There’s a chill in the air. We have had our first frost, and comfort food is on the menu of the day.
Luckily for me, Sue Haas of Seattle has come forward with another tasty recipe—a layered version of enchiladas that saves prep time over rolling. She says she was inspired by Mexican food she ate in Los Angeles.
Sue adds that one can substitute 1 pound of cooked chicken or 10 ounces frozen spinach (thawed) for the browned ground beef. I haven’t tried either, but both sound good.
I received photos of Sue’s own enchilagna, which looked a lot neater than mine (presentation was never my forte), but unfortunately her camera’s focus was off so readers are stuck with my messy version.
I added the chili powder and cumin, which didn’t overwhelm the dish at all. Next time, I think I’ll use a little more cheese (I skimped a bit on cheese so the top of my tortillas dried up a little) and try using the green chili salsa Sue suggested. I like my enchiladas wet!
The basic flavor of the dish as written worked very well, however. And its warmth and heartiness made my guests (and their hostess) very happy last night. Thank you, Sue!
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil as needed
3 green onions, chopped (2 for sauce; 1 to sprinkle on top before baking)
2 4-ounce cans diced green chile peppers, mild (or use green chile salsa for a spicier flavor)
1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, chopped
2 fresh medium tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper should be enough)
1/ 2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 ounces Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 dozen small corn tortillas (yellow or white corn tortillas)
1 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brown the ground beef and drain it. In a separate pan cook the onion and garlic in just a little olive oil until the onion pieces are translucent. Add the 2 green onions, the green chiles, the stewed tomatoes, the tomato sauce, the fresh tomatoes (if you are using them) the salt, the pepper, and the spices. Simmer about 10 minutes and keep warm on low heat.
Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into quarters. Put a generous dab (about 1 tablespoonful) of sour cream on each piece of tortilla and make a layer on the bottom of a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
Add a layer of the meat mixture; then add a layer of grated jack cheese. Continue layering the tortillas with dabs of sour cream, meat (or chicken or spinach) mixture, and grated cheese, until all is used. There should be about 3 layers. End with a top layer of tortillas dabbed with sour cream, grated cheese, and 1 chopped green onion (and chopped cilantro, optional).
Bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot, and the cheese and sour cream are slightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve with salsa, as desired.
Serves 6 (large servings) to 12 (small servings).