Showing posts with label enchilada sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enchilada sauce. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Erin's Enchiladas, from TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST - #bookgiveaway

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I always say that one of the secrets to a happy life is friends who cook well.

And nothing proves that better than my longggg friendship with Lita, whom I met during sophomore year of college. She married a man with a Hispanic mother and embraced Mexican cooking with both very strong arms. This is Lita’s recipe, which I think she based on one from America’s Test Kitchen. Admittedly, it’s a bit, oh, involved is the best word, and in TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Erin admits that she occasionally grabs a jar of sauce from the Merc’s shelves when she craves enchiladas. Granted, she and the Merc are fictional—don’t tell her I said so—so this is the recipe in those jars.

TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, the 4th Food Lovers' Village Mystery, will be out officially on June 8. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy!

Fill the enchiladas with chicken, shredded beef, or black beans---or a combination, as described below.

This sauce freezes beautifully, and can be used in burritos, tamales, tortilla soup, or other recipes. Double it some Sunday afternoon and stick a pan of unbaked enchiladas in the freezer for a night when even reaching for a jar seems like too much.

A NOTE ABOUT CHILES: After I posted this, a few comments asked about the California and Guajillo chiles in the sauce. Both are mild, red chiles. California chiles start out green and turn red as they ripen; they are apparently sometimes called chile seco del Norte or Magdalena chiles. Guajillo chiles are the dried mirasol chile. This guide has more details and pictures, as does this site. I've noticed that naming varies and is not necessarily consistent. If you can't find dried chiles with these names, look for a red chile with a mild flavor and try combining a couple; if you like more heat, you'll have more options. Remember that cooking is an art, not a precise science, and be willing to play -- if you're not sure whether a pepper will be too hot, try a small amount, and add more later if you'd like.

Enchilada Sauce

2 ounces dried Ancho chiles
2 ounces dried Guajillo chiles
2-3 ounces dried California chiles
½ large or 1 medium white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife blade
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
½ - 1 orange, sliced, including the peel (if the peel is thick, use half of it)
4 – 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in your hands
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon masa harina (corn flour) or very finely ground corn meal
½ lime, juiced (2-3 tablespoons of juice)

Using kitchen scissors, and optional gloves, stem and seed the chiles.

Heat a large skillet on high and quickly dry roast the chiles, in batches, 1-2 minutes, to darken the skin; do not burn.

Place the peppers, onion, garlic, carrot, and orange in a large pot, and cover with the stock. Cover pot and bring to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat and let mixture sit about 30 minutes.

Ladle 2-3 cups of liquid and vegetables, about half and half, into a blender. Puree about 3 minutes and place in another pot or a non-staining bowl. Repeat with additional batches till complete.

Return sauce to pan and add the cumin, oregano, and salt. In a small bowl, make a slurry of the corn flour and about 1/4 cup of the chile puree, to prevent clumping, then add to pot and stir in. Add lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting to adjust the seasoning.

The Enchiladas

8 - 8 inch corn tortillas
1 pound beef (stew meat), slow cooked until it can be shredded with a fork, OR 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded, OR 1 pound black beans, cooked (or a 16 ounce can)
2 ounces diced green chiles, fresh or canned
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
10-12 green onions, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
sour cream (optional)
fresh tomatoes, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil the tortillas on each side and warm them in the oven to prevent cracking—you can warm them while the oven is preheating.

Mix your beef, chicken, or beans with the green chiles, and if you’d like, a few green onions and cilantro.

Pour ½ cup (about a ladleful) of sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Place a warmed tortilla on a plate. In the center, place about 1/4 cup filling and a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up tightly and place in the baking dish.

Ladle more sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheddar. Bake about 15 minutes, until cheese melts. Serve with chopped onions and cilantro, and optional sour cream and tomatoes.

Unbaked enchiladas freeze beautifully, in the pan. To serve, thaw and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted.

Makes 8 enchiladas.

Does your BFF have a favorite recipe you adore???

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017). (US and Canadian addresses only; winner will be chosen Thurs, June 1.)

From the cover:   

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Turkey Enchiladas

by Sheila Connolly

Five days after Thanksgiving, I was still staring at the mangled corpse of a turkey. It was a small turkey—11 pounds—but there are only two of us eating it. In the past I’ve made turkey pot pie, turkey a la king, and probably Thai turkey and turkey chili. There must be more recipes somewhere!

For a change of pace, I thought I’d try making enchiladas. Confession: I don’t often cook southwestern or Mexican recipes, although I am well supplied with the ingredients, including dried chiles. So I turned to Epicurious, but even there I found only a couple of recipes, one from 1994, and one from 2014. The earlier one started with a jar of enchilada sauce, the later one with a list of ingredients. My, how times have changed!

The newer recipe wanted me to assemble the ingredients and roast them under the Thanksgiving turkey as it cooked. Well, that bird had flown, although I admire the idea, because the flavor would be very rich (I was also supposed to make the enchilada sauce on Thanksgiving day, which might be difficult for most people). So I had to improvise and make a quicker stove-top version.

The original recipe made enough for eight servings, so I cut it in half.

