April 30, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: The Whole Enchilada

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Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas

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.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas
 The combined filling ingredients

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.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


Spread approximately 1/4 cup filling down the center of the tortilla.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas



Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


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.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


Sprinkle finely shredded Colby Monterey Jack cheese over the sauce.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


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.


Margaret's Morsels | Easy Beef Enchiladas


Check back later this week for something for dessert that's traditional, but with a twist.



Easy Beef Enchiladas
6 Servings

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (1 oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup (undiluted)
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
1 (15 oz.) can enchilada sauce (may not need the whole can)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Colby Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oven to 350°.  Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned and onion is tender, stirring often; drain.  Stir the taco seasoning mix, beans and soup into the skillet; mix thoroughly.

Warm tortillas by stacking five between two damp paper towels.  Heat in the microwave on High for 45 seconds or until warm.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Keep tortillas wrapped in damp paper towels until ready to fill.

Spread approximately 1/4 cup filling in the center of each tortilla.  Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in a greased 3-quart baking dish.  When the baking dish is full, pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling and the cheese is melted.


© Margaret's Morsels


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