Homemade gluten free enchilada sauce

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour
Instructions
  1. Put chicken broth in medium bowl, add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and salt.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Heat coconut oil in sauce pan when hot add flour and stir to combine, it should form a bubbly paste.
  4. Add broth mixture and stir until sauce starts to bubble. Then remove from heat.
  5. Pour over your favorite mexican dishes; enchiladas, tamales, mexican rice and pulled pork or whatever you desire.
  6. Bake in oven for desired amount of time to make a hot bubbly spicy sauce.
Notes
Cayenne pepper can also be added to increase the heat, start with 1 teaspoon and increase as your palate desires.

Corn Tortillas

Warm corn tortillas, eaten hot off the griddle is so satisfying. Fill those tortillas with chicken filling, beef or pork and they are even more satisfying. I wrapped them up with melted butter and ate them hot and dripping with butter “taco nada” nothing taco. These also work great for enchiladas, tostadas or home made corn chips. These are so easy I don’t know why I have ever bought the dry flaky ones in the grocery store. I used a tortilla press, which really helped in getting them super thin, a rolling pin works well too. Keep them in a bowl filled with kitchen towels while the others cook and this keeps them warm and steamy. Keeping them soft and ready for your filling.

Combine Masa with water until a soft semi stiff dough forms that resembles play dough.

It should be easily pliable not too stiff and slightly moist but not sticky. Too dry and it won’t hold together when cooking.

A tortilla press makes this so easy to do. Cast iron or stainless steel either will work well.

Place a medium size ball of dough in the center of the press.

Press the handle of the press down several times to assure the dough is pressed thinly

Using a flat spatula gently remove the tortilla from the press.

The tortilla should be thin and hold together well.

Put tortilla on medium hot griddle with no oil. Cook about 30 seconds until tiny bubbles form, then flip over and cook until light brown dots develop about 1 minute. Flip and repeat on other side. Keep tortillas in covered dish until ready to serve.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups hot water
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in bowl, using hands mix ingredients until a soft pliable dough forms.
  2. The dough should be moist but not sticky and hold it shape.
  3. Make golf ball size balls
  4. Place in center of tortilla press sprayed with nonstick spray and press firmly to make thin disks about 6-8 inches round.
  5. Using a flat thin spatula remove from press.
  6. Place on medium high griddle.
  7. Cook about 30 seconds then turn. Cook another minute, then turn again.
  8. Light brown spots should start to appear on bottom side.
  9. Place in a bowl with dish towel and cover, add remaining tortilla.
  10. This will help to steam the tortillas until ready to serve.
Notes
Many recipes recommend placing the ball in between two pieces of a plastic bag, then peeling the tortilla off the plastic. I was not successful doing this. So be patient and keep trying until you find a method that works for you.

If the dough is sticking too much it might need some more flour. If it is falling apart it might need some more water.

Flour Tortillas

Who doesn’t love tacos, right?  Do you know what makes taco Tuesday even more amazing?  Homemade Flour Tortillas.  It’s surprisingly simple.  But yes it takes a bit more time than pulling them out of a bag.  But sooooo worth it.  Flour tortillas from the store will never taste as good again.

So let’s get started.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the electric mixer bowl stir to incorporate well. Put on the dough hook. Add shortening or lard, mix a bit to break into smaller pieces. Add water with the mixer running on medium speed. Mix for 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.  When mixture begins to form a ball, decrease speed to low. Continue mixing for another minute until dough is smooth.

Transfer to a well-floured counter. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, form each into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes. This step is important, the dough will respond better if it is allowed to rest. Using well-floured rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a circle, about 6-7 inches round or as thin as possible. This will work best if you keep the counter and rolling pin well-floured. You have seen them do it at the fresh-mex restaurants.

