Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cheese Enchiladas

Since the girls come for dinner once a week on Tuesdays,  I decided to get a jump start on Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican focused meal tonight.  We started with tortilla chips with Ina's homemade guacamole which is one of our favorites.  The entree was Cheese Enchiladas which is a family favorite that I have been making for several years now.  I started by making a flavorful tomato based sauce which got simmered for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.  I then quickly dipped tortillas in hot vegetable oil just to soften them before dunking them in the tomato sauce.  They then got filled with a little cheese (a combination of shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack), rolled and placed in a casserole dish.  The remaining sauce went over all the enchiladas, more cheese got sprinkled on top before being baked in the oven for 15 minutes.  This dish is quite simple to make (it does require a little time) and delivers big flavors.

Cheese Enchiladas (Serves 6)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, large
1 tablespoon chili powder
28 ounce whole tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, 6 ounces
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 6 ounces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 tortillas, 7-inch diameter
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce, for serving (optional)
1/4 cup ripe olives, sliced, for serving (optional)
sour cream for serving (optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook onion, garlic and chili powder in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.

Stir in tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, breaking up tomatoes.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or until thickened.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cheeses.  Heat 1/4 cup oil in 8-inch skillet until hot.  Dip each tortilla lightly into hot oil to soften; drain.  Dip each tortilla into sauce to coat both sides.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture onto each tortilla; roll tortilla around cheese.  Place tortillas, seam sides down, in ungreased rectangular baking dish 13 x 9 x 2 inches.  Pou remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.

Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are hot.  Top with lettuce and olives.  Serve with sour cream.

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

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