Category Archives: Mexican

Cheese Enchiladas, Tijuana Tilly style


I was looking at the menu plan for the week and saw that I’d written Cheese Enchiladas for our meal today.
And then I started reminiscing, to myself, silently, about the restaurant that we used to go to when I was first married.  I loved going there, we went there for special occasions and I always ordered the same thing.
Cheese Enchiladas, with rice and beans of course.   I loved their enchiladas, and mourned deeply when the restaurant was closed and then torn down and an Olive Garden was built there.  Tijuana Tilly’s will always be my favourite Mexican restaurant, sigh.  They’ve been gone for a very long time.  But I made do and got to know and love a couple of other restaurants along the way.

Then I moved.

And I now live in a place where I have to drive either 30 miles one way or 25 miles the other way to be able to eat Mexican food.

I make it myself now.

Now that you’ve read this far, and thank you for doing so,I thought I’d share how I make my version of Cheese Enchiladas, Tijuana Tilly style.

To start with, you need cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.  OK, maybe not that much, but get out the grater and start shredding.   I like a mixture of Colby Jack Cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, and luckily for me, I can get it already mixed, all I need to do is shred it.   I bet you can get it the same way too.  Just kidding here.  But you can use the cheese that’s already shredded, if you like.  I think it tastes best when you shred it yourself, but…

After shredding the cheese, divide it in half and add about 1/2 cup drained sliced black olives to half the cheese mixture along with a finely diced shallot, or 1/4 cup diced onion.   Either one will do.  I just happened to have a single, solitary shallot left from when I made the Caramelized Shallots for the tart a week or so ago.

Now for the fun part.    Assembling the enchiladas.  I usually warm the flour tortillas just a little, it makes them easier to roll up.

 

Get a good handful of cheese, place it on the flour tortilla and then either roll it up or make a burrito style roll up.  Which means folding the end over the cheese, then folding in the sides and rolling it the rest of the way.  I like doing it like that, cause I hate the cheese escaping out of the ends of the tortilla.  Place the rolled tortilla seam side down in a greased

baking pan, then proceed with the rest of the cheese and tortillas.  Pour some hot enchilada sauce over

top,and sprinkle with a little more cheese if you like, and put in the microwave for about 6 minutes at 70% power.  Or until the cheese has melted.   I’ve baked these in an oven in the past, but really don’t like how the tortillas get gummy.

Serve with some Refried Beans and Mexican Rice.

 

And serve the leftover beans rolled in a flour tortilla for breakfast.   Along with a little cheese, browned in a pan.  So good.

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Cheese Rellenos with Hatch Green Chiles


I felt like I had to point it out that I’m making Cheese Relleno’s with Hatch Green Chiles.

I was so excited when I saw them at the market last week.  There is such a short window when they are fresh and available and since my three Anaheim Chile plants did very poorly this year, we’ve not had Chile Relleno’s for quite awhile.

I know I’ve posted about how to make Relleno’s before, but I thought I would just go ahead and tell you all about how to make them again.

First off, you need to char the skin off, and I told you how to do that the other day.
Next up is the batter and the cheese.
Batter up!
Sorry got confused there, but these would be great after a baseball game, a little too messy to eat there though.

I made us five Relleno’s from the wonderful chiles I found at the market.   The rest are safely tucked away in the freezer for a few more meals.  I did count how many I had prepared though, 42.  Which by my reckoning means 8.4 meals.   I’ll probably use the extra two chiles in some Chile Verde later on.

Peel and seed however many chiles you’re making for dinner.  Pat them dry, and set aside while you make the batter.

Batter:
5 eggs, separated
5 tablespoons flour

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the flour, carefully.

And there you have it, however, I hate to waste the yolks so I add in about half of them.  Stir the egg yolks together, and add a little at a time, or just dump them in like I did, whoops.

Folding very carefully.   Set aside.

Chiles and Cheese
Slice some Monterey Jack cheese into finger size or larger chunks.   Measure against the chiles, and make them just a tad narrower than the chiles you’re stuffing.

Pick up a chile, and place a piece of the cheese inside.

If you’ve ever put a sock on a toddler or infant,  just think of stuffing a little foot inside of a sock or shoe.   You need to be careful of the foot and the sock.

Don’tcha just love that claw like hand, clutching the green chile?
Prepare each chile, then dredge in a little flour,

then dip into the batter and place in an oiled pan.  I found a trick this time, I picked the chile up from the batter with my meat fork, and then put it into the pan.  Worked like a charm.  Can’t believe I hadn’t tried that before.

