Slow Cooker Brisket Enchiladas

I know Instant Pots are all the rage right now, and I do love mine, but my slow cooker is still the pride and joy of my kitchen gadgets. It is tried and true and never lets me down.

Not too long ago, there was a bulk meat sale at Bristol Farms. I went to “just check it out” and ended up a freezer full of brisket and pork shoulder. As much as I could just eat smoked meat all the time, smoking a brisket is a 12-hour process and we just don’t always have that sort of time commitment. Don’t get me wrong; we will still smoke the brisket at some point, but we have 4 good-sized briskets so at least one of them has to be less time-consuming to prepare.

That’s where these enchiladas came in. Not only were they super easy to make, they were really delicious too! And even though they still took about 10 hours, it was mostly all in the slow cooker so it was pretty much zero maintenance for me.

Slow Cooker Brisket Enchiladas

1 4-5 pound brisket

½ pound shishito peppers

1 brown onion, quartered

4 cloves of garlic

1 package taco seasoning (or homemade)

1 cup beef broth

6 flour tortillas

Shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend

Enchilada sauce (store-bought or homemade)

Put the brisket in the slow cooker fat side up. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Add the peppers (whole), garlic (whole), onion, and beef broth. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.

When the brisket is done, remove to a cutting board and shred with two forks. I also spooned over the shredded meat some of the cooking liquid for added flavor, but that’s optional.

Add about ¼ cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a baking dish.

Put a generous amount of the meat in the tortilla, enough that you can still roll it closed without a mess. Along with some shredded cheese. Roll up and add seam side down to the baking dish. Repeat until done.

Top the enchiladas with the sauce and more cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Advertisements

Dish #14 Chile Relleno (Mexico)

Oh, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of my global dishes. Guess I should have known I’d get side-tracked! Anyway…

If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant (and living in Southern California, I’ve definitely been to my fair share!), you’ve probably seen chile relleno on the menu. Chile relleno (“stuffed chile”) is a traditional Mexican dish that originates from the city of Puebla in Eastern-Central Mexico.

Fun fact: In the store, you will find Poblano peppers. This is what you want for this recipe. Sometimes they are mislabeled as “Pasillo” peppers. This is not an accurate name (since they are named for the city of Puebla), but the pepper is the same. Also, these are NOT hot or spicy peppers. They have a really mild flavor.

Initially, they were stuffed with meat and cheese, though current versions are mostly cheese. Although, you can find them stuffed with pork, raisins, and nuts as well. The ones I made, were all cheese, but I could see where adding, say carnitas, would be really delicious. Which, incidentally, is how they can be found in Guatemala.

This seemed to be one of those authentic dishes, where I’m sure every Mexican grandma makes her own version, and since I’d never had chile relleno before, I was left guessing on how to make mine. There were hundreds of recipes to go through! I finally came up with this one.  It was good. I think the batter needed more salt/flavor. That part was pretty bland. But mixed with the tomato sauce and the cheese, then it was so delicious! I will definitely make this again.

If anyone has a tried and true recipe, I’d love to try it! Or if you happen to know Marcela Valladolid and she wants to personally teach me her way, I’d be ok with that too!

First, start with a handful of cherry tomatoes and 1/2 a diced onion. Drizzle with olive oil (I highly recommend this garlic olive oil from Trader Joe’s if you can get it. I use it all the time). Sprinkle with salt and put in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

After the tomatoes are roasted, add them to a blender or food processor. Add a bit more oil and 1/2 tablespoon oregano, and some garlic. Blend well.

For the batter:
With a whisk, mix together 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup corn meal, 1/2 tablespoon baking powder, 4 eggs, and 1 cup milk. Add a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. It should be pretty thick, like pancake batter. Set aside.

Char the outsides of the peppers. Just put them straight over the flame. They will make a crackling sound, but that’s ok. You want the skins to blister and blacken.

After you blacken the skins, put the hot peppers in a plastic zip lock bag for a few minutes. This will create steam which will make it much easier to peel the peppers.

After about 5 minutes in the steamy bag, you can take the peppers out and just rub the skin off with a paper towel.  It’s OK if you leave some of the skin on; the char will add to the flavor.

Next, take a small knife and cut through the top layer only, down the middle.

Remove the seeds and you will have just the empty pepper vessels, waiting to be filled up!

