There are a couple of ways to make an “Enchilada Casserole”.
#1 – use up leftover enchiladas
#2 – just use tortillas and the other ingredients for enchiladas
If you do not have any leftover enchiladas the simplest way to make the casserole is #2. Either way you make it, it is going to taste the same. The last Enchilada Casserole I made was of the second variety. My husband thinks he doesn’t like Chicken whereas I love Chicken if it is cooked properly (that is, fried, or roasted with lots of garlic, etc.) My husband Ev loves Turkey whereas I think Turkey can be pretty tasteless except at Thanksgiving. Anyways, my Go To Poultry is Chicken whereas Ev’s is Turkey. In between we also like Cornish Hens and Ev loves Duck and Turkey, neither of which are my favorites.
To get back to the Enchilada Casserole, here we go. First of all you are going to need some Enchilada Sauce. You can either buy it canned (usually too spicy for my husband) or make it yourself. If you use canned sauce and it is too spicy, just tame it down with a little Tomato Sauce or Tomato Juice. You can also add a bit of sugar to it.
The photo in the picture was made via the second version. So, here goes. Usually I make my own Sauce but this time it was a jar of Enchilada Sauce purchased from Whole Foods. It turned out that this was going to be a little too spicy for my Husband, so I tamed it down with Tomato Juice.
#1 – Choose a baking dish that is going to be large enough to hold a whole tortilla. 12 x 12 or a 12″ round casserole should do it.
#2 – Cover the bottom of the Baking Dish with a small amount of Enchilada Sauce.
#3 – Pour about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of Enchilada Sauce into a 12″ Frying Pan. Heat it up until it becomes warm and then soften the Tortillas, one at a time in the Sauce. I usually do just then as needed in the assembly.
#4 – Place the softened Tortilla in the Baking Dish. Scatter some of your Protein (this can be diced Chicken, ground Beef or even Shrimp) on the Tortilla. Add some Enchilada Sauce, some shredded Cheese, diced Olives, minced Cilantro, sliced Green Onions, etc. (Whatever choice of ingredients that you like)
#5 – Add another softened Tortillas and proceed as in # 4. I usually make it to be about 3 or 4 layers and then put more shredded Cheese on top with sliced Olives, minced Cilantro, etc.
#6 -If you want your Casserole to be spicy add some chopped Jalapenos or the Pepper of your choice.
$7 – Bake in a 350 degree oven until the casserole is hot and the cheese on top is melted. This will take about 20 – 30 minutes depending on your oven.
Serve Hot with Crema (Sour Cream). You can add Mexican Rice and/or a Salad to go along with the Casserole.
This recipe should serve 2-4 people depending on appetites and other dishes served with it. i usually add a Salad to the meal. You could also serve it with Mexican Rice.
If you are stuck in the house and have a bunch of leftovers either in the refrigerator, pantry or freezer, you may want to check out my ‘Culinary Makeovers’ Articles to help inspire you to create new dishes with your leftovers. Just go to the Search Box and type in Culinary Makeovers and you will be directed to a number of recipes that may give you ideas as to what to do with your leftovers.
In my previous post I mentioned that I was going to try and use up all the food in my freezer and/or refrigerator. I have made pretty good progress but have not got around to posting it. This post will be sort of fun because as the title suggests, it is a ‘trickle-down’ recycle or in other words, recycling the recycled. Now, it is not really like it sounds. The main ingredients are recycled only once and the twice recycled is just sort of using the leftovers as you will see when you read the rest of the post.
My husband Everett, loves Mac and Cheese. I sometimes make it but he wants it so often, that I tried resorting to purchasing small portions of it from Trader Joe’s and/or Bob Evans Mac and Cheese from the local market. While these are fairly good products, the Mac and Cheese that I make is so much better that I decided to make a large portion of it – having it for dinner one night and then packaging the rest in lunch size container and freezing it for use when needed. I made so much sauce that there was actually some leftover. You can put a lot of Cheese Sauce in the Macaroni but only so much!
