Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Recipe I Wanted To Hate

 There I was, planning meals for the week, when I asked my oldest son what he might want to have for dinner this week. I happened to be looking at my Southern Living cookbook at the time.  Big mistake.  He saw a picture of a recipe called "Smothered Enchiladas."  The son, who is a pretty healthy eater (actually chooses and eats salad at school for lunch) and generally does not like very gooey, creamy stuff, wanted these crazy creamy, smothered enchiladas.  I looked at the nutritional information per serving, which was one burrito: 712 calories (65% from fat), 51.3 g fat (nearly half of which was saturated). Gah! 

Against my better judgement and, because I love my son and he actually showed some interest, I told him I would make them.  Friends, I have to confess, this recipe made me do things.  Horrible things that I never thought I would ever do.  Like buy Cream of Chicken soup and use it with ground beef.  Like buy reduced fat cheese and light sour cream, in the desperate attempt to make this less fat-laden than a Big Mac with fries. The only redeeming ingredient in this thing was the green chiles, and it was a very small can.

 Here's the recipe from Southern Living for Smothered Enchiladas:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 (1 1/4 oz) package of mild taco seasoning
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles, divided
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup (I substituted 1 cup of 2% evaporated milk for the 2nd can of soup)
1 (16 oz) container sour cream (I used light)
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese (I used 50% reduced fat cheddar)

Garnishes: salsa, sour cream, green onions, chopped fresh cilantro

Cook ground beef in a skillet, breaking up bigger chunks, until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and half of the chopped green chiles. Set aside.

Stir together remaining chiles, soup and sour cream.  Pour half of sour cream mixture in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish.  Spoon beef mixture evenly down center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place tortillas, seam side down, over sour cream mixture in baking dish.

Here is my tortilla-filling and -rolling set up.

Spread remaining sour cream mixture over the tortillas and top with grated cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  The enchiladas should be heated through and bubbling around the edges.  Garnish, if desired.  Serves 8.

I ended up only being able to fit 7 in the pan, but for my family of 4, it was plenty, with almost half left over. These are really filling, and actually pretty good.  You couldn't even tell I used reduced fat stuff.  And it was really good with salsa on top -- the acid from the tomatoes help cut through the richness.  Knowing that we needed vegetables with this thing, I made my favorite corn salad recipe.  I doubt I will ever make this again, unless someone asks for it for their birthday, maybe.  But I thought I would share, if only to serve as a cautionary tale: don't give your kids an open-ended question like: "What do you want for dinner?" You might not like the answer...

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