Enchiladas w/Homemade Ranchero Sauce [Quarantine Day 1]

As of yesterday, we decided to go into self-quarantine to do our part in flattening the curve. As it is, a Michigan-wide lockdown is coming soon. So we made it to a few grocery stores and loaded up on what we’ll need for the upcoming weeks. And no, we didn’t load up on any toilet paper, sanitizer, or paper towels as it’s not the end of time. And also, cause we don’t believe in hoarding, lol.

It was enchiladas for dinner since it would be a quick and easy meal to prepare. But first, I had to make the ranchero sauce.

Most Ranchero sauce recipes have that smoky flavor that I don’t care for. [Yes, I’m of the few who doesn’t care for “barbecue” flavored foods.] My version is tasty and zesty and without the overpowering taste of black pepper found in many ranchero sauces. I now make my enchiladas on a pizza stone, and I do believe that that has enhanced their taste.

INGREDIENTS FOR RANCHERO SAUCE

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red crushed pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS FOR RANCHERO SAUCE

  1. Heat the oil and add the onions, green peppers, and garlic. Sauté on low heat until soft.

  1. Add the crushed tomatoes and a half cup of water. Stir.
  2. Add the jalapenos, black pepper, cumin, salt, lime juice, and cilantro and stir.
  3. Transfer everything to a microwavable pot and cook for a total of 30 minutes, but stirring and checking consistency in between every 10 minutes or so.
  4. Set aside.

INGREDIENTS FOR ENCHILADAS

  1. ½ cup of oil
  2. 8-10 corn tortillas
  3. 1 can, vegetarian refried beans
  4. 6-8 mozzarella cheese slices + 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  5. ½ cup chopped onions (red)(optional)
  6. ~2 cups ranchero sauce

DIRECTIONS FOR ENCHILADAS

I use a pizza stone to make my enchiladas. You can use any oven-safe pan or dish. Just be sure to use a large

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Next, empty the refried beans in a microwavable pan. Add water to make it slightly runny.
  3. Add 2 tbsp taco seasoning. Mix well. Place in microwave and heat for 4-5 minutes.

  1. Next, warm a ½ tsp of oil in a pan and lightly warm both sides of each tortilla, one at a time. Don’t allow them to get crisp, you want them to be soft and malleable. Once they are all cooked, lightly sprinkle them with water. This will make the enchiladas super soft, almost me melting in your mouth.
  2. Oil the stone/pan and spread a thin layer of ranchero sauce on it. Next, layer the tortillas and spread the heated beans over them and sprinkle onions over them. Cover liberally with ranchero sauce.      
  3. Cover it all with the cheese slices and the shredded cheese and voilà, we’re almost done.
  4. Place stone/pan in the oven and allow it to cook for ~10 minutes. It’s done when the cheese turns slightly reddish-brown.
  5. Serve hot immediately.
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