Growing up, I remember my grandparents celebrating Dia de los Muertos every year. This is a long-standing holiday and a time to celebrate our dearly departed loved ones. As a child I was a little freaked out about the colorful skulls and altars that were put up as part of the celebration.
But as an adult, remembering and celebrating our family who have passed is something that we need to pass on to our children. I’ll be sharing the significance of Dia de los Muertos with my niece and nephews on my trip home in November.
One way we will celebrate is making foods that family members who have passed away would love. One dish that every family member I know loves is beef enchiladas. But you know me, I can’t make them the traditional way. I needed to mix it up a bit.
Introducing the Beef and Bean Enchilada Pillows. Using Mexican cheese like Cacique Quesadilla in this dish helps to make it creamy and tasty. These pillows are similar to an empanada and perfect for a family get together.
You can find more recipes ideas on the Dia de los Muertos recipes site to help you celebrate your lost loved one.
Beef and Bean Enchilada Pillows
1 lb ground beef
Salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, to taste
1/4 c green bell peppers, diced
1/4 c red bell peppers, diced
1 – 15.5 oz can black beans, drained
1 c Cacique Quesadilla cheese, shredded
3 packages of eight count crescent rolls
1 tsp water
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp All purpose flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 – 14.5 oz can chicken stock
Start the sauce by heating the canola oil in a medium saucepan. Once oil heats up, add the flour. Whisk together until mixture is thoroughly combined and all lumps are out. Add the spices and slowly add the chicken stock. Continue whisking. Add the tomato paste and whisk to combine. Heat on medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
While sauce is thickening, brown ground beef in a large sauté pan. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Drain beef and return to pan. Add bell peppers. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add in enchilada sauce and drained beans. Stir to combine.
Roll out the crescent rolls. Form four rectangles from each can by pressing two triangles together.
Place a dollop of meat mixture in the center of the rectangle. Top with cheese. Fold dough to seal all edges and form a pillow.
Make an egg wash by whisking together an egg and water in a small bowl. Brush egg wash over the pillows then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. You could also top with more cheese!
Place in the oven and bake for 11-13 minutes or until crescents are baked.