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San Antonio School Lunchroom Cheese Enchiladas

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The Cen-Tex Smoker
The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 23,005
edited May 27 in EggHead Forum
This dish is so iconic here in Central Texas. It is the gold standard that every TexMex Joint aspires to achieve. 

In the 1950’s, San Antonio school districts set Wednesday as Enchilada day at all of their schools. It was so wildly popular, many surrounding cities (Austin included) followed suit and made Wednesday “Enchilada Day” at most of the school cafeterias. I moved to Austin from Dallas my Junior year in high school. Dallas did not and probably still does not participate in this glorious cultural icon on a styrofoam plate. I could not figure out what all the chatter about “Vera’s Enchiladas”  on Wednesday was all about. I got with the program really quickly. We still call them Vera’s Enchiladas to this day when comparing fancy plates of enchiladas at overpriced TexMex places. “Not as good as Vera’s” is pretty standard table conversation when we are comparing- and it’s been 35 years (good god that’s hard to fathom) since I have had Vera’s haha.

Janell grew up eating them, I started in High school, both my kids ate them every Wednesday from kindergarten through senior year. Attendance data shows that Wednesday is the day with highest attendance in every school that serves them and it’s also the day that is most visited by parents to eat lunch with their kids. It’s kind of a big deal.  

This week I saw that one if the school districts in San Antonio released their recipe and someone made a YouTube video of it. We knew we had to make it as soon as we saw it. We fancied it up a bit with wagyu beef, homemade everything (except tortillas in this case- we went off the shelf which is the standard). 

They were fantastic. As good as I remember and a super fun way to reconnect to a great high school memory. 

In a TexMex place, 2 enchiladas, rice, and beans is the first thing listed under Mexican plates. You can make it “Deluxe” by adding a crispy beef taco and a guacamole salad. The only level above this is adding a queso chip, which is a taco shell broken in half and smothered with queso. Our
local plate calls this version “Ganzo’s Plate” but there are many names for it. Mostly “Mexican Dinner #2 or #3 if they have a few step ups. Either way, it is the iconic TexMex plate at every restaurant down this way. 

Here is our entry into the Mexican Dinner #2 sweepstakes. 2 cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, crispy beef taco, guacamole salad with paprika red wine vinaigrette. Pictured with the 1st salsa I posted (The gold standard table salsa at all the restaurants down here) in the salsa vault thread on the crispy taco. 

I need a nap. 



Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX

Comments

  • shtgunal3
    shtgunal3 Posts: 5,731
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    Dude!!!!

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • lkapigian
    lkapigian Posts: 10,885
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    Thanks for the most awesome write up and amazing plate 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • johnmitchell
    johnmitchell Posts: 6,638
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    Absolutely Spectacular!!!!!
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • dbCooper
    dbCooper Posts: 2,151
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    Interesting read about some regional traditions and history.  Thanks for sharing that.
    Your plate looks just great.  If it were a menu item, your name for it should be less mundane.  For sure needs "Excelente" in there!
    LBGE, LBGE-PTR, 22" Weber, Coleman 413G
    Great Plains, USA
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,617
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    This really made me Smile!
     
    In the Sioux Falls school system it was the mighty “Pizza Burger”, a dish I haven’t seen on a menu, nor a recipe for, in fifty years.  Hmmm…
    _____________

    We'll go dancing in the dark,

    Walking thru the park, 

    And reminiscing....      - LRB

     



  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 23,005
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    Well, I got that nap haha. It was not voluntary either. These were so good and such a fun cook to recreate. Thanks for the kind words. Highly recommended recipe. 

    It is a lot of work. I could honestly throw a dart at a map of San Antonio and hit a spot where I could go get this for $12. That said, I am so glad I know how to make this now. Having this in the repertoire is serious street cred down here. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,746
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    Great story and your and TFJ's results.  Thanks for the stand-alone post and link.
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • caliking
    caliking Posts: 18,750
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    Very behind on forum-ing, but this thread has haunted me for days.

