I par-fried another big batch of jumbo potatoes the other day and froze them. They make a quick side and an even quicker entree. I started out wanting hot dogs, I even thawed some out, but that got me thinking chili dogs, and that led to chili fries. It just seemed pretty straightforward to make some leftover crockpot pork into chili with a generous dose of various chili powders, and what is pork cooked with chilies if it isn’t carnitas? The cheese was going onto whatever we ended up with.
I toasted oil brushed corn tortillas with the cheese and pork on them, and then built the tacos out from there. These have minced jalapenos, bell peppers, cabbage, cherry and grape tomatoes (First harvest from the patio garden! yay!), green onions, and a dollop of sour cream. They have the usual splash of hot sauce and a sprinkle of the ground dried peppers mix that I put on nearly everything now.
I was puttering about in the kitchen and found a packet of corn tortillas in the fridge. I fried them in some oil in a skillet, thinking not much farther ahead than making nacho chips, maybe. After sprinkling on some cheese I remembered a little brisket and smoked pork that was leftover so I added a dab to each and set them under a broiler, on a baking tray, while I rummaged for some toppings.Didn’t find a whole lot. I chopped a tomato and some onion and a jalapeno and added a daub of ancho sauce and went with that. They were pretty good despite, or because of, the sparse trimmings. I’ve always been a pile it all on kind of fellow but there is another school. My pizzas are always thick with cheeses and toppings but there are those who believe less is more.
This was pretty good though it could have used a bit of spice. I seasoned boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper and browned them in oil, then added chicken stock and a sliced yellow onion and a good sprinkle of ground cumin, covered the pan and simmered it until the chicken was falling apart and the broth was reduced. While the chicken was cooking I roasted a couple of poblanos in the toaster oven, peeled the skins when they were ready and sliced the peppers into ribbons and added them to the chicken. The tomatillo salsa I posted about here went on top.
The chimichangas are simple but delicious. Roll refried beans and shredded cheese into a flour tortilla, being sure to tuck the ends in, and deep fry them in 350 degree oil. Bean and cheese is a common filling but there isn’t any reason not to use whatever you would like.
These were fun and tasty. I had a couple of fresh poblanos I wanted to use up so I roasted them atop the stove over a burner and scraped off the skins. They went atop some chicken thighs that I sauteed in a little oil and became the filling for the tacos and the enchiladas. Mrs J called from the grocery store and asked if I wanted her to pick anything up and I asked for tomatillos because they usually have a few. I had just read over several recipes for making salsa verde and every one of them wanted roasted tomatillos. She came back with several small, sad looking specimens but I went ahead and used them. Cut them in half and roast them under a broiler, then spin them in a blender with lime juice, half an onion, salt, pepper, a smashed garlic clove, a pinch of sugar, and as much of a fresh jalapeno as you can slip by the Missus. I used half of one, no seeds. Most of the recipes want a handful of cilantro with that but we decline on account it tastes like soap. But it’s pretty and makes a nice garnish, so there’s that.
I was a tad surprised when Mrs J suggested chili cheese fries for Sunday dinner but I hastened to comply. It’s all about comity! The chili wasn’t much, some chorizo sausage I had left from the last batch, a little bit of ground beef, a spoonful of ancho chili powder, and a splash of water to bring everything together in a small saucepan. The fries are frozen shoestrings – it’s hard to top the frozen fries on offer these days and I rarely bother to try. I deep fried these but oven baking works well, too.Arrange a bed of fries on a plate and spoon some chili over them, add what cheese looks right and either nuke them in the microwave or place them in a 375 oven until the cheese melts.I like to garnish with sliced green onions and fresh jalapenos. The specks are my fave Tex-Mex seasoning mix. It has dried ancho and chipotle peppers, garlic, salt, black pepper, and a few more things in it. Recommended.We used some shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses on these and I don’t think you can do much better than those for this dish but if you do be sure to let me know!I saw recipes that would have you dust the fries with a chili seasoning mix but that may be overkill, the liquid from the chili saturates the fries with that yummy chili flavor.
JeffW’s sandwich looked so good I had to watch the video and see how it was done. Decided to make them today, with a few changes. I used whole grain bakery bread, added mayonnaise, tomato and jalapeno. My cheese of choice was sharp cheddar and jack. Lots of butter and my cast iron gave me a crispy brown crust. It was good.