Category Archives: Recipes

Recipes

How to Make the Mosting Amazing Red Chili Enchilada Sauce

red-chili-enchilada-sauce

 

One of my favorite dishes which I’ll include the recipe at a later time is my enchilada casserole. About three years ago, I tried my hand at making enchilada sauce canning a small batch with great results. Once or twice a year, I now spend the weekend canning seemingly hundreds of tomatoes which I pick up from my local restaurant food supplier. This weekend I picked up 80 lbs. of tomatoes. My husband and I spent part of the weekend making tomato paste, tomato sauce and enchilada sauce. I can them and store for later use making for a quick, healthier and more customized dinner.

 

Amazing Red Chili Enchilada Sauce

This recipe doesn’t require you to make everything homemade, however it does incorporate a tomato paste recipe and the stock recipe. These two pieces inject amazing flavor into the enchilada sauce.

This recipe will make you 10 quart sized  (32 oz) cans of enchilada sauce.

 

120 dried red chiles

15 cups of water

15 cups of pork stock (Chicken or beef stock also works, however my preference is pork.)

3 cups tomato paste

25 cloves of garlic

1  cups of olive oil

5 tablespoons of oregano

3 tablespoons of cumin or corriander

3 tablespoons of paprika

3 tablespoons of chile powder

3 tablespoons of onion powder

 

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Using a sheet pan, lay your chilis on them and place in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and remove chili tops and seeds adding them directly into your water and pork stock mixture in your large stock pot. Let them sit for 2 hours to hydrate and absorb flavor.

 

enchilada-sauce-chilis

 

Add your remaining ingredients including your garlic directly into your stock pot. Save time by not chopping them tossing them directly in the pot. You are welcome to use store bought tomato paste, however, I recommend making your own which can be cooked and canned in advance. Click here to access my tomato paste recipe. Using your immersion blender mix them directly in your stock pot.

Bring your your enchilada sauce to a boil and let it cook down for 2 hours to absorb and the flavor. Follow the process of sanitizing and preparing your quart jars for canning. Your enchilada sauce can also be frozen if you have room in your freezer. Make sure you make room in your jars when the frozen enchilada sauce expands. I like to can them because my cooking time for meals like my enchilada sauce is reduced because I don’t have to dethaw my sauce.

Enjoy your enchilada sauce.

 

More Canning Recipes and Resources

For more canning recipes check out the following:

I took inspiration from this enchilada recipe which I love and recommend if you are looking to cook in smaller increments over at Cooking with Curls.

Recipes

How to Make Basic But Delicous Tomato Paste

delicious-tomato-paste

 

I was surprised the first time I tried my hand at making tomato sauce on my own how pink it was even though I thought I took enough time to cook down and prepare my tomato sauce. Tomato paste provides your a flavor charge that also allows you to retain the traditional red color you come to know in your tomato sauce.

Ingredients for Your Basic But Delicious Tomato Paste

Don’t be intimidated by tomato sauce. It’s easy to make outside of the preparation of the tomatos. To purchase tomatoes in bulk, I recommend visiting your restaurant supply store, grown them yourselves, or work with your supermarket or farmer’s market to purchase them in bulk. Leaving the tomato skins your tomatoes will make them bitter. I like to save my tomato skins for later use in seasoning and flavoring my stock. You can find my recipe by clicking here.

 

60 blanched, cored and peeled large tomatoes

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons cracked pepper

10 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice

3 bay leaves

 

Make sure you blanch, core and prepare tomatoes. Add them to a large stock pot. Add ingredients to your pot with the exception of the bay leaves. Use your immersion blender to blend. Add your bay leaves and bring your pot to a boil. Let it cook and simmer down for 3-4 hours until it is extremely think. This recipe will make 64 ounces or 9 cups of tomato paste.

I like to use the tomato paste immediately in my tomato sauce or enchilada sauce. However, this can be canned, refrigerated and frozen for later use.

 

More Tomato and Canning Recipes

This recipe has taken inspiration from the Tomato Paste recipe in the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. 

Recipes

How to Make the World’s Most Flavorful Tomato Sauce

flavorful-tomato-sauce-recipe

 

My tomato sauce is very multi-purpose. It’s our almost weekly staple for our homemade pizza. You can click here to see my pizza dough recipe. I like to can the tomato sauce in advance as it’s great to use in spaghetti, casseroles and other recipes. I generally spend two weekends canning a year working on making tomato paste, tomato sauce, and enchilada sauce for use for the rest of the year. I’ll include links to the recipes at the end of the post.

This tomato sauce  recipe should make 10 quart size jars. I recommend canning these and sealing them instead of freezing just because they stay fresh longer. Special note, if you are not including the tomato paste in your sauce, make sure to include a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice in each of your quart jars. This makes sure that your sauce remains flavorful and fresh.

 

tomato-sauce-blender

 

Flavorful Tomato Sauce Recipe

 

60 peeled, blanched and cored tomatoes

3 celery stalks chopped

1 1/2 cups of carrot juice (This makes your sauce sweet.)

4 medium sized yellow onions chopped

12 garlic cloves

2 cups of red wine (I prefer pinot noir or merlot.)

3 tablespoons oregano

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons cracked pepper

1 1/2 cups of basil

3 cups of tomato paste

3 bay leaves

 

The tomato sauce will have a bright red color from using the tomato paste. Add all your ingredients with the exception of the bay leaves. Using your immersion blender, blend everything together. Add your bay leaves and bring your sauce to a boil. Stir frequently. Let it reduce on medium high for 2-3 hours until it reaches the right think consistency and red color. Add additional spices and flavors to suite your taste and customizations.

Follow the basic canning rules sanitizing your jars, lids and rings. Add your sauce and then seal them. Make sure they are cooled before storing them in a cool and dry location.

