Birthday Enchiladas

Tomatoes + ground turkey + tortillas + cheese = birthday enchiladas at the Jackson house. For 7 years I’ve celebrated various family birthdays with the Jackson family, and my mother-in-law always whips up decadent enchiladas for the occasion. Since David and I spent his birthday in Mountain View, he requested the traditional recipe just like home.

I love a good challenge in the kitchen. So I picked up all the ingredients and went to work on three burners – quite the multi-tasking experience. The shorthand version is this:

  • Combine 1 can tomato sauce, 1 large can diced tomatoes, and 1 can tomato soup in a sauce pan with two cloves of garlic, plus 2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup of chopped onions, a pinch of salt, chili powder, and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes. (I forget tomato sauce and,  funny enough, V8 juice was a perfect substitute.)
  • Meanwhile, brown 1 pound ground turkey or hamburger; drain and add 1/2 cup chopped onions, 2 tbsp butter, 1 clove minced garlic, pinch of oregano, salt and cumin.
  • Fill 7-10 tortillas (I used the burrito size) with meat and grated cheddar cheese; roll each tortilla and fit snuggly in a baking dish (I use pyrex) – you can use a toothpick if necessary to hold it all together.
  • Once the dish is filled with enchiladas, pour the tomato mixture over the top and sides (and lift the tortillas slightly to allow some sauce to run underneath to prevent sticking.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese and sliced black olives over the top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly, and enjoy! (The Jacksons serve it with French bread and spinach salad with poppy seed dressing, candied pecans, and cranberries – for a truly gut-busting meal.)

The best part? Leftovers for days. Literally – we ate them for three days. 😉

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