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Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

EnchiladasI made cheese enchiladas this weekend.  I had good excuses – I was craving good Mexican (to say good Mexican restaurants are scarce in my neck of the woods is a bit of an understatement) and Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow.  And as we ate them with homemade pinto beans and some southwestern spoon bread (because I have yet to master good Mexican rice), Beloved and I were sort of “meh.”

“They’re okay,” Beloved said.  “But they’re not as good as they usually are.  I don’t know why.”

I do – there was no beef chili on them.  The enchiladas I made Saturday were just plain cheese with a homemade chili gravy (note:  I loathe, hate, detest, despise and am repulsed by canned enchilada sauces).  Usually when I make cheese enchiladas, it’s because I have leftover chili to pour on top of them…and leftover chili makes a cheese enchilada extraordinary.  In fact, when I’ve had Jolly someone request enchiladas, I’ll make a recipe of my chili without beans especially for it.  A pain in the ass?  Maybe, although they’re still easier than my Chicken Molé Enchiladas (a post for another time) but my, oh, my – are they good?

Yes.  They are.

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

serves 4 – 6

12 corn tortillas

1/3 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 recipe beef chili, without beans

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 glass dish with cooking spray.

In a small skillet, heat the oil – but not too hot.  You’re going to soften the tortillas, not fry them.  When hot, dip a tortilla into the oil for about 10 – 15 seconds with a pair of tongs, just enough to soften it.  Remove the tortilla with the tongs, letting the excess oil drip off.  Place the tortilla flat in the dish, place a handful of cheese down the center, sprinkle with the chopped onion and roll up, leaving the enchilada seam side down.

Repeat with the remaining 11 tortillas.  Cover with the beef chili, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese (you should have about a cup or so left) and any remaining onions.

Bake for 10 – 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the enchiladas are heated through.  Serve immediately.

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