I don’t know about your part of the world, but round these parts enchiladas are a very personal thing. People have strong opinions and family traditions. I have four different recipes in my personal repertoire but, as with cute shoes, one can never have enough. So when Vikki called to say she was teaching her brother’s friends how to make her family’s enchiladas and did I want to come over, I jumped at the chance.
Upon arrival I was greeted with one of George’s fabulous margarita (don’t worry, that recipe will be in the next post) and a houseful of would-be enchilada makers.
These guys are all super smart…but not necessarily experienced at cooking. Fortunately, Vikki spent years as a Special Ed teacher, so she’s used to explaining things clearly and repeatedly.
There were engineering types (very detail oriented) in the group, so she had to be very specific about ingredients and brands.
Everyone had their own station; each student made a small batch of enchiladas to take home.
Soften the tortillas in the melted lard, apply ingredients, and roll, then cover with shredded cheese and any bits of goodness that didn’t make it inside:
They boys worked with great intensity, and proudly displayed their work. (I missed getting a couple of pics; there were 5 total students in class.)
Then, as the conversation turned from enchilada creation to the appropriate weapon to have on hand for protection during the inevitable zombie apocalypse, Vikki and I collaborated to whip together a big ol’ batch of enchiladas for dinner in about a quarter of the time, but then, we’re old hands at enchilada making. Shortly thereafter, the assemblage fell on enchiladas, rice, & beans like starving wolves and demolished it all in mere minutes.My hands were too greasy to take pictures at that point, but while we’re on the topic of cameras, check out Doug’s!
So that you, too, can be prepared for zombies: the conclusion was a shotgun. It has the necessary power to blow a zombie’s head off without the need for precision aiming and can be deployed at a distance. A machete and a sword also made the list, but due to the proximity needed to use them, the shotgun ranked higher.
And so that you, too, can make these delicious enchiladas, here’s the recipe from Vikki! (Recipes for Margaritas, Refried Beans, Mexican Rice coming in the next post.)
Granny Hilbun’s Enchiladas
Corn tortillas (I used Mission brand)
Ground chuck (I used Angus, 20% fat content)
Taco Seasoning (I used Fiesta brand)
Manteca (Lard) (Ok, you can use vegetable oil, but they won’t be Granny’s)
Diced onion (dice your own or buy pre diced at your local grocery store)
Shredded cheese (I used Kroger “Mexican Blend”)
Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce, mild
You will also need:
• Oven heated to 350° F
• A skillet of some type to fry your beef and heat the Manteca so you can soften the tortillas. I used an electric skillet heated to 350° F for the tortillas and an iron skillet set on medium heat for the beef
• Kitchen tongs to pick up the softened tortillas (Editor’s note: I find this easier with a spatula, myself)
• Spoons for the enchilada sauce, manteca, fillings and taking beef out of skillet
• 2 medium to large mixing bowls, one for raw beef, one for cooked beef
• Paper towels
• Large surface to roll the enchiladas, we used sheet pans to contain any stray goodness, a cookie sheet will also work
• Bowls to put your ingredients in so you can use a assembly line approach to filling
• An oven container to put the rolled enchiladas in for heating up and melting cheese
1. Place beef in a bowl large enough to accommodate your beef with room to mix beef and taco seasoning.
2. Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning for each pound of ground beef
3. Mix thoroughly, clean hands are best for this
4. In your skillet, heated to “medium” heat, place a large spoonful of manteca, let melt
5. Put ground beef in skillet and let cook. Break up beef as it cooks, you want the beef to cook but not fry. Remove cooked beef to bowl lined with paper towels
1. Heat enough Manteca in the skillet to cover the bottom of the pan.
2. Place 1 tortilla at a time in the Manteca; wait to count of 5, turn over count to 3 or so. Tortillas may start to “bubble”.
3. At this point remove tortilla with tongs, place on sheet pan or similar surface.
4. Spoon enchilada sauce over the tortilla. A good tablespoon (3 teaspoons) will be fine.
5. Fill with meat, cheese and onion as your taste dictates
6. Distribute fillings evenly down the middle of the tortilla
7. Roll tortilla around filling
8. Place enchilada, seam side down, in container that will go into oven
9. When all the enchiladas are finished put remainder of filling ingredients over them. Sauce, cheese, onion and any stray bits that are on the sheet pan
10. Put in oven preheated to 350° F
11. Set timer for 8 minutes, check to see that cheese on top has melted. If you are reheating refrigerated enchiladas in the oven, increase the reheat time. Check at 12-15 minutes.