Cheese Enchiladas

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas

In a two-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and sautè it for a minute or two, until it is tender and fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add a little water too if you like, about 1/4 cup. Bring this to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and pepper. Add a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes too, if you like it hot. Probably 1/4 teaspoon would be plenty, maybe an 1/8 of a teaspoon would be better, depending on how hot you like it. When I make this for the kids, I only add a dash of cayenne, so as not to hurt their tender young taste-buds.

Now while the sauce is simmering, get out a medium sized bowl. In it combine the yogurt and cheese. I use half mozzarella and half cheddar, because these are the cheapest cheeses available to me. When Monterey Jack is on sale, I use it and cheddar. The cheese and yogurt will make a nice stiff filling when combined.

Next soften up your tortillas. You can do this in the microwave, or in the oven, but my favorite way is in a dry skillet on top of the stove. Heat a dry clean skillet over medium high heat. Lay a tortilla on the skillet for a few seconds and then flip it. Heat the second side for a few seconds and then transfer it to a plate, and plop the next tortilla in the skillet. The whole process takes about 5 minutes for all 12 tortillas.

When all the tortillas are soft, it is time to fill them. Place a large spoonful of cheese filling in the middle of a warm tortilla and roll it up. Place the filled tortilla seam down in an oiled 9″ by 13 ” pan. When all the tortillas are filled, pour the hot enchilada sauce over them. Bake the pan at 400° for 20 minutes. This dish may be prepared ahead of time if you like, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If you are putting it in the oven while it is cold from the fridge, cook for 30 minutes. Serve hot with refried beans, army man rice and spinach.

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