Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mexican Night in the Rutledge Household

I'm one of those people who can eat Mexican Food at any time. No, I mean it at ANY time. All you have to say is chips and salsa and I will usually be the first one to show up. Due to my love of this fine cuisine, I also tend to be pretty snobby when it comes to Mexican restaurants. If I don't like the salsa, I probably won't be back to your establishment. Even if I like the food. I know, it doesn't make sense, but it's the way my brain and taste buds work. I'm also the idiot who always says "I can make this at home for much cheaper and healthier". Yes, I am that person.

With all that being said, usually if we want Mexican around here and don't feel like going out, we turn to enchiladas or tacos. Everyone once in awhile I will get in the mood to make tostados, but The Boy just crushes the shells and makes nachos out of them anyway, so they don't appear on my menu very often.

My beef enchiladas are quick and simple, but it gets two thumbs up every time. I know everyone has their own version of this beefy goodness, but this is for those times when effort is just not going to happen. If you've never made enchiladas before, this is an awesome way to start. I do have to give my momma credit for showing me how easy good Mexican food can be.

Beef Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef

1 pkg shredded cheese ( i use colby jack)

1 medium onion

1 bell pepper

2 cans red enchilada sauce ( I use one hot and one mild, but I will warn you, the hot is HOT)

10-12 corn tortillas

Canola Oil (enough to soften the tortillas in a frying pan)

2 Frying Pans

13x10 Cake Pan or Casserole Dish

Preheat the oven to 375.

1.Chop the onion and bell pepper. I usually will do bigger chunks because I like to taste them, but if you prefer, you can dice. Wuss.

2. Add the onions, bell peppers and beef to your frying pan and brown. The grease from the meat helps soften and saute the onions and bell peppers. Plus browning everything together gives them great flavor.

3. While the beef is doing it's thing, add about a fourth cup oil to the other frying pan and heat till hot. The idea is to have enough oil to soften the tortillas, but not deep fry them.

4. Once the beef is browned, drain the grease ( if there is excess, otherwise leave it in). Add both cans of enchilada sauce and simmer on medium heat.

5. While the mixture is becoming saucy deliciousness, you can now soften your tortillas. Make sure your oil is hot and it should only take about a few seconds on each side to get the tortillas soft. Place a tortilla in the oil and use either a fork or tongs to flip them. I always have a plate covered in napkins to soak up the grease as I pull them out of the pan. Repeat until you have softened all your tortillas. ( If all of this is too complicated for you, just grab some flour tortillas and heat them up in the microwave)

6. Take some of the filling ( about two spoonfuls) and put it in the bottom of your casserole dish. This keeps everything from sticking. Spread it around until the bottom is covered, it will be a thin layer.

7. Grab a plate and great ready to make greatness. Place a tortilla (soak up the excess grease prior with a napkin) on a plate and add a large spoonful of the mixture. Top with cheese(use your judgment on amount) and roll it up. Place the seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until the dish is full.

8. Take your leftover filling and pour it over the enchiladas. Cover it with the rest of the cheese and put it in the oven. It should cook for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. They are gooey and messy and normally don't come out perfect like when you eat out, but they are SOOOOO much better!

I know it seems like alot of steps, but honestly, it doesn't take that long. Usually when I make the enchiladas I serve refried beans. Now I'm not a fan of canned foods, but I don't know to make homemade beans and if anyone has a good recipe please share! Until then, I usually buy canned black refried beans or vegetarian. I do have a secret to making them better however. When you put the beans in your saucepan to heat up, add jalapeno juice to them. It does not make them "spicy" or "hot" or whatever wimps like to say. It gives them great flavor and you won't want them any other way!

So there you have it. Enchiladas at home that are easy and normally better than what you get in a restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. Very fast refried beans-the basic receipe. You can dress this up however you like-Take a can of pink beans (do not use dry and soak as it will take a year to get it as moist as you will need).Take a frying pan-add butter (the real deal)about 2 tsps (more if needed-this is to taste)per can of pink beans. Melt-add the beans do not drain. Simmer for a bit. Then while they are still in the pan-mash with a potato masher until completely mashed. Now cook some more and stir until the whole thing turns into refried beans. You could probably add or use other fats but I like butter.