Meatless “Enchiladas”

Ok, I put enchiladas in quotes because these really aren’t enchiladas. They are burritos with sauce. A true enchilada is made with corn tortillas. (Aren’t pet peeves weird?) Now that we’ve got that out of the way,this dish needs to be renamed “I’m SO good I should be an Enchilada!” The way I stuffed them, though, make them more of a burrito. While I was crushed for time and didn’t do it, these would go well with some Spanish rice and a Cesar salad. I’d love to mix up the filling, too. Add shrimp. Maybe some grilled steak. Or, add some sweet red bell pepper. Grab a margarita, get comfortable, and let’s go do this!

Ingredients

Sauce:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 cups (up to 3) vegetable stock (you want a soup consistency)
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp chili powder (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Enchiladas:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
¼ cup cilantro (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
12+/- fresh tortillas
3 cups Colby-Jack cheese (or cheddar)
Sour Cream for topping

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Preparation

Sauce:

In a saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add tomato paste, spices, and flour. Stir and cook 1 minute. Whisk in broth / stock and cook 8 minutes.

Enchiladas:

Preheat oven to 350°. Warm olive oil in pan. Sautee spinach& onions until spinach wilts slightly. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, corn, cumin, and spinach mixture. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of 9×13 pan. Cook tortillas. Dividing evenly, add mixture to tortillas and roll up. Pour sauce over enchiladas, and finish with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Top with sour cream, olives, tomatoes, lettuce. Whatever sounds good to you!

Serves: 10 – 12
Total time: 45 minutes

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*Derived from ButterWithAStickOfBread

Mexican Lasagna

I seem to be having a problem with life / work / blog balance lately. While I’m still cooking up a storm, it’s been tough to find the time to post about it.  This, however, REQUIRED me to get it up as soon as possible!  Not only did the entire family give it 3 very enthusiastic thumbs up, but 2 of my fab girl friends did, too!  When the Mexican hubs is this excited about a dish, I know it’s  not only a keeper, but should be a repeater, too. You see it served in the photo below with my baked tortilla chips. Oh, and It’s just as good the next day, and the next, for lunch!  ¡Buen provecho!

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (can easily sub chicken or turkey)
1 cup water
2 Tbs Tajin (go easy on Tajin, it quickly becomes too salty)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups sour cream, divided
1 tsp Mexican paprika
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs cornmeal
10 flour tortillas, 6 inches (mine were much larger, so I cut them in half)
1 cup salsa (such as Herdez)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet heated to medium, cook beef until no longer pink, drain.  Stir in water, Tajin, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and Mexican paprika.  Set aside.  Sprinkle cornmeal into a greased 13×9″ baking dish.

Arrange five tortillas, overlapping, in the bottom of the prepared dish.  Spread ½ cup salsa, add ½ of the meat mixture and ½ of each cheese.  Repeat layers.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Corona (ok, admittedly not wine, but come on!  This is all the flavors of Mexican food!)
Cabernet Franc
Sangiovese
Beaujolais
Chianti

Serves 8 (large servings)

Prep time: 25 – 30 minutes; Bake & standing time: 50 minutes

Mexican Lasagna & Baked Tortilla Chips

Mexican Lasagna & Baked Tortilla Chips

*Derived from Taste of Home


Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

This is a wonderful, completely filling No Meat Monday.  What makes this even better, there are so many things you can add, adjust.  The possibilities are endless! Add a touch of enchilada sauce to each layer.  Or, add a thin layer of refried beans. Can’t hang without your meat?  Go ahead, add some!  Use corn tortillas.  For an extra fresh, crisp taste, top with sour cream, shredded lettuce and diced tomato.  Don’t forget the avocado!

Ingredients:

4 10″ flour tortillas (or slightly smaller, see below)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp Mexican Blend seasoning (Such as Morton & Bassett)
Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed (always check sodium levels, even “low sodium” can be quite high)
12 oz beer, or 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used Corona, but any would do)
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen corn
1 jalapeño chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat) optional
4 scallions, thinly sliced, optional
2 ½ cups Mexican blend cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.  While oven heats, drain and rinse beans.   If using 10″ tortilla, grab a paring knife and trim down to fit spring form pan.  Use the bottom of the pan as a guide.  I used a slightly small tortilla because it’s what I had on hand.  Even though there was some extra space on the sides, the smaller tortillas worked just fine.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, jalapeño (if using), and Mexican blend seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5-7 minutes).

