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!