Tex Mex Cheese Enchiladas

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

You may or may not know that I am a native Texan. Born and raised. Every once in a while I get "You're from Texas? Where's your accent?" Maybe because I've lived in outside of Texas for the last 5 years, my accent has faded away.

What has not faded is my loooooove for good ol' Tex Mex cheese enchiladas....mmmmmmmm... I decided about a month ago, that I wanted to try making some, since you can't really find them here.

On a whim I decided that what I needed to do was do a search for "enchilada gravy," since I remember being asked if I wanted the gravy or other sauce back in the day. My search yielded a post called The Essence of Tex Mex on a blog called Homesick Texan. It was interesting, she began by discussing the differences between Tex Mex and real Mexican food, etc. Then she gives a recipe for chili gravy, and cheese enchiladas.

I'll include the recipes here, add my modifications. Here's what you need to make the gravy:

Chili Gravy (from Robb Walsh)
1/4 cup lard (or vegetable oil) **I used olive oil, and it worked great
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp ground cumin **The first time I made this I used 2 tsp, and it was WAY too strong for me. This time I used 1 tsp, and I think it was just right.
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)
2 T chili powder (either homemade or a dark brand such as Gebhardt’s or Whole Foods) **Um, yeah, I used regular cheap-o chili powder and it was good. Don't go buy it special, unless you really want to.
2 cups chicken broth (or water)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.
Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. **It's cooking pretty fast at this point, so I found that measuring out all of the dry ingredients into a little bowl ahead of time made it easier.
Add chicken broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens.
Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness. Makes 2 cups.
Now here is Homesick Texan's cheese enchilda recipe:
Cheese Enchiladas
Ingredients: 1/2 cup vegetable oil **I used olive oil again here
8 corn tortillas **I made 12 or more with this amount of sauce.
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can make it with Velveeta for extra melting oomph and good ol' Tex-Mex authenticity)
One medium onion, diced **I didn't put any onion in mine. I'm sure it's good either way. 2 cups chili gravy

Preheat the oven to 450.
Pour the oil in a small skillet, and heat the tortillas one at a time. Keep them wrapped in a cloth until all 8 are heated. **I think the purpose of this is to keep the tortillas from tearing. Is there another way to do this without using oil? Soak them in water? Please leave me a comment if you have any ideas...I'd like to cut some oil out of the recipe if I could!
Pour 1/2 cup of chili gravy in a baking pan.
Take a tortilla, put 1/4 cup of cheese and 1 tablespoon of onion in the center and roll it.
Place rolled tortilla in baking dish, seam side down.
Continue with remaining tortillas.
Take remaining chili gravy, and pour it over the rolled tortillas.
Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions on top.
Bake for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.
Makes 8 enchiladas.

Okay, now I will share my all-time favorite side dish for homemade enchildas of any variety. Sauteed zucchini. For my husband and I, I usually buy 2 zucchini (these are actually Italian Squash, is there a difference?), or you could use yellow squash or a combination. Either way, use at least 2. We hardly ever have any leftovers of this, between the two of us, it's that good.

Slice it up, throw it in a skillet with a little bit of butter and some Tex-Joy if you are blessed enough to have some, or some "seasoned salt," or whatever you want really. Cook until tender.The zucchini just complements the enchiladas so well! Mmmmm...I'm making myself hungry. Try this meal out, it's delicious!
Aren't you so proud of me for taking pictures as I went this time?! I even pulled out the fine china, since I knew I'd be taking pictures. :) Just keeping it real (we don't have a dishwasher!). And P.S. that spot on the table cloth is just water. In case you were wondering.



Joyce June 12, 2009 at 4:56 AM  

Tex Mex recipe looks wonderful.

imjacobsmom June 12, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

Thanks for sharing this with us today. I absolutely love enchiladas and I am glad that you demystified the gravy for us. You make it look so simple that even I can give it a try. ~ Robyn

Nicole June 12, 2009 at 7:21 AM  

Okay, I learned a recipe from a Mexican lady in our ward and when I tried to make it it was disgusting. I will have to try your recipe (it has the same ingredients, but you have portions, and I just had to guess on hers). Thanks, thanks, I'll try it when we get back to San Antonio.

Caroline June 12, 2009 at 7:28 AM  

I can't wait to try making the gravy! That's one of my favorite parts of "Case Ole" enchiladas.

I usually just wrap my tortillas in a dishtowel and heat them up in the microwave for a minute. It makes them nice and pliable and less likely to stick together :)

Mary June 12, 2009 at 7:34 AM  

What time is dinner? These look fantastic. Thank you for sharing them with us. Have a wonderful day.

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer June 12, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

Oh this gravy sounds delicious! Hmm...must add to my shopping list! Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

printersdevil June 12, 2009 at 8:15 PM  

Mmmmmm, I love cheese enchiladas. This sounds very good.

Jessie June 13, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

That looks so yummy.

Gollum June 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

This looks delicious--and you have made me feel brave enough to make this gravy! What a great post!

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