Monday, May 9, 2016

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce

The French have their Mirepoix, which is just chopped onions, celery, and carrots.  These form the basis of nearly all soups, stews, and sauces.  

The Cajun version of this is the Holy Trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper.   That used to be the basis of all my cooking until I discovered red bell peppers and I ditched the bitter green peppers.  Then I ditched celery unless I’m cooking for a crowd.  I just think celery is kind of a waste of time.

Then I discovered these little sweet peppers.  They are fun, a little sweeter than bells, come in different colors and slice up into nice rings.  I always have some in the fridge.

So Enchiladas.   Lots of ways to make them.  You can make them with ground beef, shredded beef, shredded pork, chicken, cheese, spinach.  I love em all.

Now my mom used to fry up the corn tortillas before rolling them up.  And who doesn’t love a fried tortilla?  But you don’t need to do that—just make sure they are moistened with sauce.  Or heat them over a flame.  

Don’t have a gas stove?  I’m sorry, that sucks.  But you can lay it on your burner and get the marks.

Now I have made my own enchilada sauce but that’s a lot of work.  Canned is fine.  I’m not a snob.  I usually use red with beef and pork, green with chicken.  

When I gardened I made a green tomato sauce that was really good.  Could have sworn I posted the recipe somewhere but not on this blog.

Chicken:  You can cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker, shred it and freeze it and use it as needed. But I prefer dark meat so I used thighs this time.  

I buy the family packs and freeze them in twos in ziplock bags.  I just used two thighs for these.  I cut the skin off and marinated in for a half hour with

¼ cup tequila
¼ cup olive oil
Zest and juice of half lime
Garlic powder
Lots of pepper
Green chili powder
Chili powder
(so I just put a few shakes of everything)

Then I cooked the chicken in my George Foreman Grill.  I never worry about the chicken being cooked enough in this thing.  About 6 minutes on each side. 

Do cut it open to check. I’ve had salmonella poisoning twice.  You don’t want that. 

Thighs don’t shred as easily as breasts so I just took the meat off the bone, tore it up and cut it up with kitchen scissors.

Now for the veggie filling:

Saute ½ yellow onion, chopped & Four small sweet peppers in a little olive oil.  Add salt and lots of pepper, green chili powder, chili powder, zest and juice of the other half of lime. A little splash of tequila, and a little brown sugar.  Add just enough of the enchilada sauce to moisten it.  

Cover a flat glass or casserole pan with enchilada sauce. 
In each tortilla add a little sugar, a little veggie mix, and a little cheese.  I used Colby Jack.  

Roll it up tight and place seam side down in pan.  Cover them all with enchilada sauce and make sure all the enchiladas are covered.  

Cover with cheese and sprinkle a little chili powder on top.

Bake in 350 oven for 35 minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Barbecue Baked Beans with Apples & Sweet Potatoes

I love the convenience of slow cookers.  But nothing beats the way oven baking caramelizes a barbecue sauce.  So on some things like ribs and beans, I do both.

  • 4 Cups dried pinto beans
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 4 or 5 small sweet peppers (or one red bell pepper)
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled & chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 tbs ketchup
  • 5 slices of bacon cut into 1-inch strips
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Salt

Cover the beans with water in a large pot and bring to a boil.   Take off the fire and let sit an hour or so.  Drain the water

Cook 4 slices of bacon and either eat it or feed it to someone in your house that likes bacon.  Leave the grease in your pan and add ½ stick of butter and melt it. 

Add onions, a little salt and lots of pepper, sauté until they are transparent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. 

Add half the bourbon and simmer until it cooks down and gets thick.  Add the rest of the spices.  Add molasses and brown sugar.  Add the wine, apples, and sweet potato and simmer about 10 minutes.  Add more bourbon when it gets too thick. 

Line the slow cooker with the bacon, and add the vegetable mix and beans.  Add barbecue sauce and ketchup.  Mix and add enough water so beans are covered.  Cook on high for an hour and low for 3-4 hours.

Pour mixture into greased casserole and bake in 300 oven for an hour.  These are really good.