Tag Archive: Enchiladas

Spice Up for Spring-Green Enchilada Casserole

All the way home from work I was thinking about Mexican food.  I never got over in a lane where I could turn into any place to get it to take home.  So I had to make my own.

For some reason I bought some flour tortillas the other day while I was shopping.  I think I was intending on a chicken taco salad with the shell baked in some new tortilla bowl molds I bought.  (Another day!)  In the pantry I had all the fixings I needed to make my own Mexican flavored dinner.

When I get hungry for the taste of enchiladas nothing else will do.  All I had were flour tortillas.  I could make burritos or enchiladas; however I settled on this little casserole which now has provided plenty of leftovers.  I don’t usually use refried beans, but these also have the flavor or nachos with the beans.  So I have technically taken care of 2 hankerings I might have.

I used to make Nachos Grande on Sunday night.  A little labor intensive, but so well worth the taste.  Tostada chips spread with the beans (individually), topped with browned ground meat, green chiles, onions, tomatoes and cheese.  Broil until the cheese bubbles and eat them fast while they are still warm.  Andy would warm up the leftovers in the microwave.  That didn’t appeal to me.

I like the taste of raw onions on my enchiladas.  If you don’t, you can brown the onions with the ground meat.

Green Enchilada Casserole

Tex Mex Ravioli…the good old days

I am into full January swing now, cleaning out closets, organizing everything and eating healthy again.  I long for the good old days of November and December when I could eat what I wanted without remorse because, “it’s the holidays!”  Alas…I’ll feel better once this becomes routine.  Its the right thing to do and I’ll feel better and energized for gardening.

In the meantime, I do have my pictures to ramble through now that I am blogging.  Even though I posted a million cookie recipes I did actually cook dinner those months too.  So, now I can share with you and live through the memories of that good food!

I have a not so secret addiction to new kitchen gadgets and while I was out doing my Christmas shopping, I occasionally came across a deal to good to pass up.  Such was the case with my new ravioli stamp.  It was on sale at Sur La Table.  You know they have good stuff there.  So, while I was picking up gifts this fell into my basket.  I had to get home and try it out. Silly thing that I am, I didn’t buy a pasta roller though.  Never you worry, Tyler Florence pasta recipe rolled out great with just a rolling-pin.  I really didn’t want Italian though.  I was more in the mood for enchiladas….and…  VOILA!  Tex Mex Ravioli.  It was delicious!  Hope you enjoy it.

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Mexican Fiesta

As I have said before I try to eat healthy.  Sometimes nothing will do though but to have a good mexican dinner.  My favorite is enchiladas with all the trimmings.  Here in the West Texas town of El Paso everyone has the best recipe for tacos, rice, salsa, beans, tamales and most importantly enchiladas.  My best are traditional with red sauce. To go to the fancier side, I do Suiza sauce.  Here are the recipes.  I gotta go eat!

Baked Tortilla Chips

  • 6 wheat or white corn tortillas
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray
  • Kosher Salt

Cut the tortillas into quarters or sixths, place on a baking sheet and lightly spray with the non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.  Watch closely so they don’t brown too much.

 

Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Suiza Sauce

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Enchiladas

  • vegetable oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked cubed or bite size chicken meat
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing, if desired
  • 4 ounces Queso Anejo, shredded (substitute Parmesan if unavailable)
  • 1 cup sour cream, for serving, optional
  • Salsa or Pico de Gallo, for serving, optional

Sauce 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, little by little, until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken stock and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper jack and stir until melted. Season with the salt and remove from the heat. Set aside, covered, while you assemble the enchiladas.

Enchiladas

Heat a small skillet over high heat. When hot, add some of the vegetable oil and 1 of the tortillas. Cook until soft, turning midway, about 30 seconds per tortilla. Transfer to a plate to assemble the enchilada.  (You can’t stop to answer the phone now.)

Place some of the chicken down the middle of the tortilla, top with some of the green chiles and grated cheese.  Spoon about a tablespoon of the sauce down the center of the chicken/cheese and roll the tortilla.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350°. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the sauce and cheese are bubbly and light golden brown on top.

Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, Spanish Rice and a spoonful of Grama Jo’s salsa, if desired.