Heat an electric griddle set to about 400 degrees, place one dough circle onto ungreased griddle. Cook about 1 minute, until top forms a few bubbles and the bottom starts to develop a few brown spots. Flip tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Remove from griddle and stack on a plate if eating immediately or in a covered container if saving for later. Repeat with remaining tortillas, dust off any flour that accumulates on the griddle.

If serving later, heat in microwave for 15-30 seconds until warm.

They will keep well if kept in airtight container or zipper bag. They can also be frozen for a later event, separate tortillas with waxed paper and place in a freezer zipper bag.

*In all this took about an hour. To speed things up you could make the dough ahead of time, and have someone rolling and someone cooking.

*This was fun to do and the flour tortillas made great enchiladas the next day. They were stiff the day I made them but softened up after sitting in the fridge over night. I think using real lard will remedy this. I spoke with one of my patients a 86 year old woman from Mexico her recommendation was to use more water.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or lard
  • 1½ cups water
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the electric mixer bowl stir to incorporate well.
  2. Put on the dough hook. Add shortening or lard, mix a bit to break into smaller pieces.
  3. Add water with the mixer running on medium speed.
  4. Mix for 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. When mixture begins to form a ball, decrease speed to low.
  6. Continue mixing for another minute until dough is smooth.
  7. Transfer to a well-floured counter.
  8. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, form each into a ball.
  9. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  10. This step is important, the dough will respond better if it is allowed to rest.
  11. Using well-floured rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a circle, about 6-7 inches round or as thin as possible. This will work best if you keep the counter and rolling pin well-floured. You have seen them do it at the fresh-mex restaurants.
  12. Heat an electric griddle set to about 400 degrees, place one dough circle onto ungreased griddle. Cook about 1 minute, until top forms a few bubbles and the bottom starts to develop a few brown spots. Flip tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds more.
  13. Remove from griddle and stack on a plate if eating immediately or in a covered container if saving for later.
  14. Repeat with remaining tortillas, dust off any flour that accumulates on the griddle.
Notes
These will store well in an airtight container for a week. Or frees then if wanting them for later.

 

Taco Bean Salad

Taco bean salad was a favorite at our table when I was a child. The idea that you could crunch up your corn chips, then add the meat and lettuce, then pile on cheese and all the taco sauce you wanted was a joy. My kids loved it as well. my one daughter did not like it as a salad so she would make a pile of cheese, a pile of meat, a pile of lettuce and a pile of chips and eat them one by one. Other families that I know would throw everything in a bowl and then serve it from there. This recipe has a can of chili in the meat adding a great meat and bean mix to put on your bed of chips and lettuce.

For this taco bean salad, in a large fry pan brown the hamburger, when about half way done add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are opaque and meat is almost done. Drain off fat. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Grate cheese and slice lettuce, dice tomatoes.

Place a layer of chips on a plate. (we always crushed ours). Top with a handful of chopped lettuce, then a scoop of meat mixture. Next sprinkle on the cheese, then tomatoes and finish with a dollop of sour cream. Add taco sauce or salsa if desired. We never put salad dressing on our taco bean salad, if you want you can put on a ranch or other southwest creamy dressing if you choose.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean hamburger
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can chili
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tomato diced
bag natural corn chips
  • salsa, taco sauce, diced onions, sliced olives.
Instructions
  1. Brown hamburger, when about half way done add onions and garlic. Cook until meat is almost done. Drain off fat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  3. Grate cheese and slice lettuce, dice tomatoes
  4. Prepare
  5. Place chips on a plate (crush if desired), top with meat, then cheese. Sprinkle with lettuce salsa tomato and sour cream.
Notes
Sliced olives and diced onions can be added on top.

Cinco de Mayo

5th of May yeah so what? Well in Mexico “Cinco de Mayo” is a holiday which commemorated the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This celebration should not be confused with their independence day which is celebrated in September. This celebration is actually more widely observed outside of Mexico than in. The United States, has adopted this day where we have celebrations emphasizing Mexican cuisine, culture and music, in American style. Those crazy Americans.

