Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reason One of Two Why I Never Order Enchiladas

I love Mexican food. I love homemade, wholesome Mexican food. I love greasy restaurant Mexican food. Also, I love everything in between. Most of my friends and family members are in agreement, so I often have the opportunity to indulge. At Mexican restaurants, it's always a tough decision about what to order. Tacos, chimichangas, quesadillas: I could go on and on. One thing I almost never order is an enchilada. I do, however, have great reasons for this... two of them.

The first I will be sharing with you is a little more classic of an enchilada. Cheese and onion are combined in corn tortillas and covered with a red sauce. This often ends up being a little bit more like enchilada casserole, but is delicious, all the same. The flavors are bright and warm. This is a fantastic dish to enjoy all year long, but I believe it's perfect at this time of year, when all I want to do is come home to a nice, hot dinner that will leave me feeling cozy all night long.

Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
adapted from some international cookbook of my mom's

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 - 3 tbsp. chili powder
4 c. tomato juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 clove of garlic, minced

12 6-inch corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheese (I use monterey jack and colby jack)
1 medium onion, chopped
scallions, chopped
sliced jalapenos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Over medium heat (not too hot!) add the flour. Cook for one minute, until this is well-blended. Add the chili powder. Stir in the tomato juice, tomato puree, oregano, cumin, and garlic. Simmer this mixture for about 15 minutes. It will bubble and splatter, so don't turn the heat up too high.

Let the tomato mixture cool until you are able to touch it. Reserve 1 cup of the cheese. Using tongs, place the tortilla in the salsa until it becomes pliable (this only happens so much). Place some of the remaining cheese down the middle of the tortilla. Add some of the chopped onion as well. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in a medium to large baking dish (I use a 9 x 13 glass dish). Continue with the remaining tortillas until you run out of tortillas, sauce, cheese, or onion! Or space in the dish, for that matter. At the end, pour any remaining sauce over the top. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Garnish with green onions and jalapenos, if desired. Understand that you may need multiple utensils (including spoons!) to serve, but that it will be well worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment