Hola, amigos! It’s summer and it’s time for something a little spicy, and a little saucy. Enter #88 Beef Enchiladas.
I kicked-off the fiesta with some Margaritas which I made as part of a guest post I did for 1972 The Retro WW Experiment. If you want to read the recipe, hop on over to my girl Mimi’s blog. She’s kickin’ it old skool with 1970s Weight Watchers fare and some of the food over there are real doozies. Think lots of gelatin and liver. Go. Show me some love and read about my first foray into 1970s cocktails and my attempt at diet-friendly No-Crust Chili Pizzettes (not to be confused with Pizzelles).
Step 1. Brown beef. Check.
Step 2. Add onion and garlic. Check.
Step 3. Season, add water and cook for 45 minutes. Check. Damn, this recipe was easy so far. 45 minutes with nothing to do? I said “mucho gusto, encantado” to another Margarita. Oh, and I cleaned the lettuce.
45 minutes later and I added the tomato sauce and let that reduce and thicken. The result was a really lovely filling.
I didn’t fry the tortillas. I deemed that step completely unnecessary because of time and because of fat and calories. Plus, it seemed that frying them would have made the dish oily. Right?
However, dipping the tortillas in the sauce before rolling, although something that never occurred to me, softened the tortillas enough to make the filling and rolling much easier. It is something that I will remember the next time I make enchiladas. Well played, DiS!
A note on the chili sauce. I had never used it. I’ve always opted for the Old El Paso enchilada sauce. Well, Safeway no longer carries Old El Paso, they now sell Las Palmas. I bought 1 can enchilada sauce and 1 can chili sauce. Upon opening the cans I noted that the 2 looked exactly the same. The ingredients listed on the can were exactly the same. A side-by-side taste comparison and they were EXACTLY THE SAME. Seriously. No deviation in flavor, spice, thickness, or texture. Nothing. WTF, Las Palmas? Dear readers, I know that you’re expecting Brian right now. But I might have been giving you too much. There is only so much Brian one can handle–oh, fuck it. Here it is:
Oh, the many faces of disdain! I mean Brian.
The dipping and the rolling and the topping commenced.
30 minutes in the oven. In the meantime we (this was a team effort) made some Mahatma Yellow Rice in the microwave and heated the beans in the pan that I used to cook the filling. This gave the beans a little more flavor and it had sauce and bits of meat mixed in. A solid move, me thinks.
So here it is, with an avocado salad and and a Dos Equis–The Enchilada Experience.
#88 was good, no doubt about it. It’s really hard to go wrong with the the Mexican gastronomic holy trinity of tortilla, bean, and cheese. It was cooked to perfection. Even without frying the tortillas the edges got all crispy and the chili/enchilada sauce on top kept the filling moist (I’m sure the tortilla dipping facilitated that as well). Yum.
I made a few slight modifications in an attempt to lighten the dish: I used 93/7 ground beef, 2% shredded cheese, no-fat refried beans. But gosh, it was still heavy. That was a lot of beef. And this made a lot of food. So much beef! Almost a week later, there are still enchiladas in a baking dish in my fridge. They will be meeting my trash can tonight.
If I were to make this again, and I will be making some sort of variation of #88 in the future, I would do a straight bean and cheese filling instead of beef. But everything else was A-OK in my book. Ole!
There was supposed to be a dessert with #88 but I did not make the dessert. Cleve didn’t even eat all of his dinner. We were too damn tired. As soon as the kitchen was cleaned we went to bed. Cleve read a little Vonnegut. I played crosswords. Brian gave me stink eye. And then we passed out. We are the most exciting couple on the planet.