Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

Ever since my husband and I lived in Texas, we have had a love for all Tex-mex food. Whether it be tacos or and tamales, we enjoy all parts of this cuisine. The food loving person that I am, enjoy learning how to make all of it along with some tricks and secrets along the way. When you add warm and spicy to cool and fresh, it just makes for a wonderful relationship that you can’t just forget. Please, try this recipe and you’ll see exactly what I mean!

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef (73%-80% lean)
  • 1 pkg Burrito size white flour tortillas (or homemade recipe in blog)
  • 2 cups Colby jack or mild cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 medium White onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely diced or grated)
  • 3 tbsp Fresh parsley (each tbsp separated)
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp White sugar (optional)
  • 1 small can Diced green Chiles (mild)
  • 1 large can Red enchilada sauce (any brand you prefer)
  • 1 can Black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Toppings- diced tomato, shredded lettuce, green onions, sour cream, etc. Plus any additional sides-refried beans, rice, guacamole, etc.

 

First, preheat a large skillet, on medium heat and begin cooking the beef. As it is cooking , break the meat into smaller pieces. About half way through add in the onion, garlic, S & P, 1 teaspoon of parsley, and garlic powder. Turn the heat down slightly, and continue cooking until the meat is cooked completely and onions have started to soften. Add in a teaspoon of diced chiles and stir. Remove the cooked beef from the heat and set aside.

 

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Next, remove the burritos from the package or container and place on a flat surface to begin the filling process. Place the meat, drained black beans, shredded cheese, and casserole dish in an assembly type line. Mix the remainder of the chiles into the enchilada sauce and add to the assembly line as well.

First, place about 1/3 of a cup of the cooked meat onto a tortilla. Next, add in about 2 tablespoons worth of black beans and about the same amount of cheese. From one end to the next, roll the burrito up carefully and place into the casserole dish. Repeat this process until the casserole dish is filled. The enchiladas should be packed tightly together. Next add on the mixture of enchilada sauce and chiles to the top along with tomatoes and green onions(if desired). Place additional cheese on top and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 375°. If you can cover the casserole dish do so or cover with foil. (If not, they will dry out quickly.) Remove the cover for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the enchiladas set for approximately 5 minutes. If not, it may make it difficult to remove them when serving. Once they have cooled, serve with any of your favorite topping and sides. As always, enjoy!

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Feel free to add additional spices such as oregano and cilantro

 

 

 

Grilled Iceberg Salad

What is there to say about a salad, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, grilled to perfection, and consumed ever so quickly? It’s so delicious that you don’t realize that with each bite, your senses are punch with smoky flavors you can’t get with just an ordinary salad. It takes about 5 minutes, from start to finish and you can change it how ever you would like.  And for those of you asking, does it stay warm? Does the lettuce wilt? The answers are no.  Read my recipe below and try it! You’ll see!

 

Grilled Iceberg Salad

1 head serves 4

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing (glaze)

  • 1/8 cup EVOO
  • 4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of S & P
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Pinch of Garlic powder

Salad Fixings

  • 1 head Iceberg lettuce (quartered with root attached)
  • 3 tbsp Blue cheese dressing (per wedge)
  • 1 large Tomato (diced)
  • 1 medium Cucumber (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup Croutons
  • Additional fixings (optional: bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, toasted pecans, pear or apple slices, cheddar cheese, etc.)

 

Indoor grill or outdoor grill (preferred)

Preheat the grill to about 250°-275°.  Put all the ingredients of the glaze into a container that closes tightly. Shake for about 30 seconds or until completely mixed. With a basting brush,  coat all the sides (except for the rounded outside) of the lettuce. Place the lettuce onto the grill for about 30-45 seconds. Repeat on the other side and remove from the heat immediately.  Do not put the grilled lettuce in the refrigerator; that will make it wilt. Set the lettuce aside and let it cool at room temperature for a couple minutes.

After the lettuce has cooled, add any additional ingredients of your liking and serve.  Tip: when the lettuce is on the grill, you should be able to smell the balsamic vinegar and when that smells goes away, the lettuce is ready to be removed from the heat.

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Simple Cream Puffs

What can I say? These little desserts are light, airy, simple, creamy, and delicious. They are perfect for a party or a sweet date night in. Share them or don’t! Cream puffs look so hard to make but truly they are so simple! Although, I love the traditional ones, (that are pictures above) my husband, would prefer chocolate on the inside. You can add orange cream to the center and dip them in ganache or make cannoli filling for an Italian night. Any way you decide to make cream puffs, they are so good and the recipe below will show you how simple they are to make! Even for those not too good at baking. Give them a try!

Simple Cream Puffs

Makes approximately 20

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Dough

  • 4 Eggs plus 1 egg mixed for glazing tops
  • 1 Stick unsalted butter
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup AP flour

Filling

  • 1 Large box of cook and serve pudding (vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 pint Whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Confectionary sugar
  • 3 tbsp Confectionary Sugar (decoration)

 

First, in a medium size kettle, pour in the milk, the contents of the pudding packet, and the vanilla. Stir and bring to a boil on medium heat. Once the pudding has thickened, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the warm pudding into a container with a lid, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and 1 tsp of confectionary sugar and whip on the highest speed. You should only have to whip the cream for about a minute or until a light fluff has formed. If you over mix the whipped cream, it will look like butter.  Place the whipped cream into the refrigerator until the pudding is cooled.

Once the pudding is cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding. This is your filling aka pastry cream. It should be light and fluffy. Put the pastry cream into a zip lock bag and cut a tip off to insert into the bottom of the puff.

For the puff, in a medium pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add in the water, sugar, salt, extracts, spices, and flour. This should make the dough into a tight ball. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 3-4 minutes. Then add the 4 eggs, one by one and stir quickly. This will loosen the dough slightly. (The dough will look like blobs until it is completely mixed) Scoop the dough into a separate zip lock back and cut a tip off to pipe the puffs onto a baking sheet.

 

The puffs should be about 1 inch by 1 inch and need to be on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix up the additional egg and brush on the top of each puff. This will give them a glazed look. Bake the puffs for 28 minutes at 375°.  Let them cool for 10 minutes before filling.

 

Now that the puffs and filling are made, poke a small hole with a butter knife on the bottom of each puff. Take the zip lock, with the filling inside, and slightly press to fill the puff. Once it is filled, you should feel slight pressure to pull it out. Place on a flat surface and sprinkle confectionary sugar on top. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. As always, enjoy!

 

Feel free to use instant pudding, if you choose. The cream puffs won’t have the same taste but they will still good.