We're obviously too early for Cinco de Mayo, but if you're looking for a meal
to wash down with your green beer this weekend, maybe some cross-cultural Mock Enchiladas will fit the bill.
If my family had named these in the current decade (instead of back in the 1970s), they might have been "Faux Enchiladas" ("Fauxnchiladas"?), or they could be "Mexican Lasagna" or something. For that matter, since I live in Minnesota, they could be "Enchilada Hotdish." But, in my family, they will always be Mock Enchiladas.
And what are Mock Enchiladas, you ask? Let us explain…
I should point out that I really don't have a recipe for this, but here are the ingredients I used in making them this time around. (Note: This filled a 6x9x2 pan - which yields 4-6 servings. If you're using a bigger pan, you'll need to plan accordingly.)
- 2 cans enchilada sauce (if you have a favorite, use it - whether it's red or white or green)
- 1 medium can sliced black olives (drained)
- 1 small can chopped green chilies
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- Soft corn tortillas (I used 6 or 8 of the 6-inch ones)
- 2 cups (approximately) pre-cooked meat of your choosing (or vegetables or drained cooked beans or lots more cheese)
You all know that I'm not the greatest at mise en place, but for this recipe it's kind of important because… well… it's messy. You're dealing with tomato sauce and it gets all over your hands, so if you're not ready with your other ingredients, you'll either be getting the sauce all over the counter or using up half a roll of paper towel.
Here's my layout:
|In case you can't tell, in the photo the bottom of the pan has been coated in enchilada sauce. This keeps the tortillas from cooking to the bottom of the pan.|
Depending on the size/shape of your pan, you might be able to just lay the tortillas in whole. For my pan, I tore them in half, so that the flat side would be up against the flat sides of the pan.
You dunk the halved tortillas in the sauce, then place them in the pan.
|If you look behind my serial-murder looking hand, you can see how I'm starting them out in the pan.|
Then - cheese.
Then some extra sauce.
And then you do it all again.
Finally, when you've reached the top of the pan (but not gone over - kind of consider this like being on the Price is Right), you add a final coating of cheese and some extra sauce (if you have it - I was down to just drops by the time I got to this point).
I covered mine with foil to keep the top from browning too early - and also to keep it from oozing everywhere in the oven.
Into the toaster oven (or a regular oven) at 350 for about half an hour. (Remember - we're only heating this through - everything was already cooked.)
Oh - And have I mentioned how easy this is to clean up? Because we've mainly been opening cans - and then using leftovers - this is the total clean-up I needed to do while it was baking.
After the first 30 minutes, I like to uncover this for about 5 more minutes to let the cheese get seriously bubbly and brown.
Now, doesn't that look tasty?
I'm guessing that this is one serving size (it's about 1/6 of the pan, so about 3x3).
Did it taste as good as it looked?
The rest of the pan is headed for the fridge, and will become lunches this week at work. (Because you're not really worrying about textures at this point, this also works really well in the freezer.)
Speaking of re-heating this, I should mention that it's also good as a prep-ahead dish. I've actually put it all together and taken it to friends to cook on their own. (Not just, you know, randomly showing up at their door and saying "Here, cook this!" but as part of a planned meal-taking calendar. Does everyone know what that is? If not, ask me and I'll explain.)
For now, though, I'm just bringing this to myself. So you'll forgive me if I tuck in before this cools off too much!
Did you know that some people call this stuff social media? I'd love to hear from you! Tell me what you'd like me to whip up - is it a recipe you'd like me to hunt out? Something you'd like me to try so you don't have to? Let me know!