Today, we’re heading north of the border to find an Americanize take on enchiladas. The makings of enchiladas are not the same, nor should they be. Depending on where you are, the recipes differ vastly. In Colorado, a sauce is made from dried peppers such as Guajillo, California or New Mexico, are hydrated in paste form and mixed with beef broth and seasonings. Enchiladas are dipped into the sauce before being filled with a meat mixture. Arizona enchiladas are similar with varying ingredients. In New Mexico, a similar Colorado Chile Sauce is used but the tortillas are stacked, not rolled. Texans enjoy a version with added black-eyed peas.
I sort of like all variations and that’s what I like about this recipe. You can adapt it to suit your own taste. Use flour tortillas or corn. Roll them up or stack them. Add whatever seasonings you fancy making it as spicy as you like. Incorporate different items, like corn, pinto or black beans, even black-eyed peas. Enjoy!
North of the Border Enchiladas
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, boneless chicken breast, chopped or pork loin, cubed
Chorizo if desired
3 to 4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon flour
1 -7 oz can Salsa Casera or make your own with diced tomatoes, onions and serrano or jalapeno peppers
Refried beans, pinto or black beans, corn – add whatever you like
Enchilada sauce – homemade like below or canned
Corn or flour tortillas
Shredded cheese -Mexican, Cheddar or cheese of your choice
Diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, onion and sliced pickled jalapeno peppers for garnish
Make the enchilada sauce and keep warm or heat the canned sauce over low heat.
Brown meat in oil if needed and drain well. Add spices, and the salsa. Add beans, corn or whatever ingredient you think will be good. Add enough enchilada sauce to cover. Simmer until thickened.
Meanwhile, shred the lettuce and cheese in separate bowls. Also dice the tomatoes and onions in separate bowls.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet or microwave to ease in rolling. Depending on the size of tortillas, spoon 1 to 3 tablespoons onto a tortilla and roll up. Place in a greased casserole dish. Repeat until dish is full. Spoon sauce over the top of the enchiladas leaving room for expansion. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until top is brown and sauce is bubbly.
Serve with a sprinkle of tomatoes, onions and jalapeños if desired.
Note: If stacking, fry the tortillas in a little oil, dip them in the sauce and layer the meat mixture with cheese in 3 or 4 layers. Spoon a little sauce over the layers and top with the lettuce, tomatoes and jalapeños.
My Enchilada Sauce
When I have the time, I use this one and have found it to be one of my favorites.
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 -14 oz chicken stock or homemade
5 teaspoons Mexican red chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 -6 oz tomato paste
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Continue stirring making a nice brown roux. Add chicken stock, spices and tomato paste. Stir until blended and whisk in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and stir occasionally until desired consistency.