettuce will do.]


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 In a large fry pan at high heat add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.

2 Sauté up the chopped onion and garlic, then turn off the heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water, add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire roasted canned tomatoes. Taste. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add a teaspoon of sugar.

3 Put some olive oil on the bottom of a large casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan. Make sure all are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water. Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

4 Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with vinegar and salt. See Perfect Guacamole for a great guacamole avocado side dish. [I haven't made the guac for this recipe, but it sounds delightful!]

Serves 4.

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