Thursday, February 25, 2016

Scalloped Potatoes


Sometimes when I'm doing my menu planning there is nothing I like hearing more than my husband say "I can make a meatloaf and scalloped potatoes." Yes, please. Especially on a cold winter night when all you want is comfort food.

My husband makes the BEST scalloped potatoes and that's really funny to me because he claims he hates potatoes. Actually, these are the only type of potatoes he will eat. His recipe is simple, but something about the ratio of cheese to potatoes, the onions, and the precise layering makes them the best I have ever had. They are so good that I always have him make a huge casserole full so we can have them left over for dinner AND breakfast. That's right - I love them with scrambled eggs.



Jon's Scalloped Potatoes
Original Recipe by Jon Smith

Ingredients (for 8-10 servings)
  • 3 Russet potatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 c Light cream
  • 8 oz Shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Paprika
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Grease a large baking dish with 1 Tbsp of the butter; set aside
  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Slice into thin rounds (he estimates 1/16"). Jon does this by hand but you could also use a mandolin. Place into a bowl of water while you make the sauce.
  • Heat 7 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan until melted and starting to gently bubble
  • Add the flour and whisk to make a roux
  • Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a low simmer
  • Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in 8 oz mild cheddar cheese
  • Start your layers - 1 layer of slightly overlapping potato to cover the bottom of the dish, handful of onions, a sprinkle of the sharp cheddar, layer of cheese sauce. Repeat layers 3-4 times. On the top put more sharp cheddar, black pepper and paprika. 
  • Cover and bake 45 minutes; uncover and bake another 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through, edges are golden brown, and the sauce is bubbling. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. 




Monday, February 22, 2016

Now on Yummly!


You may have noticed some new buttons on the left margin of this blog. I added them for you to have an easy way to save and share my recipes. 
Are you on Yummly? If not, you need to check it out. 
If you love food - looking at it, eating it, reading about it, cooking it, or all of the above - you will be addicted to Yummly. Think of it as Pinterest but for food only. 
So when you are browsing through recipes on this blog, simply click on the Yummly logo to the left and the recipe will automatically be saved to your Yummly Recipe Box. 
You can view all of my recipes in a pretty picture index on my Yummly page (http://www.yummly.com/page/maryellenscookingcreations). 

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers


I was born and raised in Philadelphia and love a good cheesesteak. I love getting cheesesteaks from a good place (to me that means Amoroso rolls, shaved and chopped up beef, American or provolone cheese, and fried onions), but I also enjoy making them at home and am lucky we have access to Amoroso rolls.

I put cheesesteaks on the menu last week but decided to change mine up a bit in an effort to cut back on carbs. Instead of a white roll, I made my cheesesteak in a green pepper.

Although I missed out on doing the "Philly Lean" to eat it, I still got all of the flavor of a great cheesesteak. The seasoned meat, the melty cheese, and my favorite part, the fried onions. I even threw a touch of pizza sauce in it to make it a pizza steak, another popular way of ordering a cheesesteak in Philly. 
Note: I used frozen steaks for sandwiches and my favorite brand is Landis Brand Lean Sirloin Tip Beef Steaks  (note - not a brand like Steak-Umms). You could also buy a rib-eye and freeze it so you can slice it super thin. 
Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen Smith of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

Ingredients (for 2 peppers)
  • 2 large green peppers cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • Optional: 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 package frozen steaks (usually includes 12 slices of steak)
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 8 slices cheese, American or Provolone
  • Optional: 4 Tbsp pizza sauce
Directions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green pepper halves and cooked 5-7 minutes, until softened slightly. Remove from the water, shake any excess water out, and place in a baking dish. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan or griddle. 
  • Add the onions and sliced green peppers (optional); cook until nicely browned and fried. Transfer to a plate. 
  • Add the steaks to the griddle in a single layer, if you can. Season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • As the steaks start to brown, use 2 spatulas to chop up the meat (I keep one spatula tip on the meat to hold it and chop/shred the beef with a pushing away motion with the other spatula). Keep shredding the beef and cooking it, adding more seasoning, until all of the beef is nicely browned. Add the onions back to the pan mixing them in with the beef. Divide into 4 equal piles. 
  • Place a slice of cheese in the bottom of each pepper half. Top with meat. Add some pizza sauce if desired. Top with another slice of cheese.
  • Put the peppers under the broiler on high until the cheese has melted and started to brown, about 3-5 minutes. 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce


What are your favorite things to get at Trader Joe's?



