And then, a couple weeks ago, I had a breakthrough. Let me tell you...
We got home from some appointments and it was already close to suppertime, so I needed something quick. I had a couple pounds of ground beef that I had cooked with some chopped onion the day before. I had a large can of refried beans, and some leftover black beans. I had grated cheese, tortillas, and sour cream. So I figured we'd have burritos, which we usually put together at the table. Then I thought that it might be easier if I put them together first and maybe warmed them up in the oven (so they wouldn't fall apart).
One thing led to another, and soon I was pouring some canned enchilada sauce in the bottom of a pan to keep it from sticking. I wound up pouring some more sauce over the top, and adding a layer of cheese.
Lo and behold, what emerged from the oven 20-30 minutes later were enchiladas! And while I would never think of saying that my easy enchiladas are as good as Mrs. T's, my husband is not so timid, and he gave them his full stamp of approval.
So here is my new Easy Enchilada recipe! This is for 20 enchiladas. If that's way too much for your gang, freeze the extras. Or you could easily cut the recipe in half.
A couple pounds of ground beef
One chopped onion (pick the size based on how much onion flavor your family like)
*Brown together over medium-high heat, drain grease
*Add and heat thoroughly:
1 large can refried beans (the moisture from the refried beans, whether homemade or canned, helps make up for the fact that you're not dunking each tortilla in enchilada sauce.
1 can black beans
1 packet Taco Seasoning mix (or the equivalent of your own mix of spices - I'll admit, I cheated this time and used the mix)
*Slosh a layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a couple of pans. (Since I originally wrote this post, I've taken to using half enchilada sauce and half tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes.)
*Take 20 8" tortillas, fill them each with:
Your best guess at 1/20th of the meat and bean filling
A generous sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese
(Those of you who like exact measurements are hating this!)
*Roll up the filled tortillas as you go and place them in the sauce-sloshed pans. They serve better if you place the edge side down.
*Slosh some more enchilada sauce over the top, then add a layer of cheese. The following picture is of a double recipe (40 enchiladas):
Bake at 350' for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese and sauce are bubbly and the whole thing is starting to brown a bit. When I eventually took pictures of some of the enchilada-making process, I neglected to get a shot of the finished product. But, rest assured, folks like them well enough that they don't even know you're taking pictures of them eating!
Top with sour cream, serve with salad and applesauce (or whatever paints your wagon).
Updated with pictures on Jan 15, 2009