I love Mexican food but Enchiladas were never one of my favorites. I tried to love it, but something about it just wasn’t working for me. It took me a while, but I finally realized what wasn’t working was the canned Enchilada Sauces I found at the grocery store.
Sure there are several brands out there, in fact it got quite confusing. But no matter which sauce I bought it simply didn’t taste good to me or for that matter the rest of the family didn’t find them that great either. They much preferred the Enchilada Sauce they would order from the Mexican restaurant. There aren’t that many really good Mexican restaurants in Honolulu so I had to find a way to make homemade Enchiladas just as good as the ones we found at the few restaurants we like. And since we didn’t care for the canned sauce then clearly the only option was homemade sauce.
So I started trying to figure out just how to make Enchilada Sauce and the first thing I learned is that there are not tomatoes in any way shape or form in Enchilada Sauce. I was surprised and so was everyone in the family! That’s right no tomatoes in Enchilada Sauce! Of course I’m talking about the RED Enchilada Sauce, I’ve yet to make the green variety. But I will and once I get it right I’ll share that too!
So what’s in Enchilada Sauce you ask? Chicken or Veggie Stock (the veggie stock is great if you want a vegan version), Roux, and spices. That’s it! And to make it even better it’s super easy to make, it takes less than half an hour! I make a pot of it and store the sauce in jars in the fridge. The longer it sits in the fridge the better the sauce tastes. So now my fridge is always stocked with homemade Enchilada Sauce along with my Marinara Sauce! I spend a morning once a month to re-stock, that way I’ll always have my favorite 2 sauces on hand.
You can use this Enchilada Sauce on anything you want. Pour it over your favorite meats and roll in tortillas for delicious enchiladas or use it in a casserole. I use it on my Keto friendly Chicken or Steak Enchiladas, they come out great. Whatever you use it on it will turn out delicious!
4 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Chili Powder
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tbs. Cumin Powder
1 Tbs. Dried Oregano
1 Quart Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt to taste
Heat Olive Oil in a medium saucepan
Whisk in flour to make a blond roux, be careful not to burn the flour
Whisk in the spices except the salt
Slowly pour in the stock while whisking to blend the spices and roux in to it
Add salt to taste
Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened
Use with your favorite meats or veggies or pour into jars and store in the fridge.
This recipe will make enough to fill 1 quart jar and almost 1 pint jar. If storing sauce pour into jars and cool before covering with a tight lid and placing in the fridge.
Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, red onion slices, ketchup and mustard, for serving
1. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Divide the ground beef into 6 even pieces and shape each into a 1-inch-thick patty. Press in the center of each patty so it is slightly thinner than the edges. Sprinkle generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the grill grates.
2. Grill the burgers, flipping once, until well browned and medium rare, 6 to 7 minutes per side, topping with a slice of cheese in the last few minutes of grilling. Lightly brush the buns with oil and grill until lightly toasted. Put the burgers on the bottom buns and top with the lettuce, tomato, onions and top buns. Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side.
My husband always talks about how his mother used to pickle green tomatoes when he was growing up in the Middle East. He said pickled green tomatoes are delicious.
I’m sure they. It’s also a great way to use the loads of tomatoes we grown in our backyard. So here’s how we pickle green tomatoes. First off you’ll want to make sure you pick them while they’re green. It doesn’t really matter what type of tomato, we use cherry tomatoes as well as the large varieties, just as long as they’re still green and not ripe.
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Pickled Green Tomatoes
Mason Jars with Lids – I use the 64 oz. jars but you can use any size you like
I think one of the prettiest salads you can have is the Caprese Salad. It’s vibrant colors are so inviting, promising something creamy, fresh and delicious.
What you may ask is a Caprese Salad. It’s an Italian salad of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil with a light vinaigrette dressing. It’s said that Caprese Salad was originally made to honor the Italian flag which is Red, White, and Green; the same colors of the salad.
Caprese Salad is definitely a family favorite. It’s not only delicious but it’s so easy to make. We have it for lunch, as a panino or sandwich. You can place the ingredients between 2 slices of bread or better yet a ciabatta roll, grill it just until the bread is toasted and the cheese melts, and you have a wonderfully simple meal!
The most important thing to remember when making Caprese Salad at home is to use the freshest ingredients you can find. This mean unless absolutely necessary the prepacked balls of mozzarella in the supermarket’s dairy case just won’t do!
Short of bringing home fresh mozzarella from Italy (which I’ve actually done) I usually find fresh mozzarella at Costco or the deli counter. It’s the balls of cheese that’s usually floating in the tub it’s packaged in. You’ll know it’s fresh because it’s softer than those hard balls packed in plastic wrap.
Tomatoes of course are fresh, pick nice ripe ones. I get mine from my garden along with the fresh basil. If you don’t have a basil plant (and you should! it’s so easy to keep even a small one in the kitchen window) you can buy fresh basil leaves at the grocery store.
