Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Recipe Carnival time again... this week Enchilada Pie

A couple of weeks ago Caltechgirl did a recipe called Mom's Enchilada Casseroll, there are several variations of this that have been in my family for generations. The basic recipe is the same, only the sauce is different. This week I'll build on Caltechgirl's recipe with a variation done entirely from scratch and I'll show a couple of shortcuts.

First here's her recipe:
Here's this week's entry for the Carnival of the Recipes. The CaltechMom has made this to rave reviews.

Enchilada Casserole
12-15 corn tortillas, depending on size
1 lb hamburger
1/2 medium onion
Spices to taste
3-4 cups of your favorite Green Chili sauce (Mom uses Stokey's chili sauce with pork) *
Shredded Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
2. fry tortillas until soft, drain on paper towels**
3. slice onions to your taste, fry with hamburger and spices to your taste. Don't add chili powder unless your chili sauce is too weak!
4. add 1-1.5 cup of chili sauce to meat mixture, heat through
5. Layer tortillas, then meat mixture, then cheese in a 9x13 baking dish as a lasagna. Usually makes 2 layers in a 9x13, more in a smaller dish.
6. Cover top layer of cheese with more tortillas, pour rest of chili sauce over the top, sprinkle cheese over all.
7. Bake 30-40 minutes in 350 deg F oven, or until hot.
*My first sauce variation is done entirely from scratch:
  • 1/3 cup Crisco Shortning (feel free to substitute canola oil.. I do!)
  • 4 teaspoons hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional-careful My mom is not a fan of cumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 15 ounce cans water
  1. melt shortening (or heat oil) in a large sauce pan over medium heat (see next step for why this is important)
  2. add chili powder (this will release essential oils from the chili, be careful about breathing any fumes or smoke from this step)
  3. add flour till thick but bubbly, cook 1-2 minutes over medium heat
  4. add remaining dry ingredients and stir well
  5. add tomato sauce and water
  6. mix and bring to a simmer stirring frequently until thickened
  7. simmer up to one hour
This makes a great red chili sauce for enchiladas, burritos, and of course enchilada casseroll.

*Rather then going through the chili extraction described above, you can use a frozen chili puree from your local supermarket. Our family preference is Eva's Blue Ribbon from an IGA market in Belen, New Mexico (I have an aunt who lives there and brings us all chili a couple of times a year), but you can use any brand as long as it's uncooked. Depending on the puree you may need to season with salt or garlic salt.

Basically you just want to thicken the puree into a gravy like consistency. I do this by heating flour and canola oil in a sauce pan to create a rue and then add the puree and simmer until thickened. My Uncle Dave does the same thing but he uses bacon drippings instead of or in combination with the canola oil.

**To further simplify the recipe, you can skip frying the tortillas. It isn't really necessary as you'll hardly notice any difference in the finished product.

Previous entries:
Welsh Pancakes
Pan Fried Steak with Red Wine Reduction
Hot Peanut Chicken Stir Fry
Uncle Dave's Green Chili Stew
Corned Beef from Scratch
Canton Beef and vegetable soup

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