Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve traditions~Tamales at home for the Holidays.

Forget the old saying about not taking the girl out of the country or the country out of the girl. You can't take the Tex-Mex out of this Texas gal! Living in a country & surrounded by Mexican food & cuisines ranging from Northern Mexico to Southern Mexico & borders beyond there is something to be said for the familiar Tex-Mex food I know & love. Our family has the traditional tamales for Christmas eve each year. This year was no exception. A few days prior to Christmas I was informed by our favorite tamale purveyors in town that they would have plenty of tamales on hand for Christmas Eve. "No need to order ahead" I was told... as I always have. (I hate changes I am not prepared for!) Not being one to trust fate to such a major part of Christmas Eve I was in the door of Juarez' very early on the morning Christmas Eve. Judging from the lines reaching out the door I was not the only one feeling uneasy about grabbing my allotment of tamales for my family. Once we drove our tamales home, did a little Christmas shopping, had Starbucks (All roads lead to Starbucks don't they?) we landed in the kitchen at home to whip up a batch of our favorite quickie Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas. While these aren't the most traditional of recipes the flavors are creamy, cheesy & very quick to prepare. From our home to yours for the Holidays~Feliz Navidad.

Family Christmas Eve 2008: Tamales, Enchiladas & a few fresh veggies highlighted the evening. The menu may change but the tamales always have a staring roll year after year!

Easy 3 Cheese Enchiladas
1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (6 oz. by weight)
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese (6 oz. by weight)
1 8-ounce package softened Cream Cheese
2 cans Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce, red
1 medium red or yellow Bell Pepper (1/2 diced & 1/2 cut into strips)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, minced
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
12-15 corn tortillas

Combine 1 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese, 1 cup of Cheddar Cheese, the Cream Cheese, the red pepper, onions and cumin. Mix Well.
Heat corn tortillas, dip tortillas one at a time into enchilada sauce, coating the tortillas.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the Cheese Mixture down the center of each Tortilla. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. black beans over cheese mixture.
Roll and place the Tortillas, seam side down, in a 9" x 13" pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchilada. Cover with the remaining 1 cup of Cheese. I garnish the top with 2 Tbsp. minced onion & pepper strips.

Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until hot.


Hornsfan said...

Some good gooey - cheese enchiladas! I loved them!

Reeni said...

How delicious!! I have never seen Enchiladas with Cream cheese, YUM! I love it, extra creamy and gooey!!

Chef E said...

Man you are so making me jealous of those tamales and Juarez...I had not heard of them before? We used to get ours from the tamale guy each week in the salon I owned, he would deliver them! YUM...

Dee said...

Rene~ the cream cheese or "Philadelphia" as a few of my Mexican friends call it makes it very creamy. I generally enjoy the other type but these are very fast & easy to make ahead to pop into the oven later on.

Chef E~We also enjoy a tamale from San Antonio at a place called "Delicious Tamales" on Culebra Road.

Dee said...

Chef E~some of those local tamale purveyors are the best:) Between tamales & enchiladas it is a hard choice for my #1 favorite!

Caitlin said...

Those photos are so pretty!

BTW I just posted my recipe competition!
Looking forward to reading your recipes (and making some of them too!)

Dee said...

Thanks Caitlin~I'll have to put my thinking cap on & come up with some romantic Valentines creation!

Linda said...

Mouth watering for the authentic tamales, but I'll be content to try your enchilada recipe!

Love your colorful photos!