Once you have all the fresh ingredients all you really need is some extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of Italian seasoning if you have it, and some salt. If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can use dried oregano, parsley, or basil or you can just use black pepper.
Caprese Salad is great for a light lunch or as a fresh addition to any meal. It’s tasty and refreshing, the perfect summer salad!
5-6 slices of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (slices should be about 1/2″ thick)
1 Firm Ripe Tomato – sliced in about 1/2″ thick rounds
3-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp. Italian Dressing
Salt & Pepper to taste
Slice mozzarella and tomatoes into 1/2″ rounds and arrange on a plate. Alternate tomato and cheese to make it look nice.
You can also add a basil leaf between the cheese and tomato or you can place the leaves in the center. Place the three ingredients on the plate any way you find pleasing.
Mix together oil and vinegar.
Add 1/2 Tsp. of Italian seasoning to the oil mixture and stir well.
Drizzle over the fresh ingredients just before serving.
Sprinkle remaining Italian Seasoning over all and season with salt and pepper if desired.
SERVES 6 Time icon HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, PLUS CHILLING Yes, hot sweetcorn slathered with salty butter is good but have you tried hot sweetcorn smothered with a pancetta, rosemary and garlic butter? It is divine!
1. Cook the pancetta in a frying pan over a high heat for 1 minute on each side until beginning to crisp. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant and the pancetta is very crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Put the butter in a bowl, add the cooled pancetta mix and stir to combine. Chill for 20 minutes. Once firm enough to handle, spoon onto a sheet of cling film and roll up into a long cylinder, twisting the ends tightly. Wrap in more cling film and chill until firm (see make ahead).
3. Light a barbecue or heat a griddle pan. When the coals are glowing white or the pan is hot, peel back the husks from the corn and cut off or tie back with string. Rub the corn cobs all over with the oil, then grill for 8-10 minutes, turning, until charred and tender. Spread with the flavoured butter and eat straightaway.
The butter will keep, well wrapped, for up to 48 hours in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer.
A sunny white from hot Sicily has the right balance – try a fiano.
Sweetcorn with pancetta, rosemary and garlic butter
I’m a Filipina who grew up in NYC and now lives in Hawaii. Growing up rice was always part of the breakfast menu, actually it was part of every meal. This my have been considered weird back in the 60’s in NYC, but when my family moved to Hawaii in the late 70’s we fit right in.
Growing up we always had an electric rice cooker filled with rice in the kitchen. Left over or day old rice was fried with garlic for breakfast the next morning, we called it “Sinangag”. These days Filipino restaurants call it “Garlic Fried Rice”. Whatever you call it Filipino fried rice is delicious with fried eggs and breakfast meats, preferably Filipino cured meats like Tocino or Tapa.
My grandmothers would make fried rice every morning adding their own twist. Traditionally I think it was made by stir frying left over rice with garlic. My family added soy sauce and green onions to this mix, so that’s pretty much how we make it today.
In Hawaii which is a melting pot of different cultures the Filipino garlic fried rice has melded with other Asian versions of fried rice. On the islands an order of Fried Rice is a meal by itself covering most of the basic food groups; dairy, grains, meats, and veggies, depending on what you put in it.
I look at making fried rice like I do making Lumpia or Eggrolls; you toss in whatever you find in the fridge and call it a day. I simply build ingredients around day old rice (using fresh rice isn’t recommended as it can get too mushy). Fried Rice can be as simple as stir frying garlic and rice or as elaborate as tossing in seafood, meat, and vegetables, like what you’d find on a Chinese Restaurant menu.
If I’m serving it as a side dish then the simpler version usually works best, but if I intend for it to be a complete meal then of course I add more “stuff” in it. So today I’ll share my “recipe” for easy fried rice. Measurements really aren’t that important because it pretty much depends on how much day old rice you have. If you do decide to make it using fresh cooked rice then decrease the water when cooking so that the rice is drier and not mushy; it helps to make fresh rice in the morning and letting it “dry” a bit before making fried rice for lunch or dinner.
Easy Fried Rice
Cooked White Rice – preferably day old rice
1-2 Tsp. Minced Garlic – adjust to taste
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce – adjust to taste and the amount of rice you have
Scrambled Egg chopped into pieces
Meat – I use canned Spam or Portuguese Sausage but you can use any type of breakfast meat you want like bacon or sausage – cooked and diced
2-4 Stalks Green Onions Chopped
1/2 Cup Frozen Green Peas (Optional)
2 Tbl. Oil
Cook and dice your Egg and Meat – set aside.
Heat Oil in Wok or Frying Pan
Stir in garlic and cook about 45 seconds. Don’t let it burn – lower heat if you have to.
Add cooked rice and mix well with garlic. Break up any large clumps of rice.
Drizzle soy sauce over rice and stir in making sure it is evenly distributed. Add more a little at a time if needed. Don’t over do the soy sauce as your fried rice will be too salty.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix in to the rice evenly.
Garnish with extra green onions if desired. Serve hot.