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Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 7, 2011 Finally Home with the WHOLE enchilada! Recipe included.

We have been travellling for our honeymoon, but finally we made it home and are about to have our first "home-cooked meal" at our own house as a married couple.
Of course, chateaubriand for two would be quite lovely--but that ain't gonna happen today. So I had to consider two variables in planning this meal.

Important Variable #1: What does my new husband like to eat?
Important Variable #2: What do I have in my fridge or freezer that I need to get rid of?

Since we were gone last week, the refrigerator has an echo in it. But I noticed that I still had leftover turkey that I brined for Thanksgiving in the freezer.  Leftover turkey freezes well as long as you cover it very well. I like to put it in aluminum foil and then place that in a plastic freezer bag and label it with the date. If your turkey wasn't moist to begin with though, I don't recommend it.  It will have the consistency of paper when you unthaw it.  And I can tell you after a tough disciplinary lesson from my second grade teacher, you DON'T want to eat paper! Another freezing note on turkey--use it quick, preferably within 3 months. So this brings me back to QUESTION 1 and the answer to that is ANYTHING MEXICAN.  My hubby would eat at Chipotle or Blue Coast Burrito every single night if I didn't tempt him away with culinary concoctions!
So the marriage of question 1 to question 2 = Turkey Enchilada. (I am going to append all RECIPES  I used to the end of this blog.)  I served that up with an "imagination" Mexican salad--what I imagine would go in a salad in Mexico-- and a DELICIOUS ginger cake with lemon custard ice cream.

I started by making the ginger cake, since it had to cool off before I could frost it. It turned out great and was very low cost, since I have most of the ingredients in the cupboard. The frosting is easy- a cup of whipped cream, a tablespoon of confectioner's sugar and 1/4 cup of store bought lemon curd and some lemon zest. The lemon custard ice cream was Kay's brand.Seems like most of the major ice cream producers are NOT into lemon custard that much.
While the cake was baking, I sous cheffed all the ingredients for the turkey enchiladas.
I love to use these little ramekins to store the ingredients until I get ready to use them. Also ladies, if you find a guy who will buy you flowers and then put them out for you in a vase where your cutting board is, MARRY HIM right away!  Another word about preparing the ingredients for this dish: chipotle peppers in sauce = ADOBO.
This stuff tastes amazing BUT if you are not used to heat in your food, you may want to use only 1/2 or even a 1/4 of the called for amount. If you love it hot, you may want to double it, but I don't recommend it. For 6 enchiladas, I used ONLY 3/4 tsp. and the heat was definitely there. You can store unused adobo in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 months or EVEN BETTER, freeze it. This website shows you the way to freeze the chipotle peppers and the sauce separately...then it keeps longer.
Next time I buy adobo, I am going to check this method out!
Here's what my final enchilada product looked like:

I served it with my imagination salad: red leaf lettuce, red bell peppers, matchstick carrots, and plenty of avocado and a chipotle ranch dressing. My husband is keeping CINDY's, the dressing brand, in business. I would like to stay married so I am not going to mention how many bottles of dressing were in his frig when I met him (avg in US=8--my baby--lots more than avg!)  I chopped up the salad ingredients while the enchilada was baking 30 minutes in the oven. I also frosted the cake.
Not bad for  a first meal at home-cooked meal for us old married folks!
What did my husband have to say about this feast?

IMAGINATION SALAD: "A fresh green salad is always good."
TURKEY ENCHILADA: "Perfectly spiced."
GINGER CAKE: "Don't take this to work."  My honeybuns does not like to eat leftovers, so this comment translates to HOME RUN!
We also want to give a brief shout out to the Cigar City Brewing Company in Cocoa Beach, FL. They microbrew beer and we got the last available bottle of this Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale at the East Coast Winery in Melbourne. You can taste the beer. You can taste the espresso. And they both taste good. Paul's opinion: "I wish they'd had more of this stuff."

Turkey Enchilada
Would serve 4 good appetites

  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce can enchilada sauce
  • 1 12 ounce jar of salsa (because I didn't buy enough enchilada sauce--you could buy a big can and skip this ingredient.)
  • 3 small plum tomatoes,  chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded cooked turkey
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • one small can green chiles, drained
  • 3/8 cup sour cream
  • 6   8 inch corn tortillas
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes and chipotles. Cover; simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Mix turkey, half of the cheese, sour cream and the green chiles in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup turkey mixture in center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas. Arrange seam side down in dish. Spoon 3/4 of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese or more if you like it really cheesy. Bake enchiladas until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Rewarm remaining sauce in saucepan over medium-low heat. Transfer to sauceboat. Serve enchiladas, passing sauce separately.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger or a little more!
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a little more!
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar (it won't hurt if it is the dark kind)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses (the recipe I adapted from calls for light golden molasses)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger from a squeeze tube (usually in produce section) or 2 tsp fresh grated

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup store-bought lemon curd
  • Finely grated lemon zest
  • Special equipment: An 8" square metal cake pan


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; spray paper. Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over; whisk until melted. Whisk in sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add dry ingredients; whisk to blend. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack; let cool. Remove parchment.
For topping:
Beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold in curd, leaving swirls. Spread over cake. Garnish with zest.


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