Turkey Enchiladas

28 oz. (2 cans) chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 dried ancho chiles (seeds removed)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 Tblsp whole coriander seeds
1 Tblsp whole cumin seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turkey (or chicken) leftovers

Unsalted butter for greasing the baking dish
2-3 cups of the cooked turkey
4 12” flour tortillas
1-1/2 cups grated queso fresco (the recipe said I could substitute feta cheese, so I did)
1-1/2 cups shredded queso Chihuahua (the recipe allowed mozzarella)

Soaking the chiles
Soak the ancho chiles in hot water, then remove the stems and seeds and chop. Combine the tomatoes, onions, ancho chiles, garlic, chopped carrot, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a large saucepan and simmer gently for an hour or more (you do make this in advance).

Transfer the sauce mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (add a little water if necessary—you want a smooth thick liquid).

The pureed sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish (9x13, although 9x9 will do). Spread about a cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom.

Put the turkey meat in a bowl. Add half the remaining enchilada sauce and half of each of the cheeses and mix.

Lay out each tortilla and spread about one cup of the filling on the lower half. Roll each one up (like a burrito) and tuck the sides in. Place the enchiladas tightly in the prepared baking dish, and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce has darkened, about one hour. Serve immediately (top with sour cream if you like).

Ready to bake

There was still turkey left. Soup, anyone?

The next book to come out is An Early Wake, the third of the County Cork Mysteries, arriving in February.

Not a lot of enchiladas in Ireland, I must say, although the food is pretty good (and diverse) these days..

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, but Mr. Wendy and I are not real Texans. We moved to the Lone Star State almost exactly five years ago. For the most part, we've acclimated. I still wilt about mid-July and don't leave the air conditioned comfort of my home unless I absolutely must. And I still have to place my trust in a higher power when I get on the interstate. (I'd invoke Carrie Underwood and beg Jesus to take the wheel, but I'm hoping he's busy steering the semis hurtling down 35E.)

On the whole, though, we've adjusted to our new home.

Probably the toughest thing to get used to was the food. Two twenty-year vegetarians moving to the heart of cattle country? Sounds like the premise for a bad sit-com. I thought my hill-billy kin were bad about slipping bacon into everything on the menu, but they've got nothing on Texans. There's pork fat, chicken stock, or lard hiding in just about everything.

So for the past five years, it's been us versus Texas food.

Except when it comes to Tex-Mex. Oh my. Tex-Mex is where Team WatHawk and Texas find common ground. We have to be vigilant about the above-mentioned stealth pork, but Tex-Mex can be done well without the meat, and we're huge fans.

This casserole is my homage to Texas, but totally animal-free: no meat, no dairy, no eggs. In a word, vegan. The potato filling is so luscious and the sauce so, well, saucy, you'll never miss the cheese. What's more, it's quick to put together and doesn't require much stove time, so it's become one of my go-to summer dinner party meals. If you really want to, you could add some cheese (cheddar or jack would be good). Or you could make a totally different filling. It's the sauce--with its special ingredient--that you simply must try!

(By the way, the dish is named for our cat Todd. He has never made the dish for us, though I like to think he would. If he were a little taller and had thumbs.)

Todd's Potato and Pinto Enchilada Bake

Here's what you'll need before you begin assembly. Don't fret. There are lots of pieces, but they're all super-easy.

1 recipe enchilada sauce
1 recipe potato filling
1 recipe pinto bean filling
18 6-inch corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 oz. Mexican chocolate*
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent flour from burning. Stir in chili powder, then slowly mix in vegie broth, getting rid of any lumps. Stir tomato sauce, cumin, and garlic powder into sauce and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Stir in chocolate to melt. Season to taste with salt.

* Mexican chocolate comes in tablets for making hot chocolate. Abuelita is the brand I get most often, but there are several. Look for them in the Hispanic or international food section of your grocery store. If you cannot find Mexican chocolate, you can use unsweetened chocolate and add a dash of cinnamon.

Potato Filling

1 bag frozen, steam-in-bag russet or sweet potatoes*
10-16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (whatever size your grocery store carries!)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
dash of ground chipotle or cayenne

Press as much water out of the spinach as you can (put it in a colander and press with the back of a spoon). Mash the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher; they don’t need to be smooth, just mushed a bit. Stir in the spinach, cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle/cayenne.

*In the alternative, use 2 pounds russet or sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled in salted water until tender.

Pinto Bean Filling

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fat free refried beans
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan, mashing some of the beans with the back of a fork. Heat over medium-low flame until hot.


Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with a little non-stick spray and spread about 1/2 a cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom. Arrange 6 corn tortillas on the bottom, tearing and overlapping so that the whole bottom of the pan is covered.

Spread 1/2 of the potato filling on the tortillas.

Ladle half of the pinto filling over the potatoes, and drizzle about 1/2 a cup of enchilada sauce over the pintos.

Repeat with another 6 tortillas, the rest of the potatoes, the rest of the pintos, and another 1/2 cup of sauce. Top with the last 6 corn tortillas and ladle the rest of the sauce over the tortillas (so they are totally covered).

Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Voila! Delicious, nutritious, and so, so easy!

For information about Wendy's Mysteries a la Mode and more yummy recipes, visit her website. The first in the series, I Scream, You Scream, is available now; the second Mystery a la Mode, Scoop to Kill, will be released in September.

You can follow Wendy on Twitter or Facebook.