One of my colleagues decided to throw a party in the form of an International Buffet, since we all work and study in the Spanish and Portuguese department and thus come from various countries. We all made dishes that come from our place of origin. Since I was born in the United States, specifically Texas, I decided to make Tex-Mex Enchiladas. I have made these enchiladas MANY times; they are outrageously good. To make them even more over the top for the buffet, I made the enchiladas with homemade, FLOUR tortillas instead of corn. They taste fantastic either way.
The chili gravy is so unbelievably good that not even the greatest amount of accolades could give it justice. Now, a warning, if you are into authentic Mexican food, you may get angry or bothered about this dish. As a Spanish-speaking, xenophile, new foodie born in Texas and raised on Tex-Mex (whew, say that five times fast!), I go through my moments of being ashamed of liking the processed, yellow cheese (i.e., Velveeta), carne molida (ground beef), and brown gravy. However, I get over it once I take one bite of this stuff.
You will have to break out the Velveeta for this dish or you could use medium or sharp cheddar for a less Tex-Mex taste. I obtained this invaluable recipe from Homesick Texan who got it from Robb Walsh’s Tex-Mex cookbook. I have made them with chicken and with ground beef (my fav). You could also make these with cheese and lots of veggies.
Everyone who tried the enchiladas raved about them. In fact, one person, whom I didn’t know very well, ran up to me and requested the recipe and then reminded me to give it to her as I was leaving.
Pleeeeeease make this dish; you won’t regret it. 😀
Chili Gravy (Yields 2 cups):
1/4 cup lard (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)
2 T chile powder (either homemade or a dark brand such as Gebhardt’s or Whole Foods)
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.
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.
1 lb of ground beef (any variety) or 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 corn (or flour) tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can make it with Velveeta for Tex-Mex authenticity)
One medium onion, diced
2 cups chili gravy
Preheat the oven to 450.
[If using corn tortillas, pour the oil in a small skillet, and heat the corn tortillas one at a time. Keep them wrapped in a cloth until all 8 are heated. If they are homemade and still hot, you’ll still need to fry them a bit to make them pliable.
If using flour tortillas, simply microwave them for about 30 seconds. If they are homemade, fresh off of the comal or skillet, just start filling them.]
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 (I just cook the beef with the onion (and garlic) and then spoon the filling in the tortillas).
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.