To make this delicious and quick lunch treat, I used leftover meatloaf, but you can start with ground meat, or shredded roast beef, or even bits of leftover pork.
Seasonings are cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, mild red pepper granules, and the new pepper salsa. Tomato salsa will do, too. If you like it more tomato-y, slip in some tomato paste or tomato sauce, or finely chopped tomato bits.
Get a can of enchilada sauce, or, if you have some broth on hand, make your own. It is easy – it’s just thin gravy with Mexican spices and tomato sauce in it. I usually have just chicken broth, so I sprinkle in a little instant coffee to make the color a bit darker. You don’t taste it in the sauce at all; it just gives it the color you want. You can use Gravy Master, or something like that, too, but the coffee is really easy – it takes only a few granules. Thicken it ever so slightly with a little flour and water/broth. If you buy a can of enchilada sauce for your first try at this, look at the ingredients for hints on how to make your own, and to see what undesirable things you can leave out!
To get things going, brush some of the sauce on a tortilla – enough to moisten it. This helps to make the tortilla soft and pliable, especially if it has been in the refrigerator. Put a line of beans down the center and a line of meat next to it. Pull the edges of the tortilla over the filling.
Put them seam side down in a very lightly-greased frying pan to heat and seal the seam shut. Pour a bit of the sauce over the tops of the enchiladas, but don’t let too much of it get into the pan, or it can burn. Cover and heat gently. I used my new Oven Central for this step, and it was really great. It heated from the top as well as the bottom, and was hot through and through in a flash.
When it’s good and hot, sprinkle shredded cheese on top to melt. I turned off the Oven Central at this point, as there was plenty of retained heat to melt the cheese without melting it all over the pan. I used the insert in case of a mess, but there wasn’t one. The coating on the Oven Central seems to be holding up better than on any other appliance of this type I have tried.
If you don’t have any leftover meat, just use beans alone. Sprinkle a bit of ground cumin in with the beans. That’s what makes it taste Mexican-y. Just taste as you go so you don’t overdo the taste. The flavors are enhanced by garlic, onions, mild chile pepper granules or paste, and the cumin. You can settle on how much of each suits your own tastebuds.
I made three of them for the two of us, and there was half of one leftover, but if you are feeding a crowd, it might be easier to put eight or so into a 9 x 13 pan and do them it the oven. In this case, you could be more generous with the “sauce”. It will keep the enchiladas soft in the oven, rather than drying out in the heat of the larger environment. If you aren’t trying to lift them out separately (i.e. more like a casserole), you can fill them with more meat/beans for a heartier experience. You’ll just have to work harder to get them out in one piece and onto the diners’ plates. Use two pancake turners if you have them.
When everything is good and hot, serve with a big plate of toppings, and let everyone choose whatever they like – scallions, olives, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, cilantro.