I love browsing through the aisles looking at everything they have to offer. It seems like there is always something new, and the staff at my local TJ's are more than willing to open a package of something to let you try it before buying (works every time, too). I have a few favorites that I get on every trip - the cereal bars, salsa, the frozen organic brown rice, and the dog treats (my dog literally fidgets and howls at us when she sees that big box of TJ's dog cookies come out of the pantry).

Recently I have added something else to my favorites list - the bag of frozen Asian Vegetables for stir fry. I don't use the sauce that comes with it, but for $1.69 I love the convenience of a bag of assorted veggies - corn, sugar snap peas, broccoli, petite green beans, water chestnuts, red bell peppers, and mushrooms - chopped and ready for a quick stir fry. I use fresh veggies most nights, but for the price and convenience you just can't beat these.



A few weeks ago I wanted to do a chicken stir fry with the veggies and some Thai flavors. I ended up adapting a recipe for Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce that I found on Well Plated. I changed some amounts, added/removed some ingredients, updated the cooking method and ended up with a dish that we all devoured! The sauce was sweet and spicy, the dish was so colorful, and the peanuts added great texture. My only wish was that there was more sauce, so next time I'll add some chicken broth.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce
Adapted from: Well Plated

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c creamy pb
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek 
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bag frozen stir fry veggies, thawed (or fresh)
  • Chopped dry roast peanuts (unsalted or low salt) for serving
  • Chopped cilantro for serving
  • Brown rice, for serving


Directions
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, water, brown sugar, soy sauce, Sambal, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the chicken has cooked through. About 6 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan. 
  • If your pan is dry, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. 
  • Add the onion; saute 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger; stir. 
  • Add the veggies and cook, stirring until heated through
  • Add the sauce and some of the cilantro; stir.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and stir to combine everything. 
  • Serve over brown rice and topped with some cilantro and peanuts




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup with Fire Roasted Tomatoes


This recipe had me at "fire roasted tomatoes."

I love using these tomatoes for the extra smokiness they add. I always splurge when buying these tomatoes, too, choosing only Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes. In my store the Muir Glen are almost double the price of the non-organic brands, but it is so worth it in my opinion. Plus it's not something I do that often, and when I think about the fact that this soup was my lunch for 4 days, the cost per lunch is lower than buying a sandwich.

My other favorite thing about this soup was the mixture of herbs, especially rosemary. My husband doesn't like rosemary so I never get to use it, but this soup was just for my lunches so rosemary it was.

The original recipe that I followed called for whole wheat orzo and while I looked in a few stores, I had no luck in finding it. I want to keep my eyes open though and hopefully use WW next time. I used less orzo than the original recipe called for so my soup wouldn't be too thick.

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from: Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sm white onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cups orzo 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions


  • Heat oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft
  • Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Add stock, tomatoes, orzo, thyme, oregano, and rosemary; stir to combine.
  • Bring soup to a simmer, and then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through. 
  • Stir in the spinach until just wilted. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. 



Friday, February 12, 2016

Maine Lobster Stew


It was the summer of 1992 and I had just graduated high school when my best friend asked me to go to Maine with her. She wanted to visit a guy she liked who had recently moved. I wasn't all that excited about it, to be honest. I knew we would have a great time together, but I was really only going along so she could see her crush. As it turns out, my dad had a business trip planned to Boston for later in the summer, so we all went there for a few days of sight-seeing and Red Sox baseball before my friend and I took the short bus trip up to Portland, Maine.

When we got there we met up with her friend who took us to his fraternity house where we would be staying for a few days. It was summer so most of the guys weren't there, and that's probably why my parents let me go!! It was pretty quiet so my friend and I were just sitting out front when all of the sudden this little red car came screaming down the street and into the driveway - windows down, music blaring, and a cute guy driving. I soon found out that his name was Jon and he had a strong Maine accent and used words like "wicked" and "pissah." I was immediately smitten. And get this - not even 24 hours later I told my friend that this guy was the guy I was going to marry.

