Update

If you have leftovers – and that’s a big if – make a batch of chile gravy from The Only Texas Cookbook and add a couple of fried eggs. Almost better than the original!

Leftover enchiladas, chile gravy, and fried eggs.

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When our father followed the oil strikes from Texas to Alaska in the late 1950’s, the Tex-Mex food he loved didn’t exist in the north country. After our mother joined him later on, children in tow, she learned to make do in the kitchen with the ingredients she could find to try to recreate the flavors of home.

It was McCormick’s chili seasoning she used to flavor her enchiladas, and every now and then I’ll use it too, just because Mama’s enchiladas were the best.

enchiladas

However, even though I made them with McCormick’s, these aren’t exactly my mama’s enchiladas.

Mama’s enchiladas would’ve had hamburger in them; these are made with black beans and pinto beans, onions and fresh pasilla chiles. Her corn tortillas would’ve been softened in corn oil, and rolled around the filling. This is a layered casserole.

Authentic? No, not authentic Tex-Mex, and not authentic Mama, either. But delicious, easy comfort food? Oh, yes.

Recipe

1 tablespoon corn oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 fresh chiles, your choice – I used pasillas – seeded and diced
1 package McCormick original chili seasoning mix
1 16-oz can black beans, with liquid
1 16-oz can pinto beans, with liquid
1 half can water
15 corn tortillas
1 pound Tillamook medium cheddar, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the corn oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and chiles until transparent. Add the seasoning mix, cook and stir one minute. Add both cans of beans with their liquid, along with the half can of water. Heat to boiling, remove from heat.

Grease a large casserole dish – I used the bottom of the oven broiler pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with 9 tortillas, then sprinkle half the grated cheese in a thin layer over the tortillas. Using a slotted spoon, layer the onion-chiles-beans mixture over the tortillas and cheese, leaving the liquid in the skillet. Layer the other 6 tortillas on top, then pour the liquid from the skillet over all. Sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese.

Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling. Let it cool 5 minutes if you can. Serve with fried eggs, chipotle cream (sour cream/yogurt, chipotles in adobo, fresh lime juice), or salsa cruda. Or just eat them right out of the pan. 🙂

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