Recipe – Enchiladas

One of my favorite Mexican dishes is Enchiladas. One of my previous mother-in-laws taught me how to make them back in the 80’s and I have since changed the recipe up a little bit. One of the biggest differences between her recipe and others made similar is that she used corn tortillas as opposed to flour tortillas. She also layered them in a pie plate layering with a tortilla, meat mixture, tortilla, meat mixture and tortilla. After baking, she would add a fried egg and lettuce before serving.  I never understood why she added an egg and I never asked. I just didn’t want mine served with one.

When I first started making them myself I didn’t add the fried egg, nor the lettuce as I didn’t see the need and somewhere along the line I changed up the process as it was cumbersome frying 3 tortillas per prepared pan. Instead I would fry them, roll them up and place in a pan to cook in the oven as shown below.

Yesterday was one of those days I decided to make this delicious pan of awesomeness.

Complete recipe at the bottom of post that you can print/save.

All it takes is hamburger meat, enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Fry each tortilla in about 1/2 inch of cooking oil for about 10-15 seconds on each side. Place on paper towels to drain.

Brown hamburger meat, drain excess grease. Add a can of enchilada sauce.

Add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, Mix well.

Spoon a portion of mixture into each corn tortilla, roll up and place in pan seam side down.

Add all tortillas to the pan, top with a can of red sauce and additional cheese.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes. Serve. Add whatever additional ingredients/toppings you would like.

 

Enchilados

Easy, cheesy ground beef enchiladas
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 5 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (at least 80%)
  • 2 cans Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (10 oz ea)
  • 1 Pkg Corn tortillas
  • 1 1½ cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish or pan with cooking spray.
  • In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. 
  • Stir in a can of enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Place a spoonful of beef mixture down center of each tortilla. Wrap tortillas tightly around filling, placing seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving; add toppings as desired.

Southern Chicken n’ Dumplins

A couple post back I shared with you about a pastry that I baked that I learned from my Mom which used egg whites for the filling and I told you I would let you know what I done with all of those egg yolks.  I made dumplins!  In the south we call em’ dumplins, not dumplings; or at least that’s what my family called them.

One time when my Mom was making her pastry dessert, one of my aunts was there and asked her what she was going to do with all those egg yolks and my Mom told her she was going to throw them away. My aunt couldn’t believe she would throw out good food, so she took them and showed my mom what to do with them. I honestly don’t remember my Mom making dumplins like this, but I do remember my aunt making them, so I put out a call to my Mom to see exactly what other ingredients I needed besides the egg yolks and flour. Anyway, she said to use ice water, not cold water, but ice water which meant you add ice to the water and gradually add to your yolks and flour mixture, but don’t let the ice drop in.

 

You keep adding sifted flour until the mixture gets to the point where you can handle it on a floured surface and knead it like you would dough.

Once you can knead it a few times, then you roll it out with your rolling pin and slice in both directions to whatever size you want your dumplins to be. Mine were not all the same size.

After I cut them, I placed them on parchment paper and froze in gallon bags until I was ready to use. I made the dumplins back on New Years Eve when I was doing all that baking, but waited until this weekend to add to my chicken for a good pot of chicken n’ dumplins.

I bought a whole chicken, cut it up into pieces and cooked on the stove until the chicken was fully cooked, then deboned it. I used the chicken broth that I cooked the chicken in to cook the dumplins. I waited until the broth was boiling, then I dropped the frozen dumplins in one at a time. I let them cook for about an hour on a low temperature. Once they were done, I added the chicken and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes.

This was some of the best chicken n’ dumplins I have ever eaten. I’m not one to brag about my cooking, but I really felt like I outdone myself considering it was the first time I had ever made these. It brought back memories of childhood when my aunt would make them. It was like she was sitting at my dinner table saying, “you done a great job.” I know she would have been proud of me and happy to know that at least one of us “grandkids” from that generation learned to make a good pot of southern chicken n’ dumplins!

Baking Pastry Like My Momma

Yesterday I spent a lot of time baking up some of my favorite desserts and pastries that I want to share with my readers. Baking has always been one of my favorite things. I’m sorry I can’t share this family recipe, but I can share how I made this and hope that I can entice you to want to bake something. Maybe something your mother or grandmother taught you to make years ago that you forgot about. I wish we could bring back more of these “traditions” from long ago years.

Growing up I saw my Mom bake a pastry dessert many times that was given to her by my paternal grandmother who died before I was born. This pastry originated from Austria where my grandmother was born many years ago. Baking like this is becoming a thing of the past, but I hope to keep doing this for as long as my hands will work. This time treasured pastry brings back so many memories of my childhood. I will never give the actual recipe out, but will share the steps involved and how it comes about. There may be recipes out there similar in one way or another to this pastry, but my family will never be able to accuse me of passing this one down to anyone outside the family.