Mexican food is a combination of Spanish food combined with the indigenous food found here when the Spanish invaded meso-america in the 16th century.

The Spanish invaders brought with them the popular staples of, corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers, cheese and  rice. The Aztec people incorporated these food with their cooking. Pork, beef and chicken are common meats available in Mexican food. Fish and shrimp have become favorites as well.

The ever present tortilla is found in many Mexican dishes. The food is either eaten rolled in the tortilla or as a side item eaten with a dish, as with chile verde. Since I am not Mexican nor have any close Mexican relatives, I am a gringo when it comes to my Mexican favorites. (Or if you prefer the politically correct term Hispanic).

First on the order for Cinco de Mayo is tacos, of course, who does not love a taco. Crunchy from our favorite fast food restaurant or warmed and delivered to your table in a finer dining restaurant. My brother loved tacos, second to chocolate it was his favorite food. I can not eat tacos without remembering the day he came home from his LDS mission.  He took me (I was 12) to Taco Time so he could have his first taste of tacos after being in Montreal, Canada for two years.

OK enough history lets get to the food.

I have decided to be brave this Cinco de Mayo and make my own tortillas. I decided to try my hand at a tortilla press I found this worked well for the corn tortillas but not the flour ones as it did not get them thin enough. These turned out really delicious and the flour tortillas made great enchiladas

Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup regular shortening or lard
  • 1 cup warm water
Instructions
  1. Use dough hook and electric stand mixer.
  2. Pour flour, salt and baking soda in mixing bowl.
  3. With the mixer running on medium speed, add shortening, mix until shortening is broken up into small pieces.
  4. And water. Mix for 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. When mixture begins to form a ball, decrease speed to low. Continue mixing for another minute until dough is smooth.
  6. Transfer to a well-floured counter. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, form each into a ball.
  7. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Using well-floured rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a circle, about 6-7 inches round. As thin as possible. This will work best if you keep the counter and rolling pin well-floured.
  9. Using a electric griddle set to about 400degrees, place one dough circle onto griddle.
  10. Cook about 1 minute, until top forms a few bubbles and the bottom starts to develop a few brown spots.
  11. Flip tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds more.
  12. Remove from griddle and stack on a covered plate if eating immediately or in a covered container if saving for later.
  13. Repeat with remaining tortillas, dust off any flour that accumulates on the griddle.
  14. If serving later, heat in microwave for 15-30 seconds until warm.
Notes
The tortillas will keep well if kept in airtight container or zipper bag. They can also be frozen for a later event, separate tortillas with waxed paper and place in a freezer zipper bag.
Transfer to a well-floured counter. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, form each into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes. This step is important, the dough will respond better if it is allowed to rest.
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the electric mixer bowl stir to incorporate well. Put on the dough hook. Add shortening and mix a bit to break into smaller pieces. Add water with the mixer running on medium speed. Mix for 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.  When mixture begins to form a ball, decrease speed to low. Continue mixing for another minute until dough is smooth.Using well-floured rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a circle, about 6-7 inches round or as thin as possible. This will work best if you keep the counter and rolling pin well-floured. You have seen them do it at the fresh-mex restaurants.Using a electric griddle set to about 400 degrees, place one dough circle onto ungreased griddle. Cook about 1 minute, until top forms a few bubbles and the bottom starts to develop a few brown spots. Flip tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Remove from griddle and stack on a plate if eating immediately or in a covered container if saving for later. Repeat with remaining tortillas, dust off any flour that accumulates on the griddle.If serving later, heat in microwave for 15-30 seconds until warm.

They will keep well if kept in airtight container or zipper bag. They can also be frozen for a later event, separate tortillas with waxed paper and place in a freezer zipper bag.

*In all this took about an hour. To speed things up you could make the dough ahead of time, and have someone rolling and someone cooking.

