Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Creamy Beef and Bean Enchiladas

Today started off like any other day, but it quickly went downhill. It all began with the power cord for my laptop breaking. Once my battery died, no more computer for me. That alone was enough to send me over the edge. (Yes, I confess to a temper problem). Then, my "potty trained" 3 year old, who hasn't had an accident in weeks chose today to pee on the couch (the new couch we're still paying for). Oh dear, today just wasn't going to be my day. Lo and behold, Kentucky is bracing for some kind of winter storm that has folks freaking out and flocking to groceries stores and gas stations to buy everything they can get their hands on. My friend called to tell me that I had better make the crazed trip to the store so that I could stock up on staples. Normally I don't pay attention to this kind of fearful behavior, but then I recalled how my day was going and thought better of it. I ended up sending my husband out to the store. He told me the store was so busy that there weren't even any grocery carts available. Good thing I sent him, I would've been pretty angry as I carried my groceries around in my hands.

Anyway, I made these enchiladas before Christmas. For the most part I am a recipe follower and rarely make up my own recipes in the kitchen. There are really only a few things I play around with and they are pasta and tex mex food. You really can't do too much to mess them up.

I was craving enchiladas, but didn't have any enchilada sauce, so I made my own. I never knew that enchilada sauce began by making a roux, did you? I used this recipe, found here, from Recipezaar. I added some spices like onion powder and cayenne to make it my own, but for the most part, followed the recipe. I'm happy I had the chance to make my own enchilada sauce, but it is just as good and probably cheaper to buy it from the store.

I have to share one of my new foodie finds with you. I am hooked on these handmade corn tortillas from LaTortilla Factory. They are the perfect mix of corn and wheat and I am addicted to them. They have added just enough wheat in the tortilla so that they are pliable, but the flavor of the corn still shines through. I find these at Fresh Market and since I don't get to go there too often, I usually buy 3 or 4 packs. What can I say, they keep well :D

Sometimes I make my enchiladas with shredded beef from a roast that cooked all day in the crockpot. On this particular day I needed to fill the craving as quick as possible, so I used lean ground beef.

Beef Filling for Enchiladas
1 lb or 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can hot chili beans in chili gravy, not drained
1 -8 oz package of cream cheese, cut into cubes
1-2 tablespoons oil of choice to saute onion

Of course, you will also need:
enchilada sauce- about 2 to 2-1/2 cups
about 10 corn tortillas
shredded cheese and various other toppings for the enchiladas

I begin by sauteing a small minced onion in a large skillet. Add beef and cook until brown. I don't overcook it because it bakes in the oven for another 20-25 minutes. Once the beef is browned I throw in the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. We love those canned hot chili beans in the chili gravy so I add a can of the chili beans to the beef, chili gravy and all. The beans help stretch out the meat and the gravy helps keep everything moist. Once the beef and beans are mixed I throw in 8 ozs. of cream cheese, cut into cubes. Once the cheese has melted you can taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Sometimes I add some cayenne or hot sauce, sometimes I don't. It depends on who is over for dinner.

Add a little enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 casserole, about 1/2 cup. This beef and bean filling will be enough to make about 10 good sized enchiladas. Once the enchiladas are all formed, top them with enough enchilada sauce to cover the enchiladas. At this point, you can add any remaining beef and bean filling or simply top with shredded cheese. I usually use whatever cheese I have on hand. Monterey Jack is my favorite, but pepper-jack or even cheddar would be great. This particular time I used some chili-lime cheese that I just wanted to use up. Bake at 350F for about 15-25 minutes so that the cheese melts to your liking. Serves 5 easily. Leftovers are delicious.
Notes/Results: I wish I would've got a picture of the creamy interior on these enchiladas. I have made quite a few variations on enchiladas and this one is my personal favorite. The 8 ounces of cream cheese adds such a creamy consistency and really rounds out this recipe. I have been craving this ever since I made it a couple of weeks ago and intend on making it again soon. The recipe for enchilada sauce is okay, but nothing special. I will keep it on file for times when I don't have enchilada sauce on hand. If you don't happen to like beans, you can simply leave them out or take the opportunity to add some vegetables instead. This recipe pairs well with my favorite mexican rice, found here. I mentioned the rice in my best recipes of 2009 post. It really is very delicious and makes enough for a crowd. I serve these enchiladas and mexican rice for dinner parties and everyone loves them both. Creamy, rich, indulgent, comfort food that is one of my personal faves. They make great leftovers.

You might notice my absence from posting and commenting for awhile. My husband spliced the power cord for the computer back together, but it looks like it's only going to charge the battery once, maybe twice. Meanwhile, I guess I'll be doing whatever it was before I started blogging, which happens to be exactly one year ago today. My blog turned one year today!