There is only two recipes that I make that contain yeast, one is a biscuit recipe and the other is this one. I have always used the packets of yeast, but my Mom has started using the yeast from a jar and measuring out the amount needed. To begin you pour the yeast in a big bowl to which you will add water to dissolve. The key to dissolving the yeast is to not have the water too hot or too cold, but lukewarm to the touch. I do all of my mixing by hand as I like to feel the mixture.

In a pot on the stove, I added my butter, milk and sugar and heat until butter melts. You don’t want it to boil as it will scald the yeast and it will not do what it is supposed to do. As I removed this mixture from the stove, I added my beaten eggs.

When my mixture on the stove is just about ready to remove, I add my lukewarm water to my yeast and dissolve.

Once my yeast was dissolved, I added my mixture from the stove. This is hot and some people might prefer to use a spoon, but I still mix this by hand with my dissolved yeast.

Once I mixed it a little, I then started adding sifted flour. I continue to add flour until the mixture can be poured out onto a floured surface. At which point I kneaded the dough several times before adding to a bowl to rise.

When I poured the dough onto the counter I kneaded it a few times and then placed back into my mixing bowl that I cleaned out and placed a small amount of oil in. This is to keep it from sticking to the bowl as it rises.

When I added the dough to the greased bowl, I spread it around to get grease all over the dough.

At this point, I covered the bowl and put in a corner out of any drafts and let rise to at least twice its size. This process took several hours so I spent that in-between time baking cookies. Recipes that I will actually share in later posts.

A pastry always has a filling and this one is no different. The filling is made using beaten eggs whites, sugar, cinnamon and pecans that have either been put through a meat grinder or purchased as pecan meal from your local store. I have done both. This time I bought the pecan meal from the store.

Below is the separated eggs. I will share in a later post what I done with all those egg yolks. There was no way I was going to throw away good food.

To make egg whites stiff like a meringue on a pie, you have to beat them for a long time. Once they are beat to the desired stiffness I added sugar, mixed a little longer and then added my pecan meal. I ended up having to split my batch up as I had so many egg whites they were spilling over the side of my mixing bowl. An easy remedy was to mix half and then the other half, pouring all the mixed egg whites into a bigger bowl before adding the pecan meal.

 

Once the dough had risen to the desired height I was looking for, I floured my counter so I could roll the dough out to complete the pastry I was making.

In order to better work with dough I poured it onto the floured surface and then cut it in half. I put one half back into the bowl, covered it back up and placed to the side.

Now it was time to roll it out. I have had my wooden rolling pin for a very long time. To me it is the better type to roll dough out with. There is no certain way to roll out the dough. I just roll until it gets to the thickness I think is good.

Once the dough was rolled out, I added my filling and sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on top of it. At this point, you can either cut into strips, roll them up and bake OR you can roll the entire thing up like a jelly roll and put in loaf pans to rise again before baking. If you bake in loaf pans, you can slice it like bread once its baked. The down side to doing it like this is you have to wait for it to rise again which takes longer. However, if you cut into strips and roll them you can bake them right away.

This is what they looked like rolled up before I baked them.

Fill up a cookie sheet and place in the oven.

Fresh from the oven!

Once they come out of the oven, I sprinkle confectioners sugar over them. I also stored these in the freezer at which point when they come out I will sprinkle additional confectioner sugar as it just makes them better.

The more filling you add the more moist the inside is. This is what one looks like cut in half. Look at all that gooiness.

I hope to pass this “tradition” on to my girls, but in order to do that they will have to start showing some initiative that they want to learn how to do this as it is not a quick dessert to make, but it is so worth all the effort it takes.

Air Fryer – Pumpkin Spice Cake

I have made this particular Pumpkin Spice cakes several times as the recipe is one of the easiest I have ever found, but until today I had always cooked them in my oven. Today I tried it in the air fryer. It tasted just like it came out of the oven and was delicious. I love this recipe because it only takes 3 or 4 ingredients. Some recipes I find for this says to add two eggs and other say it is not needed. I have done it both ways. It is more moist when you add the eggs.

All you have to do is add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together, then pour into a pan.

I cooked this one in a 9 inch round cake pan that fit right into my air fryer.

This is what it looked like coming out of the air fryer.

After it cooled, I dusted it with confectioners sugar.

The middle was a little more moist than I like in a cake, but no different than the texture you would get in  a pumpkin pie. It was still delicious and the hubby loved it so to me that was a success!

Air Fryer – Cinnamon Rolls

Another food item I discovered that turns out very good in the air fryer is cinnamon rolls. I buy the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in a can, arrange on the grill plate, then cook at 360 degrees for 10 minutes. If you use the smaller size cinnamon rolls, you only need to cook for 8 minutes. When the timer is down to 2 minutes I flip them over to brown the other side as well. I discovered pre-cut parchment paper that fits perfectly in my air fryer that I use when I fix these so as to avoid them sticking to the grill plate and makes it less mess to clean up.

The big can only has 5 in it!

This is at the point where I flipped them over

Ready to add icing!

Served up nicely with my eggs and bacon! A complete breakfast!