Easy Homemade Enchiladas

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If you call yourself a Californian (or Texan, for that matter), you absolutely HAVE to know how to make up a batch of enchiladas.  They don't have to fancy, but they DO need to be quick. The recipe below comes from Kraft's test kitchen with a few tweaks all my own and is pretty much the standard baked dish around my house. It's so common I'm flabbergasted  I haven't posted this before now!

Here's what you need:

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 can plain diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel with mild chilies
  • 1 small (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 8 oz package of corn tortillas (12-14)
  • Oil
  • 2 cups grated cheese
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Begin by browning the meat and draining off the fat.Add the diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato paste, water, onion, and seasonings.  Stir together and simmer for about 10 minutes.Meanwhile, fry the tortillas in hot oil just until they're soft.  This makes them pliable when rolling the enchiladas.  I usually do about 20 seconds per side then dab the oil off.  I've tried steaming them before to save the calories, but it's not a great option.After you fry the shells, put your assembly line in order with the meat and cheese.Fill each shell with 1-2 Tablespoons of the meat and top with a pinch of cheese.Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in a pan.Repeat the process for the remaining shells.In these images I'm using a 9x13 pan, but a square pan works just as well.  Just add or subtract tortillas as space allows.  This recipe is SUPER flexible so play around with what works.  After filling the shells, you'll have approximately 1/2 of the sauce remaining.  Use that to top the tortillas in the pan.Gently spread the sauce over the tortillas and top with cheese.Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  You can ABSOLUTELY make this ahead of time (my usual practice) and bake from the fridge (I wouldn't do it more than 1-2 days early) or freezer.  If you are baking it from the fridge, plan on 50 minutes bake time and an hour and 20 minutes if you're cooking from the freezer!

Serve with chips, guacamole, and homemade salsa!

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