Monday, 12 November 2018

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

I know it's been a while.  I went to Italy for a month - more on that later! - and I was so excited getting ready for the trip that this project kind of got dropped.  But I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with you and venturing into Italian food with you!

Now - you would thing that would be a segue into a recipe for something Italian...  Buuuuuuut - no.

We're having enchiladas!

Okay - the list of ingredients looks intense - but stay with me.  It's TOTALLY easy to make an enchilada sauce from scratch and it tastes WAY better than store bought.

Combine the onion and jalapeno, salt, and oil in a large pot and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft.

Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar.  Stir together and cook briefly.

Stir in the tomato sauce and water.

And stir in the tomato and cook until thickened.

Next, add the chicken and poach it in the enchilada sauce.

After the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and shred the chicken.

Then, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.  Make sure to press on the onions to get out all the liquid.

Add the shredded chicken to the onion mixture.

Stir in one cup of the sauce and the cheese.

And the cilantro.

Warm up the corn tortillas in the microwave and spread 1/3 cup of chicken mixture down the middle of the tortillas.  I like to do two or three at a time so the corn tortillas stay pliable.

Spray the enchiladas lightly with cooking spray and bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes to crisp up the tortillas.

Remove the enchiladas from the oven, pour the reserved enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and evenly spread the cheese over the sauce.

Cover with foil and place the pan back into the oven and bake until heated through.

I have actually made these enchiladas in a beef version - just a tiny bit slightly different - so it's actually hard to tell if there is actually any difference in the end result.  But EQUALLY delicious.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and shredded lettuce.  While the enchiladas aren't spicy, they do have a deep smoky heat to them that you can cool up with those toppings.

You could also do a cilantro lime rice for the side.  Salad is also a great choice.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mac and Cheese Mondays: Crackaroni

Okay.  So Crackaroni.  

No really.  That's what this is called.  It's why I clicked on to the recipe.

And OMG.  Get ready, cause this is going to rock your socks.  Or whatever the expression is.

Read on.

So first, you need to start your roux by melting butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Then whisk in the flour and allow to cook for a minute.

Whisk in the milk and cook until it's thickened.

Then, stir in salt, pepper, and sugar.  No really.  Sugar.

*insert shrugged shoulders here*  I thought the same thing.

Next, start stirring in Velveeta, sour cream, and cottage cheese.  

While this is all going on, cook the macaroni to al dente, drain, and set aside.

Stir the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce.

Top with shredded cheddar.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 - 50 minutes.

I'm actually drooling just thinking about this.

Holy crackers.  I wanted to dive in and swim laps in this mac and cheese.  Just around and around and around in the pot.

Cheesy, creamy, and perfect.  This definitely rocketed to my Top 10 Favorite Mac and Cheese of all time.

You should just make it.  Like, today.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Philly Cheesesteak Burgers

I've never really been the biggest fan of cheesesteak sandwiches (please don't stone me in the street next time you see me!).

Truthfully, I don't think I've ever had a proper one.  The meat is always tough and stringy.  The sauce is just weird.

So when these Philly Cheesesteak burgers popped up in my "Ideas Box", I hesitated.

But with the knowledge that my basic burger recipe is amazing - I just had to worry about the toppings.

So I scoured the internet for ideas.

The first was to cook down peppers and onions until they were fork-tender.  (Check)

Next was to find a perfect provolone sauce - since that's typically the sauce that goes on Philly Cheesesteaks.  I toyed with the idea of a Philly cream cheese based sauce, but felt like Bobby Flay's Philly Cheesesteak Sauce would be the right choice.

OH.  MY.   GOD.  

Hang on for food porn.  (I can almost guarantee that you will be weeping with food porn joy by the end of this)


I'm sorry I didn't take "how to" pictures when creating this most glorious cheese sauce.  But it's really very easy.  Just like if you were making a cheese sauce for a mac and cheese.

Then assemble.  Start with a little cheese sauce.

Top with peppers and onions.

Then slather more of that glorious cheese sauce on top.

And eat.

Fair warning.  You're going to need some seriously strong paper towels on hand to wipe your hands and mouth.  This burger is messy and decadent and worth every calorie!

The only thing I might do differently next time is cut those peppers thinner and in half.

Now, I'm not sure how close this is to a really amazing Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, but if they taste like this burger or better - then I'll be a total convert.

Oh.  Fries are also elevated to globally epic proportions when smothered in this cheese sauce.  Just a friendly PSA from me to you.

Let's just have a gander at that glorious cheese sauce again.

*sigh*  This actually takes my breath away.


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Campfire Burgers

Have you ever used liquid smoke?  Since I don't have the option of a wood chip barbecue or smoker, I love that I have the option of using liquid smoke to impart that smoky flavor without the cost of extra equipment.

But - beware - if you drop the bottle or spill some on your clothes, it'll be months before the smell clears out!

The liquid smoke is incorporated into BOTH the burgers and the sauce on these burgers.

First, make the sauce.  I like to do this a little ahead of time - usually when I'm throwing the buns into the oven to bake.

Three ingredients: mayo, your favorite BBQ sauce (or whatever happens to be on hand), and liquid smoke.

You'll note in the actual recipe below that there is only a tiny amount of liquid smoke in the sauce and burger meat.  Don't worry - a little goes a LONG way.

In the bowl, combine the BBQ sauce,


and liquid smoke.  Whisk everything together until well combined.

Then, make the burgers.

In a large bowl, combine the beef and cheese.

Add the Worcestershire and liquid smoke.

Add the salt and pepper.

And the bacon.

Straight up?  I have no idea what that nit is in the upper frame of the picture below.  I'm sure it looks mega weird (cause I think it does) - but I'm totally sure it's edible.

Mix everything together - don't overmix!  (It'll make the burgers tough) 

Then separate into four pieces and form into patties.

Cook on the grill until cooked through.

Top with campfire sauce and grilled onions.

The bacon, cheese, beef, and liquid smoke all melded together to make harmony - top with that wonderful sauce and you've got yourself one beautiful, smoky, juicy burger!  Just as if you were sitting in front of the campfire.

I've make the sauce for burgers several times since and we even like to dip French fries in it.

I keep coming back to this burger because it's SOOOO good!