Tag Archives: Colby Jack Cheese

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.

Sweet Mini Ham and Cheese Muffins


I think I have a new go to recipe, at least one that lends itself to improvisation.   Which is one of the best kinds of recipes to have.

I made these Sweet Cheese Muffins  for my Friday get-together, and had to play around a little more with this recipe.    I wanted to add some chopped ham in  with the cheese and since I just happened to have some sweet ham in the fridge, it was a no brainer.   And guess what?  We got together with a bunch of friends on Sunday so I decided to try the ham idea on them.

The first time I made the muffins I used some Colby Jack Cheese I had already shredded and this time I used some Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
I like the Colby Jack Cheese better in this recipe but the muffins still got eaten.
I only added the ham to half of this recipe because I knew there were some vegetarians coming and I wanted to make sure they could also sample my offering.

Ham and Cheese Mini Muffins                Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular size muffins
4 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup buttermilk   (you can use buttermilk powder here if you like for flavour, I tend to keep some on hand because I keep drinking the buttermilk I buy to cook with, and then I don’t have any for cooking)
1 1/2 cups Grated Colby Jack Cheddar
1/2 cup Grated Colby Jack Cheddar Cheese (for topping the muffins)
1/2 cup (or more) finely diced ham

Mix the wet ingredients together and set aside.   Mix the dry ingredients together including the cheese and ham,

then pour the wet ingredients over top and mix lightly.

You want the dry ingredients to be just moistened.  Don’t over mix.   Spoon the batter into either a regular muffin tin to make 12 muffins or into two mini muffin tins to make 24 mini muffins.

 

Top each muffin with a sprinkle of the 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and place in a pre-heated 425 degree oven.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees, bake an additional 10 minutes or so until the tops are lightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Mini Sweet Cheddar Muffins


I get together with a bunch of ladies on Friday Nights and thought they might like to try something a little different.   So I made some  Sweet Cheddar muffins I made them from this recipe, Sweet Cheddar Cheese Muffins, from this site, Betchacan’teatjustone.        I also made them mini’s, mainly because I just wanted to, and I thought it might just work out that way.    I also paid attention to what she said about how sweet these were and I cut the sugar in half, which worked out well. And I’m having fun with this recipe, stay tuned tomorrow for a little twist I did on them as well.

The recipe says you get 12 muffins from this, and I got 24 + mini muffins.   There was just a little leftover batter so I bunged it into a tart pan and baked it.     The following is her recipe with my changes in blue to the side.

Sweet Cheddar Cheese Muffins

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar)
    1/4 cup melted butter
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    2.5 cups all purpose flour (plus 2 tbsp for the cheese)
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    pinch of nutmeg
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup sour cream    (my sour cream was a little, um, lost, so I used plain Greek Yoghurt)
    1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated plus more for topping the muffins  (I used 1 1/2 cups grated Colby Jack Cheese, because I had some already grated in the fridge.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and have the oven rack on the highest section of the oven.
Line 12 muffin wells with parchment liners or grease the muffin tins with shortening.  ( I used my two mini tart pans and had more than enough batter for 24 muffins)
In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the oils until well combined.
Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition until smooth.
Sift together the flour with the baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/eggs until just combined.
Be sure to scrape the bottom and edges of the bowl with a spatula to be sure everything has been mixed in!
Stir in the buttermilk and sour cream until the batter is just combined,  Don’t over mix the muffins!
Toss the grated cheese with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour so it doesn’t all clump together when you add it to the batter.

Stir in the cheese and then scoop batter into prepared muffin tins.

Top with grated cheddar.

Place the oven rack in the highest portion of the oven to get a nice high muffin top.
Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the oven down to 350 and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are turning a light golden brown.
Let muffins cool slightly in pans before removing to cool completely.

* I have to say, by following all the steps, I overmixed the batter.   The next time I made these, I added the cheese to the dry flour mixture and added the buttermilk and yoghurt to the eggs and proceeded to mix according to the way I was taught to make a muffin, by pouring the liquid into the dry and barely mixing them, they rose better and were more muffin like).

