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"Secrets to Cooking TexMex"

TexMex Enchiladas

First thing you need for great enchiladas is a great sauce.
Here is the recipe for 'Chili con Carne', the red meat sauce
that is used to top Beef, Chicken or Cheese Enchiladas.


A great enchilada is determined by the sauce that covers it. 
Here is one that is San Antonio authentic for those TexMex
enchiladas.  This is traditionally made with meat (carne), but it
can also be made without the meat.  This recipe yields 6 cups
of sauce, enough for 12 enchiladas.  It can easily be doubled
for more.

Start by putting 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and cover. 
Bring to a rapid boil.  While the water is heating up,
‘roast’ the dried ancho chili pods under the broiler element
for 10 seconds on each side.   You will see the skin smoke and
be careful not to burn them.  Remove when roasted and when
cool enough to handle, remove the stems, pull the pod apart,
and discard the seeds inside. 

Put into the boiling water, cover, and remove from the heat. 
Let steep for 30 minutes.  In a large saucepan, add the oil
and margarine. 

Add the hamburger meat, crumbling while putting in the pan. 
Brown on a medium high heat, stirring and breaking up any
large pieces.  When the meat is light brown, add the onions,
bell peppers, and chopped garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring
often.  The onions should become translucent by this time. 
Add the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder and stir well.
Cook for another 2 minutes then add the flour.  Cook for 1
minute more, stirring to absorb the oils. 

Add the tomato sauce and stir well, being sure to ‘scrape’ the
bottom of the pan for any sticking particles.  Add 2 cups of
water and bring to a slow boil.  At this point, remove the ancho
chili pods and place on a plate to cool.  Pour the ‘juice’ from
the ancho steeping pot into the larger ‘sauce’ pot.  When the
chili pods are cool enough to touch, scrape enough ‘meat’ from
the pod skins to get 2 tablespoons.  Add to the ‘sauce’ pot and
discard the rest.  Let the sauce simmer at a slow boil for 30
minutes uncovered.  Good time to clean up your work area.

Mix 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch into 3/4 cup of cold water. 
Increase the heat to a medium high setting and when the sauce
is at a ‘rolling’ boil, slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. 
Stir constantly as you do this.  The cornstarch will thicken the sauce,
and it is activated when the sauce begins to boil.  

When the sauce begins to boil again, reduce the heat to a
medium low heat, making sure there is a ‘slow’ boil.  Simmer the
sauce for 20 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from the heat and let
sit for up to 30 minutes.  You now have a great tasting sauce for
authentic TexMex enchiladas. 

This sauce can be prepared several days in advance and
refrigerated until ready to use. Just reheat on a medium low
setting and stir often until hot.


Now that you have a great sauce, its time to make use of it. 
Beef, chicken, or plain ‘ol cheese – the choice is yours. 
Here’s the recipe for each.  The recipe will yield enough
for 12 enchiladas and allow 2 per person if serving Spanish
Rice and Borracho beans.

Beef Enchiladas
Start by heating 1 tablespoon of the oil and the margarine
 in a large skillet.  Add the meat, crumbling while putting in. 
When the meat is light brown, add the onions, bell peppers
and all the spices.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, draining the excess

Put the meat into a bowl and set aside.  Grate the cheeses
using a ‘fine’ blade.  Set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil on
a medium low heat in a small frying pan.  While this is heating,
pour about 2 cups of the of the ‘sauce’ into a large casserole
dish or baking pan.  Take 1 cup of the sauce and pour into
a pie pan.  When the oil is hot, dip the corn tortillas one at a
time into the hot oil for about 2 seconds, just long enough to
‘soften’ them. 

Remove with tongs and place into the pie pan that has the
sauce in it.  Coat the tortilla well with the sauce and then
remove and place on a plate.  Put a ‘row’ of the meat mixture
‘off center’ and roll the tortilla up, place in the casserole dish
with the ‘seam’ facing down.  Continue until all are done. 

Cover with the remaining sauce and finish by sprinkling the
cheese on top.  Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 20 minutes
or until cheese is hot and bubbly.  Remove and serve immediately.  

Chicken Enchiladas

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the fajita seasoning. 
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the chicken breasts. 
Cook until done, turning once.  Remove and let cool, then
chop into 1/4” pieces.  Follow the ‘beef’ recipe for assembling.

Cheese Enchiladas

Mix the cheeses together and use instead of the beef. 
Reserve 2 cups for sprinkling on top before baking.
Follow the ‘beef’ recipe for assembling and baking.
from 'Secrets to Cooking TexMex' cookbook
1998-2002 All rights reserved. Michael W. Ludwig



Questions ? or Comments:
Copyright 1998-2005 "Secrets to Cooking TexMex/Michael W. Ludwig. All rights reserved.