Fast forward almost 24 years and here we are... married almost 13 years with this adorable little five and a half year old who has so much energy, personality, will try anything, and has no fear. And as for my husband, he still has that awesome Maine accent. 


So it should come as no surprise that my husband loves lobster. I love hearing his stories of having lobster races with his brother when they were kids before his mom would drop the lobsters into a pot of boiling water. Lobster was a part of life, not a luxury purchase, so to this day, he can't believe how expensive lobsters can get down here in PA. He was so used to getting cheap, fresh lobster whenever he wanted.

Several times when my father-in-law would come for a visit, he would bring us cooked lobster meat packed in dry ice. We made things like lobster rolls, lobster omelets and pasta with lobster. But for years my husband talked about his desire to make lobster stew. One night we were talking about our Christmas dinner menu ideas and he immediately said he wanted to make lobster stew.

I quickly learned that lobster stew doesn't have any meat or veggies - it is simply lobster meat in a warm cream base. But the way the stew base is created is what makes it so special. The word "stew" in lobster stew is more like a verb than a noun.

For weeks he researched recipes, analyzed them, pointed out what he liked and didn't like, until he found the most authentic recipe that reminded him of the lobster stew he used to eat in Maine. Then came the search for the perfect Maine lobsters. He visited a few seafood stores before deciding on one and placing his order.



The cooking of this lobster stew became a major spectator event in our house that would last for 2 days. My husband had his game face on and we were all so excited to watch this come together. Every step, beginning with my father-in-law walking in with his large lobster pot that traveled all the way from Maine and my husband bringing home the lobsters to watching him ladle the finished product into bowls brought oohs and aahs. And you should have heard everyone when he brought the perfectly plated bowls to the table!


There were a lot of steps to making this stew. First he had to cook the lobsters. Once they chilled in ice water, he was able to tear off the tails and claws and then remove all of the meat from the claws and tails.

He wants me to note here that a lobster has 2 claws, a crusher claw and a ripper claw. The crusher claw has molar looking teeth and is bigger and more rounded, while the ripper claw is longer and skinnier and has smaller, spiny teeth. He decided to chop the crusher claw meat and leave the ripper claw whole. That's what you see in the picture of the bowl of stew - everyone was able to get a full ripper claw in their stew.



So once the meat is removed, he cooked the lobster bodies in butter, sherry, milk, and cream. This would become the base for the stew. This lobster body and milk mixture then sat in the fridge overnight.


The next day, he removed the bodies, strained the milk mixture and slowly reheated it. The lobster meat was cooked in butter before adding it to the liquid.



After adjusting seasoning and adding lemon juice, the stew was done. He took his time perfectly spooning the stew into our bowls, making sure that everyone had a lot of meat and one full ripper claw. Isn't that an impressive looking bowl of yum???


It was almost too pretty to eat. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it!

This was my first experience with lobster stew. Actually, the only 2 people at the table who had ever had the opportunity to enjoy lobster stew were the 2 Mainers - my husband and father-in-law. Everyone else at the table couldn't stop thanking my husband enough for making this, that is in between "mmmms" and other compliments to the chef, of course.

I found the broth to be rich, velvety and savory while sweet from the lobster, with a bit of nutty, almost oakiness from the sherry.




This stew really isn't difficult to make - all of the steps are simple. It is time consuming, though, and you need to be patient while removing all of the meat from the lobsters. But other than that, if you follow the steps and take your time, I think that any home cook could master this one. And with Valentine's day falling on a weekend this year, it might just be the perfect time to try it. What's more romantic than lobster?


