Easy Cheesy Enchiladas Redux + Cumin Crema

Don't forget to enter The Avid Appetite - Lucini Italia Giveaway! Click here to enter to win a prize pack consisting of gourmet Italian goods to turn up the volume on your own Avid kitchen! Here's what you'll get:

  • 1 of each Cinque e’ Cinque (Traditional, Savory Rosemary, Fiery Chili)
  • 1 of each Pouch Sauce (Rustic Tomato Basil, Spicy Tuscan Tomato, Tuscan Marinara with Roasted Garlic)
  • 1 Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • 1 Pizza Sauce
  • 1 Fig & Walnut Savory Balsamic Artisan Vinaigrette


I finally did it. After many, many attempts to devise the most delicious enchilada recipe ever, I have finally perfected it. Not every recipe in TAA's kitchen is a winner right out of the gate. While that would be the most time-effective way to write a recipe, sometimes it's just necessary to work with it a little to get it just right. And in this case, the recipe couldn't be simpler.

Many months ago, I had posted a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas on the old site, but that was before I was photographing my food and before I discovered how much better they could be. And if you noticed that I'm really into Mexican crema lately, it's because...well, I am. Plus, doesn't it sound pretty? Crema. It's my new obsession. I could pretty much eat it on anything.

Lean ground beef (or turkey), reduced fat cheddar cheese and whole wheat tortillas make this dish on the healthier side without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. After testing many, many brands of enchilada sauce, I have found the only one that I'd trust (a direct quote from my mom) to make this recipe off the charts - Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce. Typically I recommend using whatever you can find or have on hand and try very hard not to be a snob about ingredients...but not this time. For the perfect enchiladas, it must be Old El Paso! Trust me on this please! Otherwise you may end up with a tray of lackluster and not-so-great tasting enchiladas, as Shaun and I have many a time before this.


Easy Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
For the enchiladas:
5-6 whole wheat tortillas
1 large can Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce (this is the only brand I recommend)
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can chopped green chiles
2 tsp cumin, to taste
2 tsp chili powder, to taste
Reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Kosher salt, to taste

For the cumin crema:
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tsp cumin, or more to taste
Pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook ground meat until browned, seasoning with salt, cumin and chili powder. Once browned, add in a splash of the enchilada sauce and the can of chopped green chilis. Mix together.


Pour just a bit of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread around to cover. Fill each tortilla with a bit of the beef mixture, roll them up and place in the dish. Luckily, you can't really screw this part up since it will all cook into a delicious cheesy, beefy mixture! Yum!

Top with the remainder of the enchilada sauce and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make the crema.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, cumin and salt. Mix well and serve a dollop along side your smokin' hot enchilada!


So there it is. After many a tray of enchiladas, I finally found the perfect version. Who knew it was so easy? And the crema gives this dish that extra oomph, taking it up a notch with such a simple twist. Forget the sour cream. Now that I've found this crema mixture, I'm never going back!

So what do you think? Is there a dish that you've made many times and have finally found the perfect version? Or a dish that you constantly alter? Or one that you still can't seem to get right? Do tell!

PS - Don't forget to enter the Lucini Italia Giveaway for some yummy viniagrettes, olive oils and fritatta mixes!

Cinco de Mayo: Celebrate From Your Couch

On this rainy (and cold and windy and overall miserable) Cinco de Mayo, no one would blame you for just wanting to get home, put on some comfy clothes and do your celebratory drinking from your very own couch. (After all, Fringe is on tonight and I can't get enough Joshua Jackson OR John Noble!) But if you still want to add some Mexican flair to your night, we've got your at-home guide to Cinco de Mayo!

1) No celebration is complete without Coronas, so pick up a 6-er on your way home tonight - and don't forget the lime!
2) For easy snacks, try Tostitos and Queso dip!
3) For dinner, try my Easy Enchiladas (recipe below). They are delicious, easy, and quick! I will be making them this evening, so I'm praying Morton Williams still has my ingredients by the time I get there!

Rachel's Easy Enchiladas
What you need:
1 lb chicken, cubed
Small soft tortillas
1 small can green chiles
1 can enchilada sauce (recommended Ortega or El Paso)
Shredded cheese
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil, about 1 tbsp
Sides – corn, rice & beans of choice (I like yellow rice & black beans, yum!)
Fixin’s - sour cream, lettuce, chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350. Coat bottom of baking dish with small amount (2 tbsp) of enchilada sauce and set aside.
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a pan and sautee chicken until just cooked through. In mixing bowl, mix cooked chicken, half of enchilada sauce, green chiles (to your own taste!), shredded cheese (to your liking).
Place tortillas in between two paper towel on plate in microwave for 15 seconds to soften them. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture, roll up, and place in baking dish. Pour remainder of enchilada sauce over the tortillas, sprinkle with lots of shredded cheese, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Add your own spin by creating your own sides! I will be having corn and black beans!
* For spicy, spicy version, try adding some cayenne pepper to your chicken filling!
* Make it healthy! Substitute whole wheat tortillas, reduced fat cheese, reduced fat sour cream, and brown rice!

Hope this brightens your rainy Tuesday! Any other suggestions for a home-grown Cinco de Mayo?