The word 'enchilada' dates back to 1887 and is an American Spanish word from the feminine noun 'enchilado'. It is related to the past participle of 'enchilar' which translates to 'to season with chili'. In its basic form, an enchilada, it is a rolled, filled (with cheese and/or meat - typically beef or chicken) tortilla covered with a chili sauce and typically baked in some way.

Texmex Enchiladas

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 2 lb (1 kg) extra lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp (25 g) flour
  • 2.5 cups (600 ml) enchilada sauce (2 standard cans)
  • 1 lb (500 g) sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Procedure (Sauce)

  1. Brown ground beef and one of the onions in a skillet. There should be no need for any extra oil. Make sure to thoroughly cook the meat so there is no pink or red color left. Break meat up so that is in very small pieces (as opposed to chunks). Onions should be limp and translucent but not browned.
  2. Add flour and mix until flour is completely incorporated into the meat mix.
  3. Add the sauce. Heat over low heat. Consistency should be similar to thick gravy, and not soupy. If the mix is too thick, water may be added. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 min.
Option A Procedure (Rolled Enchiladas - the more authentic way)
  1. Dip each tortilla in the sauce - enough to coat and soften.
  2. Lay tortilla flat in a baking pan. Spoon about 3 Tbsp (50 ml) in a line down the middle. Top with about 1 tsp (5 ml) of chopped onion and 3 Tbsp (50 ml) of grated cheese.
  3. Roll the tortilla into a tight cylinder and place against bottom edge of baking pan. Repeat until full. It is not advised to assemble the enchilada outside the pan (it can get messy). The recipe should make between 16 and 24 enchiladas.
  4. Smooth sauce over assembled enchiladas to thickly cover. Generously sprinkle grated cheese. Bake at 425 F (220 C) for 20 minutes.
Option B Procedure (Stacked Enchiladas - the easier way)
  1. This is the New Mexico style and is much easier than the stacked method (above). Have plates ready.
  2. Submerge each tortilla in the sauce (now simmering at low heat) and cook until limp (but not falling part).
  3. Remove tortilla from sauce and place on plate. Spoon a little sauce (including meat) over tortilla and add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped onion and 4 Tbsp (50 ml) grated cheese.
  4. Repeat until the plate has a stack of 3-4 tortillas (depending on the appetite of the person who will get the plate.
  5. Top the last tortilla with a generous amount of sauce and cheese.
  6. Serve immediately.

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recipe source: USENET Cookbook
contributor: Pamela McGarvey (UCLA Comprehensive Epilepsy Program)

As someone who can burn corn and light my toaster oven on fire, I was skeptical when the home economics teacher in my school told me she had the perfect recipe for me. She said it was simple, could be lowfat, and was virtually fire-proof (unfortunately, she had heard about the toaster oven incident). Well, I guess it couldn't be worse than the time I accidentally cooked noodles full of bugs and fed them to my boyfriend. So, I decided to give it a try. If the eighth graders can cook these things, so can I, right?

So here's the recipe: one can of chopped chicken (drain it first or it will taste scary- don't ask), one small container of sour cream, one can of cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese (you choose how much), and green chilies if you like your food spicy. Throw this all into a bowl and stir it well. Then, place your mixture into the middle of tortillas, roll them up (be creative) and bake them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

I did all of this- and for the first time in a long while, nothing burned, scorched, contained bugs, or even exploded. I was so proud. I can now say that I can cook as well as an eighth grader. Hmmmmm, is that a good thing? You decide, I'm too busy reveling in my success.

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