That being said, they were really good, even if I over-mixed the batter a little.   I took them with me to my usual Friday Night gathering and they were well received.     We had a kind of Halloweeny, orange theme going there.

Grilled Steak and Cheese Sandwich


Some years ago I had an absolutely yummy grilled steak sandwich at a chain restaurant.   That particular restaurant isn’t one we frequent so some time went by before we ate there again, and by this time, they had changed the menu and the sandwich was no longer available.    I cried, but they wouldn’t relent and make me one anyway.

The other day I had a lovely piece of leftover steak and decided to recreate the sandwich.    I’d had that sandwich on my mind for quite a while, and got this AHA!! moment when I spotted this lovely leftover steak in the fridge.    I didn’t have any Swiss Cheese on hand, and the bread wasn’t the same kind, but I didn’t care, I had the steak and there was a bottle of Caesar dressing in the fridge and the next thing I knew I was putting this together.   I persevered and here’s my version, and it was very tasty.

I spread some Caesar dressing on the bread, layered my lovely, very thinly sliced steak on it.

And since I didn’t have swiss cheese, I added some shredded Colby jack cheese on top (which was not a mistake),  then placed another buttered slice of bread on top of that and placed them in the pan.  OK, so I made myself two sandwiches, but it was from a baguette loaf so the slices were really small, I mean, it only really counts as two slices, really it does.

I was kind of hungry at this point and drooling, which wasn’t a pretty sight at all, however, I was able to summon the patience for them to cook, well, grill up in the pan.

The finished result, and yes, one of them has a big bite taken out of it, but I was hungry and it tasted so good.

You need some lovely bread for this, I choose a nice Artisanal baguette, thinly sliced, butter, Caesar dressing, some cheese, and a nice piece of grilled steak.   Mine was medium rare, and it did cook a little more, so I would start with a steak cooked almost as much as you want it.  Cooling the meat before slicing it, is also recommended, as the meat has a chance to firm up and you can slice it very thinly.   (and dare I confess, I would so go and cook up a nice steak, just so I could make this sandwich again).
And if you have a Panini Press or maybe a George Forman grill, I bet it would work in that as well.  In fact I think I’ll haul my George Foreman out, but first I need to go and cook another steak up.
See you later.

Baked Stuffed Potatoes


Potatoes have to be one of the most versatile foods around.  Think about it, you can boil, fry, mash, bake, sauté, stuff, smash, sky’s the limit.     I made Baked Stuffed Potatoes for the January Boat Club the other day and they were good.  Even if I do say so myself.   And I know they were good cause out of the 5 pounds of potatoes I made, I only got to take home 1 1/2 potatoes. sigh.  But that’s OK.  I watched people really enjoying them so that’s a good thing.

5 Pounds Red Butter Potatoes, baked (mine were on the small side)
1 lb. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1/8 lb. butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb. sautéed Mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon, or more to taste
2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 tsp. sea salt

I took the five pounds of Red Butter potatoes out of my pantry, dumped them into a sink full of water and scrubbed them very well.  After I dried them off, I placed them on a rimmed baking pan and poured some EVOOl over them.  Rolled them in the EVOO to coat and then ground some sea salt over them.

I baked the potatoes for just over an hour, checked them at the hour point for tenderness, OK, so I pulled one out of the oven and ate it.  It was lunch, so there!   They needed a few more minutes so I put them back into the oven.   While they were finishing baking, I grated up a pound of cheese, I used Monterey Jack Cheese cause I had some.

sautéed the mushrooms til they were golden brown, I wanted to get as much flavour out of them as I could.    And chopped up some extremely flavourful bacon I had on hand.

I pulled the potatoes out of the oven, and let them sit for a few minutes, just long enough to cool down so I could handle them.   I cut them in half, and scooped out the innards, leaving a rim around the edge.    The scooped out potatoes were placed in a large bowl, and when I finished scooping out all the potatoes I used my ricer and riced the potatoes.  ( My first time using it, and it was fun. Made the potatoes nice and even, no lumps).   I heated the butter and cream together and folded it into the potatoes.   Hint:  If you are making mashed potatoes, heat the milk or cream and butter together before adding to the potatoes, it makes for a lighter fluffier mash.