Lobster Stew
Source: Lydia Shire, as seen on Portland Monthly
 (the only change Jon made to this recipe was to use 5 one-and-a-half pound lobsters instead of 6 one-pound lobsters)

Ingredients

  • 5 each 1.5lb Maine lobsters
  • As needed, salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter (separated, 8 Tbsp and 4 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup medium or dry sherry
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch cayenne 
  • 1-2 pinches paprika
  • To taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs parsley, leaves only, cut into strips
Directions, Day 1
  • Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil
  • Plunge the lobsters into the boiling water and boil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice-water to prevent them from cooking any longer, keeping them submerged until completely cool.
  • Drain the lobsters and separate the tails from the bodies, setting the bodies aside. Crack the shells and remove all of the meat from the tails and claws (keep the ripper claw meat whole for beautiful presentation!!).  Chop the meat into large chunks (again, except that ripper claw); cover and store in the fridge until day 2. 
  • Melt 8 Tbsp butter in a large heavy bottomed pot (he used our Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Add the lobster bodies and tail shells and cook, stirring often, until the shells turn a deep red, 5-8 minutes.
  • Add sherry and boil for 2 minutes, and then add the milk and cream and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until milk and cream reduce by one-quarter and thickens slightly, 20-25 minutes. Add cayenne, paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove pot from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. 
Directions, Day 2
  • Strain the milk mixture into another medium pot, discarding the bodies and solids, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. (My husband notes that the next time he makes this he will heat the mixture just a touch before straining in order to soften any of the fats to save them from being discarded). 
  • Meanwhile melt 4 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. Add the lobster meat and heat until warmed through, 3-5 minutes, and then transfer the meat to the pot with the milk mixture. 
  • Add lemon juice and adjust seasonings. 
  • Divide stew between 6 bowls (this made more like 8 servings) and garnish with parsley. 

We served the stew with homemade no-knead crusty bread which was perfect for sopping up the broth. Our second course was jumbo lump crabcakes with roasted garlic smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. 






Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a Lemon Garlic Aioli



With Valentine's Day coming, I thought this would be the perfect time to share this recipe - Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.

Cooking at home can be so much fun together, and can also help you keep your money in your wallet. These cakes are much easier than you may think and turned out to be about $3/each - much better than the $22-$35 you can pay at a nice restaurant. So I say cook at home, take the savings and put them towards a nice bottle of wine.

I love jumbo lump crab meat and often order crab cocktail at a good restaurant. If that isn't on the menu, I'll go for crab cakes, and in my opinion, the best crab cakes are full of lump crab meat with little to no filling. I had crabcakes at McCormick and Schmick's in Atlantic City, NJ a few months ago that were seriously all crab meat, no filling. I don't know how they held up but they did, and they were fabulous.



After that dinner out, Jon and I started discussed our plans for Christmas Dinner. He decided he wanted to make Lobster Stew (keep your eyes open - that post is coming soon!!), so I thought a seafood feast would be perfect, with jumbo shrimp cocktail as the appetizer course, lobster stew as the soup course, a green salad, and jumbo lump crab cakes with garlic smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus as the main course. Oh, and then there was dessert - my dad's pumpkin cheesecake and cookies. Can you say food coma?! So worth it though! 


Ok - back to the crab cakes. While Jon went in search of the perfect stew recipe, I consulted my dad for his favorite crab cake recipe. Turns out he uses the Legal Seafoods recipe, so that is what I used.

These were ridiculously easy to make. I bought 2 containers of the jumbo lump crab meat at Costco and made 20 cakes. That was double what I needed to serve everyone at Christmas dinner, so I was happy to find out that they reheated perfectly in the oven the next day. 



I made a garlic aioli to serve with the cakes - savory, creamy, and bright. I could have eaten the aioli on its own.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
Source: The Legal Sea Foods Cookbook
The recipe below uses 12 oz crab meat and will make 4 crab cakes. I used 2 large containers from Costco (22 oz ea, I believe), adjusted the other ingredients accordingly, and made 20 cakes.
Ingredients (for 4 crab cakes)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c plus 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Good dash hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
  • Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • 12 oz fresh lump crab meat
  • 1/2 c fine-crushed saltine crackers
Directions
  • In a large bowl mix together the dry mustard, horseradish, Dijon, mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and Old Bay
  • Gently stir in the crab meat and crackers
  • Cover bowl and place in the fridge for an hour. 
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray; preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Divide the crab mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties. Place on the sheet. 
  • Bake in the center of your oven 20-30 minutes, until nicely browned. 

