From the Chef: Zesty Confetti Layered Enchiladas

Zesty Confetti Enchiladas - close up

By Mark Marques

Las Vegas Informer

In honor of the of upcoming two year anniversary of the Informer family of publications, I am coming up with fun and festive items for the whole family to enjoy. This recipe is fairly simple to make, incorporates a lot of veggies and the taste is just delicious. It had great eye appeal and the kids will enjoy the meal without realizing that they are their eating veggies in this take on the Mexican Classic, Enchiladas. By using colorful and flavorful veggies, this updated dish can be added to your ‘go to’ dishes that are quick and easy to make. This dish should take about than an hour to make. I hope you enjoy this bright and delicious dish as much as I have making it!  

(Please read the recipe the entire way through prior to starting any recipe.) 

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef (ground turkey or ground chicken can be used as well)

1 – 36 pack corn tortillas

1 cup white onion diced small

½ cup carrots diced small

½ cup celery diced small

½ cup red bell peppers diced small

1 cup chopped spinach (thawed if frozen)

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Knorr beef bouillon cubes

5 cups water (Can use 3 Cups of beef or vegetable stock instead of bouillon and water)

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp.  Ancho chili powder (or add another tablespoon regular chili powder)

2 small cans Ortega fire roasted chilies or jalapenos (Depending on heat level, or use one of each)

8 oz . Sharp cheddar cheese shredded

8 oz. pepper jack cheese shredded

8 oz. sour cream

2 tsp. salt (if needed)

1 tsp. pepper (to Taste)

2 scallions thinly sliced

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degree. In a large sauce pan or skillet over medium heat, place oil and onions and cook for five minutes until onions are soft.

Add in ground meat and brown; add carrots, celery, peppers, and spinach and cook for 5 minutes.

Add in minced garlic, bouillon cubes, chili powder(s), black pepper and Ortega chilies. Cook for another 5 minutes to remove raw taste of chili powder.

Add in Water, bring to boil and then turn off heat. Taste for salt level and add salt if needed. Set aside the meat mixture.

In a large, 13x9x3 baking dish, spray the inside with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom of the dish with eight (8) tortillas, add a third of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas. It does not matter if there is liquid with it.

Top the meat mixture with a quarter (1/4) of the cheeses.

Top with the next 8 tortillas, add a third of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas, add cheeses and do this until you only have the top layer of the tortillas. You should have four layers of tortillas and three layers of meat and cheese.

Pour over the top of the last layer any of the remaining meat and liquid left in the pan. Top the last layer with the remaining cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes to settle. Slice into squares and serve. Top with sour cream and scallions. Recipe serves 6-8 people. Enjoy!

Mark Marques

Mark Marques is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School in New York City. He graduated with Top Honors. Mark has several years of experience in the Restaurant industry starting when he was kid working at his parent’s Italian Restaurant, Ducci’s, in Colorado. After serving in the US Navy, Mark attended culinary school and went onto work in some of the busiest eateries in the New York City, including in the Lincoln Building, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the South Street Seaport and Pier 17. Mark has also run restaurants for Club Med as well in his current city of Las Vegas. Please feel free to contact Mark at this newspaper with any questions concerning food, liquor, beer, wines, and cooking tips.

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