There are some meals that I just don’t think to make in the summer. Pot roast. Lasagna. Enchiladas. It’s too hot. I’m not turning the oven on unless it’s unavoidable (read: we’re all out of bread).
But we do like enchiladas. In fact, I make three different kinds and we dearly love them all. Enchiladas are usually one of our first fall meals once it finally cools down outside. There is something to be said for eating things seasonally in that it sure builds anticipation. But since it’s hot from about April though September, that’s a looooong time to go without enchiladas. Too long, if you ask me!
A few weeks ago (while I was showering, in case you wanted to know) I had the brilliant and terribly exciting idea to make stovetop enchiladas! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before, and I couldn’t wait to try out my idea.
It turns out that stovetop enchiladas aren’t anything new. It’s a pretty old-hat idea. Oh. It was still news to me, and I picked one of the hottest days of our mind-melting heat wave to try it out.
Honestly? I love this method so much more than baking them! It was faster and easier than baking. The only negative aspects of this method are: limited pan size, not freezer-friendly and you need to use either a non-stick pan or a very well-seasoned cast iron to cook these. I opted for my 12-inch not well-seasoned cast iron, and it was a serious pain to clean the pan. Next time I’ll try my 12-inch non-stick pan (yes, I know the Teflon is probably eating our brain cells. I’m cool with it for now).
If you need quick and easy and ovenless enchiladas, this is for you.
First, you’ll need to make some enchilada sauce. Please don’t use canned or package mixes. They have icky stuff in them. And this is cheaper and tastes better.
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
6 T. whole wheat flour (or 1/4 C. all-purpose flour)
15 oz. can tomato sauce (remember, Hunt’s is BPA-free!)
2 C. chicken broth
2 t. cumin
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne*
1. In a saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add flour, then whisk and cook for a few minutes to cook the flour. Don’t let it burn like I did the first time I made this.
2. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth and spices. Bring to a simmer, then cook until sauce thickens. Once sauce thickens it’s done!
*This makes a sauce that just barely has any heat, due to the kiddos eating it. Feel free to double the cayenne, or whatever suits your tastes.
Notes: Whole wheat flour takes a while to thicken a sauce – mine takes 15-20 minutes. White flour won’t take as long.
Chicken and Refried Bean Enchiladas
1. Spread tortillas out flat on counter. Dollop 1/4 C. refried beans down the center of each tortilla. Add a few tablespoons of chicken over the beans on each tortilla, then top with a little cheese.
2. Pour 1 C. enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 12-inch skillet. Place skillet on stove and turn to low or medium-low heat. If you’re using cast iron, I suggest low heat:) Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in skillet. I wedged six side-by-side, then squeezed two on the end.
3. Pour more sauce over top (about 1 C.), then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
4. Cover tightly, then cook over very low heat for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Notes: These taste exactly the same as when I bake them in the oven (shocker, right?). They’re just much faster and keep the kitchen cooler. Definitely something I’ll be doing again.
These are always “napalm hot”, as David says. Cool accordingly for small children who might otherwise hork them down and burn their little mouths.
What foods do you skip when it’s too hot for the oven?
This post is shared at Fat Tuesday.