*This was fun to do and the Tortillas made great enchiladas the next day. They were stiff the day I made them but softened up after sitting in the fridge over night. I think using real lard will remedy this.

To create an entire Cinco de Mayo Menu try these other recipes from my gringo cooking.

Chicken quesadilla with chile verde

Is there any snack better than quesadilla, it is unlikely. Melted cheese and tortillas can feed one or 10 with ease. We always have these when we get home from church on Sunday, when we are all starving. It is quick to prepare and easy to clean up. Serve with some salsa and sour cream for dipping. Make extra to have for lunches or snacks later.

Using left over chicken or canned. Shred the meat and mix with 1 tsp Mrs Dash garlic and herb season and Mr Dash tomato and basil seasoning.

Prepare ingredients. Place one tortilla on hot grill. Once warm flip over.

Sprinkle tortilla with cheese, chicken meat, onions and chile verde sauce. Let cheese melt a bit. Place second tortilla on top. Press down a bit then flip over and let cook until cheese is melted throughout.

Top with more Chile Verde and let your taste buds do the happy dance.

I have used a quesadilla cooker to make these and they turn out great since both top and bottom are cooked at the same time.

Ingredients
  • 2 c left over chicken shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs Dash garlic herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs Dash tomato and basil seasoning
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 8 10 inch flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine chicken and seasonings stir to combine.
  2. Place one tortilla on hot griddle, warm a few minutes then turn over,
  3. Sprinkle tortilla with cheese, chicken meat, onions and chile verde sauce.
  4. Let cheese melt a bit. Place second tortilla on top.
  5. Press down a bit then flip over and let cook until cheese is melted throughout.
  6. Remove from grill and cut in 8 triangles.
  7. Serve with warmed chile verde

 

Chili Verde

Chile Verde is a classic Mexican staple. Most Americans only know it as smothered on burritos or some other Mexican dish. Every time I make it my dad says the same thing. What is this soup, how do I eat it, what do I do with it. We serve it in a small bowl with flour tortillas. No other condiments or side dishes needed.

I always make this after I have made a pork roast. I use the leftover roast and simmer it all day with the other ingredients. Too often Chile Verde is served as a runny green liquid and firm chunks of pork often chewy. Really not at all appetizing.

Making this with left over pork provides the perfect soft pork meat. This is not good if hurried, it is a slow process worth the wait. Heavy on the pork makes this nice and thick for scooping up with tortillas. I add a bottle of salsa, the tomatoes add a perfect tanginess to this adding depth to the tomatillos and chiles.

Pull left over pork into shreds. In crock pot combine 1 bottle chunky salsa according to your desired heat and 1 bottle green chile salsa with tomatillos. Add 1 large onions cubed, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, 2 large cans of chopped green chilies, 2 cups left over pork broth or chicken broth.

Let simmer on low 6-8 hours. Stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before serving evaluate the thickness, if it is too runny add 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1/2 cup water well blended. Stir let simmer  to thicken stir as needed.

Serve with warm flour tortillas, tear off pieces of tortilla and scoop up the chile verde.

Smother your favorite dishes with the leftovers

Note: If you make gravy from your roast dripping add this to your verde.

DO NOT HURRY THIS it needs to marinate and simmer all day to create the best flavor.

Hot peppers can be added to suit your taste. Hot salsa can warm it up as well.

Make smothered burritos with the leftovers.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups leftover pork roast cubed large chunks or shredded
  • 1 bottle Chile Verde salsa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans green chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • Hot peppers as desired
  • Serve with flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients in a crock pot.
  2. Simmer 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Before serving check for saltiness and heat factor.
Notes
This can not be hurried. I can not emphasize this enough. DO NOT HURRY THIS. It needs to simmer and marinate all day to bring out the full flavor and to soften the meat.
The wait is worth it when you eat this.

If you don’t have a left over pork roast, you can dice the roast then sear the chunks in a pan, avoid getting a stewed meat. Keep the meat dry.