I think you can put a wide variety of cheese in here. I slathered a nice layer of cream cheese (about a spoonful on each pepper and then spread out) and a mexican cheese mix (preshredded. You can find this at the grocery store).  Fill ’em up!

Now, surgery time. Take some toothpick and seal them back up. DON’T FORGET THESE ARE IN THERE WHEN YOU GO TO EAT IT!!! SERIOUSLY! DANGER AHEAD!! WARN YOUR GUESTS!

Dip the stuffed peppers in the batter and then add to hot vegetable oil to fry up. About 5 minutes on each side. I don’t know if they should be this messy or not, but I’ll chalk it up to being my first time!

.

 Serve with the sauce and enjoy! Like I said, I didn’t know what to expect but it was yummy! Maybe I’ll order one at a restaurant so I know what it should taste like and make mine a bit better!

What do you think?

Dish #11: (Diet friendly!) Beef and bean burritos (Mexico)

Ok, so I haven’t posted in awhile and I think I need to take some time off already. The hubby and I are going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in May and that means we have a mere 5 months to get beach body ready!! So, unless I find something particularly in line with our meal plan, there won’t be many posts from me for a little while. I do promise some Dominican-inspired recipes when I get back though!

I wouldn’t just leave without saying goodbye, so here’s a delicious dish to get you through to my return!

(Diet Friendly) Beef and Bean Burritos

Living my whole life in Southern California (Culver City, by way of Bakersfield and Long Beach), Mexican food has always been an option for any meal I could want. And as delicious as it is, it really isn’t the healthiest of choices! I’m always looking for ways to make it little bit friendlier on the waistline and I think this one fits the bill.

Burritos, or a preface to the modern burrito, has been around for many, many years. The precise origin is unknown, but it is known to have been common among the vaqueros of northern Mexico in the 19th century, the California Central Valley farmworkers, and the Sonoran miners. Either way, the common denominator in these theories is the convenience factor of a packet of food wrapped in a tortilla for the hard workers.

Burritos are most commonly found in Northern Mexico, i.e. Ciudad Juarez, where people can buy them from street carts. Mostly, they are only filled with 2 ingredients, like a meat and refried beans. Burritos started to become known in the US in the 1930s. In California alone, there are at least three different styles of burrito: Mission Burritos in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego style. All have more ingredients than the traditional Mexican burrito and are much larger!

This burrito is sort of a mix match of different types and I don’t really have a set recipe. It is all up to your specific tastes!

Beef
1lb Lean Ground beef (90-95%)
Taco seasoning (2t garlic salt, 2t cumin,1T chile powder, 1t onion powder. I try not to use the taco seasoning packets if I can help it. They are chock full of sodium. But, you know, sometimes I do because that’s real life.) You can adjust the seasonings if you need to suit your own tastes

Brown the beef in a skillet, just before it’s done, add the seasonings and continue cooking until done.

Beans
I make these in the crock pot and they are so good, you won’t even miss the fat usually used in refried beans!

All you need is dry pinto beans and water. However much beans you put in, make sure they are well covered in water. It’s better to put too much than not enough. I did 1 cup of beans and like 6 or 7 cups of water. You can always drain water at the end, but if there isn’t enough while it’s cooking, the beans will dry up and burn.

In the crock pot, add the beans, 1/2 an onion diced, 3 garlic cloves, 2 t cumin, 1 t salt. Top with water.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Drain most of the water into a container. Keep it just in case the beans are too dry when you mash them and you need to add more liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher or an immersion blender (my favorite method) to your desired consistency. Add more seasoning if you need. I found that most times I need to add a bit more salt. Just remember, you can always add, you can’t take away.

Assemble

I used these multigrain tortillas from Mission Tortilla, and surprise, surprise! they were yummy!! And at only 100 calories a pop, I’m all for it. Now, they aren’t huge, but I felt satisfied after one burrito. (Portion control!)

Put a smear of beans on the tortilla, spoon the meat onto the beans and top with a little cheese (everything in moderation, you guys), and tomatoes. You can add lettuce if you want. I know my husband likes to put his fair share of Tapatio on his.

I promise you, it was so yummy! I think red meat tends to get a bad rap, but if you get a really lean beef, you should be fine. It is loaded with protein and iron.

If the beef really bothers you, you could easily substitute ground turkey or chicken.

Also, if you call the whole thing a Beef and Bean Wrap instead of a tortilla, it sounds healthier :0)

Enjoy!

2015/01/img_3041.jpg

2015/01/img_3042.jpg