Mmm… enchiladas

 

Whenever we have tacos I always end up with more parts and pieces than we can deal with at one sitting.  These enchiladas use up much of what is left – the beans and beef, and the rice.  We finished the guacamole, it just doesn’t keep well.  Still plenty of beans and rice and beef for more fillings, I had breakfast burritos this morning but didn’t bother to take pains with the plating so no pictures.  Sigh, still plenty left.  I think the puppies will get an unscheduled amendment to their dinner menu today.

Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

I think I mentioned a while back that Mrs J wanted me to pick all the jalapenos on the bushes growing in containers out in the patio garden.  I picked a couple of dozen that were still hanging in there this late in the season.  I have plenty of them pickled so it was either freeze or dry them and I decided to try my hand at smoking them as they dried in my smoker rig.  Worked like a charm! Dried and smoked jalapenos are also known as chipotles and I’m sure you’ve heard of chipotles in adobo sauce.  I thought it would be fun to make that myself.  I wasn’t too sure about the adobo sauce but teh Google found a nice description complete with recipes.  There was a quick recipe for the chipotles and one a little more involved for an adobo sauce:

“…begin with eight dried guajillo chiles and eight dried ancho chiles with the tops and seeds removed. Fry them in hot oil for about ten seconds per side, then boil them in 12 cups of water and a half cup of white vinegar. Leave them to soak in the pot overnight.

The next day, remove the chiles and discard the soaking solution. Puree the chiles in a blender with a bit of chicken or beef broth, depending on the meat you are using. Next, sauté one onion and six cloves of garlic, diced, in a large saucepan. Add the chile paste, two cups of broth, one teaspoon each of black pepper and cumin, one half teaspoon cinnamon, one quarter teaspoon salt, one tablespoon oregano, a quarter cup each of vinegar and lemon juice, three quarters of a cup orange juice, and two tablespoons tomato paste.  Cook the entire mixture for about half an hour, or until it is as thick as you would like it.”

I snipped the stems from my chipotles and cooked them with the adobo sauce.  I didn’t have any orange juice so I used apple cider, and subbed lime juice for the lemon juice.  It really did end up just about the same as the canned item you can find in most any store these days.  I’m looking forward to using these in my next Tex-Mex dish.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Photo by JeffreyW

EDIT: Just realized the tomatoes were omitted from the ingredient list. Corrected now.

What a week. The Colorado wildfires became personal again, as my office was smack in the middle of an evacuation zone. The authorities never had to make it mandatory and as I write this, that fire is well contained.  Add to that, one of the guys I work with was in a horrible motorcycle accident at the beginning of the week and that shook us all up. I was ready for the week to be over sometime around Tuesday night, so I’m grateful it’s Thursday and the weekend is within sprinting distance. Even happier that Independence Day is around the corner

Since I love July 4th, I have quite a few recipes that celebrate it with great picnic foods. All 21 of them can be found at this link.  There is quite a variety: fancy appetizers; cold salads; grilling ideas; fun desserts; and even cold drinks. There is also an entire post of potato salad recipes from Balloon-Juicers.

I really like tonight’s featured recipe. It was a huge hit last year at the July 4th picnic. I’m actually making it right now for a going away party, that’s how it became tonight’s recipe.

All right, now it’s your turn, what are your favorite foods on July 4th? Are you all-American with burgers and dogs or something more sophisticated? Share your favorites in the comments and we can all argue about it, good-naturedly of course.

Tonight’s featured recipe:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Just a note: There will be no recipe exchange next Thursday, we’ll pick up again on July 12th.

Beans

I did the usual pinto beans recipe with the overnight soaking and slow cooking with smoked ham hocks and diced onions but thought to try an addition of a couple of chili powders I’ve grown quite fond of.  I have a largish jar of ground chipotle peppers, and another of anchos, both bought through a seller at Amazon.

I have to tread a fine line with this stuff because Mrs J’s notion of “hot peppers” starts just north of peperoncini.  I debated adding some tomatoes of some sort, and looked at a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for a minute before deciding against them for this batch, pending the outcome with the chili powders.

I must say that the addition of the ground peppers was met with approval.  They will be a standard part of my recipe from now on.  I think I’ll start soaking another batch to try with the tomatoes:)

More fun with food-chili, my way

This was fun.  I ordered some ancho and chipotle powders, along with some mixed chili powders that appear to be pretty much what you get when you buy “chili powder” from the spice rack at the supermarket.  I sampled the chipotle powder and it is pretty hot.  I just used a little in the chili today.  By the time I topped a bowl with cheese and pico de gallo the chili was nearly covered up.  It was in there, and tasty!

Macaroni Salad with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise: UPDATED

UPDATED:  Now with bacon.  Friend of blog reminded me I was going to add bacon to this recipe (though he suggested Pancetta).  See updated recipe below.

This is what I’m taking to the 4th of July picnic. (Photos to follow). What are you cooking this holiday weekend?

Macaroni Salad with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

While macaroni is cooking, mix together ingredients.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled.
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente, (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Mmm…Pozole

Yeah, yeah.  Been there and done that.

Deal with it.  This is seriously good stuff.  I did make this batch a bit differently than the last few.  I used the counter top roaster to cook the pork and added a bunch of onions and dried peppers to the pan with the meat.  Cleaned a  head of garlic and slipped most of the head into slits cut here and there on the roast.  Took the powdered dried peppers I made a while back and gave everything inside the pan a good dusting with that, along with some onion powder and plenty of ground black pepper.  Poured in a good quart of chicken stock and turned it on to 350.  I shoved a temperature probe into the sweet spot and set it to beep when it got to 165.  Worked like a charm.

I took the cooked roast out and set it to cool on a board and then strained the peppers and onions and other solids from the juices left in the pan.  Ladle off the fat from the good stuff or do as I did–put the bowl into the freezer until the fat hardens and you can lift it out.

Drag out the blender and dump in the solids you strained from the drippings and the defatted juices and pulse to puree, add chicken stock or water to make it thin enough to pour back into the pot.  Those chilies and cooked onions with a few cloves of cooked garlic make a super duper flavoring.  I enhanced mine with a few chipotles in adobo sauce.  The juice of a lime will work well in there.

Shred or chop the pork when it is cool enough to handle.  Peel off the fat and gristly parts.  Dump the meat into a big stock pot, add some hominy, a few more onions cut up into largish pieces, add enough chicken stock to cover well.  Add the puree of peppers and onions and bring the pot to a simmer, keep it there for at least an hour, longer is better.  Give the broth a taste and adjust for salt and heat.  Add more pureed  chipotles, perhaps with some red pepper flakes or whole dried chilies.  Knock yourself out.  I like a good bit of oregano in mine, I put in a good tablespoon-that’s in 5 quarts or so, maybe 6, of soup.

Enjoy!

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