I use about 1 tablespoon of oil per chile.  Cause that batter is like a sponge and it soaks up the oil like you wouldn’t believe.  I love my cast iron pan for this.  It holds the heat and yet, because it’s well seasoned, it also doesn’t stick.

Cook over a fairly low heat for a few minutes until one side browns, then flip over and cook the other side.  If my batter is too thin, I’ve been known to drizzle a little more batter on the uncooked side, just before I flip it.  Take out of pan after browning and continue until all the rellenos are cooked.

Serve with your favourite enchilada sauce.

See that lovely oozy cheese in there, sooo good.
We just eat it like this, but you can always make some rice and beans and serve alongside.

Hatch Chiles


I kinda, well almost,  got carried away last week.

OK, so I maybe bought a little much, but we’ll use it all.

I’m talking Hatch Chiles from New Mexico.   They’re only on for a short while, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

I was in the ‘big’ city and decided to check out a ‘new to me’ market.

As I drove up to it, there was a huge sign in the window.    Hatch Chile Day was going to be held on Saturday.   Well, it was Friday when I saw the sign, and there was no way I was going to drive 60 miles just to attend a Hatch Chile Day, the next day.
So…
I went in the store figuring that if they were having this extravaganza the following day, that they would probably have a few chiles in stock.
They did.
I bought a bunch.  I would have bought more than I did, but I knew I had limited space in my freezer, so I only purchased just over 8 lbs.

Which is enough for a few meals for us.
Guess what we’re having for dinner soon.
*giggle*

At any rate, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a gracious plenty of peppers, the three Anaheim pepper plants I planted this year have yielded very little.   I think I’ve picked 5 peppers so far, really pitiful.

The Chiles’ I bought last week are huge, I mean really big, three of them will be more than enough for a dinner for the two of us.
My mouth is watering as I type this.

I got out my trusty camp stove, hooked it up and proceeded to char the skin on all those chiles.
What a job.

 

And you do need to do this.  The skin is pretty inedible. I have done this in the oven, but don’t care for how ‘cooked’ the chiles get.
After charring, I put the chiles into a ziploc bag, so they can ‘sweat’.   It makes it a whole bunch easier to remove the skin if you do that.

I then cut the end off, and remove the seeds, and the stem.

 

You can also take a paring knife and scrape the skin off as well.

All ready, well, almost.  I usually take a paper towel and wipe them down at this point.  But if  there are a few little blackened charred bits left, that’s OK, they just add to the flavour.

And if there are any pesky little bits of skin still clinging, I just work the tip of the paring knife under and take it off.

These Chiles are ready for step two, which is to be made into Chile Relleno’s with Cheese.
I’ll go through the steps for that later on.
I need to go and put the rest of the chiles in the freezer for future meals.

And here’s a tip.  Go ahead and freeze the chiles as is, charred skin, seeds and all in a single layer.  After freezing, stick them into a ziploc bag, as many as you’ll eat for a meal, and when you’re ready to use them, take them out of the freezer and run them under some warm water for just a second or so, and the charred skin will wipe right off.   You might still have a few pesky hanger ons, but the most of it, just wipes away.  You can then cut the ends off, and pull the seeds right out.

Gotta go make dinner now, but wanted to let you know what I was up to.

Taco’s


We eat Taco’s at least once a week in our house, and it has become my go-to, can’t think of what else to make meal.

Why?
Cause Taco’s are probably next to Pizza!!!! as my DH’s favorite meal.    Wait a minute, I wonder which one he would choose, if he had to choose between them for dinner.  Hmmm, sounds like fun dilemma to put him in, giggle.   But that’s for another day.

Today, I’m sharing how I make Taco’s, and it is easy.  Really, it is.  The most difficult part of them is making the Taco shells, cause I fry them from good corn tortilla’s.  Neither one of us likes the hard taco shells you can buy that are pre-made.

To start with, I make my meat filling.  I’ve been making them this way for over 30 years, and don’t plan on changing any time soon.   Why mess with perfection?

Brown your meat of choice, I use lean hamburger meat, or good ground turkey when I can get it for a reasonable price.   Your choice.

