Even though Cinco de Mayo is just over a month away- I embrace Mexican food as a regular staple in my repertoire. However, I don’t usually cook it at home since I live in Texas where some of the best (in my opinion) Mexican food is made. So I usually treat myself to a Mexican restaurant when the craving strikes… and a crisp margarita.
Last night I set out to make some beef enchiladas, but after my corn tortillas cracked as I was rolling them up I had to change my approach. Yes, even classically trained chefs make mistakes in the kitchen. I have to admit though- I was more excited about what came as a result. I’d like to call this dish the enchilada lasagna, but that doesn’t sound very appetizing to me for some reason so we’ll just go with an enchilada bake.
Sticking to my “from scratch” nature I even made my own enchilada sauce. I was a little skeptical because let’s be honest- dumping a can is super quick and efficient, but this homemade version was simple and so worth it.
I also added some diced zucchini to my grass fed beef.
Layering it up like lasagna starting with sauce, tortilla, sauce, meat, cheese, and repeat it came together in a snap. This may be my favorite result from a kitchen mistake yet.
1/4 cup safflower oil (you can also use vegetable or canola)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the bake:
1 pound lean ground beef (I used grass fed beef)
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
About 6-8 corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups homemade enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Serve with: avocado, cilantro, sour cream or whatever else your tummy desires
Heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Start to whisk in flour and chili powder. Then reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic salt, onion powder and salt. Stir it up until smooth, and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
For the bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×6-inch pan with nonstick spray.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef; break apart with a spoon or spatula to crumble the meat. Sauté the meat on medium heat until browned (about 5 minutes). Tilt the pan and drain out the excess fat from the pan, then remove cooked meat to a bowl.
Return pan to medium heat and add onion and zucchini. Saute until just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the meat mixture; set aside.
Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the sprayed pan. Spread it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan. Then we start to layer. Add tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan, add more sauce, top with the meat mixture, add cheese. Repeat with sauce, tortilla, sauce, meat and cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top; return to the oven and let the cheese melt (about 5 minutes)
Serve immediately with desired condiments.
Have you ever made a mistake in the kitchen that turned into something better than expected?