Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Enchiladas with Rice and Beans

The start of school is just one week away.  I can't believe the summer has already come and gone, but I am looking forward to this school year.  Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I just love a challenge.  Someday that instinct might kill me, bur for now it's a thrill.  With any transition there are some hiccups, and Anna is hiccuping a lot lately.  She is going into middle school, and I can see the great hulking anxiety about it hovering over her shoulders, sinking its talons deep into her psyche.  I do my best to be a great snowplow, hunkering down and plowing through deep snow and storm, trying to grab her hand to come with me.  Just walk, sweetie, put one foot in front of the other, and it will be fine.  We will get there.  But she and I are different, and she looks at the storm and freaks out.  It happens every year.  Some transitions are better than others, and this one I think will be hard.  Her anxiety becomes my anxiety.  Her fear becomes my fear.  It is that way with parents, I think.  I try to be strong-headed about it, but I'm not sure that's what she needs.  So I have been filled with a nervous energy lately. What's good for nervous energy?  Cooking for people you love.  I've made these enchiladas three times in a short span of time. They are a little involved but the result makes people smile, and that is good therapy.  I should call these my stress enchiladas. I'm going to make them again this weekend.  That should tell you something about my stress levels.

A good friend showed my how to make enchiladas properly.  She told me to flash fry them in oil before filling and rolling.  Part of me balked because I could imagine the tortillas sucking up and retaining the oil, which is not the healthiest thing ever.  But I did it her way.  The tortillas rolled beautifully without breaking apart, they did not soak up the enchilada sauce and become soggy, and they stayed separated when I served them for dinner.  Fabulous!  Her way of making enchiladas turned out better than any other way I've tried to make them.  Now I'm a convert, flash frying those puppies with aplomb.  I like to serve enchiladas as a meal with rice and beans, like you'd get in a restaurant, so I've included recipes for all three in one post.  I've based my enchildada recipe on this one here (my friend makes them with shredded chicken, which is good too).  I like using Frontera enchilada sauce (chef crush!) but when it's not on sale, I make my own (based on the recipe I found here).

To make enchildadas, rice and beans as a meal, start the rice first.  While the rice cooks, assemble the enchiladas.  While the enchiladas bake, make the black beans.  Serve all with diced avocados, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.

Enchilada Sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp all purpose GF flour blend
1 -  2 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz.chicken broth
2 tbsp. tomato puree

Combine the oil through the salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat on low until bubbly, cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth and tomato puree.  Simmer until slightly thickened.  Adjust salt and chili powder to taste.  This can be made a day ahead - store in the refrigerator.

Beef and Bean Filling
1 lb ground beef
1 small chopped onion
16oz prepared refried beans (such as Pacific Organic Refried Pinto Beans)
1 chopped tomato, if desired
salt, cumin and chili powder to taste

Brown the beef in a skillet over medium heat with the onion until the beef is cooked through and the onion is soft.  Drain the fat from the pan.  To the beef add the refried beans, tomato and seasonings to taste. This can be made a day ahead - store in the refrigerator.

Mexican Rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small diced onion
1 cup long grain rice
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garilc and cook until the garlic is translucent, stirring frequently.  Add the rice and cook, stirring, for two minutes.  Add the tomato sauce through the salt.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Fluff with a fork.  Garnish with tomato and parsley. (Inspiriation found here.)

Mexican Black Beans
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 cups cooked black beans
1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
dash lime juice

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook 30 seconds.  Add the beans, chicken broth, salt and pepper, cook 5 minutes.  Mash the beans coarsley. Continue cooking until thick, about 10 minutes.  Stir in lime juice.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  (Original recipe here.)

one package corn tortillas
oil for frying
prepared beef and bean filling
prepared enchilada sauce
Daiya cheese shreds
toppings of your choice

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread some of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of one 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Set aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add a tortilla and cook for several seconds only.
Flip the tortilla and cook for another several seconds, until the tortillas are bubbly but not browned.  Remove to a paper towel to drain.


You do not want the tortillas to get crispy.  Cooking them in oil this way keeps them soft enough to roll without breaking, and it keeps the enchiladas from getting soggy when baking in the sauce.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

To assemble, place a few tablespoons of the prepared filling onto one end of a tortilla.  Roll the tortilla and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.


Spread enchilada sauce over the tops of the enchiladasYou may not use all of the sauce - if you don't, freeze the rest for later.   


Scatter Daiya over the enchiladas - cheddar is great, though all I had for this picture is mozzarella.  Some enchiladas are naked because Anna does not care for the texture of melted cheese.

Bake enchiladas for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.  If you left some enchiladas naked, it helps to spread a little more enchildada sauce over them before serving, so they don't look dry.  

Serve with the black beans and rice and your choice of toppings.

***If you have leftover filling, turn it into a dip for the next day.  Spread some enchilada sauce on the bottom of a small baking dish.  Spread the filling on top of the sauce.  Spead some more enchilada sauce on top of the filling and top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until hot and the cheese is melted.  Scatter diced avocado over the top and serve with chips.