Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Basic Red Enchiladas

Here's a flavorful way to use leftover meat. I made mine with leftover steak from Valentine's Day, but they could be made with anything--the key is to keep the filling simple.

I'm not wild about enchiladas that use canned sauce, so I made my own sauce--it's not much more work than opening a can, and the result is so much better! I'd like to try making the sauce with whole chiles one day, but until I'm feeling more ambitious, I'll use this recipe which calls for chili powder. These use corn torillas.


1/4 c. oil or lard
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 c. chili powder
1 c. tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 tsp each: oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes

Heat the fat in a saucepan or skillet until quite hot. Add the flour and chili powder and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture starts to brown (take care not to burn).

Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Allow to cool before making enchiladas.

Filling (amounts depend on how many tortillas you have and how much leftovers to use):

leftover meat, cut into small pieces
onion, minced finely
mild cheese, grated
canned chili beans, drained (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional)

When making your filling, make sure the meat is the dominant item. The other bits are just for flavor, and the cheese mainly holds things together. I had 6 tortillas, and I used 1 c. finely chopped steak, 1/3 onion, 1/2 can beans, 1/4 c. cheese. I used a sweet Vidalia-type onion, which resulted in no stinky breath.


Preheat your oven to 350.

Heat the tortillas one by one in a small amount of oil (I use nonstick spray). If you are way cool and have a brand new stove with a built-in griddle, you could do all your tortillas in one batch! You can skip this step, but trust me--they are so much better with cooked tortillas.

Grease an appropriately sized baking pan. Set up an assembly line as follows: tortillas --> sauce (in a shallow dish or plate) --> filling -->baking pan. Dip a tortilla in the sauce, coating both sides, place a small amount of filling in the center, then roll it up into a tube. Don't bother tucking the ends in, because they'll just look silly. Carefully place the enchiladas in the pan and pour over some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 15-20 minutes until the filling is hot and the cheese is crusty and bubbling. Buen provecho!

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