Add beans, beer (or vegetable broth), bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, simmer until liquid has almost evaporated (8-10 minutes).  Stir in corn and scallions (if using) and remove from heat.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

Place tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with ¼ of bean mixture and ½ cup of cheese.  Repeat three times, using 1 cup of cheese on top layer.  Bake until heated through and cheese melts, 20-25 minutes.  Remove side of pan, sprinkle with scallions (optional).  Slice into wedges to serve.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Albariño
Zinfandel

Tortilla & Black Bean Pie

Tortilla & Black Bean Pie

*Derived from Everyday Food


Mexican Black Bean Pizza

Remember Taco Bell pizzas?  Anyone who has ever had a love of fast food knows Taco Bell pizzas.  There was something so good about them.  Maybe it was the flour tortilla crust, all crunchy and munchy.  What was not so good about them?  How truly bad they are for your body.  Probably not such a big deal when I was in my 20’s.  Certainly an issue now that I’m in my 40’s.  From the perspective of my thighs, if nothing else.  And, I’d like to keep my kids as far away from fast food as I can.  It’s such a horrible habit to get into and such a difficult one to break.  Try this lighter, healthier version and I promise, you’ll forget about your Taco Bell days!

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbs olive oil
8 (6″) flour tortillas
1 small onion chopped (or buy the pre-chopped from the produce section)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
½ cup salsa, mild or spicy
*Optional – 2 oz canned chopped mild green chiles
*Optional – You can add about ½ a cup of any meats you may prefer, pulled pork, chorizo (casing removed), shredded chicken, etc.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix half the Cheddar cheese with the Monterey Jack in a bowl and set aside.
Brush a baking sheet with 1 Tbs olive oil (or line with parchment paper) and arrange tortillas in a single layer.  Using a fork, puncture each tortilla a few times.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese evenly over 4 of the tortillas, then cover each with a remaining tortilla.  Bake 5-6 minutes or until browned slightly.

While tortillas bake, heating 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet and cook onions until browned.  Add beans and partially mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Remove tortilla pizzas from the oven and top each with bean mixture.  Top with salsa, green chiles (if using), meat (if using), and cheese mixture.  Return to oven and back until cheese melts, about 10-20 minutes.  Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, avacado.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Bonarda
Pinotage

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

Mexican Pizza

*Derived from Bush’s Beans

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Fat Taquitos

Sometimes I wonder if my life resembles the chicken and the egg a little.  Did my love for Mexican food come before my love for a Mexican?  Or did my love for a Mexican enhance my love of Mexican food?  As long as I can remember I’ve loved Mexican food.  Hot, spicy Mexican food.  Then I fell in love with a Mexican and found a whole new appreciation for Mexican food, and, well, all things Mexican in general.  And that brings me to my Fat Taquitos.  I’m always on the hunt for Mexican food recipes, and for new ways to make Mexican food.  And one of the strongest Mexican food critics sits at my table!  I had a feeling these were going to be good, but did feel a bit apprehensive as I set the plate down at lunch a few Saturdays ago.  Would they pass muster?  Would I be sent back to the drawing board?  They passed muster!  And I got a thumbs up from one of my little foodies!! 

Ingredients:

8 small (6″) corn tortillas
1½ cups shredded chicken
½ cup prepared salsa (I like to use the fresh salsa usually found in the produce section)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ tsp Morton & Bassett Mexican Blend seasoning
Sour cream and guacamole for dipping

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the chicken and salsa.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While chicken and salsa is in refrigerator, begin warming tortillas for use. In a small skillet heated to medium-warm add one tortilla at a time.  You want to warm the tortilla and not cook it.  When tortilla is warmed on both sides, set aside and keep warm.  Continue with all tortillas

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375°.  Remove chicken salsa mixture from refrigerator and drain any liquid.  Add cheese and Mexican Blend seasoning.  Combine well.

Take one tortilla and lightly brush what will be the outside with olive or canola oil.  Lay on clean, dry surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling down the middle of the tortilla.  Roll tightly and place seam side down on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.  Add a sprinkling of kosher salt across the tops.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until crispy.  You might need to pop on the broiler for a few minutes.  Serve with enchilada sauce, salsa, sour cream, and / or guacamole!