No Syrup for My Pancakes

Traditionally, in Anglican churches, pancake dinners are served on Shrove Tuesday (the last day of Mardi Gras) before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  St. Francis church made Mexican pancakes and had an enchilada dinner.  So, this time of year, I always think about making enchiladas before Lent begins.  I have people who work with me who have grown up in El Paso and take for granted that everybody knows how to make the red sauce to flavor their enchiladas.  I have asked lots of questions and finally have a recipe.  This is probably not written down in traditional Mexican homes, where you learn by watching your mother or grandmother make it.  I started with the basics to find the definition of molidoMolido means ground or pulverized in Spanish.  Thus, ground red chilis = molido.

RistraIn September, you can drive through the Rio Grande valley here in El Paso and suddenly see a bright red roof.  You look closer and what you see is long red chilis placed on a tin roof drying in the sun.  That fascinated me when I first saw these.  I would suggest to my husband we take a ride on Sundays in the valley just to see the red chilis.  It was then that I bought my first ristra.  Little did I know you were to use those chilis to make a sauce.  I thought they were beautiful and kept evil spirits from your door.  I think red is my favorite color and the shades of a ristra are beautiful to look at. Don’t touch your eyes after touching the chilis. Andy, my son, didn’t listen, of course, and learned that one the hard way.

This molido sauce is used to flavor all sorts of Tex-Mex dishes from tamales, chili con carne, and beans, to enchiladas.  I think enchiladas are my favorite — rolled or stacked.  Just the combination of the corn tortilla, onions, cheese and red sauce are a taste sensation like no other flavor combination.  It is probably purely Tex-Mex food and certainly not healthful.  But, making the sauce yourself is a true labor of love.  Mexican mamas in El Paso make their own tortillas too — not me.  That goes beyond my limitations!  I’m a gringa.

Georganne, a dear friend and excellent cook, finally took the time to write down how she makes her red molido sauce, and I am going to share it with you just like she gave it to me.  I will treasure this one forever.  Here’s what she says.

My molido sauce is easy.  I wash the dust off the dried chilis and put them in a big pot of water and bring it all to a boil.  I don’t tear the tops off or remove the seeds.  Once the chilis are “workable,” (and the time varies depending on how many are in the pot), I remove them and pull the tops/stems off and throw them away.  At this point, I also get rid of most of the seeds, depending on the heat I want.  The seeds puree up right along with the chilis in the blender.  I put the chilis in a blender with a bit of the water I have just boiled them in and start pureeing.  I like my molida thick, so I just add water until I get it “right.”  That’s all I do.  It freezes up beautifully and if I don’t freeze it, it refrigerates for about a week before it gets too old.  Gary and I tried adding garlic and oregano to the molido, and one time we used beer.  But the chili just didn’t cook up as good or with as pretty a color as when we used only the chilis and chili water.

When I make a pot of Chili Colorado, this molido gets added close to the end of cooking time.  The spices are already in the pot and after I add the molido and let it cook in for maybe 10 minutes, I re-season to taste.Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado, which is a thicker stew-like concoction than chili is made when you process and cook up the chilis, onions and garlic.  I love to make the roux with bacon drippings, but oil is healthier!  After the sauce gets hot and right, I add pork or beef round.  I haven’t made Chili Colorado in a looooong time.  This is the “sauce” that most people use to make tamale fillings, too.  Dang, I’m hungry now!

Me too.  Bring on some flour tortillas and we’ll make some Chili Colorado burritos to have with a margarita or two!”

Thanks, Georganne.  But I still want to watch you make your chili someday.

Enchiladas

Red Enchiladas

  • 3-4 cups molido sauce
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • cheddar cheese, grated (or any melty cheese)
  • corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil

 

This is an assembly line set up. Grate the cheese, chop the onion and put these into separate bowls along with a small flat plate to fill and roll the enchiladas on.

Put the molido sauce in a wide, shallow skillet and begin to warm it.  Don’t boil it.  Put oil in a shallow skillet to soften the corn tortillas and keep it on medium.  Prepare the baking dish you want to put the enchiladas in by spraying it with non-stick spray.

Don’t answer the phone or step away from the stove:

Dip a tortilla in the oil and let it soften (about 10 seconds).  Dip it in the molido sauce to coat both sides using kitchen tongs. (Don’t let it soak.)

Place the tortilla on the plate and fill with onion and lots of cheese down the center.  Roll tightly and place seam-side down in the baking dish.  Continue until you have used up all the onion and cheese. Place them in rows side-by-side.  If you are making a double batch you can stack them on top of each other. Pour the remaining molido over the rolled enchiladas when ready to put in the oven and then add cheese to the top.  Cover with foil and bake at 350° until bubbly (about 20 minutes) and heated all the way through.  Do not overcook.