LAZY ENCHILADAS

I know we’re all running up to Thanksgiving, so most of us are thinking about turkey, potatoes, and cranberries but last night we kicked off the week with the Greenbean’s favorite, taco night.  My oldest sprout was home from college and she is sick of bland cafeteria food so she wanted some tex-mex.

In addition to yummy guacamole and homemade tacos I made one of my favorite dishes.  I call it lazy enchiladas.  Other people might call it that too, but I don’t really know.  However it is not really an enchilada at all but it is the easiest and tastiest tex-mex that a person can make.  Active prep time is about 10 minutes and the total cook time is only 50 minutes.  Maybe tonight you’ll want to make it before you have to get all serious about Thanksgiving food.

Ingredients:  1 package of 8 frozen burritos (beef and bean is what I get, but the cheese ones are good too), 3 cans no beans Wolf Brand Chili (yes, it does matter), 1 can Rotel tomatoes, 1 large chopped onion, 2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

How Long Has It Been . . That's Too Long. pic from texmex.net
How Long Has It Been . . That’s Too Long.
pic from texmex.net

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a saucepan, combine the chili and Rotel and heat.  Place the frozen burritos in a baking dish (I use a stoneware dish).  Pour the chili mixture over the top of the burritos.  Layer the onions on top of the chili and put in the oven for 40 minutes.  After 40 minutes, remove and cover the top with the cheese and put back in the oven.  After five minutes, or until the cheese is melted, remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes.  Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and hot tortillas.  It can be a side dish like it was for us last night or you can serve it stand alone with a tall glass of ice tea.

The Beaning of Life–Some people assume that beans have to be in chili.  Of course, these people are wrong, but if these misguided souls want beans then I suggest using 1 can of Ranch Style beans as a substitution for one of the cans of chili.  Never, ever buy chili with beans in it.  It’s just plain wrong.

Spice Me–If you like more spice, then put some chili powder, cayenne powder, cumin, and fresh ground pepper in the chili mixture when you heat it.  You could also chop up some fresh peppers and add to the mix or even put in some red hot sauce.  Be warned, though, this heat can sneak up on you and steamroll quickly.

 

FEED ME

One of the things that I look forward to with our yearly excursion to the Empire of Texas are the foods that I miss so much.  There are many delightful foods in Washington—salmon, fish-n-chips, blackberries, apples, cherries, etc… but I still miss some of the favorites from my youth. 

Barbeque

As I’ve grown up I’ve learned to appreciate the subtleties of different kinds of barbeque; such as  pulled pork or the Carolina golden and the unique zang of Memphis style.  Yet, I am a Texas boy and barbeque to me means brisket, cooked over a slow smoky fire, rubbed (NOT SAUCED) with a unique mixture concocted by the pit-master.  It must be served with white bread, some type of bean, pickles, onions, and ice tea.  No plates, just butcher paper.

 Tex-Mex

I could call this one Mexican food, but that would offend my friends on the west coast where they cook up a variety of yummy Mexican food that I love also—like fish tacos or wet burritos.  My experience is that this ‘Cali-Mex’ is more citrusy, lemony, and fruity.  Mango would never pass muster for Tex-Mex.  Tex-Mex is chili con carne, guacamole, hot jalapenos, cilantro enriched salsa, and chili rellenos that will knock your socks off.  Tex-Mex has a bite that comes from an emphasis upon tomatoes and peppers and spicy meat.  Oh, and don’t forget to deep fry something.

Catfish

My desire for catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw, pickles and onions and tartar sauce is located in my East Texas childhood.  A ‘catfish fry’ is a social event as much as a food event in which family and friends gather around the deep fat fryer and enjoy yummy goodness.  Catfish is not my favorite fresh water fish, that would be large mouth bass.  Yet when deep-fried and paired with hush puppies and tartar sauce (and don’t forget the sweet tea) something magical happens.  The planets align, foes drop their swords, and world peace occurs—at least long enough to shovel in as many filets as possible.

Pittsburgh Hot Links

It is hard to describe the emotions, desire and longing that swell up within me when I think of these beautiful delights.  They are not for everyone, but they are, quite possibly, the best thing I have ever eaten in a restaurant, anywhere, period.  There is only one place I know to get them and that is JB’s Hotlinks in my hometown of Hughes Springs,Texas.  It is a sausage case filled with yummy, spicy sausage and then deep-fried.  I eat mine with chili, cheese, and onions on top and then squirt this outrageously insane good vinegary sauce on it then eat it with crackers.  The best drink pairing with this:  Cherry Coke.

They are called “Pittsburgh” hot links but I do not know if that is Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania or Pittsburgh,Texas.  I don’t care.  I just want more.  Everyone should make a pilgrimage at least once to go have some in their lifetime.

Yum Yum

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell ice cream is simply the best in the world.  I like any of the vanilla flavors along with fresh Fredericksburg peaches.  Yum.  I haven’t had much of this because of the large amount of calories involved; but I have had my fix.

On the way home, back to good old Port Orchard, I think I will have to buy some Alka-Seltzer and update my workout routine.