Every have those evenings where you'd rather eat Ramen than cook a meal? I do. So I'm trying to build up a repertoire of easy, tasty, go-to meals that are still worthy of applause, and one of those is enchiladas with a very simple and delicious red sauce.
There was actually another recipe I was following, but after trying the recipe I found on Knitter in the Kitchen I wanted to see how the sauce on the Everyday Food recipe would differ. The premise is the same, oil, flour, chili powder, water and chicken broth, but it differed by the addition of an chipotle chili with a bit of the adobo sauce that added an extra punch. However, the other recipe has a few spices mixed in with the chili powder that I felt gave it a bit more depth of flavor, but I was lazy so all I added was a minced garlic clove, some dried oregano, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (which really enhances red sauces).
In this recipe, you make a roux with oil and flour, similar to the first recipe I tried except that you blend the chili powder plus spices with the flour before adding the liquid. Since chili powder is oil soluble, much of the flavor is released when added to oil, thus I feel it's better to add it with the flour instead of later with the liquid. Although the flavor was still pretty punchy, it probably had more to do with the chipotle chili and adobo sauce than from the chili powder alone.
As the sauce simmers away for a brief 10 minutes, you can prep the filling and get the pan ready.
Otherwise, I mostly followed the recipe as written, except for the filling I used preshredded chicken (from chicken cooked earlier) and seasoned the onion-garlic-chicken mixture with oregano, salt, and Goya seasoning. I love Goya. I also had more flour tortillas so I used those. For corn tortillas, though, Rick Bayless has a quick method to soften them: Brush either side with oil or spray with oil, then place flat on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for at least 5 minutes, until soft and pliable.
In the oven, the sauce bakes into the tortillas and the finished dish is completely delicious and satisfies any craving you might have for Mexican food. The top is a bit crispy with the cheese and the cilantro sprinkled on top adds another element of flavor. A squeeze of lime would also be great. No, it's probably not completely traditional, but not everything needs to be. An added bonus, this can also be frozen in advance for later. Since I used 10 flour tortillas, you could probably use more corn tortillas as well, though it might not be as saucy (mine wasn't -- next time).
Recipe after the jump
Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas
Recipe from Everyday Food with my mods in italics
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 small chipotle chile in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon sauce (from a small can)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 a packet Goya seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour, chili powder, oregano, garlic, and salt and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chipotle and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water, and vinegar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Make filling: In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, Goya, oregano, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If freezing, don't place any sauce in baking dish.) Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside. Make enchiladas: Stack tortillas; wrap in foil, and warm in oven, 10 minutes. Fill each with a heaping 1/4 cup beef mixture (and this was for 6-inch corn tortillas, which I don't even think I did for 10-inch flour tortillas, so do whatever works for you) and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up.
- Raise oven heat to 450 degrees. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. (I sprinkled the cilantro on top a few minutes before end of cooking time) Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and, if desired, a green salad.
To freeze: make sauce and enchiladas; arrange enchiladas in baking dish without sauce (so tortillas don't become soggy). Place sauce in an airtight container. Cover dish with plastic wrap and foil. Label, date, and freeze enchiladas and sauce. Use within 2 months; bake without thawing.
To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dish. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; serve.
If baking right away: Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of baking dish; pour the rest over the enchiladas.