Cook til just starting to brown and add La Victoria Taco Sauce and a little water.  I use either a full bottle, the 8 ounce size and an equal amount of water or a half bottle of the 15 oz size and the equivalent amount of water and let it simmer until it has reduced down.   If you add too much water, don’t sweat it, just let it cook a little bit longer.

While that is simmering away, prepare your toppings, whatever kind you like.  My DH is a purist, lettuce, tomato and cheese.   I like to amp it up a little and add some finely chopped onion and black olives, along with the lettuce, tomato and cheese.   My personal preference is for Colby Jack cheese, shredded.   And since this is my blog, we’ll do it my way.

Now for the tricky part.  Making the taco shells.  I don’t have any fancy equipment to make them the ‘right’ way and since I’ve been doing it my way for so long, I’ve kinda gotten the hang of making them.   I watched Alton Brown one day making ‘molds’ for taco shells, and telling how long to cook each one and I had to laugh.  I just use my tongs, and form them that way.   And you know what, people eat them and love them that way.   I know this cause I’ve had people over for Taco’s before and they ate all the taco’s I made.  We like the yellow corn tortillas here, have tried the white ones, but really, just don’t care for them at all.

To start with, heat your oil.  I have this handy, dandy, really cheap pot that I’ve used for over 30 years to make the shells in.  It looks like, well, it looks like it should have been retired a long time ago.
It is perfect for this, the corn tortilla’s fit right in, and it is shallow enough to move them around as I form the shells.
Place the tortilla in the hot oil, and as the edges begin to crisp a little, turn it over, and let cook another few seconds.

Grab the shell on one side and fold up a little and hold it in the oil until it firms/crisps up, then turn it over and let it finish crisping.
Remove to a pan, I use an old pie tin, and let it sit to drip off the oil.

Continue with the next tortilla and when it is is done, place it over the first.  If you do this right you can get a nice little stack going.

And it helps them to stay warm.   I don’t salt them right away, we tend to be careful of using too much salt around here, but you can certainly salt them as soon as you take them out of the oil.

Then just build your taco your way.  A little meat, a little lettuce, tomato and some shredded cheese on top.

I do mine a little differently.  Cheese goes in first, then the meat, some onions, black olives, tomatoes, some more cheese and at the last some lettuce, but I forgot to take a picture of that one. sigh.

 

So there you have it, Taco’s my way.   And if you have a favourite taco sauce, use that one.  For us, it has to be La Victoria brand, they just don’t taste right otherwise.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or note or just say Hi. I love to hear from you and am so glad you’re reading my blog.

Lime and Cilantro Rice


I used to go to a fast food place that served these massive burritos’ which included this wonderful rice.   I would order the rice just by itself, and inhale it.

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I got a craving for it this week, and decided to try my hand at making some.   And I think I got it, but of course I will probably tweak it a little more at a later date.  But for now, it’s close enough.   I liked the slight crunch that the onions gave it without them overpowering anything.

I just made enough for myself, so feel free to double or triple the amounts given here.

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1 cup cooked rice

1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup raw sweet onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Herdez Verde sauce

Mix all together and serve.   Really, really simple.    And I thought very tasty.

I think next time I will use just a little fresh lime zest, and maybe even a little chopped jalapeno.  I liked the little bit of kick from the Herdez, this is something I usually have on hand, although I bet you could use any kind of green tomatillo based sauce.

And since I have some lovely grilled chicken breasts in the freezer, some pinto beans in the cupboard begging to be turned into refried beans and the rice turned out so well, I think a nice big Mission style burrito is in my near future.
I’ll share that with you when I do make it.   Well, I’ll share the how-to’s and the recipe but not the burrito, that will be all mine.

 

Huevos Rancheros


Picture this, a lovely egg, fried over easy snuggled into some Ranchero sauce and served under a sprinkle of cheese and sauce on top of a flour tortilla.   You cut into the egg, and the yolk does something magical with the sauce and cheese, and makes your mouth happy as you taste it.  Well, it makes my mouth SING!!!!, of course that’s usually cause I’m made the sauce to my taste and it is GOOD!   This has gotta be my absolute favourite breakfast/brunch/dinner ever.     And yes if serving as a brunch you can serve it with a drink.   I like Bloody Maria’s with this, but serve whatever you like.   Coffee or tea work well with this too.

