Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sandy's Beef Enchiladas

6 dozen tortillas
Cooking oil enough to cover about 1-2 inches in skillet.
2-3 lbs ground beef cooked and browned
2 cans chili no beans I Like Wolf brand or Hormel
2 large 303 cans of tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic2 med-large onion chopped or minced
1 large loaf of Velveeta (2Lbs)
1 lb of shredded fiesta blend cheese (white and yellow
cheeses for Mexican dishes) or cheddar (your choice)

Cook and brown hamburger meat, taking care to chop up large lumps. Drain fat and or rinse with hot water to remove as much fat as possible. Add chili, tomato sauce, 1 of the onions and the spices. Clean out cans of sauce and chili with about a can or two of hot water.

After stirring this and mixing well, spoon or pour entire mixture (slowly) through a colander, separating the juice-sauce from the meat. This will make your chili meat very tasty, but you do not want it to be too runny. Set aside the sauce for the topping of the dish later.

Heat about 1 cup of cooking oil till "frying hot." While this is heating, prepare a cookie sheet with paper towels for them. This will be your working space to roll them. Be prepared to arrange them in 6stacks (or 4 if you have a small cookie sheet) for easier and faster rolling. DO NOT FRY tortillas but take 2 at a time and place them in hot oil
for just a second or two then take out quickly. You just want to soften them. If you do not remove quickly they will get too hard and crispy to roll.

Place in each softened and hot tortilla a strip or two of the Velveeta, a tablespoon or so of meat and extra chopped onion IF you like onion as much as I do. You can leave it out if you want as long as it has good flavor. For those who like the flavor of onion but do not care for the onion crunch, blend it and add it to the meat mixture.
Once you have these things in the center, or actually in a row in the middle of the tortilla, begin to roll it by pulling the ingredients to the edge with the edge of the tortilla. Roll as tightly as possible and place neatly in a baking dish or plate.

If you are fixing for a crowd, a cake pan does well, or a glass oven proof baking dish. When finished rolling, spoon sauce over enchiladas generously so they won't be dry. Top with grated cheese, chopped green onion, minced red peppers, or whatever you like to decorate with. If you will put the cheese along the middle of the row of
enchiladas you will be able to see where to cut and serve the enchiladas better. In other words, leave a little on each end of the enchilada without cheese, but be sure to cover entire enchilada with sauce first. You do not want your sauce to be too thick. It should be like a thin gravy in consistency. They are wonderful on a plate and cooked in the microwave. But be careful not to overcook. Normally, unless completely frozen, each enchilada including rice and beans on the plate should not cook for more than 30 seconds. In other words if you have 3 on a plate, 1 & 1/2 minutes is all it needs, max.
For oven baking, heat oven to 375 degrees and place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese looks melted. Avoid browning the cheese or letting it overcook and become crusty. They are much better if they are hot but soft and tender, so you can cut them with a fork.

I always make plenty of enchiladas and freeze trays for another day when I do not have time to cook. These make nice gifts for busy people who enjoy good mexican food. You can choose to use the cheddar cheese instead of the Velveeta but I have had more compliments with the Velveeta because it melts and blends with the meat mixture so well. Most people do not know I use Velveeta ONLY for the inside of the enchilada. And only for the BEEF enchilada.

Serve with Spanish rice, beans, refried beans, guacamole, salsa & chips, and anything else you can think of that sounds good with enchiladas.

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