Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Buffalo Enchiladas

I was a pseudo-vegetarian for 10 years and only started eating red meat again summer 2007. Bacon destroys vegetarians. Anyway, while I still don’t eat much meat (veggie habits die hard), I do enjoy eating it from time to time. It makes making dinner with my meat loving husband much easier. One thing I’ve discovered is that I love buffalo meat. More specifically, I love the buffalo meat from Fred Meyer’s. I’ve tried buffalo burgers and such elsewhere and don’t like it at all, but when Aaron makes it at home, I love them.

We had had burgers a few days before and still had ½ a pound of buffalo meat, so we decided to make enchiladas. It’s a super easy thing to throw together with random things in the house. If you’re organized, it doesn’t take much time at all.

My general knowledge of putting together enchiladas comes from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore. It’s my go-to Mexican cookbook. These enchiladas are based on things we know we like and don’t like. It’s not super exact. Just do everything to taste and it should be fine.

Buffalo Enchiladas following guidelines from 1,000 Mexican Recipes:

I made 6, but it could make more

1/2 lb of buffalo meat (this can be easily replaced with ground beef or turkey or mixed veggies like red, yellow and green peppers)
1/4 yellow onion plus ½ yellow onion, chopped
Varied spices (We used cumin, Cajun spice that we got from the Saturday market, and chili powder)
About 2-2.5 cups grated cheddar cheese (This is what we had in the house. Monterey Jack also works really well.)
Corn tortillas (I really like the handmade ones from Trader Joe’s)
Green onion for garnish
Ranchero sauce (I had some my mom made, but you can make your own or use the red sauce from the can)
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add the buffalo meat and add water. Buffalo is really low in fat and won’t cook the same as ground beef. Mix in spices and ¼ onion. We used probably ½ teaspoon of each spice, maybe a little more on the cumin. Again, do this to taste. Simmer meat until cooked, about 20 minutes.

Place a little olive oil in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Using tongs, add one corn tortilla at a time and heat on both sides for about 3 seconds until limp. Drain and place these aside.

In a large casserole, spread some of the ranchero sauce along the bottom until thinly covered. Fill a large plate with the sauce as well.

After the tortillas have cooled, place them one at a time on the plate and flip to cover them in sauce.

To assemble, place a meat, onion and cheese in desired proportions in center of tortilla, roll and place seam side down in the casserole. Make sure to reserve some of the cheese and onion. After they are all assembled, cover them with the remaining ranchero sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese and onion.

Place in oven and cook until cheese is melted and gooey, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion and serve immediately. Depending on your ranchero sauce, salsa is a great topping. Guacamole and sour cream are as well. We had ours with tortillas chips (also from Trader Joe's).

These were very, very tasty. It could’ve definitely made more than 6 with all the meat we had, but the extra was good for nibbling on while waiting for dinner to be done. You can always save your cooked meat for another meal later. Especially with tortilla chips, this is a full meal.

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