Enchiladas and Red Enchilada Sauce

I grew up eating Mexican food all the time.

My mom was born and raised in Mexico - it's major comfort food.  Her enchiladas were a staple in our home.  Even as adults, both of my siblings and I would count on Mom to make enchiladas.

Her enchiladas (and mine) are stacked like pancakes.  They have no meat, but are often served with a fried egg on top.  Don't judge - it's really good.  We always had pinto beans and lettuce with the enchiladas, too.  My mouth is watering just typing this.

I always used canned enchilada sauce - just didn't want to go to the trouble of making my own and the mole (I don't know how to add the accent on the "e", but it is the Mexican paste, not the animal) at the store always had peanuts in it and my oldest is very allergic.

Then I realized - it's not difficult!!!

It is super easy and you don't have the tinny canned taste that is in the tins 'o sauce.  You can make it with our without tomato sauce/juice - it's up to you.

Here's what I did.  I did use tomato sauce, because that is how I like it. The color is going to depend on the color of your chili powder.  This recipe makes a couple of quarts, but I like to have some in the fridge.  My kiddos put it on everything.  I was also planning on making chilaquiles for my kiddos birthday breakfast - his favorite.

Red Enchilada Sauce

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chili powder (yes, 1 cup.)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth OR 1 quart EACH broth and tomato sauce or juice

Get all of your spices and liquids measured and ready - it goes fast.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the flour and stir together for one minute.  
Stir in the remaining seasonings.  
Gradually add the broth, whisking constantly to remove lumps.  Add the tomato juice/sauce if using.  Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Stacked Enchiladas

20 corn tortillas (this amount varies, but this fed 5 people.)
enchilada sauce
cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
and egg for all who wants one
chopped green or white onions, if desired

Ask everyone "How high?"  and build the enchilada as high as requested.
*warning - more than 5 slips around a lot.*

Heat the enchilada sauce in a medium pan.

Place 1 tablespoon of sauce on a plate.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan.  
Saute a tortilla in the oil until the tortilla bubbles, about 1 minute per side. (you don't want it crispy)
Dip the cooked tortilla in the sauce and place on the sauce on the plate.  You can add a bit more sauce if desired.  Sprinkle with about 1 Tablespoon of cheese.

Repeat this process until you have the enchilada as high as the eater desires. 

Fry an egg, if you want, and put on top. Sprinkle with chopped green or white onions, if desired.          


Irish Soda Bread (and Corned Beef)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love to celebrate anything.  We had Purim on March 12th, Pi day on 3/14, the Ides of March on 3/15, St. Patty's day today, My 3rd kiddo has a birthday on March 22 (he will be 18 and I am having problems with that), and PappaH and my 22nd wedding anniversary on the 26th.  Whew!

But today is St. Patricks Day!  I love it.  I am of (mostly) Irish decent - my maiden name is Fanning.  I try to embrace my Irish (it's mostly blarney, though.)

I always make corned beef and cabbage and soda bread on March 17th.  Yes, I know that the Irish don't actually eat corned beef.  Whatever.  We love it.  I have many who have asked for my recipes for the bread and the beef.

The beef is easy.  Here is what I do:

Corned Beef

Take your corned beef - you know, the kind you get in the grocery store with the little spice packet.  Open it up (the beef) and rinse it off because it is slimy and eww.  Throw away the spice package.  Don't worry, it will be all right.

Plop the beef into your slow cooker fat side up.  (You didn't trim the fat off of the beef, did you?  Don't.  Trust me.) Cover the beef with 3/4 to 1 cup of brown sugar.  Pour 1 can or bottle of Guinness Stout all over the beef.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.

That's it.

There is more to the bread.  (My kiddos don't like the traditional raisins or caraway seeds.) Here is my recipe.

Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Live a baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (of course you can do all of this by hand, but I am a bit lazy.)

Mix it up.

Put the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture.

Mix it up.  It's not going to be smooth.  You just want to mix until it comes together - there will still be a bit of dry stuff on the bottom.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough a few times until you can form a nice, fat, round blob-o-dough.
Cut an X on top of your lovely loaf.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.

Cool a bit and slather each slice with butter and/or jam.



It is Friday.  

Once upon a time, I celebrated the Sabbath every Friday evening at sunset.  It is simply beautiful.

Candles are lit.  Prayers are sung.  All of the family is gathered around.  Bread is cut and shared.


I don't do this every Friday anymore.  I know.  It is kinda sad.  I was feeling nostalgic recently, though.  Friday morning, I gathered the ingredients for the challah bread.  As the scent of fresh bread wafted through the house, I remembered.

Here is my recipe.

makes 2 loaves

2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (4 clementines or 2 oranges)
1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil)
5 eggs
1/2 cup good honey (I use local)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
8-8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and warm water.  Let the yeast mixture stand for about 5 minutes until it looks foamy.

Add the orange juice, oil, 4 eggs, and honey.  Stir it around a bit with a whisk.

Add 8 cups of the flour and the salt.  With a dough hook, knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, but still sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured (with the remaining 1/2 cup flour) work surface and knead for about 2 minutes.  The dough should begin to spring back.  It is going to stick to your hands.  Accept it.  The moister the dough, the lighter the bread.

Lightly oil a large bowl.  Add the dough, turning to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.  This took about 1 hour, but might take longer.

Punch down dough.

Cover again and let rise again another hour.  Punch down again.

Grease a baking sheet or cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
Divide dough in half.
Divide one of the halves of dough into 3.  Roll each piece into ropes.  Braid into a loaf.  Repeat with the other half of dough.

Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet.

Whisk the remaining egg.  Brush dough all over and let rise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 376 degrees.  Brush dough again with the egg.

Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. An instant read thermometer (thanks, Lori) should read 190 degrees.

Cool completely on a rack.

Good Sabbath.