06 January 2009

Meal of the Day: Enchiladas

enchiladasEnchiladas! I get so excited any time anyone mentions them. I love them so much that I buy frozen ones from Trader Joe's just because they're the most authentic thing out east. Sure, I'm half Mexican, learned the recipe from my naturalized grandmother who was born in Chihuahua, but I buy mine from Trader Joe's, because they're "more authentic." Wait. What?

Okay, so the thing about enchiladas: They're messy and they're time intensive. There's either oil involved, or just the flipping and the number of dishes it takes can be overwhelming, plus what do you serve with them? Where's the vegetable? The only thing I do differently than my grandma taught is that I buy my enchilada sauce from Old El Paso instead of making it in my blender from dried red chilies. Oh, and I also buy my tortillas instead of making them from scratch, but let me tell you: I bought some masa last time I was at the supermarket, so watch out supermarket tortillas.

Enchiladas are a highly attention oriented meal, where you're doing all the work the whole time, and then it's time to eat, which is something that doesn't entirely appeal to me (there's something poetic about checking my email while dinner "simmers" or "boils"), but in the end they were delicious and well worth the effort.

The thing that tripped me up was the mexican rice. I haven't ever attempted to make rice that wasn't plain and straightforward rice+water in rice cooker, and I wasn't sure it would turn out fantastically. I added some stewed tomatoes and tomato boullion, and I browned the rice over oil with garlic and onions before throwing them in the rice cooker. Turns out it's hard to screw up rice when you use a rice cooker. Maybe will repeat on Taco night?

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