    I want to just bury my face in that plate. Don't care what my MIL says.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,617
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    Haunted me too, and I did a split-screen to write down the measurements from the posted video, adding conversions as required (that video was a phuster-cluck; some flour measurements in oz and some in cups, and WhoTFH measures tomato paste in ounces?!?!?  (on the bright side, the intranetz does have a oz-to-Tablespoon tomato paste conversion site/calculator, so... yay, I guess?).  
    My intent was to multiply all measurements by 33%, so they would match up to a standard 1-lb pkg of ground beef, how 95% of us buy it.  That won't match up with 36 enchiladas, but:
    1) I'd never make 36 enchiladas at once, anyway, and
    2) I'd save the extra sauce for breakfast eggs, burritos, maybe sprinkled on popcorn?  
     
    Here's what I came up with, pre-conversion to 1-lb-beef measurements; I'll update it when/if I go thru that headache:
     
    Enchiladas, San Antonio Public School System
     
     
    Enchilada sauce 
    3 oz flour (2/3 cup)
    2.5 tsp salt
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    2 2/3 Tbs chili powder
    1 tsp granulated garlic
    1/2 tsp oregano
    2/3 cup oil
    2 cups water
       
    Spice Mix
    1/3 cup flour
    1/2 Tbs salt
    1/4 tsp gran garlic
    1 3/4 tsp onion powder
    1/2 Tbs cumin
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 1/4 Tbs chili powder
     
    Assembly
     
    12 oz ground beef
    2 1/2 cups water
    1 1/4 cup diced tomato
    2 1/4 oz tomato paste (4.5 Tbs)  
    24 oz shredded cheese 
     
     
    • Whisk together sauce mix in a bowl
    • Heat oil in a pot
    • Toast spice mix in oil
    • Slowly whisk in 2 cups water, simmer 30-45 minutes
    • Brown beef, whisk in Spice Mix, simmer 3 minutes
    • Add tomato and paste, bring to a simmer, cook 30 minutes

    • Steam 36 corn tortillas
    • Add 1/2 oz cheese to each tortilla, roll, into greased pan seam-side down
    • Douse with Enchilada Sauce, 100% coverage (reserve some for topping if desired)
    • Top with remaining cheese, bake at 350º til cheese is bubbly
    • Serve in partitioned cafeteria tray with wilted veggies no kid will eat
    _____________

    We'll go dancing in the dark,

    Walking thru the park, 

    And reminiscing....      - LRB

     



  • alaskanassasin
    alaskanassasin Posts: 7,773
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    Thanks @Botch
    South of Columbus, Ohio.


  • MaskedMarvel
    MaskedMarvel Posts: 3,166
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    Botch said:
    ….
    My intent was to multiply all measurements by 33%, so they would match up to a standard 1-lb pkg of ground beef, how 95% of us buy it.  That won't match up with 36 enchiladas, but:


     
    Here's what I came up with, pre-conversion to 1-lb-beef measurements; I'll update it when/if I go thru that headache:


    ….
    THANK YOU 8-D
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,921
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    wednesday here was mystery meat on powdered potatoes......i would like to think it was canned boiled brisket but i would be fooling myself ;) damn does that look good
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,947
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    Growing up in Houston this wasn’t an option on our lunch menus - for whatever reason.  However I could hit a driver from my house to 5 different restaurants and that dish is on all the menus for exactly $12.   

    Well done man!!!    
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 23,005
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    Growing up in Houston this wasn’t an option on our lunch menus - for whatever reason.  However I could hit a driver from my house to 5 different restaurants and that dish is on all the menus for exactly $12.   

    Well done man!!!    
    Thanks! It was fun and I learned a lot. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • DoubleEgger
    DoubleEgger Posts: 17,302
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    Tell me more about the rice please. 
  • YukonRon
    YukonRon Posts: 17,025
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    What a wonderful read. I certainly look forward to your posts, and what a way to start my way back in to the Big Green Egg world of elite chefs. I have missed my friends here.

    Your cooks, as always, are first rate, this one has zero variation. Delicious food, with a better, well defined, understanding of the landing zone. It hit right on the money.

    Thank you for sharing, stay well my friend.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky