/> Raising Angels: Enchilada Casserole - It's What's for Dinner

Friday, February 08, 2013

Enchilada Casserole - It's What's for Dinner

A few years ago I stumbled onto what has since become my go to recipe when cooking dinner for friends. It's tasty, easy, and popular with both adults and kids.
Because I love you, dear reader, I'm going to share it with you. This ladies and gentlemen is not rocket science and it's easy to make for a crowd and freezes great too.
 I should tell you that I've never made just one of these so you'll have to half it, if all you want is one pan. However, to me it's just as easy to double and I love having something in the freezer for those nights when I don't have time to cook.
This is what you’ll need:
*Ground beef - I use 5lbs to make 3 9x13 pans
(This depends on if you're going to add beans and how meaty you like it. If you're only doing one pan, I'd recommend at least 2lbs)
*Sour Cream - the amount is up to you but I go through about 2 of the big containers on 3 pans
 *Flour tortillas - each pan takes about 10 of the smaller tortillas
 *Enchilada Sauce - I like to mix the green chili sauce with the hot or medium red sauce
 (Here too you have to use your judgment because one can is really enough for one pan)
*Shredded cheese - cheddar or fiesta mix, whatever you like best
*Taco Seasoning - one package per pound of beef
*Black Beans - I add one to two cans per two pounds of beef depending on my mood
Is that clear as mud? Good. You read it right then. Now watch and learn.
First cook the ground beef and drain it. Add the taco seasoning and water and cook according to the package. Then take a can or two (or none) of black beans and drain them. Stir those in with the taco meat.
This step does not merit a photo op as if you can't cook taco meat, you need more help than I can give you. Don't cry though, I didn't mean that. I will help you. I just can't help you online. You're going to have to make a road trip.
Take the tortillas and line your pan with them as if you were making lasagna. You can pile them on top of each other but I'm not crazy about a super thick layer of these so I cut them to size like so.
 Spread the tortillas with the sour cream as if you were frosting a cake. Can you see now why my measurements are not precise? And did I just say cake? Yep, I'm already thinking about dessert.
 Take half of the meat and bean mixture and spread it across the sour cream like so.
 Take a generous amount of the cheese and cover the meat with it. I'm sorry but I don't measure the cheese. All I can tell you is that the giant bag is enough for three pans.
Take your choices of the enchilada sauce and mix them. In this photo they are not yet stirred but I thought this was prettier than what they look like all mixed together. See? I'm always thinking of you.
 Drizzle half of your sauce over the cheese and try your best to spread it around.
Then repeat the layers: tortillas, sour cream, meat and beans, cheese and enchilada sauce.
Pop the casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Everything is already cooked so you're just warming it up. I take mine out when the cheese is nice and bubbly.
It serves better if you let it cool a bit before you cut it. However, it takes me so long to serve up plates and cut food for kids that I usually don't wait too long. This way I can eat a nice lukewarm meal instead of my usual cold one.
 Unfortunately, this is definitely not one of the most eye-appealing dishes I make. All I can tell you is that nobody cares what it looks like when they ask me for the recipe.
I like to serve the pieces topped with sour cream and salsa.  I'm all about adding calories wherever I can because I love having my jeans be too tight the next day.
 Seriously though, I think it tastes better this way. I just serve it with a salad because as we all know, eating a salad cancels out all the bad calories of whatever else you're eating. My kids like to eat it with tortilla chips but I didn't show those because I like to give the illusion that every meal I serve to my family is well-balanced and healthy. Notice the vinaigrette dressing I used for my salad.
Oh who am I kidding? Let's face it, this stuff is gooey and tasty and when I'm eating it, I'm not thinking about calories or much anything else except how to prevent the kids from eating so much of it that there are no leftovers.
 That, my friends, is why I exercise.

 Happy eating!


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