Bean and Cheese Enchiladas or Casserole
We offer these recipes as a help in adding to our prayer and experience of solidarity with the poor during Lent.  Of course, they can be used at any time during the year.

EnchiladasThis dish takes some preparation, but the results are so good. These can be made very mild or quite spicy. You can easily make 8 to 10 of these or make 40 or 50 of them. They can be made individually and wrapped in foil and frozen for a long time. The Casserole can be in a variety of sizes.

In assembling these, it is easy to pray with the women in Mexico making these by hand for their families, for parish festivals, and for all kinds of celebrations.

The traditional way of making the enchilada sauce is to use fresh poblano peppers or to rehydrate dried ones. The poblano peppers are cooked only a brief time and mashed with a mortar and pestle or with a heavy spoon or potato masher. The addition of cumin, oregano, garlic, diced cilantro and lime juice make it a traditional enchilada sauce. Notice there are no tomatoes in the sauce.

Several tablespoons of chili powder and some water can make a substitute for the poblano peppers.
Many canned enchilada sauces (in mild or hot) are available.


A bag of flour tortillas (10-12) (large size or small size)
A can of enchilada sauce (one large or 2 small cans)
1 or 2 chopped onions (raw or slightly softened in a pan or microwave.)
2 bags of shredded cheese (all cheddar or a mixture of cheddar with Monterey Jack or another cheese) Refried beans (two large or four small cans)

Preparation: (This assembly works great with two people: one preparing tortillas and one filling and wrapping them.)

Place beans in a bowl and place the cheese in a bowl for easy assembly of enchiladas.
Warm sauce in a 12” frying pan and remove from heat. (Overheating the sauce tends to make it bitter.)
Dip each tortilla into the sauce, covering it with sauce.
Place each sauce covered tortilla on a large plate or platter.
Put approximately 3 tablespoons of refried beans along center of tortilla.
Put approximately a handful of cheese across the center, over the beans.
Now roll the tortilla fairly tightly and place in a new baking dish, with open flap down.
Arrange each enchilada next to the other.
Pour extra sauce and cheese over the top of the Enchiladas.
Dish may be refrigerated or frozen.

Bake dish at 350 degrees for one hour. Either thaw frozen dish before baking or bake for an additional half an hour.

Alternatively, each enchilada may be wrapped in aluminum foil. Wrapped enchiladas may be placed in a zip lock freezer bag and frozen.

Another style of casserole is made by laying open tortillas on the bottom of the dish, topping them with a thin layer of beans and cheese, and proceeding with two or three more layers – lasagna style – topping the whole dish with sauce and cheese.

Bake dish at 350 degrees for one hour.

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