What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

16 02 2011

For this week’s Test Kitchen Tuesday, I planned bean and cheese enchiladas. Simple enough, huh? Little did I know at the time that my definition of “enchilada” is pretty different from 2Chili’s definition of “enchilada.” Call it Texas vs. California. Call it semantics. Or, just call it inevitable.

This happens from time to time. Even though we are both most definitely Washingtonians, our different geographic backgrounds as youths do sometimes cause crossed wires. It goes like this: One of us has an impression of something that is totally different from the other’s. We debate and debate and finally consult Wikipedia, only to find out that we are both right.

As it turns out, I think of enchiladas as more of a casserole, whereas 2Chili thinks of them as burrito-like wraps with enchilada sauce on top (but not too much sauce). I found this out when I dished out the dinner to this question:

“I thought you were making enchiladas?”

“I did.”

“Uh, no.”

We have now sorted out our differences in the enchilada land, and I now know how to modify my inquiries on this topic, such as, “Would you like enchilada casserole?” 

I will still think of enchiladas in more of a casserole format, and he will continue to think of them as a burrito with sauce on top. Next time enchilada night comes about, I will make them his way, though, to see what all the commotion is about.

And, someday I’ll tell you about our discussion of what a “dry town” is, to further instill how there can be multiple meanings to any phrase or word. I am smiling just thinking about it.


Texas-Style Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Original Recipe: Refried Bean Enchiladas

I made this pretty much exactly to the recipe, except I used whole pinto beans instead of refried and omitted the cottage cheese. At that point, I guess, I basically just made the sauce! I did make one pretty stupid error, which is I fixated on 2Chili’s comment that he doesn’t like a lot of sauce on his enchiladas, and therefore didn’t dip the tortillas in the sauce like the recipe suggested. Next time, there will be dipping to ensure the tortillas are softer.

Time Required:

  • 10 minutes to make the sauce
  • 20 minutes to bake

Skill Level (out of 5): Plate

2Chili’s Taster Rating (out of 5): StarStarimage

It should be noted that the low star rating is not at all the fault of the recipe, but rather, because it is not what 2Chili was expecting.

The Cook’s Taster Rating (out of 5): StarStarStarStar


I only made a total of six enchiladas, so I based this info on (6) one enchilada servings, with a total of 1.5 cups pinto beans, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1.5 cups of the sauce in the recipe, as well as whole wheat flour tortillas.

image image

The Verdict:

As much as I liked these, they were not at all what 2Chili wanted. The sauce was good, but I think they could have used a bit more of it in the end (totally my fault). The sauce was super easy to make and exactly what I was looking for, so I think I will repurpose the sauce to use next time I try to make enchiladas, the 2Chili way…




2 responses

16 02 2011
Edward - If You Can Read, You Can Cook Read-Cook edwardra3

I had never heard of enchiladas being a casserole. I’ve had several Mexican coworkers, and enchiladas seem to be a favorite lunch item. But I’ve always only seen them wrapped in a corn tortilla like a burrito.

I do have to hear about other possible definitions of a “dry town” What can in be other than a place where alcohol cannot be sold? Such as Lynchburg, Tennessee, home of Jack Daniels whiskey is, ironically, located in a dry county.

16 02 2011

Rolling over laughing here! I’m with you, my vision of enchiladas is more casserole-like. I can hardly wait to hear about the ‘dry town’ debate.

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