So, the first recycled product was Cauliflower made with the leftover Cheese Sauce. Cauliflower is good for you but taste wise, just so so. But I couldn’t resist the pretty heads that had at our local Farmer’s Market so of course I purchased one.
Before I continue with the recycling portion of this post listed below are the nutritional benefits of cauliflower.
Calories per serving 25
Fiber 3 grams
Vitamin C 77% of the RDI
Vitamin K 20% of the RDI
Vitaming B6 11%
Pantothenic Acid 7%
So, as you can see whether or not you specifically love or don’t love cauliflower, it is beneficial to eat it. So, with this in mind I did cook the Cauliflower by separating the segments and washing it thoroughly and then cooking it in the microwave. Vegetables are about the only thing that I will cook in the microwave and cauliflower cooks up in a manner of a few minutes. When we were ready to eat dinner, I just put the covered dish of cauliflower into the microwave for about 2-3 minutes depending on the quantity and your microwave. Then I removed it from the microwave and topped it with the leftover Cheese Sauce from the Mac and Cheese. Voila! Cauliflower with a Cheesy Sauce tastes quite good.
But we are only two people who can eat just so much cauliflower at one time and since I don’t like using leftovers without doing something to change them I did do something quite unusual to recycle the Cheesy Cauliflower and this was to make Hamburger Buns! Yes! Hamburger Buns made from Cauliflower. Now, these are not Buns for people who want gluten-free bread products as there is definitely wheat flour in these buns.
Here is the procedure for making the Buns! (Or go to recipes (bread) for more concise directions.
- I had approximately 1 cup of Cheesy Cauliflower segments left over which I pulverized in the Food Processor.
- I added 1 cup of warm water to the pulverized Cheesy Cauliflower along with 1 tablespoon of Active Dry Yeast and 1 Tbsp. of Sugar.
- Next I added 2 cups All-Purpose Flour to the mixture and ran the processor just long enough to mix the ingredients together.
- Once the foregoing ingredients were well-blended I changed the chopping blade to the dough blade and added more Flour to the mixture as needed. I ended up adding an additional 2 cups of flour so that there 4 cups used altogether.
- I ran all the ingredients together for one minute and then transferred the dough to a greased and floured bowl and covered it with plastic wrap.
- Once the Dough had doubled in size (approximately 1 hour depending on the warmth of the room) I punched the Dough down and formed it into buns.
- I shaped the buns two different ways:
- a. I rolled out the Dough and cut circle with a large round cutter.
- b. I then kneaded the scraps together and divided them into segments which I rolled into balls and then flattened them.
- c. The second method yielded small buns which would be ideal for children or those with small appetites.. For those with large appetites, the first method would be more appropriate.
- The shaped buns were placed on greased baking sheets which had been sprinkled with cornmeal and then covered. Once the buns had risen to double their size, I placed them in a cold oven and turned the heat on to 375 degrees. Placing the buns in a cold oven gives them a little more raising time and gives a lighter product.
- Baking time was approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely browned on top and on the bottom as well. You can lift one up with a metal spatula to check the bottom.
We used the buns for Burgers and had quite a few leftover for other sandwiches as well. We used the larger buns for Steak and Mushroom Sandwiches the following night. Nope – not leftover Steak although there was some leftover from this dinner for lunch the following day.
I never make New Years Resolutions because I am not prone to keeping them. However, I do make lists of things to do. I am more likely to follow through on my lists than on any resolutions I may make. You may ask, ‘What is the difference?’ Well, a Resolution needs to be kept and if you don’t keep it you don’t feel very good about yourself. However, if you make a list and half the items on the list get done, you will feel that you have accomplished something.
So, here is #1 on My List of Things To Do. Use up the Odds and Ends (Large and Small) of food that may be in my Refrigerator, Freezer or even in the cabinets. Having raised 5 Sons, I have found it hard to cook only for 2 people – even though it has been many years since my Sons have grown and left home. So, sometimes I have more than I need and need to use up what I have left. Since I am not a great fan of leftovers, I usually find ways to turn the leftovers into new dishes. (Sort of like the TV Show ‘Chopped’. However, I have been doing this way before Chopped became a show.
