Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! As much as I love Mexican food, I just don’t seem to cook them enough at home. It seems like I am always missing several ingredients – and then I get too lazy to go out and pick up the missing ingredients. Recently, I got lucky and happened to be have almost all of the ingredients that I needed to make enchilada, except the enchilada sauce. Normally, I would try to make my own, but this time, I just decided to pick up a can from the store to save me some time (and refused to feel guilty about this!). I know the last time that I made enchilada at home, I felt like I hit a home-run with the recipe; and was really pleased with the result. This time, I wanted something with beef, and this recipe turned out to be another winner although my daughter took one look at it – and refused to eat it. Red and I devoured this regardless
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
1/2 teaspoon Salt
10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
1/2 cup Canola Oil
3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
Make the Sauce: in a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.
Prepare the meat: brown the ground beef with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.
Prepare the tortillas: heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.
Assemble the casserole: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of 9×13 baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce quickly, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.
Recipe source: Pioneer Woman
Would you guys think that I am weird for not ever having tried homemade taquitos? As a matter of fact, as I thought more and more… I can’t even recall if I have ever tried store-bought or restaurant taquitos before. Still, I was really excited when I saw this recipe from Josie over at the Pink Parsley blog because Red loves those taquitos from our grocery freezer section; and when I mentioned this recipe to him, he made sure that we added this in our weekly menu. Why didn’t I find this recipe sooner? Because we really really loved these! They’re relatively quick to put together if you already have the cooked chicken breast ready (maybe from a leftover rotisserie chicken), and you can pick up some fresh salsa from your local grocery store’s deli. I actually used the leftover Creamy Tomatillo Sauce as a dipping sauce instead of a regular salsa, and it was delicious. I actually didn’t have any leftover to freeze; but next time, I would probably triple this recipe and freeze a half for a quick supper in the future. Thanks for sharing a great recipe Josie!
Adapted from Pink Parsley
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup salsa verde, or your favorite salsa
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs chopped scallions
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
8-12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 degree F, and line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or spray lightly with a cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the following items together: cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Add the chicken and cheeses, mix until combine.
Season with additional salt and pepper to your liking.
Next, warm up the corn tortilla for easier handling: dampen two pieces of paper towel, and place 6 pieces of corn tortillas between the two dampened towels. Put the stack inside a large plastic bag, leave the seal open. Microwave for 1 minute.
Working quickly, place 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Line them up on a baking sheet with seam sides down. Fill the rest of the tortillas with the remaining filling.
Spray the filled taquitos with cooking spray lightly, sprinkle with salt. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with with your favorite toppings (salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole).
Yield: 3-4 as first course
I recently wandered to my local library and saw Rick Bayless’ Fiesta at Rick’s at their new arrival section. I love being able to “test-drive” a cookbook prior to purchasing; and have had great luck that way. Mexican meal is something that I don’t normally cook at home; I think it’s just because I just didn’t really grow up eating it and am not familiar with the type of spices or ingredients used. I watched Rick Bayless compete at last season’s Top Chef and became fan with some of the meals that he cooked during the show; however I was a little bit hesitant with the complexity of the recipes. I was really surprised when I found myself bookmarking several of his recipes, and this was one of them! The smokiness of root vegetables roasted at high heat were so wonderful combined with the bright and creamy tomatillo sauce. This dish was so delicious that I ended up making it twice two weeks in a row. I used carrots and butternut squash because that’s what I had in hand, and loved the sweetness from the two vegetables against the other earthy flavors. What I also love about this dish was that I only assemble what Red and I would have at one meal; and leave the rest of the ingredients in the refrigerator for the next day. That way the vegetables or the corn tortilla don’t turn mushy. I have since then tried several other of his recipes-so be in the lookout for future posts of Rick’s delicious dishes. Happy eating!
1 lb (6-8) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 medium white onion, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (2-3 serranos, 1 or 2 jalapenos), stemmed
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for roasting the vegetables and brushing or spraying the tortillas
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, plus a little extra if needed
1/2 cup Mexican crema (that’s what I used), creme fraiche, or heavy (whipping) cream
8 cups of cubed vegetables (1/2-inch cubes), such as chayote, carrots, white/red onions, small turnips, kohlrabi, mushrooms and peeled butternut squash
12 corn tortillas
2/3 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese, or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
Sauce (The sauce can be made ahead, and then refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the dish)
Roast the tomatillos, sliced onions, garlic and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet about 3-4 inches below the hot broiler. The tomatillos need to be soft and blotchy black on one side, about 4-5 minutes. Turn everything over and then roast the other side. After these are finished, turn oven down to 400 degrees.
Transfer all of the vegetables roasted into a blender or food processor, and blend into a smooth puree consistency. Heat 1-1/2 tbs of oil in a medium to large pot over medium high heat, and add all of the puree at once. Stir constantly for several minutes until darker and thicker, make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Add broth and crema, and reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
Spread all of the cubed vegetables into a single-layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Mix with your hands to make sure they are evenly coated. Stir regularly until carrots are crunchy, approximately 25-30 minutes.
Once the sauce has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little bit more of the broth or water. Taste and season with salt (approximately 1 tsp). Lightly brush or spray both sides of corn tortillas with oil. Slide into a plastic bag and microwave on high for 1 minute to warm and soften (for easier rolling).
Smear a few tablespoons of the sauce over the bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish. Working quickly, fill each tortilla with about 1 cup of roasted vegetables. Line the rolled tortillas up on a baking dish, with seams side down. Douse with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until enchiladas are heated through (the cheese will begin to melt and brown), about 10 minutes. Garnish, and serve quickly. Best served right out of the oven.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Adapted from Fiesta at Rick’s
We had some leftover of veggies in the frig, so when we saw this soup recipe on one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks and thought we should give it a try! This is very similar to what everyone probably recognizes as “Chicken Tortilla Soup”. I personally prefer soups that are not cream-based, like chowder, or chunky soup with some sort of thickening agents. I like the lighter type like this one. I’m okay with a little bit of heavy cream or half and half, but I don’t want anything too heavy.
We really enjoyed the flavoring, but Red and I thought that it needed more veggies, so we added a can of sweet corn to give it a little bit more chunks. We also skipped the sour cream & tortilla topping to make it a little bit lighter. I highly recommend the fresh cilantro though, since it really gave the “wow” flavor and aroma. This was filed as keeper. Enjoy!
- 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
- 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
- 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
- 6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.
Note: This dish also freezes wonderfully! This makes approximately 6-8 servings, so I froze half of the soup for quick lunches in the future.