Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Southwestern Layered Salad

Mexican Corn Bread Salad Ahh, layered salad. I heard about them for years, and never thought I would like them, until I made one, and then I loved ’em.

So this was sure to be a hit, and it was, and we ate every last drop.

One of the shocking things about a layered salad, is that if constructed correctly, it keeps pretty well for a few days in the fridge and maintains it’s crispness and doesn’t get soggy either.

So do think about trying it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 cups of lettuce of your choice, but I think iceberg just does the best here. But you can use romaine and even a bit of leaf lettuce.
  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 1 can of rinsed and drained beans of your choice. Pintos, red beans, garbanzo, black, etc.
  • 1 can of corn, drained (frozen can be used as well)
  • 2 green chiles, roasted, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup of black olives, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes (drain well)
  • 2/3 cup or so of scallions sliced, green parts included
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice–cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc.
  • 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Layer your veggies up to the cheese in any order you like, but start with the lettuce. Make sure you lay your tomatoes on a couple of pieces of paper towelling. Do this with the black olives too, to get them as dry as possible. Once they are as dry as possible, then layer them in. It’s best to end with the avocado so the dressing can seal it off from air which keeps it nice and green.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo. Add the can of chiles, and mix. Add salt as needed and some pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the dressing over the top of the veggies making sure to get to the edges so you “seal” in the veggies well.
  4. Sprinkle with the cheese so that it covers the top.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: It’s best to use a straight sided bowl if possible. To serve you want to cut straight down, so each serving contains the full array of the contents. The salad is sturdy enough to usually hold its place so that the last serving has some of all of the ingredients, most especially the dressing. Serve with some tortilla chips on the side.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

More Fundito Fun

funditob These are always great appetizers and easy to put together. Just add tortilla chips, crackers, or veggie speaks and you got it done.

This one was really good.

Almost everything other than the bacon and green chiles are optional and can be traded out for other things. Add stuff to your hearts delight. Be inventive with the cheeses.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Add chiles and garlic to skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender.
  3. Crumble the bacon. Spread cream cheese on bottom of 9-inch pie plate; cover with half each of the bacon and chiles. Top with shredded cheese and remaining bacon and chiles.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until hot and bubbly.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Alter the cheese as you wish, and certainly consider adding other chiles if you wish.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Beef Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

beefenchranch Not everyone likes or can take a serious Mexican red sauce, or green one for that matter. Chiles, even the milder forms are too hot for them.

This is a recipe for people who would like a milder, tomato based sauce, or who grew up on a cuisine known as Tex-Mex.

It’s quick to throw together, will freeze well, so consider making it in large batches and you will always be able to put together an authentic Tex-Mex dish in minutes and pop it into the oven.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 or so corn tortillas (wrap them in a dampened towel and microwave for 30 seconds when you are ready to assemble the enchiladas
  • 1 lb of beef (from a skirt steak, tri-tip steak, or ground beef
  • 3 c of shredded cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack, divided
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled and then chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (or one)
  • 1 Poblano or Anaheim or Hatch, roasted, peeled and seeded and diced fairly fine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil tomatoes until soft and skin peels away; remove, let cool and chop.
  2. Saute the beef until no longer pink. If using steak, chop into fairly fine dice before you cook (it helps to freeze the meat for about 20 minutes or so in order to make the dicing easier)
  3. Saute onions and jalapenos in a little oil in a skillet; set aside.
  4. In saucepan, add oil, heat, and flour to create a roux.
  5. Slowly add in warmed chicken broth until it begins to thicken.
  6. Add tomato sauce, garlic, cumin, black pepper, tomatoes, peppers, and onion.
  7. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Add a layer of sauce in a lightly coated 10×14 baking dish.
  9. To prepare enchiladas:
  10. Oil the baking dish and place a cup or so of the sauce on the bottom to help with sticking
  11. Spray with a bit of cooking oil or brush some on each tortilla,  and heat lightly in skillet (spraying helps prevent sogginess).
  12. Stack on a plate and keep covered until ready to fill.
  13. Layer in beef strips (or shredded beef or ground beef), along with the chunky sauce pieces (use a slotted spoon), and a sprinkling of shredded cheeses.
  14. Roll up each tortilla and add to the baking dish, packing in tightly.
  15. Pour remaining sauce over tops and around sides.
  16. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  17. Bake about 30-40 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until top is bubbly and browning.
  18. Serve immediately with sides and freeze remainder if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Vary the chiles as you desire. You can also add your favorite hot sauce if you want it hot, as much as 1/4 c actually. You can vary the cheese and include other Mexican cheeses such as Queso Fresco. Also substitute chicken, or beans instead of the beef.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Potatoes, Chiles and Radiccio Salad

homefriesSalads are always great as a side and this is one that is really nice both in the winter and summer.

