More Tex-Mex: Cheese Enchiladas
Uh, I’m clearly having a Tex-Mex moment. No, I am not pregnant. I’m just cold and wanting to fire up the ol’ tastebuds… And, I reached into Homesick Texan for the chile con queso recipe below, and just happened to pull out a recipe for classic Tex-Mex enchilada gravy as well. What can I say? I love it all, love, love, love it.
Yeah, I’m from North Dakota. Yeah, I grew up with pretty tame (by Texas standards) Tex-Mex food (Grand Forkians still call chips & salsa chips & sauce, yep). And yet…the craving was utterly cemented. A beef burrito, topped with enchilada gravy and cheese, was the first food I remember seriously craving. Forget sugar plums – visions of burritos danced in my head. It would have scared me a little if everyone around me weren’t dreaming of the same things – grinders from The Red Pepper, melted cheese with slabs of fresh jalapeño from The Italian Moon, even taco chain Taco John’s potato oles, extra seasoning please.
I’ve never found a Minneapolis equivalent for the enchilada sauce of my memories. Plenty of good, authentic Mexican eats (love!) but not the Tex-Mex I maniacally crave. Now I can scratch the itch at home, in 15 minutes or less. Wow. I’m not sure this is a good thing, but it is certainly delicious.
The only remaining issue: Adapting the dish to be gluten-free. The gravy was easy enough (I used cornstarch) and traditional corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free; but I really wanted the dish to be relatively low-carbohydrate as well. Enter the ever-excellent Mark’s Daily Apple, a goldmine of grain-free recipe ideas. These “tortillas” are really crepes, but they are nonetheless addictive cheese-and-enchilada-gravy-delivery vehicles, and as such, more than hit the spot. Two enchiladas as prepared below deliver around 5 grams of carbohydrate, 320 calories, and 20 grams of protein. Not bad at all.
Of course, if you’d rather have real corn tortillas, go for ’em!
Robb Walsh, via Homesick Texan
Makes 2 cups
1/4 c. lard (or vegetable oil)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
2 Tbsp. chile powder (homemade or a dark brand such as Gebhardt’s or Whole Foods; I used 1 Tbsp. Whole Foods, 1/2 Tbsp. chipotle, 1/2 Tbsp. ancho)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 c. chicken broth
From Mark’s Daily Apple
Makes 8 tortillas
1/3 c. whipping cream
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
Adapted from Homesick Texan
Makes 8 enchiladas
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like Monterey Jack/cheddar mix)
1 medium onion, diced
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional, but I love the heat and fresh chile flavor)
2 cups chili gravy (above)
Preheat the oven to 450 degree F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with a thin smear of oil or a spritz of nonstick spray.
Make the gravy: Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the pepper, salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and chile powder. In another small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth and set aside.
When the oil is hot, stir in the dried spice mixture and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes (do not burn!). Whisk in the chicken broth mixture and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the tortillas: Wipe out the skillet and return to the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg whites, and salt. When the skillet is hot, spritz with nonstick spray, then add a small scoop of batter (about 2 Tbsp.) to the pan. Working quickly, swirl the batter around to form a thin crepe. Cook until lightly browned on one side, flip and cook until lightly browned on the second side. Slide out onto a plate. Continue with the rest of the batter, stacking the crepes as you go.
Assemble the enchiladas: Pour 1/2 c. of chili gravy in the bottom of the baking pan. Take one tortilla, sprinkle with 1/4 c. cheese, 1 Tbsp. chopped onion, 1 tsp. of chopped jalapeño, and roll up. Place seam side down in the gravy. Continue with the rest of the tortillas. Pour remaining gravy over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, onion, and jalapeño (if any remains).
Bake for 10 minutes or until sauce and cheese are bubbly. Serve hot.