Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Barefoot, Pregnant, and Enchiladas

On a whim, I decided to make enchiladas for dinner tonight. Easy for the picky husband to eat. And easy for the toddler to gum.

Getting to the kitchen was the most challenging part of the recipe. Said toddler had taken every last tupperware and tupperware lid out of the tupperware cabinet and strewn them about in an almost impossible, genius obstacle course. He is a genius, you know.

Adam had his first year check up with the pediatrician last night. It was the usual weight, length, head check, chit chat, and............ shots.  Adam weighs 21 lbs 5 oz now which is about the 20% for weight on the CDC growth chart. He is about the 70th% for length. 

But his head. 

His genius head. 

92%. Need I say more? 

I tripped over the intricate, deliberate maze that my genius child expertly constructed making sure to put any pieces I disturbed back in place so that Adam's daddy could share in the proud moment.  It was only fair. 

Really, though, this is a post about enchiladas. 

Growing up,  our big family get togethers almost always included a Mexican Enchilada night. The recipe is quite easy and quite delicious. 

You'll need: 
2 T Oil. (I used safflower. Canola, Veg would also work, but not Olive oil.) 
2 T Flour. 
1 - 12oz Can of Tomato Sauce.  
Palmful of Cumin. 
Half Palmful of Chili Powder. 
Garlic Salt.  
1/4 t Oregano.  
Dash of Crushed Red Pepper. 
Whatever other spices you can find in your pantry that sound appealing.  
Cheese (Jack, Cheddar, whatever) freshly shredded is best.  
Diced Onion (red is best)
Beef or pulled chicken, or whatever meat you want.

I browned Ground Bison and seasoned it with Kosher salt, pepper, cumin, crushed red pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, etc. Then I set it aside. 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over med. high heat. Add the flour and whisk until the flour is starting to brown. Pour in the tomato sauce. Use the left over can of tomato sauce to add a can full of water to the pan. Whisk until smooth. Fill the can once more and set to the aside in case the sauce gets too thick. Which it will. 

Add the spices. Taste for seasoning. A TINY dash of cinnamon could be yummy! But don't over do it.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 min. stirring occasionally. Add some more water as it cooks to thin out slightly. 

If you are married to my husband - skip this next step. In a bowl, combine the freshly shredded cheese and diced onion, reserving a bit to sprinkle on top. 

Butter a couple 9X13 baking dishes. I take a dinner plate and set it near the enchilada sauce. Take a tortilla dip both sides in the sauce then set on the plate. Put the desired meat in the tortilla leaving a little room at each end and sprinkle some cheese/onion mixture. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in the dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Keep adding water one tablespoon at a time to thin out the sauce as needed to finish the job. I thinned it out after every couple tortillas with just a bit of water. I ended up with 9 or so enchiladas.

Top with remaining sauce (if there is any) and remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and crank the oven to 425 and bake for additional 5 minutes or until cheese just starts to brown. Let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes before serving.

They were delicious! Andy said the best ever. He said that AFTER he interrogated me on my use of onions in the recipe. If I wasn't pregnant and wasn't exhausted and was in a good mood, I would have grated some onion or pureed it in the food processor to trick him. As my readers know, I'm not above tricking (lying) to my husband while in the kitchen. We're really in trouble. I heard that tricking your husband into eating foods he thinks he doesn't like is the 4th leading cause of divorce.  You can read about my first trick here. (Click on the word "here".) 

I made some rice to go along with the enchiladas. (en-chee-la-das) This was another classic recipe that my mom always made during the big family get togethers or special birthday dinners. Also very easy and tasty. 

You'll need: 

2 T. Oil
Diced onion
1 C rice (I used brown basmati) 
Just under 2 C water, broth, or combo. (I used a leftover container of vegetable broth I had in my fridge.) 
2 T hot sauce
Half palmful of cumin
1 T Chili powder
Garlic powder

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, heat oil over med. high heat. Add rice and onion and stir while the rice toasts. Add the water or broth or combo, hot sauce, and seasonings. Add a generous sprinkling of garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce to low. And let it cook according to the package directions. Mine took 50 minutes. Well, that's a lie. My stove sucks. I hate it. And it doesn't know what low means. So mine took way longer because after 50 minutes I realized that my oven thought low meant off. So, if you have a pyscho oven like mine - give yourself some extra time. 

It was a delicious dinner. Even my toddler enjoyed it. He didn't enjoy it enough to swallow his bites. But he did open his mouth wide like a fish and take every bite. He even chewed it. Then he spit it out and looked at me with the strangely familiar twinkle in his right eye. I know that twinkle. It means, "Whatcha gonna do about it, huh mom?" 

But I know better than to mess with him. After all, you can't mess with a genius.

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