Saturday, August 18, 2012

Trashy (But Good) Eats: Lazy Enchiladas

Lazy 'Ladas with Greens and Frozen Nacho Bites
If you're a food snob who thinks something has to be made from scratch or 100% perfectly healthful in order to be worth eating, then look away. This post is not for you. It's for the people out there who don't just love homemade mac and cheese, but still love to eat the crappy stuff out of the little blue Kraft box sometimes as well. It's for the people who are perfectly fine with eating frozen pizza on a Friday night and are unashamed of enjoying every delicious bit of it. Most of all, it's for the people who like taking their convenience food to the next level by adding a few creative touches to it. With that, I present you with one of my favorite doctored up ways to enjoy frozen convenience food -- our "recipe" for lazy enchiladas.

It happens to the best of us! Sometimes we're really hungry for something really, really tasty. However, we're really tired from a long day... or maybe we just give zero fucks and are feeling pretty lazy for no particular reason. We want something easy and convenient -- like frozen food. However, we also want something that tastes better and is more satisfying. A solution like this is great for when you find yourself in such a pickle, but don't necessarily feel like putting your pants on so you can answer the door for the pizza dude.

Finished "Lazy  Enchiladas"
We're big enchilada lovers around here. However, we don't always have all the fixings (or all the patience) required to actually whip up a batch properly. What we did happen to have a lot of at the time we originally came up with this idea was a whole freezer full of frozen burritos that we were getting tired of actually eating exactly as they come. We also happened to have a large can or two of enchilada sauce on hand.

My brain was apparently semi-working that day, because I started wondering what would happen if you just used the burritos instead of the homemade fillings and tortillas you usually use. I assumed that they'd actually behave the same way the homemade wraps do by soaking up the sauce and becoming awesome in the process. It turns out I was right.

What I didn't expect though was for these to be as delicious as they actually were. Frozen burritos are already nice and rich inside by virtue of basically being frozen convenience food. Also, their tortilla shells do soak up the enchilada sauce extremely well, making them soft, and warm, and delicious instead of merely burrito-like the way they'd normally be. Add cheese, creative toppings, or something to enjoy on the side like a salad or some nachos and you actually have a pretty great meal that didn't require a whole lot of effort. Kids will eat this, as will frozen food-loving dudes, so this is a great trick for ladies to learn when they want to please a household full of such beings without the usual hassle.

Lazy Enchiladas Topped with Pepperoni and Cilantro

  • One package of 8 frozen burritos or chimichangas (any flavor will do)
  • One large can of enchilada sauce (La Victoria mild is our fave)
  • Shredded cheese of your choice
The ingredients listed above will make enough lazy enchiladas to feed four hungry people (2 burritos per person). Or else you can do what we do -- make a half-batch, and save the rest of your fixings so you can make more over the weekend or something. This is easy enough that it's really not worth making extra ahead or anything.

To make the enchiladas, grab a baking dish big enough to accommodate the number of burritos you plan on cooking. Coat the bottom of the pan with a layer of enchilada sauce, add the burritos, and cover them with more sauce. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes. (I like to turn the burritos over once halfway through the baking process to make sure you achieve optimal sauce absorption, but you don't have to.) 

Once your 45 minutes are up, remove your enchiladas and top them liberally with your shredded cheese. Pop them back into the oven uncovered for an additional 8 minutes or so until the cheese gets nice and bubbly and you're done.You don't have to stop at cheese as far as your toppings go, of course. Sometimes we add minced garlic or onion, jalapeƱo peppers, or cilantro. We've even added things like pepperoni because we felt like it. Pretty much anything goes, so we  usually just scrounge around the fridge to see what's left that still needs to be used up. Serve alongside chips, salads, other frozen Mexican snacks, or whatever suits your fancy!
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