I’m a big believer in multipurpose meals.   Or 2 fer’s if you like.     And when I can make something that can be served more than one way, I do it.   Like my Chile Verde.   We love it, and it always seems there’s just a little left over after a meal (I plan it that way, but don’t tell anyone), and since we’re fans of Mexican food, it just makes sense to me to use that bit of leftover Verde to make Huevos Rancheros.    Translated, it means Ranchers Eggs.    A typical large mid morning meal on a rural Mexican farm.

This is not your traditional recipe, but then again, I’ve had so many variations that I don’t think there is a standard way of making this.   You make it to your taste.  Period.  Although the traditional way is to serve this on a crisply fried corn tortilla with a tomato-chili sauce on top.   But the first time I had this dish, it was on a flour tortilla and served with an extra tortilla for ‘sopping’ up the sauce.  So, that’s the way I make it.

Start with a cup or so of Chile Verde, add a matching amount of your favourite Salsa, heat together til hot, set aside for a couple of minutes while you prepare the egg and tortilla(s).

Make your egg however you like, fried, poached or scrambled, this is all about you, and how you like your egg.   Warm a flour tortilla up, then place a spoonful of your newly made sauce on top, spread it out just a little.   Place your egg(s) on top and spoon some more sauce on top of that.  I like mine topped with a sprinkle of cheese and some finely diced onions.    Serve with a couple of warmed and buttered tortillas and enjoy.

This is a great brunch meal, can be served to many guests, so long as the eggs are cooked to order or just served scrambled.   I once made this for a breakfast and served over 20 people, cooking their eggs to order as they stood in line.  Many people came up to me later on and wanted the recipe for the sauce.   This was pre-blog days, so I had to hurry up and write it all down.   And then make copies and hand them out.

As I said before this is a great quickie meal, and tasty, very tasty.

Peggy’s Paparito’s


If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I like a bit of spice in my food.  More specifically, I like Mexican type spice.  Well, Jalapeno’s, Serrano’s, Guajillo Chilies, Habanero’s, Anaheim Chiles, to name but a few.    I actually posted this recipe on my other blog a couple of years ago, but decided to revisit the recipe.   OK, I made some the other day, which is why I’m featuring it again.

A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with a lovely lady named Peggy.   She was a transplanted Texan, and loved all things Tex-Mex.    She gave me the following recipe, and it ranks right up there with all the other Tex-Mex foods I love.

And you know, it would be a great light dinner as well.

I only know this cause I’ve done it.

To start with, boil a couple or three potatoes.  Red Potato’s, yellow potatoes or any other firm fleshed potato works best in this dish.  Burbanks or Russets, not so much.  They’re too mealy.

Cook the potatoes til they are done and set aside.  Peel them if you wish or not, personally I like unpeeled.  Peels are good food.   Chop them roughly or slice them into nice uniform pieces if that’s how you like your potatoes.   Does not matter at all.  Set them aside, you’re not ready for them yet.

Heat a pan and cook up some sausage.  I’ve used hot sausage, sausage patties, bulk sausage, really, whatever floats your boat.  If you use regular sausage, you can always amp up the heat a little with some jalapeno’s or some pepper flakes, or…    Cook until done.  Set aside.

Add a little oil to the pan if you like, or use the sausage fat, then cook off one chopped onion in the grease.   Cook til almost done, then add the potatoes, and brown them just a little.   Add in the sausage just towards the end.   Add some chopped green pepper if you like or do as I do, add in a small can of canned green chiles.  Stir that around, just a little.  Set aside, and keep warm.
Then scramble up a couple of eggs per person, or just one if you like, cook til soft set and set aside.

Warm up some flour tortilla’s, then divide the meat/potato mixture amongst how many people or tortilla’s you’re making and roll them up with some grated longhorn cheese.

Pour some warmed green tomatillo sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler to melt a little.

Serve hot.

Peggy’s Paparito’s
Stir fried potatoes with skins  ( I do about 3 potatoes for the two of us)
Scrambled eggs  1-2 per person
Grated long horn cheese
1/2- 1 Onion
Chorizo sausage or sage sausage, fried and crumbled
Diced green chiles and/or diced green pepper
Add a diced jalapeno or two if you like a little more heat, which I do.
 Flour tortilla’s
Mix above ingredients together and roll in a flour tortilla, burrito style.
Serve with warmed Green Chile sauce poured over and a sprinkle of cheese.
1 can green Chile sauce (Herdez  brand or another one like that.)

And if you have too much filling, it freezes beautifully, and you’ve got a head start on another breakfast.