Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meat Enchiladas

I feel a little guilty that I haven's posted recipes in such a long time.  I have actually written some, taken photos, but just never made the time to put them on my blog....my bad.  We have a freezer full of moose.  Jim wanted enchiladas.  I didn't want the same-ol-same-ol so I turned to a very old cookbook that I acquired long ago from Los Alamos, New Mexico.  New Mexican Dishes by Philomena Romero who lived in Los Alamos and ran a restaurant using her mother's (Senora Odila Archuleta) recipes is a great find. 

I can tell you the recipes in this cookbook are authentic New Mexican, no foo-foo recipes here.  There are only a few copies available through Amazon.com and they are a lot more expensive than the $2.89 sticker price I bought mine at.  The best advise I can give anyone who is not from the southwest is, when you order Mexican food and they ask you, "Red or Green", ask which is better----not hotter----better....Santa Fe restaurants typically make better red chile...if you are closer to the borders you are better off with green....If you are adventurous, you can say Christmas and you will get half red and half green....Safe to say in Santa Fe and Los Alamos...go with red!

Because I live in Alaska now and have an abundance of moose meat available to me I use that for most of my traditional (beef) recipes.  Feel free to use beef, bison or venison in place of the red meat. 

This is what Mrs. Romero recommends on page 11 of her cookbook.

1 1/2 lbs ground lean beef (yes, I used moose)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin (nope....I like cumin....A LOT!  bump it up to a teaspoon)
1/2 tsp crushed oregano leaves (This is the part where I tell you there is a DIFFERENCE between oregano leaves and MEXICAN oregano....get the Mexican oregano...if you can't find it, tell me and I will get some for you on my next trip back home.)
1 clove garlic, minced fine
3/4 cup red chile powder (if you can't get that ask me and I will make sure you have some)....Use mild if you don't like a lot of heat, medium if you like your tongue to be tickled a little, and hot if you want to feel like the Energizer Bunny!
Water...enough to cover the meat.

Ok...I didn't want to throw you off by telling you that the original recipe calls for pressure cooking the meat in the water with spices because some people are really hesitant to use a pressure cooker.  If you don't have one or are scared, just boil the meat with the spices (EXCEPT the chile powder) for an hour.  Otherwise, crumble the ground meat, add enough water to cover meat.  Add salt, cumin, oregano, garlic and cover pressure cooker.  Cook 15 minutes at 15 lbs. pressure.  Bring pressure down quickly (you do that by leaving the pepcock on and running the pot under cold water.  When pressure is released, remove cover.  Add red chile powder, breaking all meat lumps with the back of a large spoon.  Set aside in a warm place.
After adding the red chile it looks like this.
Now you need to assemble the rest of the ingredients....it's a snap....Soften the corn tortillas in hot oil...dip them briefly in hot oil and drain on paper towels.  I should interject here that I ONLY use yellow corn tortillas...no decent New Mexican citizen would use white corn tortillas!  BAN them!  That's like serving pinks to your family....Ugh!  They are not as tasty, have been refined and just, just, just...yuck!

The next part I can do in my sleep I have been doing it so long.  Place a scant layer of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish...not too much...just enough to keep the enchiladas from sticking. 

You have finely diced onions and shredded cheese on the standby.   Place a bit of cheese and onion in the middle of the softened tortilla and roll it up.  Place this roll in the dish and repeat until the pan is full.

Now cover the rolled enchiladas with the rest of the red chile meat sauce.  Top that with extra cheese and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and sour cream if you like.  At this point, Jim is usually opening  can of beer.

I know it seems like a lot....but it's really not.  From start to finish it takes under an hour to do.

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