Well, the first thing I have learned about food blogging is that food photography is tough.
Last night I made Tex-Mex Enchiladas and refried beans. They tuned out more Tex than Mex but we liked them. Since the dinner was a little light on vegetables, I cut up watermelon and strawberries for dessert.
I usually don't follow one recipe but rather take elements from different recipes I think sound good.
First Post Tex-Mex Enchiladas
1 QT. BEEF BROTH
6 TBSP. MILD CHILE POWDER
1/4 TSP. GARLIC POWDER
1 TSP. CUMIN
2 TBSP. CORNSTARCH IN 4 TBSP. WATER
Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil then add the cornstarch and boil about a minute or until thickened.
1 LARGE ONION MINCED
1 TSP. MINCED GARLIC
2 LB. GROUND CHUCK
1 CUP SAUCE
ABOUT 1 POUND SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE
Saute the onion and garlic in oil until golden, add the beef and brown thoroughly. Add the sauce and simmer until slightly reduced and the filling is not runny.
Warm six large (burrito-sized) flour tortillas in the microwave then dip in sauce. Divide the filling among the tortillas and sprinkle a generous amount of cheese on the filling and roll them up and place them in a greased 9X13 inch pan.
Spoon sauce over the enchiladas, reserving about a cup to serve with the beans or save as taco sauce. Sprinkle liberally with more cheese and cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 - 45 minutes. Garnish with sliced black olives and chopped fresh cilantro.
REFRIED BEANS ADAPTED FROM KATHY PITTS' FRIJOLES REFRITOS
2 CUPS PINTO OR BLACK BEANS, WASHED AND PICKED OVER
1 LARGE ONION FINELY CHOPPED
1 FOUR-INCH LONG JALAPENO PEPPER MINCED
6 CUPS OF WATER OR HAM BROTH (1CUP MAY BE BEER)
1TBS. MEXICAN OREGANO
1TSP. GROUND CUMIN
LARD OR DRIPPING FOR FRYING (ABOUT 3 TBS BACON GREASE ADDS TO THE FLAVOR)
SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE, SLICED BLACK OLIVES, DICED TOMATES WITH GREEN CHILIES, SOUR CREAM.
Do not soak the beans overnight. place the first 6 ingredients in a deep pot, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow the beans to sit for an hour.
Return the beans to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans are tender (to test, remove one bean from the pot, and blow on it. If the skin splits, they're done).
Cooking time will depend on the type of bean used (pintos cook fairly quickly, black beans take close to forever), the age of the bean, and the mineral content of your water.
Salt to taste. Never salt beans at the beginning of the cooking process, as the salt will toughen them and they will take longer to cook.
In a large shallow pan, preferably a black iron frying pan, melt 3 Tbsp. of lard or drippings.
When the lard is melted, ladle about a cup of beans, including some of the cooking liquid, into the fat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans into a puree.
Continue adding beans and liquid, along with more fat as needed, and mashing until all beans have been used.
The consistancy of this dish varies with personal preferance. Some cooks like a very smooth, almost liquid puree, while other prefer a stiffer mixture with some pieces of bean remaining. The end result should be glossy, well flavored from the fat, and very rich tasting.
We like our beans really smooth so I finished them in the food processor.
The beans may be served plain, used as a filling for warm tortillas, or garnished with shredded cheese, lettuce, olives, tomatoes and sour cream.