Eat and Repeat
Living in Tex-Mex country, this is our most iconic recipe. Mexican restaurants, truck stops, and lunch counters hand over platters of cheesy chili goodness daily to hungry customers that just keep coming back for more. No one can resist Tex-Mex Enchiladas, and if you ever find yourself with a dinner partner that does, find another dinner partner. Life is too short not to eat a piping hot plate of Tex-Mex Enchiladas as often as possible.
Some of the recipes for enchiladas I have seen out there online are more than little daunting. Long baking times, messy casserole dishes with baked-on cheese that requires days of soaking to remove…who needs it? More enchiladas please, and less fuss.
More Tex-Mex Enchiladas Please
So I came up with this abbreviated way of making truly authentic Tex-Mex enchiladas that didn’t require an oven, or any specific products. I love making up a batch of the sauce, and saving half of it for later in the freezer. I especially love not scrubbing a cheesy casserole dish.
The secret is in steaming the tortillas in the microwave. It’s a quirky trick, but it works. Simply wrap the tortillas in a clean cotton towel, moisten the bundle under running tap water, and heat on high int he microwave for 2 minutes. The tortillas become pliable, and are easy to fill with cheese. and roll. After that, you just reheat your sauce, pour over the top, and garnish with onions. Done!
Easy No-Bake Tex-Mex Enchiladas from Scratch
- Yield: 6-8
- 2 oz. dried chile ancho
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 cups water
- ½ lb. ground beef (80% lean is best)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 lb. shredded cheese
- Break the dried chile ancho apart, removing the stems and seeds. Place in a 2qt./2 lt. saucepan, and fill with 1 qt./1 lt of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain the chiles, discard the water, and allow the chiles to cool.
- Place the chiles in a glass measuring cup, along with the garlic and 2 cups of water. Using an immersion blender, puree the chiles well (you can also use a conventional blender.) Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or skillet, brown the ground beef. Add half of the onions, and allow to cook until the beef is fully browned, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, and stir well to incorporate. Pour in the chile garlic puree, stirring well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the enchilada sauce for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Wrap the tortillas in a clean cotton kitchen towel. Dampen the towel with 2-3 tablespoons of water, or simply dampen under running tap water for a couple of seconds. Place the bundle in the microwave, and heat on high for 2 minutes, until the tortillas are softened. (Easier if you microwave in batches of 12 tortillas.)
- When the tortillas are hot, remove each tortilla and fill with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll, and place on a serving platter. When all of the tortillas are filled and rolled, cover them with the warmed enchilada sauce. Top the enchiladas with the remaining shredded cheese and the remaining chopped onions. Serve immediately.
If your serving platter is oven proof, once it is filled with enchiladas, you may wish to place it briefly under a heated broiler right before serving to melt the cheese. However, if the enchilada sauce is well heated, the cheese will melt beautifully without this added step.