Sunday, October 19, 2008

Freeze Ahead Beef Enchiladas

As a part of this weekend of cooking, we made some freeze ahead beef enchiladas. In the last couple of months, we’ve been interested in making freeze ahead meals for time saving purposes, as well as cost saving purposes. Here are some freeze ahead web sites if you’re interested.

Anyway, we decided to make some beef enchiladas. I doubt this is any sort of authentic, but it tastes great, so it’s become one of our favorites. The measurements here are for bulk cooking.

3.5 lbs ground beef
2 large green bell peppers minced
1 onion minced
2 pkg fajita seasoning
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 pkg (12 count) tortillas
2 large cans of green enchilada sauce (28oz)
1.5 large cans of refried beans
2 lbs mild cheddar cheese
5 - 12x8 aluminum pans

1. Brown the ground beef
2. Add onions and garlic
3. Add bell peppers. I used some from my garden, so there were some small red and yellow ones.
4. Add fajita seasoning stir and let cook for a few minutes til well integrated
5. Add some of the enchilada sauce (maybe half of the large can) then cook a few more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and let cool.
7. Once mixture is cool, set up the assembly line for the wrapping. It goes pretty fast with 2 people. It probably took us about 30 minutes to do all of them. We ended up with 4 trays(12 x 8) of 8 enchiladas each plus another that was almost full. A grand total of 38 enchiladas. (Yes, 38. A couple of the tortilla packages had a baker's dozen.)
8. Wrap the enchiladas. Start with tortilla, add a bit of beans, (we add a bit of hot sauce for some heat), add a little cheese, add the meat mixture, then wrap it by rolling it up and place in pan. Do that to each enchilada.
9. When the pans are full, put some green enchilada sauce on top (you want to moisten the tray, but make sure to share the goodness with the other trays).
10. Top the pans off with a nice layer of cheese.
11. Cover your pans with some foil and put it in the freezer. (You might also want to label your trays with directions, or dates, or whatever).

To reheat a pan:

Place the pan in a 400 degree F oven for an hour with a vented cover (poked holes on the foil, or a tented foil cover). Then uncover and bake for an extra 20 minutes to get the cheese a bit toasty.

That’s it. I hope you like it.

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