Folded the grated cheese into the potatoes, then added the mushrooms and bacon to it.
I then mounded some of the mashed potato mixture into each potato half and topped them all with some more grated cheese.   Nothing like excess where cheese is concerned.  Just sayin…

 

Don’t they look purty?

I then baked them off for about 40 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt and for the potatoes to be heated through.

Wrapped them up well, and took them to Boat Club where they disappeared in short order.  I had a pan and a half with me, and only took home 1 1/2 potatoes.  (three pieces in other words).   Which was a good thing.

I just had to do a close up, you can see the steam rising from the the lovely gooey potatoes.

There’s the latest Boat Club offering.   Now I have to start thinking about what to make for Tapas night.    I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

In the meantime, have fun with your food, it tastes better when you’re having fun in the kitchen.

Peggy’s Paparito’s


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 since I had the ingredients to hand that day, I decided to go ahead and make this.   I have to admit to making more then we can eat at any one time so I can keep the main ingredients in the freezer and then all I have to do is scramble some eggs, heat up the Chile Verde sauce, roll them in a tortilla and VOILA!  Breakfast or a light lunch or dinner.

This is a really great go-to quick breakfast, leisurely Sunday breakfast or light meal.   And the best part, you can adjust the heat level to your own liking.    We like it on the hot side in our house, so I use hot sausage for this.

Pan with potatoes, green chiles, sausage and onions.

 

Scrambled Eggs
Filling
Wrapped and ready to eat
Peggy’s Paparito’s
Stir fried potatoes with skins  ( I do about 6 small red potatoes for the two of us)
Scrambled eggs  1-2 per person
Grated long horn or Colby Jack cheese
1/2- 1 Onion
Chorizo sausage or sage sausage, fried and crumbled   ( I use Wainwrights Hot Sausage), if you use sage sausage, add some red pepper flakes for more heat if you like.  (and I do).
Diced green chiles and diced green pepper
Add a diced Jalapeño or two if you like a little more heat.
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.
Flour tortilla’s
1 can green Chile sauce (Herdez or another one like that.

How easy is that?   I like to put the onions and jalapeno’s in the pan with the potatoes, it adds a nice little nuance or level of flavor.   But you can vary this however you like to your taste.   And the best part, you can freeze the leftovers and have a head start on your next breakfast.

Grilled Steak and Cheese


Some years ago I had an absolutely yummy grilled steak sandwich at a chain restaurant.   That particular restaurant isn’t one we frequent so some time went by before we ate there again, and by this time, they had changed the menu and the sandwich was no longer available.     The other day I had a lovely piece of leftover steak and decided to recreate the sandwich.    Which would have worked out really well, but I didn’t have Swiss Cheese, and the bread I had on hand wasn’t the same either.   It was actually better than what we’d had in the restaurant.    I persevered however, and here’s my version, and it was, very tasty.

I spread some Caesar dressing on the bread, layered my lovely, very thinly sliced steak on it.

And since I didn’t have Swiss cheese, I added some shredded Colby Jack cheese on top, then placed another buttered slice on bread on top of that and placed them in the pan.  Did you know that if you use shredded cheese on any kind of grilled sandwich, rather than sliced cheese, it will melt faster?   Just one of those little facts I like throw in while the food’s cooking.

I was kind of hungry at the point and drooling, which wasn’t a pretty sight at all, however, I wiped my chin, and waited while the sandwiches cooked, well, grilled up in the pan.

The finished result, and yes, one of them has a big bite taken out of it, but I was hungry and it tasted so good.  And at least I took a picture before both sandwiches disappeared.

You need some lovely bread for this, I choose a nice Artisanal baguette, thinly sliced, butter, Caesar dressing, some cheese, and a nice piece of grilled Steak.   My  steak was medium rare, and it did cook a little more, so I would start with a steak cooked a little rarer than you like.    Cooling it before slicing it, is also recommended, as the meat gets a chance to firm up and then you can slice it very thinly.    I actually do refrigerate any leftover steak and slice it thinly the next day and then I freeze it or use it up right away.    Leftover steak can be used in so many dishes.
Enjoy.