  1. Happy Birthday to your blog!

    I've definitely had days like that too. I recently had some fun (NOT!) wrestling the cover off of my sofa cushion when my almost two year old ditched her diaper and peed all over it. Hopefully your weather won't get too bad and your cord will soon be fixed. I'm new to your blog, and I want to read more!

    The enchiladas look really yummy!

  2. Congrats on your 1 yr. Blog Anniversary. Sorry about your new sofa. And I have been wanting to make "beef" enchiladas for some time now, as I always seem to have leftover chicken and make the filling with shredded chicken. These look wonderfully comforting, I will have to give them a try real soon!

  3. Sorry you were having such a bad day! Hope it gets better. These look so good! I am bookmarking them to make them soon!

  4. Happy Blogaversary and I'm so sorry about your couch and your power cord. I hope you can get another one soon. Meantime, those enchiladas look wickedly good. Yes, wickedly since I'm pretty sure they are not WW friendly. I have enchiladas made in the slow cooker on this week's rotation, but probably won't get to them until next week. I may pick up some Neufchatel and add a bit to my filling. Hope your luck changes...quickly.

  5. They look totally delish! I love that they have cream cheese in them. I have never heard of chili beans, I'll keep an eye out for them.
    Hope your week goes better!

  6. Happy one year to you and your blog!

    Everyone has those days! When I do I want to crawl back into bed and start over!!

    Keep warm for the freeze, I live in Texas and its suppose to be pretty cold here too! Yuck

    The enchiladas look great thought, I bet my boyfriend would love these!

  7. Happy blog anniversary!

    The enchiladas look STELLAR! I'm going to try to make these. I'm sorry you are having a bad day. Problems with the computer on top of trying to manage a household is very hard, very very hard. I think you're doing a great job keeping it together. Hugs, Christine

  8. Happy Blog Birthday!!

    I've had creamy chicken enchiladas, but not creamy beef. They look great and since I love Tex Mex I'll have to give them a try.

    I have a bad temper too and things like you described do me in. Hope you aren't gone for too long. I love reading your blog.

  9. Comfort me with your enchiladas. Monday, my computer (laptop) got a virus. Bad. Need to wipe it out. Tuesday - car died. Wed - dinner didn't turn out as planned. Yes, your enchiladas would be a great help.

  10. Mmmm yummy delicious comfort food. I could have used this today!

  11. Happy blog anniversary! What a way to ring in a new blog year :/

    This enchilada recipe looks amazing! I had no idea about the roux...maybe that's why my homemade enchiladas never taste quite as good as storebought lol.

    I hope the computer situation gets better. I will miss you! And yeah, what did I DO before blogging...

  12. Happy Blogoversary! Sorry to hear your day hasn't been going well so far. Those enchiladas look yummy! The creamy beef filling looks very interesting; I bet it was delicious.

  13. Happy 1st Birthday!! Sorry about your bad day, those enchiladas look like they could fix anything though :)

  14. Looks amazing! And I love the cream cheese addition!

  15. happy birthday stirring the pot! what a day, i know how those go. i think i'd die if i didn't have access to my computer, although i might get more done lol! these look wonderful, great job! i love the creamy filling, and that you did it all yourself. new to me about the roux, who'd have thought! hope things look up from here!

  16. These enchiladas look and sound terrific! No need for a picture of the filling ... cream cheese says it all for me. :-)

    Hope your day has gotten better. Congrats for your one year blog anniversary!

  17. Happy Blog Anniversary! The enchiladas look fabulous, and I will be on the lookout for those tortillas!

  18. Happy blogiversary! Those enchiladas look delish!

  19. Cheers to you! The enchiladas look wonderful. This is one of those comfort foods that can really hit the spot.

    We have a Fresh Market here in Tallahassee. I am going to look for those tortillas. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Hope your day is improved! Stay warm.

  20. Happy Blogiversary! Your enchiladas sound divine with the cream cheese inside! I bet it was a nice contrast to the spiciness. Hope things are going better for you!

  21. I bet my hubby would love love these. They sound super yummy. Bummer about the power cord, that bites! I hope it comes back to you quickly, Ill miss ya.

  22. Wow Kim - those look spectacular! We love enchiladas, and I confess to never having thought about making my own sauce.

    I hope the power cord issue is resolved soon - the blog world is addictive, isn't it?

  23. I didn't know that about enchilada sauce either...interesting. They look yummy! Happy Blogaversary too!

  24. Everything is better with cream cheese! I know how easily days can go from good to very bad and then it seems like the bad cycle stays for a while. Hope your weather improves!

  25. Happy Blogiversary!

    Sorry about your power supply issues:(

    I LOVE beef enchiladas! Our favorite one uses braised and shredded flank steak, yum!

  26. I hate days like that! Hope it gets better. Happy Blogoversary!
    The enchiladas look delicious and I want to find those tortillas--they look perfect.


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