Enchilada Lasagna

I never knew how easy it was to make your own enchilada sauce. Alton Brown really nailed this one I think. It’s better than the stuff you get in the can. From now on, I’ll be making my own enchilada sauce.

I found dried chipotle peppers in the produce section and not in the Ethnic aisle. Thought that was really weird.The peppers were with some spices, garlic, and shallots. You could probably use the canned chipotle peppers for this too. Just mince them up really fine. The dried peppers were really hard to dice and you have to fish them out of the sauce if you don’t want to bite down into the pepper.

I’m not sure if I like soggy corn tortillas. I actually prefer my enchiladas rolled up into a burrito so that they can get crispy on the outside. You could just as well use lasagna noodles if you don’t want to use corn tortillas for this dish. I think that’s what I’d do next time when I make it again.

Ingredients form Alton Brown

For sauce:

2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, freshly ground
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
1 1/2 cups diced onion
Pinch kosher salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3 cups shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

Combine the chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from the heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Cut 1 of the tortillas in half to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, repeat the layers, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly.

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

I haven’t done much canning yet this year. I think canning is a stupid name for it anyway. Why do they call it canning when you’re putting all your produce in jars? Shouldn’t it be called jarring? My tomatoes are still turning color and I get some every now and then that are ripe enough to pick. I don’t really want to can just a little bit of tomatoes at time ya know?

I’m kind of still confused about the whole process of canning. What if you want to make some pickles and put them in jars? Most recipes for pickles, just require mixing your sugar vinegar and cucumbers in a bowl and storing them in a container. Do you even have to boil the jars in water then if you want to store the cucumbers in the jar? Hmph?!

We had some cucumbers in our garden and the neighbor lady across from us was nice enough to give us some of her cucumbers. Ben likes to call pickles ruined cucumbers. I like to call them delicious! I found this recipe on the tasty kitchen blog and now I can’t wait to have some burgers. These are just good to snack on too.

Ingredients from Tasty Kitchen

7 cubes Sliced, Unpeeled Cucumbers
1 cup Sliced Onion
1 cup Slice Green Peppers
1 cup Cider Vinegar
2 cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Celery Seed
1 Tablespoon Salt

Directions

Mix everything together cold and store in covered container in refrigerator. It’s best to allow it to sit for about 5 days so the flavors can mingle. These keep for months