i would love to have the time and patience to make authentic enchiladas. and those of you who have might be saying right now, “you should! it’s not that hard.” and every time i watch them being made on video or look at photos of them being made, i think, “hey, they don’t look that hard to make. i can do that.” and one day, i’m sure i will. but for now, if i’m going to spend my time doing tedious cooking, i’m going to spend it on making homemade ingredients — like enchilada sauce. i confess that in this recipe enchilada sauce is the one non-pure ingredient. but i am currently working on perfecting a homemade recipe for this; once i do, i promise i will post it. so until then, please forgive me as i don’t mean to be “misleading” in my purity stance. 🙂
1/2 lb. ground beef (for a vegetarian and/or healthier version, substitute for black beans)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 serrano peppers, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, de-seeded and diced
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. water
8 corn tortillas, torn into smaller pieces
1 1/2 – 2 c. enchilada sauce (depending on how saucy you like it)
1 c. shredded cheddar (extra sharp is my fav)
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1) dice serranos and jalepenos. ok, so this shouldn’t be a part of the instructions because i listed it on the ingredient list, but i had pictures of it already so i decided to put it in here.
note about peppers: did you know that the heat packed in peppers is found in the seeds? so if you don’t like spicy food or are sensitive to it, you can remove the seeds so that you may still enjoy the flavor without the pain. serranos tend to be a smallish pepper, therefore can be a bit tedious to remove the seeds. so what i do with serranos is cut back on the quantity and keep the seeds in. but that’s just me.
i just love serranos. they are so pretty.
warning: after handling peppers, please be careful not to touch any part of your face — even if you’ve washed your hands a few times. i know from experience. perhaps i shall post that story on here one day. until then, take it from me: it will make the sensitive skin on your face burn for hours afterwards, such that only peanut butter or butter on the burn will alleviate it. yes, i will write about it one day.
2) brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat. add onions and peppers.
3) add chili powder and paprika.
4) add water.
look: this photo snapped so quickly that it hasn’t even hit the pan yet, like it’s suspended in air!
anyways, after you’ve added the water, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5) while meat is simmering, let’s get to some chopping and shredding.
let’s take those pretty green onions and chop them up. these came in my csa box this week. if i didn’t have them in the frig, i probably wouldn’t go out and buy them just for this recipe cuz that’s just how i am. but you can do whatever you want.
chop up the green onions and shred the cheese.
i didn’t take a picture of the cheese. i figure you all have seen shredded cheese before. you can also tear your tortillas up right now too. just make sure to divide the eight tortillas into 2 groups of 4 and keep the torn pieces in these 2 separate groups. one layer will go on the bottom and one will go on the top, so i’m sure that helped cleared up the very confusing word problem i just tried to explain. i was never good at word problems; it was all about the algebra.
6) now comes the layering. in an 8×8 pan or 2-qt casserole dish, pour a layer of enchilada sauce into the bottom.
put the tortilla pieces from 1 group into the pan. using your fingers, swirl them around a bit in the bottom to cover the pieces completely with sauce, like so:
now it’s time for the meat. go ahead and pour that bad boy into the pan as the next layer.
next, sprinkle the cheese. leave a little bit left to put on the very top of the casserole before we bake it.
now the remainder of the tortilla pieces.
this would group 2, for a subtotal of 4 tortillas, for a grand total of 8 corn tortillas. math.
now pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas.
finally, top it off with the rest of the cheese and the green onions.
Stick it in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes.
as i stated above, you can easily make this dish vegetarian by substituting the ground beef for black beans.
to add even more health benefits, experiment with different veggies to add to the meat/bean layer: corn kernels, diced fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, summer squash, or maybe even cubed (or mashed) cooked winter squash like butternut or acorn. ooo, butternut squash, yum. i think i just inspired myself to make this butternut squash version. i can taste it in my mouth already.