The first time I can remember that I started turning leftovers into new dishes was when I got my first blender – actually I still have it. I got that blender back in the days when they were still being made to last and last it has. I remember that I turned leftover gravy into soup. Now, fast-forward to this year – 2020. I have actually turned several items in the freezer into new dishes.
#1 – A Pork Tenderloin into an Asian Stir-Fry. Where I purchase Pork Loins they are sold in packages of two. I actually cooked both at the same time because a couple of my former students came over for a cooking session. We made Chinese Dumplings and Pork Bao. We had a variety of items so we did not use both Pork Loins so I put the leftover one in the freezer. (This was the weekend before Thanksgiving) Last week, I removed the Pork Loin from the freezer, cut it up into bite-sized pieces and stir fried it with Shitake Mushrooms, thinly sliced Carrots, diced Onions, Cabbage and minced Cilantro. The dish took very little seasoning as the Pork Tenderloin had previously been marinated in a Soy Based Marinade. This dish was served with Jasmine Rice (which is an aromatic soft grain rice grown in Thailand). So, this was a multi-cultural dish incorporating the tastes of Japan, China and Thailand. Very tasty, easy to make and used up the Pork Tenderloin and Vegetables still lingering in my refrigerator.
For a recipe for this Stir-Fry go to http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/dinner/pork-tenderloin-stir-fry/
Just keep in mind that all the ingredients are interchangeable and you can use whatever you have in your refrigerator.
One way to use up some of your Apples (if you have too many) is to make Apple Kuchen. Kuchen is a great breakfast item or dressed up with whipped cream or Ice Cream, it makes a great dessert for any meal. Kuchen is simple to make and delicious to eat. You will find the recipe by using the link above. Just click on Apple Kuchen and you will be taken to the recipe. Continue here and you will see some step by step photos to help you with your baking.
The Dough is simple to make and can easily be made by hand in a medium-size mixing bowl. When making the Kuchen divide the Dough in half and either roll out half (on floured surface – as the recipe says) or just press half the Dough into your greased baking dish. (8 x 8 or 9 x 9 is best)
Peel and slice your Apples (don’t worry if they start to turn a little brown – this will disappear when baked)
You can either toss the Apples with the Cinnamon and Sugar in a separate bowl or just arrange the Apples on the Dough and then sprinkle with the Cinnamon and Sugar. Either way will work.
Cinnamon and Sugar Added
Next, either roll out the remaining Dough or just scoop dabs and place on top of the Apples. ( didn’t have quite enough dough to roll out so I scooped the Dough with a #60 Scoop or you can just used a spoon) I lightly pressed the dabs of dough onto the Apples. This method worked quite fine.
Bake for the time stated in the recipe at 350 degrees. Kuchen is best served warm and is quite good with Vanilla Sauce as stated in the recipe. I reheated the Kuchen the next morning with some Cheddar on top and we ate it for breakfast. Kuchen can also be served with whipped Cream and/or Vanilla Ice Cream.
Either way you serve it, it will be delicious!
Here we are in November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you haven’t planned your complete Thanksgiving Dinner Menu yet here are some suggestions. For the Stuffing, your Side Dishes, Desserts and leftovers for the days following Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and many families will be busy preparing food and enjoying it with their loved ones. If you love to cook and even if you don’t but are going to be cooking listed below are the links to some delicious recipes that you may enjoy for your Thanksgiving Meal. Take a look at them and then try out one or two or three or all. When you do, please let me know how you, your family and friends enjoyed them.
CURRIED FRUIT STUFFING – a little different twist on Thanksgiving Stuffing – the Curry and Fruit give your stuffing additional flavor in a delicious way. This recipe uses Traditional Stuffing Ingredients with the addition of Apple, Apricots and Golden Raisins or whatever you wish to use plus Curry Powder. It is delicious and quite tasty with the addition of the fruit.