Garlic Aioli
  • 3/4 c mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed into a paste
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • A few grates of the lemon rind
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving.




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Creamy Chicken Chili



A few weeks ago my friend Sarah posted a recipe for Creamy Chicken Chili and I immediately knew I had to make it. I have a Chicken Chili recipe that I make and really enjoy - it is full of different kinds of peppers, tomatillos and beans - but something about turning that into a creamy dish sounded so, so good.


I read through the recipe and decided to rewrite it a bit. While I have used canned chilies, I prefer fresh. I also decided to roast half of the chilies for a deeper flavor.

Instead of chunks of chicken, I decided to go with shredded. Additionally, I mashed half of the beans to add to the creamy texture which let me cut back on the amount of cream and sour cream I used. I adjusted the spices to our liking, as well.

This chili is completely different from my chicken chili, and it's not just the cream. This one was smokier and had deeper flavors and textures. While I still really love my original recipe, I loved a lot about this one too and honestly don't know which I prefer! So I'll just say that I'm really happy that I now have 2 great chicken chili recipes to choose from, and I have a feeling I'm going to have to flip a coin to choose between the two the next time I want chicken chili!

Creamy Chicken Chili
Adapted from: A Taste of Home Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Poblano pepper, cut in half (seeds removed if you don't want it to be too spicy). Half chopped, the other half kept in one piece for roasting.
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, cut in half (again, seeds removed if you don't want it to be too spicy). Half chopped, the other half kept in one piece for roasting.
  • 1 can Great Northern or Canellini beans (the original recipe calls for 2 cans - this is your preference)
  • 14.5 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c light cream
  • 1/2 c light sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Grated Monterrey Jack cheese for serving
  • Optional for serving: tortilla chips, rice, quinoa
Directions
  • Place the half Poblano and half jalapeno over an open flame (I do this on the grate of my gas stove; in the warm weather I would use my grill). Keep on the flame until the skin is completely charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and peel off the skin. Chop and set aside.
  • Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cayenne.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes per side, letting it get nicely browned.
  • Add the onions and garlic; saute 2 minutes.
  • Add all of the chopped peppers (roasted and raw); stir.
  • Move everything to the outside edges of your pot and add half of the beans. Using a handheld potato masher or back of a large fork, roughly mash the beans. 
  • Add the rest of the beans and the broth; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. 
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with 2 forks or in your stand mixer. Return the chicken to the pot and stir. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and sour cream. 
  • Return the pot to the stove over low heat and adjust salt if needed. Stir in about 2 Tbsp of the chopped cilantro. 
  • Serve topped with cheese and cilantro over rice or quinoa, or with tortilla chips.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy Beef Enchiladas


My go-to enchilada recipe gets rave reviews. I have been making it for years (wow - I posted the recipe in 2007, my first year of blogging) and still haven't tired of it. But every time I make it I think about all that cream cheese and cheese... there has to be a healthier way.


That's when I found this Skinny Mom recipe for easy beef enchiladas. Unlike my enchilada filling, this one is straight forward - beef, peppers, onions, and no cheese. There is enough cheese on the outside that you don't miss it.

You can use canned enchilada sauce or try this easy homemade enchilada sauce. To bulk it up, add some more veggies, like chopped broccoli, spinach, or corn. Serve them with these easy homemade refried beans or some sauteed corn and peppers.



Easy Beef Enchiladas
Adapted from: Skinny Mom

Ingredients


  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp each chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green onion, diced (instead of canned green chiles
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite salsa
  • 1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce (or homemade sauce)
  • 3/4 c Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas (cut off the ends so they aren't rounded at either end, but straight to fit nicely into the dish)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat
  • Add the beef and cook, chopping into smaller pieces with a spatula, until almost browned
  • Add the onions, pepper, and spices. Saute until cooked through
  • Mix 2 Tbsp of salsa and 2 Tbsp of the cheese into the beef mixture
  • Put a small layer of enchilada sauce in your baking dish
  • Spoon the meat mixture (one large scoop each) onto the center of a tortilla; roll and place seam side down in the baking dish
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas
  • Coat the tortillas with the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese
  • Bake until hot and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes
  • Sprinkle with the green onions and serve