Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Homemade Enchiladas

If you like mariachi music, oversize sombreros, and spicy comfort food, have I got a recipe for you.

Feast your eyes on this festive dish of enchiladas, a classic south-of-the-border favorite that has been in my family's rotation of tried-and-true meals for more years than I can recall.

Like any good family favorite, the ingredients are simple and the preparation technique allows for plenty of interpretation and approximation.

a package of ground beef, browned
10-12 soft tortillas
a can of refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups diced onion
half a can of red enchilada sauce
half a can of green enchilada sauce
(freeze the extra sauces for next time)

2 cups sour cream
4-6 green onions, chopped

1. Generously oil a large baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put a tortilla on a plate, spread a spoonful of refried beans down the center. Then sprinkle on some ground beef, onions and cheese. Roll it up and place in the baking dish. Rinse and repeat.

3. Keep an eye your ingredients and balance your proportions so that you will come out even. Honestly, that's the trickiest part of this whole shindig.

4. When the baking dish is full, pour on the sauces. I like to pour the green down the center of the tortillas, and then splash the red along the ends. Sprinkle on more shredded cheese and any leftover ingredients that did not make it into an enchilada proper.

5. Cover the dish with foil; bake for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese melts. If you can stand to let them sit for 10 minutes before eating, they will be all the more delicious. Serve with sour cream and chopped green onion.  

Take note that there are countless ways to substitute or add in more ingredients to pump up the flavors. Here is a partial list of our successful experiments:

jalapeno peppers
red, green or yellow bell pepper
black beans
fresh tomatoes
sun-dried tomatoes

Clearly, the options for personalizing this crazy delicious comfort food are through the roof. 

And now, to complete the Mexican mood with the aforementioned sombreros and mariachi, here's a interesting mash-up that sure sets my toe to tapping. ¡Ay, caramba!

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Ready for more stories about my most dearly beloved, tried-and-true homemade meals?

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