My husband and I love the flavors of Mexican food. Since I'm really busy with everything else going on around the homestead I look for shortcuts for everything I do that will not compromise results. This Enchilada Bake is one place that the shortcuts that I took had absolutely no change to the taste of the recipe. You will not have the beautiful rolled individual enchiladas but the taste is more important to me and the fact that I can put this recipe together in probably a third of the time it would take to roll each tortilla.
I do use store bought enchilada sauce because I have so far not been able to make a good one here at home and I have a whole case in my pantry that I got on sale for a really good price. Since we enjoy the flavors of Mexican we usually have most of the ingredients for this in our pantry. You will need corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, ground meat, onions (I use our own ground turkey), black olives and of course cheese.
First brown the ground meat, to that add granulated garlic salt and pepper. While the meat is cooking chop the onion, slice the olives (if not using sliced). I buy whole olives for my pantry and slice them if a recipe calls for sliced. You will also need to grate the cheese if you did not buy grated. We use a lot of cheese around here so I buy large blocks and the warehouse club and grate them myself. Again another time saver is that I use the grating attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and the 2.5 pound block of cheese is grated in a matter of minutes. When i grate this much cheese I sprinkle just about 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the cheese and toss it around before I put it in the bag to store in the fridge. This helps keep the cheese from sticking together into one big clump.
Now let's put it together. I'm making a 9 X 13 pan of these enchiladas so if you want to do a 9 X 9 just cut the recipe in half.
I use a bottle opener sharp end to just put two holes on the opposite side of the enchilada sauce can so I can pour easily from the can. Start with some sauce on the bottom of the pan. You will see as we go that the assembly is in the manner of making lasagna instead of filling and rolling each enchilada.
Take your corn tortillas and put down a layer. As you can see I cut some in half so I could cover the pan. Pour on more of the enchilada sauce.
Next comes 1/3 of your meat, chopped onions and black olives. Yes, I sliced an entire 6 ounce can of black olives, I really like black olives!
On top of that goes 1/4 of your grated cheese. As you can see I'm using a colby jack but you can use your favorite or a combination. If you really want to put some zip into the enchiladas use pepper jack cheese. I almost forgot, you can also get the enchilada sauce in different heat levels. You might have noted in the picture that I'm using hot but you can use mild or medium depending on your families likes.
You will repeat with tortillas, sauce, meat, onions, olives, and cheese until you have used all the meat, onions and olives. You should still have some tortillas, sauce and cheese left for top layer. So the last layer will be tortillas, sauce and cheese. Please use all the sauce that you have left on this last layer. It is better to have it more moist than dry.
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. You will see it bubbling and the cheese will be all melted and browned just a bit.
Here is a printable version if you would like that.
This recipe reheats very well and both my husband and I take it to work for lunch. Even though there is just the two of us I still make the big pan. Once the enchiladas have cooled I cut the entire pan into serving size squares. These can then be put in containers for lunch or wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for lunch down the road.
Give this a try. I have to head out to hang laundry, yes on Dec 12th in Maine I'm hanging laundry outside. We have been blessed with a very mild December so far.