Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas


Just like Grandma Taught Me

Starting when i was like, nine or so, grandma would ask me to help out with the enchiladas. i spent most of my time with her when i was a kid following her around the kitchen and asking questions. At first i started out just grating cheese, then i moved up to helping to roll, and when i was alot older, i mastered making the sauce all by myself. Ha! it is a pretty simple sauce if you have a recipe to follow. this took a lot of trial and error on my part before i got the measurements just right, so that it would come out consistantly. Grandma never wrote anything out, it was always just, "a little of this, a little of that..."

So this is a basic recipe for enchilada sauce. Lots of people ask me, " Why don't you make chicken Enchiladas? That would be tasty!" so, yea, i'm sure chicken enchiladas would be tasty, but grandma never made them. so i don't either, but i think you should fill yer enchiladas with anything you like. Grandma made them with cheese and black olives. so... give that a try! This sauce is excellent with a sharp cheddar, so my only recommendation is to never leave out the cheese! Also, this recipe has been written to feed two adult humans. which is strange cause grandma always made like, two or three dozen. so, feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed.

Here is the recipe.

for enchiladas (six enchiladas)

1/2 pkg california chili powder(shown below), or 3 1/2tbs some other chili powder
1/4 cup oil
3 Tbs flour
2 cups water
2 bouillon (or enough for 2 cups read label on cubes)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt or more to taste ( or substitute garlic salt for garlic powder and salt)
fresh ground pepper to taste
6 corn tortillas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup black olives, sliced

Heat oven to 350.
In a medium sized heavy soup pot over med/high heat whisk together 1/2 of the chili powder and oil. Whisk constantly, till the chili turns from a bright orange to a deep red color. Careful that it does not turn black. Add flour, whisk briskly. Add cold water . Whisk till smooth . Turn heat to high, add remaining chili powder, bouillon, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Whisk thoroughly to boil. Lower heat and simmer while prepping the rest of your ingredients. assemble, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Serve it:
Enchiliadas are great with homemade mexican rice and some traditional style refried pinto beans. (you can always cheat and get theses side ordered to-go at your favorite mexican restaurant.) i served this with a kick ass mixed green salad, dressed with avocado and fresh seasonal cherry tomatoes, Tequila shots, lime and mexican beer. It was so delicious! i sincerely hope that you try this recipe.

More Traditional Version:
Grandma didn't just heat the tortillas on a dry pan, she would actually heat them in vegetable oil. i have long since modified this step to cut out some of the fat in an already rich dish. Also, in my family, they use canola oil for the whole recipe, i prefer the more healthful olive oil. So, if you wanna try it exactly the way grandma made it, you can make those changes. i think the healthier version is just as tasty. Grandpa likes his enchiladas filled with fine diced red onions. Ha! grandma always hated them, so she would stick toothpicks in the onion enchiladas so no one would accidentally eat the "gross" onion enchiladas!
Other substitutions:
Chili powders: If you buy some other kind of chili powder, just be aware that it will taste very different. this recipe calls for lots of chili powder, and california chili powder is comparatively mild. So you may unintentionally make this sauce extremely spicy if you use any spice marked "chili powder". Pictured above is the exact brand and type my grandma ALWAYS used.
Organic: This recipe is super easy to make organic, whole grain organic corn tortillas take a little longer to warm up so that they can become pliable enough to roll.

Make Mexican Rice:

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