Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
I love Thanksgiving, and I love leftovers. That second part may sound odd, but where some people see all that extra food as an endless repetition of the same meal, I see building blocks to make completely new dishes.
I have a slate of dishes that I can easily build from random bits and pieces, and enchiladas are a favorite. If you’re making them from scratch, they can seem a little daunting time-wise—but that’s no longer a problem if the components of the filling are ready to go. Excellent comfort food, enchiladas feel like a completely different dish than the original holiday meal.
To mimic the day after the big meal, I bought the majority of the filling components from the hot-food bar at the grocery store: some turkey and an assortment of mixed vegetables that included corn, peppers, zucchini and onions. To this I added mushrooms (which you might have left over anyway) cooked in a little gravy, then wrapped all the ingredients up in tortillas and baked them with enchilada sauce and cheese. Follow these steps as a blueprint to use up whatever you have left from your family’s gathering.
One quick note on tortillas: Use whichever kind you prefer. Both wheat and corn taste great here. I really enjoy the hearty flavor of corn tortillas; however, they’re a little harder to work with than flour, as they have a tendency to break as you fold them. Warming them up lightly and keeping them moist under a damp towel helps.
This recipe makes approximately eight servings. If that seems like too many left-over leftovers for you, save half the filling; you can make a frittata and get another completely different meal out of the mix.
For wines, I decided to look to mainstays of the Thanksgiving table–Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–as you’re likely to have those left over as well. (I was able to find good deals on wines at this time of year.) The Chardonnay, from Chile's Aconcagua Valley, had a light hint of butter and spice, but was very refreshing. The California Pinot Noir was medium-bodied, with a lot of cherry flavors accented by dusty notes. I also put a Chianti Classico into the mix, as I thought it might work well with the red sauce and the earthiness of the mushrooms.
The Thanksgiving stalwarts carried the day. The Chianti Classico, lovely on its own, held up quite well; it just felt a little hot with some bites of the food. The Pinot Noir's bright cherry character kept that match lighter on its feet. The Chardonnay, however, edged out the competition, as it was the most refreshing with the richness of the enchiladas and brought out the flavor of the sweet corn in both the filling and the tortillas.
Pair with Viña Errázuriz Chardonnay Aconcagua Coast Max Reserva 2015 (88 points, $20) or Rickshaw Pinot Noir California 2014 (87 points, $15).
Prep time: 0 minutes (using leftovers or prepared foods)
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Approximate food costs: $15 if using leftovers for most ingredients; $37 if purchased from grocery-store hot-food bar
- 1 cup gravy
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 8 ounces pre-sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups of shredded turkey
- 3 cups cooked, mixed vegetables
- 19 ounces mild red enchilada sauce, from a can or jar
- 16 8-inch tortillas (corn or wheat)
- 2–3 cups of shredded "Mexican blend" cheese, or other mix to your taste
- Cooking oil, as needed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Heat the gravy in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sprigs of thyme and the mushrooms, lightly season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
3. Once the mushrooms have cooked through, add the shredded turkey and the mixed vegetables to the gravy. Toss to combine and warm through, approximately 5 minutes.
4. Lightly grease a large lasagna pan, or use individual serving pans, as pictured. Spread half the sauce on the bottom of the pan(s).
5. Briefly warm tortillas in the microwave under a damp towel. Spoon 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture onto each tortilla and roll up gently. Line up the enchiladas in the pan as you go, seam-side down. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
6. Put the pan of enchiladas in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until everything is fully warmed through and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Serves 8, with 2 enchiladas per person.