Quick Meal

OK, NOT authentic, but Good Enough in a pinch.


  1. Emergency can of enchilada sauce (the real stuff takes a while to make; traditional method takes eight or so hours of soaking the peppers to start)
  2. CORN tortillas
  3. Shredded cheese
  4. Diced or minced onion


  1. Dice or chop the onions, then place them in a covered, microwave-safe bowl and nuke ’em for about a minute. It’s a sort of faux saute technique. I usually add a wee tad of olive oil.
  2. Place a bit of enchilada sauce on a plate; place a tortilla (flat) on top; a few onions; cheese, another tortilla, etc. Last one in the stack gets sauce and cheese, only.
  3. Nuke the plate. Three tortillas will cook in a wee tad over a minute in a 1000W microwave oven. Four? Add another 20-30 seconds.

Yes, the texture is substantially different to regular, traditional rolled and baked enchiladas, but the favor and nutrition is the same.

Serve with rice (LEFTOVERS! *heh* Remember: QUICK meal, mmmK? πŸ˜‰ ), refried beans (from leftovers or a can) and some shredded lettuce.

A note about canned enchilada sauce: most is based on tomatoes and water and merely favored to approximate real red sauce. IOW, most canned enchilada sauce is crap. Avoid it religiously. Around here, the only canned enchilada sauce that’s worth buying is this:

Las Palmas

Note that it contains NO tomato product and the only ingredient present in a greater amount than dried red chiles is water, which is normal for real enchilada sauce consisting of simply dried red chiles (rehydrated, softened and blended) and water. The other ingredients listed don’t detract greatly from the flavor. *heh*

SUPER fast faux enchiladas: take some of those frozen flautas that are available nowadays (I think I’ve seen ’em called “taquitos” or some such stupid thing). Cover ’em in an appropriate enchilada sauce you have on hand (red for beef, green for chicken), add shredded cheese and then nuke. I’ve done this when I was in a rush (my Wonder Woman likes to have those frozen things to take with her for lunches, so they’re around). Turns out. . . edible, but not as good, IMO as the “flatpacks” above.

6 Replies to “Quick Meal”

    1. Yeh, easy-peasy and just about as close to the real deal (rolled, baked enchiladas) as quick prep can get. BTW, I never corrupt my red enchiladas with any sort of meat. If I have meat with an enchilada meal, it’s an addition on the side. Oh, and red sauce is a much better starting place for seasoning meat-based chilis than prepared chili powders. (In that case, though, homemade red sauce is best, and made not with Anaheim peppers but ancho peppers, IMO.)

    1. There may be other decent canned sauces in other locales, Nicole. The thing to key in on is the ingredients. If it’s tomato based, it’s Gringo kiddie sauce (for kiddies with no taste). πŸ™‚ Better: when you are making enchiladas (or anything needing a “Mexican” red sauce) for real, just soak dried Anaheim peppers in water (boiling water to cover, plate or saucer to hold the peppers down) for eight hours or so; puree the peppers with juuuust enough of the water to make the sauce thin enough to use and there you are: perfect enchilada sauce. If mild is needed, run some masa harina through a few whirs in a blade coffee grinder and add to the blending of peppers.

      Of course, needing to make one’s own sauce kinda kills the “quick meal” deal, eh?

    1. Mine is generally ready in about 5 minutes, but I cheat and do NOT do the traditional soak period at all. I usually grind my Anaheims to powder in a burr *oops! meant* blade coffee mill (reserved for peppers and suchlike) and then combine boiling water and the powder in a blender until it’s smooth in texture, not grainy at all. It ends up identical, to my perception, to the more traditionally prepared (“more” ‘cos. . . blenders? *heh*) sauce.

      For enchiladas, the “heat” is irrelevant to me, beyond the relatively mild (ripened, dry) Anaheims. (“Heat” I can always add to other portions of the meal) It’s the flavor of the Anaheims I am after. YMMV, of course, as it’s all “to taste,” and as long as the red sauce for enchiladas is all pepper and water, no other amendments, it’s more or less “authentic.”

      For me, “Mexican”/Southwestern foods offer a very wide range of flavors and textures that go far, far beyond just spiciness. And yeh, I have some (not written in stone) rules based on my experiences “appropriating” the food culture of the Southwest from Mexican and Mexican-American native preparers during my youth in El Paso. (The blandest,most “Anglo” “Mexican” food I ate while I lived there was served at the Jockey Club at the racetrack in Juarez. *blech*) I did gain some tips on foods not generally thought of as Mexican from a H.S. band director who was a real “foodie” who had spent some time gathering recipes in the Yucatan. . . Some unusual foods/recipes nt generally available before the advent of The Interwebs. πŸ™‚ Mild variation on typical “Mexican” recipe? Banana leaves as tamale wrappers (other ingredients varied as well, but I have never had access to monkey meat *heh*).

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