I love Mexican cuisine, but don't have time to cook it from scratch. I can still make and enjoy Mexican food at home thanks to shortcuts that save time without skimping on flavor.
Last year for Cinco de Mayo, I shared a recipe for an entree that has the flavor of Mexican food, but not the authenticity. This year, I wanted to share something more traditional -- enchiladas -- with a recipe that's ready in less than 45 minutes.
Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of fillings: meat -- beef, chicken, pork, seafood -- cheese, beans, vegetables or any number of combinations. The recipe I'm posting uses ground beef plus a can of refried beans. Adding beans to the filling means I don't need to fix them as a side dish. If you want, you can even add one cup of cooked rice to the filling.
The beef and onion are browned and drained before being combined with a package of taco seasoning mix, refried beans and, instead of shredded cheese, a can of Cheddar cheese soup. Once the filling is thoroughly mixed, it's time to fill the tortillas.
The original recipe called for flour tortillas, but I substitute corn tortillas for two reasons. One, I prefer the flavor of corn. Two, enchiladas are typically made with corn tortillas so using them makes the recipe more authentic.
Corn tortillas need to be softened so they can be rolled without breaking. This is usually done by briefly frying them in oil for a few seconds or dipping them in enchilada sauce. This recipe doesn't use either technique. Instead, the tortillas are heated in the microwave.
Place a stack of five tortillas between two damp paper towels and microwave on High for 45 seconds or until warm. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas until you've heated the amount needed. Work with one tortilla at a time, keeping the remaining tortillas between the damp paper towels until ready to fill.
Spread approximately 1/4 cup filling down the center of the tortilla.
Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
When the dish is full, pour a can of enchilada sauce over the tortillas, using just enough to cover. I use mild sauce, but you can use hot enchilada sauce if you like your food spicier.
Sprinkle finely shredded Colby Monterey Jack cheese over the sauce.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.
I like to serve the enchiladas with Spanish rice, tortilla chips and queso dip. If you don't use refried beans in the filling, you might want to serve them on the side.
Check back later this week for something for dessert that's traditional, but with a twist.