With rain and thunderstorms in the forecast, you probably won’t be doing much grilling outside this weekend, but what about making Maudie’s chile con carne enchiladas?
This recipe appeared in Paula Forbes’ “The Austin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories From Deep in the Heart of Texas” (Abrams, $29.95), which we wrote about a few weeks ago. An old friend left a voicemail for me today requesting this recipe to make tomorrow, and rather than simply email it to her, I thought I’d spotlight it here on the blog so you can keep it handy for whenever you need it.
Chile con Carne Enchiladas
Cheese enchiladas doused in chile con carne sauce are the epitome of classic Tex-Mex. This version is made with Maudie’s classic chili sauce — meaning it’s pretty much just meat and chili powder. Corn tortillas are wrapped around a gooey, yellow cheese filling, and then smothered with chili sauce, chopped onions and cilantro. This right here is proper Texas comfort food.
Restaurants don’t make enchiladas quite the same way you would at home: They make them one serving at a time, directly on the plate, which is then run under a broilerlike heating element called a salamander (hence servers constantly warning you about hot plates). At home, it’s easier to do them in family-size batches in a baking dish in the oven, and cook them just long enough that everything gets piping hot. Serve these with rice and beans.
— Paula Forbes
1 recipe Chile con Carne Sauce, warm (below)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded mild cheddar, colby or American cheese
Chopped onions (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat and add a tortilla; cook until just soft, 5 seconds on each side. Remove the tortilla to a plate and place a row of shredded cheese about the thickness of your thumb down the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla and place it in the baking dish. Repeat this process until all the tortillas are used and the baking dish holds a row of tightly rolled tortillas. Ladle the rest of the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with any remaining cheese.
Bake until bubbling and hot, about 10 minutes, and serve, topped with chopped onions and cilantro, if desired. Serves 6.
Chile con Carne Sauce
This recipe from Maudie’s is about as old-school as it gets. This recipe is just ground beef, spices and water, more or less, but that’s all you really need.
8 ounces ground beef
2 tablespoons dark chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Put the beef in a pot, add 1 cup water and stir until thoroughly combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Break up the chunks of ground beef with the back of a spoon and simmer until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Add 2 cups water to the pot and return to a boil. Add the spices, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1 cup cold water and slowly pour the mixture into the chili, stirring. Simmer for 4 more minutes, and the sauce is ready for enchiladas or whatever you see fit to serve it over. Makes enough for 12 enchiladas.
— From “The Austin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories From Deep in the Heart of Texas” by Paula Forbes (Abrams, $29.95)