The hubby was craving General Tso’s for supper tonight. I really wanted enchiladas. The hubby’s into coddling me these days, so I won. (Am I mean? I feel mean.) Although, I did offer to cook AND clean up the kitchen.
I love enchiladas, and I probably order them 90% of the time when we go out to Mexican restaurants. My favorites are beef and cheese, and I try to order one of each because the beef always seems a bit too beefy, and the cheese is too cheesy. But if you combine them, it’s perfect.
I’m also rather picky about my enchilada sauce. The red stuff that you can buy in a can is okay, and I use it on occasion in other recipes. But I don’t like it on my enchiladas. (I’m weird. On so many levels.)
A Mexican restaurant in town – Guadalajara, for the locals – has one of the best enchilada sauces I’ve ever tasted. It’s a lot beefier and thinner than most, and has this yummy, salty, flavor. The restaurant seems to move around a lot, and it also seem to be closed for employment violations on a regular basis, but if you can manage to find it when it’s open, give it a try.
This sauce combines a more traditional red enchilada sauce with that beefier, saltier flavor. I thought it would go really well with the beef and cheese filling, because it still has enough tomato flavor to complement the beef.
I made these a bit spicy to please the hubby, who’s usually not much of an enchilada man. (They got the thumbs-up.) Feel free to omit the crushed red pepper flakes and the cayenne if you want things a bit milder.
1 lb. hamburger
Salt and pepper
1 pkg. spicy taco seasoning, or 1 pkg. regular taco seasoning and ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
½ Tbsp. butter
3 tsp. flour
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
2 c. beef broth
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tsp. chili powder
1½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. taco seasoning (or 1 additional tsp. cumin)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
10-12 7” flour or corn tortillas (I prefer flour)
2 c. shredded Colby-Jack or cheddar cheese
Assorted toppings for serving, such as lettuce tomato, sour cream, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Ask someone else to add the hamburger to a frying pan. I asked the hubby.
3. Brown hamburger and season with salt and pepper. Combine with taco seasoning according to package directions, and add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in flour to form a roux. (This will slightly thicken the sauce.)
5. Add beef broth, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes, then reduce to a simmer.
6. Place a ladle of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. (I used a smaller dish because I was only making a half-batch this evening.)
7. Heat a tortilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds. (You could instead dip them in warm oil briefly to soften them, but this method is faster, cleaner, and healthier.)
8. Add a few tablespoons of beef and cheese, and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
9. Cover with a few ladles of sauce, and then bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with additional sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
10. Serve nude.
Or dressed up.