Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recipe: Beef Pineapple Enchiladas

Conversation is food for the soul. – Mexican proverb

Making traditional tortillas. Photo: pietroizzo, Flickr ccl
Here’s a healthy meal you can serve and feel no guilt about. It addresses many of the required daily portions of the Canada Food Guide. It has meat, cheese, vegetables, dairy and grain, all in one wrap on your plate!

Enchiladas have been made in Central America since at least Mayan times. Strictly speaking they are a corn or flour tortilla wrapped around a filling and then topped with a chile sauce. Filling can be almost anything, including beef, chicken, pork, beans, vegetables, cheese, seafood or a multitude of combinations. It’s easy to create your own signature enchilada.

Previously I posted a recipe for turkey enchiladas. This one is beef and pineapple which is a great combination although not a traditional one. I find enchiladas a good way to get lots of nutrients in one meal without a great deal of fuss. Over the years I have become a bit of a master of the one pot meal. I hate dishes…

Piping hot from the oven.
But at the same time you have to eat in a healthy manner. Soups, stews, enchiladas and other “filled things” are good candidates for varying your meals and delivering a lot of interest. 

You can also “sneak” in healthy foods your family needs on a daily basis that they may otherwise not want to eat if served on their own.

To further boost the nutrient value I used “ancient grains” tortillas as well as substituting homemade Balkan-style yogurt for the sour cream. I have to admit, I had the yogurt hanging around. (See my post on how to make yogurt from 2 days ago.)

I used Compliments “fireball” salsa (Sobeys brand), which may not be the best idea for everyone who will eat these. They were pretty hot, even for me. Most Sobeys Compliments brand items are not as good as equal priced "other" brands, but somehow this time they got it right... For those who don't know, Sobeys is a large chain grocery in Eastern Canada.

The low down? Mealtime does not have to be repetitive and boring. With some thought, and an adventurous spirit, you can deliver nutritious food with some flair. Every cuisine has recipes that can elevate eating from a chore to something the family looks forward to with anticipation.

There’s so much to enjoy in the food of different nations. Perhaps you should try this take on Mexican some night soon.

If you want to increase the yield of this dish in a cost effective way, add a can of rinsed black beans to the filling and divide into 10 equal portions. It increases the nutritional value and lets you use 10 tortillas, which is usually how they’re sold at the grocery store. 10" tortillas are pretty big. I ate two enchiladas with no side dishes and was quite full.

Recipe: Beef Pineapple Enchiladas
Makes 6 10” enchiladas  | Can serve 6 with side dishes, or 3, or 2 hungry folks

Topped with yogurt, guacamole and cumin seeds.
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lb beef roast
1 medium onion
1 medium green pepper
1-1/2 cups pineapple, fresh
650 ml salsa, your favourite (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup or more cheddar, grated
6 tortillas, 10” diameter
1 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Greek or Balkan-style yogurt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Slice the beef thinly across the grain and then cut into bite sized pieces. Chop the onion and green pepper. Cut the outer part of the pineapple off, remove the core and chop.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onion until it begins to soften. Add the beef and fry until it is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the green pepper and pineapple to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup of the salsa and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. This is your filling.

Fill and roll so the "seam" is on the bottom.
Pour about 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom of a 9" x 13" oven proof baking dish and spread it to cover.

Divide the filling equally into six portions in the pan. Place a tortilla against the edge of the dish and hold the one edge up to more easily fill it. 

Spoon the filling down the centre of the tortilla. Roll the edge up over the top and then roll the entire tortilla so that it is seam side down in the pan. Repeat with the remaining 5 tortillas.

Combine the milk with the remaining salsa. Pour the mixture over the filled enchiladas. Top with the grated cheese and sprinkle with the cumin and some more pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve the enchiladas with thick yogurt and guacamole. You can sprinkle more cumin on top if desired.


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