Thursday, December 22, 2011

Awesome enchiladas

I'd like to give a shout-out to one of my favorite blogs -- Tea and Cookies. In particular, for this recipe: Adam's Enchiladas. I don't know what it is about this recipe, but it just Hits The Spot. Every. Time. What recipe do you have that does that? I have about three. This is one.

Now, I add in meat (for the hubby) and I'm not a huge quinoa fan, so I replace that with barley, and I use Ro-Tel instead of salsa. Also, I use the generic store brand, or Aldi's fabulous version, for most canned items. And for butter. And for olive oil. I'm a cheapskate. Anyway, for all intents and purposes, it's an homage to Tea's recipe. Or Adam's.

Did I mention earlier that I'm only cooking for two people here? You can double this recipe, but it truly would feed four people, I think. At the moment I have half the filling in my freezer, since if I made it all, I would just keep eating...

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground beef, 90 percent lean
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups water
1 chicken boullion cube
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 t. green chile powder*
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. oregano
1 can corn
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles
1 pkg., 10 or more, large flour tortillas
1 12-oz. can enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep pan with cooking spray.

Okey-dokey, now what I do here is start with the beef and barley. So, first, get a small sauce pan, and add your two cups of water, your barley and the chicken boullion cube. Set this to high. When it reaches a boil, you'll want to turn it down to simmer for roughly 25 to 30 minutes, or until the water is all but gone.

Heat a large frying pan to medium. Add the olive oil, chopped onion and minced garlic, and saute this a bit, maybe a minute or two. Then add the ground beef. Fyi, I normally don't spring for 90 percent lean, but it was on sale for something like $3.77 a pound and I had some extra cashola.

However, let's say it's not on sale in your store and you decide to get 80 or 85 percent. You might want to brown the beef first and drain it, then add in the onion and garlic. It's up to you and your taste buds.

While you're waiting for your barley to boil and your meat to brown, thaw your spinach in the microwave, if you forgot to put it in the fridge last night like me. Once it's thawing, press and drain the spinach in a mesh colander in the sink. Set aside.

Then open up your cans, and shred the cheese. Did I mention I don't buy shredded cheese? For one, it's covered with cellulose (read: paper) and two, it's so much cheaper to shred your own (see: cheapskate).

Once your meat is browned (and drained -- your call) add in the beans, corn, spinach, Ro-Tel, barley and seasonings. Let simmer.

*The green chile powder. I picked this up in the Albuquerque airport en route home and I use it on everything. If you can find it, pick some up! If not, red pepper should work.

Microwave your tortillas about 20 seconds or so -- keeps 'em pliable. Did you get the large tortillas? Yes? Then take about 1 cup of filling and roll up each enchilada, folding in the sides as you go. If you accidentally bought the medium ones, readjust your filling amount -- maybe start with 1/2 cup.

Place the filled enchiladas in your prepped baking pan. Once the pan is filled, pour over the enchilada sauce, and top with the cheese. Bake about 30 minutes in your 350-degree oven.

Any remaining filling can be frozen. And the best part is, these even taste good as leftovers (WHAT? I know. It's ridiculous.) Happy eating!

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