After my lack of success with the first 2 recipes, I decided to use Fain's recipes as guidelines and made a few small changes. I used flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas; chipotle chilis in adobo instead of ancho chilies, and I put the chile con carne inside the enchilada along with the cheese. I also doubled the amount of ground beef called for.
Cheese and Chile con Carne Enchiladas (4-6 servings)
For the chile con carne:
1-2 chipotles chilies in adobo, finely chopped
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tbs ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 cups beef broth
salt, pepper to taste
For the enchiladas:
10-12 small flour tortillas
4 cups grated cheddar cheese (16 oz)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Place cooked onions and garlic into the blender along with the cumin, oregano, allspice, cinnamon, and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Set aside sauce.
In the same pot on medium heat, brown the ground beef, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the chilies and the beef broth on high until boiling, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, adjust the seasonings.
To make the enchiladas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish. One at a time, dip the tortillas into the sauce, shaking off excess. Lay the tortilla on a plate and add 1/12 of the chile con carne and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese down the center. Roll the tortilla tightly and add to the prepared baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining grated cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve with additional chopped onion, if desired.
Austin-style Black Beans (8-10 servings)
1 lb dried black beans
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup lime juice
salt, to taste
Rinse and sort through the beans, removing any stones or shriveled beans. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to a boil, then cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander.
Return the empty pot to the stove and on medium-low heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and while occasionally stirring, cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots are lighter, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 30 more seconds.
Return the beans to the pot, along with the chipotle chiles and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer UNCOVERED for 1 1/2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, and lime juice. Taste and add salt. Cook uncovered for 30 more minutes or until beans are tender. When done, smash a few beans against the side of the pot with a spoon to thicken the broth. Stir the pot and serve.
I almost didn't post the pictures because, as you can see, these dishes aren't too "purty." That said, I'll be quick to add that they were absolutely delicious--as good as or better than what we get at our local "cantina." I'm so pleased that I didn't let DSO convince me to toss the cookbook along with the failed desserts. My decision to place the chile con carne INside the enchiladas was simply to assist with portion control. I could easily anticipate having just cheese enchiladas left over if I'd put the sauce on top. I'm glad I gave Fain a third shot and look forward to more delicious recipes (though I'm swearing off the desserts!).