It’s Southwestern in design but is not particularly spicy, so don’t be afraid of it if you have no taste buds for hot.

Ingredients are readily available in the north. Down here we use Hatch chiles, but just use Anaheim or Poblano and you’ll be fine.

I’ve changed this recipe a bit from its original by Bobby Flay.

 

INGREDIENTS:

CREAMY GARLIC DRESSING:

  • 3 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SALAD:

  • 1 small head radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green onions, green and pale green parts thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. If you have a gas range, lay the chiles on the grate and turn on the jets, turning as needed until chiles are nice and black on the outside. Place in a plastic bag and seal. Leave until cool. Remove and under cold water rub off the skins. Slice off the tops and slit down one side. Remove seeds and membranes and then dice up.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to meld.
  3. Dice the potatoes (you don’t have to peel) and boil until almost done. You want some integrity. Drain.
  4. Place in a cast iron skillet with canola oil which has been heated to fairly hot. Fry, turning as necessary until the potatoes are nicely browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the potatoes to a bowl. Add the radicchio, cilantro, scallions, chiles, and dressing. Mix gently and serve warm.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: This makes a great base for a meat salad…Just add your favorite grilled chicken, steak or pork roast slices and you have a great hearty salad meal.

SOURCE: Adapted from Bobby Flay

Philly Cheese Steak

phillyThis is one of those things that a city becomes known for. Like Detroit and Coney Island hotdogs, this is a classic.

A perusal of recipes suggests that there are two authentic versions of the Philly Cheese Steak sub. One has provolone cheese, the other has Cheese Whiz. I prefer the cheddar version, but I hate Cheese Whiz so I make my own cheese sauce.

Otherwise, these are, as far as I can tell, what you get in Philly.

Great for all kinds of occasions.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb skirt steak, semi frozen
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green sweet pepper, sliced
  • One batch of cheese sauce, Cheese Whiz or Provolone.
  • 4 hoagie rolls, bolillos, or sub rolls

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Unwrap the meat and spread out, then freeze about half way through lying flat. (the normal skirt steak is about 8 inches wide and about a foot or more long. I slice it down the long side in half and freeze in two pieces. This makes it easier to cut cross-grain later)
  2. When meat is half-frozen, remove and slice very thinly (1/16 inch) cross-grain. This is essential otherwise your meat will be very stringy and when you bite, you’ll pull out the entire slice from the sandwich.
  3. Put meat in a larger skillet with just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring as needed until it is just done. Do this quickly on high heat. Remove to a dish.
  4. In the same pan, add the onions and peppers and saute until they are tender and done, but still have some body. Searing the edges is a bonus!
  5. Heat up your cheese sauce, or slice up your cheese fairly thin.
  6. Slice open your buns and butter lightly, then put in the oven to broil just to melt the cheese and brown slightly.
  7. Remove and add a layer of meat then onions and peppers. Put on the cheese and place back in the oven to melt if not using the cheese sauce.
  8. Serve!

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Nothing says you have to be authentic. Sliced jalapeñ0s would be a good addition, pepper jack a good cheese substitute.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Mexican Hashbrown Casserole

mexcassWell, are you tired of holiday cooking? If you are, and you just want to curl up with some totally great comfort food, or as my husband calls it “gruel”?, well continue reading, because this is the recipe for you.

A lovely Mexicany dish that you can add and subtract from as the mood strikes you. It does violate my rule sort of since it calls for a can of tomato soup, but you could just as easily use a can of tomato sauce if you would like to be more “real”.

I did add some variations to the recipe, and of course you should too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 c of sweet red pepper diced
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced onion
  • 2 Hatch or Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
  • Mexican spice mix (chili powder, garlic granulated, cumin,  salt, pepper, Mexican oregano) about 1 tbsp of the chili powder and 1 or 1/2 tsp each of the others.
  • 2 cups grated cheese, divided
  • 3 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 can tomato soup or can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c of chopped cilantro
  • about 2/3 of a 30 oz. bag of hash browns

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the meat, along with the sweet pepper, chili peppers and onion, until meat is no longer pink and the veggies are softened.
  2. Add the seasonings and stir.
  3. Add the cream cheese and the soup. Stir until the cream cheese has melted and the whole thing is quite creamy.
  4. Add the cilantro and stir in.
  5. Add the corn and half the shredded cheese.
  6. Pour the mixture into a baking dish about 9 x 13.
  7. Spread the hash browns over the top.
  8. Cover with the rest of the cheese
  9. Bake in a 375° oven for about 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
  10. Serve with taco chips or warmed tortillas along with avocado, sour cream, and salsa if you wish.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: cheeses can include cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican variety.

SOURCE: The Midnight Baker as adapted.