GOLDEN SQUASH JUBILEE – is a simple Vegetable Dish made with only 4 ingredients:
2 lbs. Banana Squash – shredded
1 cup dried Apricots – chopped
½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
¼ cup Butter
This dish can be cooked in the Microwave or baked in the Oven.
CREAMED SPINACH – Spinach is one of my favorite Vegetables and this version is delicious, even for non-Spinach lovers. It is also versatile and can be turned into a Creamed Spinach Soup just by adding some Vegetable Stock and a little more Cream or Milk. A great recipe for Thanksgiving and the days beyond.
MASHED POTATOES – be sure to use Russet Potatoes, the baking variety. (you need to use a Potato that will crumble when baked so that they will mash easily) DO NOT USE WAXY POTATOES as they will not mash properly.
TURKEY FRITTATA – this is a great dish to use with most any kind of leftover – it is an omelet made with Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Cheese as well as the leftover Turkey. A Frittata is good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
TURKEY CROQUETTES – these are made with leftover Turkey, Onions and a smattering of other Vegetables – they are breaded and then fried and served with Remoulade Sauce.
TURKEY POT PIE – made with leftover Turkey, Vegetables and a Rough Puff Pastry or purchased Puff Pastry if you prefer. Great for leftover Turkey, Chicken or whatever else you have. Serve with a Salad and you have a complete meal.
So, here we have a variety of recipes, some of which you can use for your Thanksgiving Dinner and beyond with the leftovers.
What would be a better beverage for Halloween than a Pumpkin Milkshake! Add the Adjective, Phantom to make it the absolute perfect beverage for a Halloween Party or even a Halloween Birthday Party. There certainly are people who have been born on Halloween. This Milkshake is easy to prepare, even with the Pumpkin. Just used canned Pumpkin and Vanilla Ice Cream. Better yet, if Pumpkin Ice Cream is available at your Supermarket or Ice Cream use that or use both for double the flavor. You can use Pumpkin Pie Spice or a Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves in a combination that fits your taste buds.
The recipe is below: Try it and see for yourself how much like Pumpkin Pie it tastes!
1 Pint Pumpkin Ice Cream Ice Cream Scoop
2 cups Milk Liquid Measuring Cup
½ cup Orange Juice* Blender
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Whipped Cream Large Cups
Black Licorice Sticks for Straws or just Stirrers
- Scoop the Ice Cream into blender jar.
- Measure the Milk, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Orange Juice and add to Ice Cream in blender jar.
- Put the cover on the blender jar, making sure it fits snugly; turn blender on to HIGH SPEED and run until the Ice Cream, and Orange Juice are blended together with the Milk.
- Pour into cups, top with Whipped Cream, sprinkle with Nutmeg and serve with Licorice Straws.
YIELD – 4 Servings
Today’s Pumpkin Recipe is for Muffins. The Recipe I have posted uses Cranberries as the additional fruit. However, the photo I have posted is for Pumpkin Muffins with diced fresh Peaches and Golden Raisins. The Pumpkin/Cranberry Muffin is perfect for Thanksgiving whereas the Pumpkin/Raisin Muffin is ideal for Halloween or anytime of the year as well. I used canned Pumpkin for the Muffins but whenever I make Pumpkin Pie, I much prefer to use a fresh Pumpkin. Granted, using fresh Pumpkins is kind of a pain in the neck but well worth it. When I post the Pumpkin Pie segment I will show the procedure for cleaning and baking a fresh pumpkin. You cannot use the same pumpkins as used for Jack O’ Lanterns but instead use a Pie Pumpkin. They are small, more meaty and more tasty and easier to work with.
The Pumpkin Muffins are great for Breakfast or for a Snack. For a little enhancement top with a Cream Cheese Frosting. Probably the ‘healthiest’ type of frosting in that it contains Cream Cheese – a milk product. Of course, it also contains Butter but if you are worried about the fat content you can always use less butter than the recipe calls for.