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Malbec
Merlot
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes; Baking time: 16 minutes

Taquito

*Derived from Hungry Girl

Vegetable and Rice Burritos

I thought my favorite Disney movie was The Incredibles.  I loved everything about that movie.  The family sticking together, using their super powers to save the day.  Relying on old friends to thwart the mortal enemy, Syndrome.  My favorite character is Edna ‘E’ Mode.  I aspire to be her when I grow up (shhh, no one tell me I’m grown up).  And then, a few years later (3 to be exact, but who’s counting) I happened upon Ratatouille.  I felt like I could connect, no sillies, not from Remy’s perspective (ok, maybe a teensy bit).  I was almost broken-hearted when Linguine sends Remy away because he was caught between friend and family by allowing his family to raid the pantry.  But I digress.  This dish reminded me of Ratatouille as I was making it.  All of the vegetables, but some savory ingredients, too.  Basically, take vegetables and turn them into something everyone would want to eat.  Which brings me to this latest dish.  The best way to describe it is as ratatouille enveloped in a tortilla. What is that you say? Yes, a tortilla. And what is not to love about anything in a tortilla. Make Remy proud and use up vegetables that you have on hand. Oh, and as a side note, my affair with the rice cooker continues. I often stop and day-dream about what life was like before this perfectly perfect appliance debuted in my life. And you know what? I can’t remember.

Ingredients:

4 tsp canola oil, divided
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 tsp minced garlic , divided
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
4 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded quesadilla cheese (can sub Monterey jack)

Preparation:

Heat 1 tsp oil in rice cooker.  Add rice and 1/2 tsp garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add 2/3 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt.  Cover and let rice cooker do it’s thing.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion; sauté 2  minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/2 tsp garlic and mushrooms; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add corn and zucchini; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/8 tsp salt and tomatoes; sauté 30 seconds or until tomatoes are thoroughly heated.  Remove vegetable mixture from pan.  Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat tortillas in same skillet.  Divide sour cream evenly among warmed tortillas; spread to a thin layer.  TOp each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese; about 1/4 cup rice mixture, and about 1/2 cup vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle each with cilantro.  Roll up each, tight.  Serve immediately.

Wine Paring Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Albariño
Alvarinho
Fume Blanc
Sancerre
(Or you can have a Corona like my husband did)

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Serves 4
Hands-on time: 40 min; Total time: 40 min

*Derived from Cooking Light

Layered Beef Enchiladas

Sometimes it can really be tough to cook food for someone from their native country.  The flavors and texture have to be what they are used to, what they grew up with.  For a lot of people, food has so much meaning and can transport them back to their childhood, which for me personally, is my goal.  And I want to create those memories for my kids.  It does not, however, always work.  I thought this dish was good, maybe not the absolute best I’ve ever done (after all, it’s not salmon) but certainly good.  My littlest foodies thought it was too spicy.  The Hubs didn’t like it at all.  Wouldn’t even eat it.  He and the kids had quesadillas.  And I get it, he’s from Mexico and this was enchilada sauce from a can.  I’m sure, compared to home cooking, well, I’m sure there IS no comparison.  Suffice it to say, no memories were created and no one was transported back to their childhood.  And me? I’m now on the hunt for a quick, yet simple, enchilada sauce I can make and use during the week that will hold up to the memory.  Or will make some new ones.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Morton & Bassett Mexican Blend seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 (10 oz) cans preferred enchilada sauce
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375.  In large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef, onions, and garlic until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain.  Add Mexican blend seasoning, salt, and pepper, mix well.  Remove from heat.

Pour 1 can enchilada sauce in bottom of ungreased 13×9 glass baking dish.  Arrange 5 tortillas in dish, overlapping slightly.  Spoon beef mixture evenly over tortillas, sprinkle with half of the cheese; top with remaining 5 tortillas.  Pour remaining can of enchilada sauce over top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Serve with sour cream.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:   
Cabernet Franc
Chianti
Grenache
Merlot
Sangiovese
Zinfandel

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 45 minutes

photo (5)*Derived from Pillsbury