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For enchilada fans

Sarah Stierch, Wikimedia Commons Dig in to a hot plate of enchiladas with all the fixings sometime soon.


Pretty soon my mom and I will be making some enchiladas, so that got me to thinking about some of my recipes. Still trying to decide if we will roll them up traditional style or turn the ingredients into a casserole.

Lately, I have been leaning toward casseroles, but I am not sure why; perhaps they are a bit easier to make. Either way, the flavors make me smile, so you can’t lose.

Wishing you all good health and happiness and the endurance to emerge through all this virus and election stuff without harm.

Take good care.

Cat’s enchilada casserole

I sometimes cut the heat of the enchilada sauce by making a roux of either lard or vegetable shortening and flour, then adding the sauce along with some water, whisking till smooth. When my kids were little, I often added a can of condensed tomato soup. I know, sounds awful, but it was good.

Corn or flour tortillas, size doesn’t matter

1 large can mild enchilada sauce

2 tablespoons lard or shortening

2 tablespoons flour


1 pound ground beef

1 can chopped olives

1 onion, chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

Small amount canola oil if meat is very lean

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese, shredded

A few whole ripe olives, optional

1. In a baking dish, 13-by-9-inches or your choice of size, spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large pot or pan, melt lard or shortening and whisk in flour, creating a roux. Slowly add enchilada sauce and enough water to give desired consistency. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a tortilla without dripping all the way off. Turn off heat and set aside.

3. In a saucepan, cook ground beef in a bit of oil (unless the meat has enough fat in it already), along with the chopped onion, chopped olives and crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350.

4. To assemble casserole: Pour some sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, swirling to cover the entire bottom. Lay a single layer of tortillas over the sauce. You may need to tear some of them to patch up any open spaces. Pour a little more sauce over the tortillas, then place the meat filling over the top of the sauce-covered tortillas. Sprinkle some cheese over the meat, then dip tortillas in sauce (in pot) and put them down in 2 layers over the cheese. Pour remaining sauce over all, another layer of cheese and if desired, garnish with a few whole olives.

Spinach enchiladas

1 1/2 pounds cleaned spinach leaves

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 large onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese

10 corn tortillas

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk, heated

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/2 cup canned, diced green chilis

1. Chop spinach leaves (wash and drain if unwashed). Saute onions and garlic in oil until golden. Add spinach, toss until wilted. Salt to taste, continue cooking until liquid is absorbed.

2. Shred cheese coarsely. Brush tortillas lightly with oil and heat quickly on both sides in skillet. Spread a heaping tablespoon of shredded cheese in a line down the center of a tortilla, then spread a heaping tablespoon of spinach over the cheese. Fold one side over filling and roll up.

3. For sauce, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pot and stir in the flour. Cook roux over low heat, stirring constantly until golden. Add heated milk and stir with a whisk until slightly thickened.

4. Add sour cream, green chilis and remaining cheese and cook sauce until all cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and pour over enchiladas.

5. Cover casserole and bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes. They should be very hot all the way through. Makes 10 enchiladas.

Chicken enchiladas with green sauce

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken

3 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1 can (4.5-oz.) chopped green chilis

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can (28-oz.) green enchilada sauce (such as Las Palmas)

8 corn tortillas

3/4 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, combine chicken, 2 cups cheese, green chilis and onion.

2. In small skillet, bring enchilada sauce to a boil; remove from heat. Dip each tortilla into heated sauce to soften.

3. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons sour cream down center of each tortilla. Roll and place each enchilada seam-side down in a 12-by-8-inch baking dish. (I coat the dish first with cooking spray and add a bit of sauce to the bottom.) Pour remaining heated sauce over top; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Apple enchiladas

1 can (21-oz.) apple pie filling

6 8-inch flour tortillas

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

2. Spoon about 1 heaping quarter-cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges. Place seam-side down in prepared baking dish.

3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 30 minutes.

4. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until golden. Makes 6 servings.


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