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Monday, January 20, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

Last Thursday I got busy in the kitchen and got several meals made at one time.  In four hours time, I had a pot pie, a pan of enchiladas and Sloppy Joe mixture all in the freezer for later use.  What a great feeling of accomplishment!  You see, I knew the weekend was going to be very busy, so I wanted to get things made ahead of time.  I would rather enjoy my company and family than be spending every minute in meal preparation when they're here.  

There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for freezer cooking, but even if you don't spend the day filling your freezer, there are still ways to get ahead of the game.  If you're going to brown a pound of hamburger, go ahead and do two pounds and freezer the other for tacos, spaghetti sauce or sloppy Joes.  When roasting chicken breasts, do a couple extra, then dice them up for pot pies, enchiladas, or any other dish that requires cooked chicken.  

I had a little extra pot pie filling, so I poured it into a freezer bag and froze it flat so I can pour it over homemade biscuits for a quick supper meal.  I also had extra enchilada sauce.  It is also in the freezer for the next time I make Mexican food.  

Now, for my Sunday dinner....
Here's my Enchilada recipe from Pioneer Woman.  It was really fast to make, and this kind of dish freezers really well.  So, even if you don't need it the next day, if you have time, make it early and pop it into your freezer a few days or a couple weeks ahead!  You'll be ready for supper in no time on a busy day or weekend!




Simple Perfect Enchiladas

Ingredients
Sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One 28-ounce can enchilada or Mexican red sauce
2 cups chicken broth - (I only added about 1 cup, per the comments on the recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Meat:
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
The Rest:
Canola oil, for frying
10 to 14 corn tortillas
Two 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped black olives
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Cilantro, for garnish
Directions
For the sauce:

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the canola oil and flour. Whisk together and allow to bubble for 1 minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

For the meat:

While the sauce is simmering, brown the ground beef with the onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the fat, add the salt and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.

For the rest:

In a small skillet over medium heat, heat some canola oil. Lightly fry the tortillas just until soft. Do not crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the tortillas have been fried. (I skip this part!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Next, one at a time, dip each tortilla into the sauce. Set the sauce-soaked tortilla on a plate. Place on some of the meat mixture, chilies, green onions and black olives. Top with a generous portion of grated Cheddar. Roll up the tortilla to contain the filling inside.

Place the tortilla seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and pour the remaining sauce over the top. End with a generous sprinkling of cheese and any other bits of chiles, green onions or olives you have left over from the filling.

Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve.

I had about a cup of the sauce left over.  Rather than pouring over the dish and risking them getting soggy, I saved it for another time.

That's what was cooking at my house.  What did you fix for dinner yesterday?

With love from my country kitchen,


2 comments:

Whitney Pendell said...

Yum! I'm always up for Mexican. =)

Yesterday we had a very simple meal - chicken legs baked in a lemon/herb/garlic marinade and Parmesan tater tots. It was yummy though!

Denise said...

That sounds interesting...parmesan Tater tots! I love potatoes any way they come!