Monday, February 14, 2011

Turkey Enchiladas

Posted by Chris Beason | Monday, February 14, 2011 | Category: , , |

My plan this evening was to make supper with pasta and the chicken fajita meat I had leftover from Friday night. This afternoon I walked in the door and my brother, who lives with us, said "I was going to make a turkey burger for lunch (all three of us are on "the diet"), but I couldn't find any buns. So I made two wraps with the leftover chicken meat. I could only eat one. The other ones in the fridge if anyone wants it." I was hit with two emotions at once. I was so proud that he had taken the initiative to scrounge around the kitchen and make himself something for lunch that was on "the diet" and I was panicking wondering what I was going to make for supper. Obviously, my brother does not read my blog!

Fortunately, I had just gone to the store and picked up what I needed to make Turkey Enchiladas. Something that became a habit after being on "the diet" before was instead of eating ground beef, we eat ground turkey. I keep calling it a diet, but really it's a change in eating habits. If you've seen the movie "Supersize Me" then you know that the doctor recommends that you not eat at McDonalds more than once a month. Well, this way of eating recommends that you only eat ground beef once a week and that day being your cheat day. Other recommended changes are substituting wheat bread for white bread, whole wheat pasta for regular pasta, ground turkey for ground beef. Well, you get the picture. So most everything I make that would normally be made with ground beef, I make with ground turkey instead.

If you've eaten at my house before, odds are you've eaten ground turkey and probably didn't know it until now. My brother lived here a whole week before I mentioned eating turkey burgers and he looked at me like I was crazy and said that he didn't know about eating any ground turkey. After I told him he had been eating it all week he was anxious to try it. If you've tried ground turkey before and didn't like it, I recommend trying the seasoned ground turkey. I think you'll be surprised how good it tastes. To make Turkey Enchiladas I use the Taco Seasoned ground turkey.

Turkey Enchiladas

1 lb. Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey
1 cup of Rice (brown or white, brown is better for you)
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon butter
1 16 oz. can of corn (you can use Mexi-corn, corn with red and green peppers, instead)
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
Shredded Cheese
1 16 oz. can of Enchilada Sauce
Flour Tortillas

Before you start browning your meat, you'll need to start your rice. In a saucepan add the rice, water and butter. When you cook rice, the proportions are always twice as much water as rice. On the package it says that butter is optional, but I've made rice with and without butter and I always opt to add it because it gives it a better texture. A little butter isn't going to hurt anyone.

Turn the heat up to high until the rice starts to boil. Once it's bubbling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and put a lid on the pan. If you're lid doesn't fit tight, use a dishtowel to cover the pan and push the lid down. Make sure you fold up the sides of the dishtowel so that it doesn't catch on fire. Set your timer for 8 minutes and then turn the heat off. Let the pan sit for at least another 5 minutes before taking off the lid. It doesn't hurt to leave the lid on it longer.

Once your rice is cooking, start browning your meat. You brown it in a skillet just like you would ground beef.  For added flavor, you can chop up an onion and a bell pepper and add it to the meat while it's cooking. After it's browned, drain the broth and put it back in the skillet.  Make sure the burner is turned off before you put it back on the stove.

Drain the corn. Add the rice, corn and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir it until everything is evenly combined. Turn the oven on 350 degrees. Preheating is absolutely necessary when you're baking some dishes, but we're really just heating up this dish so it's not necessary to make sure the oven is preheated in this case. If you've noticed recipes that call for you to bake something in the oven, the first step is always to turn your oven on.  That's so that by the time you're finished with all the steps, your oven is preheated.

Put two or three (depending on how big your spoon is) generous scoops of the meat mixture down the middle of a tortilla. I use wheat tortillas, which again, is a recommended substitution for regular flour tortillas. My personal recommendation is to try it and if you really can't stomach it, then just eat less of it.  Add a little shredded cheese on top of the meat mixture and then fold each side of the tortilla up and lay it seam down in a baking pan. Repeat this with more tortillas. I usually use about 5 tortillas. You may end up using more if you use less filling than I do in each one.

Once all the tortillas are rolled, any leftover meat mixture can be pressed down the sides in between the pan and the tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Use a spoon to spread it out making sure the tortillas are completely covered. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the enchiladas and then put the pan in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. When it starts bubbling and the cheese is completely melted it's done.

Take the enchiladas out of the oven and serve. A portion for myself would be half of an enchilada. My husband and my brother will each eat a whole enchilada so this dish makes two meals for us. I refrigerate the leftovers and if someone doesn't decide to have enchiladas for lunch tomorrow then supper is already made for Wednesday or Thursday!

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