Thursday, October 4, 2007

Enchiladas and Spanish Rice

Today was one of those days when I got home from work, starving, and didn't have much in the fridge. I needed something fast that didn't involve fresh produce. :) I had bookmarked these cheese enchiladas and spanish rice from Simply Recipes quite some time ago, and decided to give them a try. What a nice and easy meal!! I think the entire process took only 30 minutes to prepare--and how tasty!! Thanks Elise for a wonderful dinner! I keep going back to her recipes because they have all been so good.

For the enchiladas, corn tortillas are first lightly toasted in a frying pan before rolling with cheese to bring out their flavor. I had never done this before and it really made them flavorful. The technique is great also--this was a great trick to learn. The sauce is so simple but very good: Fire-roasted tomatoes, salsa, onion, garlic, tomato paste, water, and a pinch of sugar. I filled the enchiladas with a Mexican cheese blend. After assembly, they only bake for 10 minutes and they're done! Paired with the Spanish Rice, they are a filling meal, made with ingredients that I usually have on hand. Another great find from Simply Recipes! Continue for recipes.

from Simply Recipes

Grapeseed oil (or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil)
12 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa
3 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
Olive oil
1 lb of jack cheese, mild cheddar or longhorn or any mild yellow cheese, grated (Mexian blend is great)
A handful of cilantro
1 cup of sour cream
Half a head of iceberg lettuce

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 In a large fry pan at high heat add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove from the pan one by one to rest on a paper towel, which absorbs any excess fat.
2 Sauté up the chopped onion and garlic, then turn off the heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water, add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire roasted canned tomatoes. Taste. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add a teaspoon of sugar.
3 Put some olive oil on the bottom of a large casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan. Make sure all are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water. Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
4 Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with vinegar and salt.

Spanish Rice
adapted from Simply Recipes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
3-4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained (I also tossed in the remaining tomatoes from the enchiladas sauce)
Pinch of oregano
1 teaspoon salt

In a frying pan, brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic.
Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.
In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt.
Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6.

1 comment:

Joe Horn said...

Your enchiladas look awesome.

I just made some lower fat chicken and cheese enchiladas and put them on my blog. Actually I've made them quite a bit, they are great. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think.