Every year at Christmastime my mother-in-law makes enchiladas using an old family recipe and a cast-iron skillet her grandfather carried over the border from Mexico. This year she asked if I would like to help her make them and I jumped at the chance.
The enchiladas start with homemade flour tortillas:
... that my MIL makes using, among other things, flour and bacon fat. This is where the old cast iron skillet comes in - she uses it to blister and cook the tortillas.
Next up is finely diced yellow onion:
... that goes inside the enchiladas raw so it retains its crunch. It was my job to cut the onions while my MIL cooked the ground beef:
... until it was no longer pink. Then we drained off the fat and she added:
... a sprinkling of chili powder, 1 cup of enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese for each pound of ground beef.
The resulting mixture:
... is then allowed to cool a bit before we set up the assembly line.
... with the disposable baking pans coated lightly with oil, the beef mixture, the bowl of minced onion and a pie plate with more enchilada sauce for dipping the tortillas
To assemble the enchiladas my MIL starts by coating a tortilla with enchilada sauce:
... then she cups the tortilla in her hand and fills it with the beef mixture:
... then she adds a sprinkling of minced onion:
... and folds it over and places it seam side down in the oiled baking pan:
Six enchiladas fit in one pan:
... and once all six are rolled, the enchiladas are coated with some more sauce and mozzarella cheese and then baked in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes so the cheese can melt:
My MIL then freezes the trays of enchiladas and distributes them at Christmastime to her kids and their families.