 

More Tomato and Canning Recipes

Recipes

Watermelon Mint Cooler with Vanilla Vodka #Recipe

watermelon-mint-cooler-vodka

 

 

Several weeks ago I traveled to Boston for work. It was my first trip to Beantown, and I took some time to escape from business meetings and spent an afternoon with my friend, Mira Greenland. She was my tour guide of beautiful Boston where we had drinks, food, laughs and walked the amazing Freedom Trail.

We walked, and walked and walked around this amazing city. To beautiful gardens, cemeteries filled with history and even stopped by for a quick picture at the bar that inspired one of my favorite shows of the early 90’s, Cheers.

 

me at Cheers

Where everybody knows your name…

 

beautiful-cemetary-headstones

Creepy yet beautiful.

 

Paul-Revere-Statue

 

Boston-at-night

The city at night captured my heart and I left with a full stomach after some amazing wine and gnocchi.

 

While the city was absolutely breathtaking, I very much enjoyed down time with my friend. We had cocktails, conversions and most importantly laughs away from the hustle and bustle of our lives as business executives. moms and wives. Quite randomly we ended up at a restaurant/bar for an hour or two before dinner where we enjoyed some wine and several amazing cocktails. One of which was a watermelon mint martini which I decided to re-create.

While I’m a fan of martinis, I wanted this cocktail to be versatile so I went with a cooler instead. It needs to be adult as well as kid friendly.  It goes from kid approved to adult friendly with just a touch of vanilla vodka which is exactly what Mira asked for when she ordered her customized watermelon martini.

I started with a medium sized watermelon and mint from the Barton Creek Farmer’s Market in Austin, Texas. I cut up the watermelon in cubes added them to a pitcher. From there, I added my mint, coconut water, sugar, limes and then the vanilla vodka for the adult friendly version.Mix well and refrigerate.

 

water-melon-mint-cooler

 

The good thing about this cocktail is that it is almost like a sangria because it gets better and more concentrated with time. I made a double batch because I know that my daughter and husband will drink it while we enjoy our Austin, Texas, vacation by the pool and patio. I’m adding the vodka to my drink individually.

 

watermelon-mint-cooler

Watermelon Mint Cooler Recipe

3 cups of cubed seedless watermelon

3 cups of water

2 limes squeezed

1/2 liter of coconut water

1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup of mint

Optional: 4 oz of vanilla vodka

Mix together in a pitcher. Add as much vanilla vodka as you wish. I like to keep things a little light, but how strong it is can be customized to you. I like to garnish with mint on the top. Enjoy with friends, by the pool or just because.

Forgo the vodka and these could double as popsicles for the kids. I like these kinds of homemade drinks and popsicles because you can control the fruit and sugar levels.

 

 

 

For the Book Recipes

4 Important Canning Basics No One Talks About

canning-jam-making-BASICS

 

Read more about my passion for canning: Orange Marmalade RecipePlum Jam Recipe  and Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

The biggest challenge in canning is overcoming the fear that you are going to screw up. I remember reading a handful of articles that scared the daylights out of me talking about unsanitary canning and botulism. I didn’t want to can because I was scared I was going to poison my family or waste 20 pounds of tomatoes.

Canning on the surface seems like a great deal of work, but it’s a hobby that I enjoy. I like that I can experiment with recipes and try different things while saving a little money and lowering the amount of processed food and chemicals my family is eating and ingesting. One of the biggest myths about canning is that it is time consuming. If you are organized in your efforts and love to multi-task, canning might just be your thing.

I decided to write about 4 “canning secrets” that are often overlooked in blogs, articles and other resources. If you are new to canning, these are 4 areas that you need to pay attention to because they are used most every time you are canning. The recipes are really secondary.

 Step 1: Sanitize Your Jars, Lids and Rings

I sanitize my canning equipment with a pressure cooker. I picked this up years ago at Wal-Mart. Your local Ace Hardware, big box home improvement store or Wal-Mart should have these on hand. You can also use a pot. I like the pressure cooker because it seems to work faster and alerts me to when the jars are sanitizer by “whistling.”

Place about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of your pressure cooker. Place the circle rack in in the cooker that came with it. Add your jars, lids and rings to sanitize them. I suggest purchasing new lids for every time you are canning. You want your canning accessories to be clean prior to sanitizing.

You can add your kitchen tongs and funnel as well. Add your lid to the pressure cooker and slide to lock it in. For me, locking the lid is the hardest part of using the pressure cooker. Make sure you add your whistler top and ring the the cooker lid. Turn your stove top up on high. Once it whistles, you will slide your “whistler” to the side so the steam and pressure can leave the pot. Wait about 5 minutes. Slide to unlock and use your tongles to remove item. They are extremely hot!

2014-06-08 14.54.21

 

Step 2: Testing Your Jam

It’s really important to make sure that your jam or jelly has set. I’m not one to use a thermometer which you can absolutely do to determine if they have reduced enough to become jelly, jam or marmalade. Instead, I place 4-5 small plates in my freezer and chill them for 15 minutes. Once my jam has cooked for the recommended time, I pull my cold plate from the freezer and place a spoonful of my jam on the plate. I leave it for 2 minutes and then test to see if it has begun to set. If it doesn’t run off the plate or spread, then it’s time to place the jam in the canning jars. If it is runny, I cook my jam for another 4 minutes and test again.

The strawberry jam pictured below is almost ready. This is an important step for me when I am trying out new recipes. For example, I recently substituted 1/2 cup of honey for 2 cups of sugar and needed to make sure I got the consistency right. The cold plate test is the best way to make sure that your jam or jelly is done reducing and will set.

testing-jam-canning

Step 3: Seal Your Cans

After you fill your jars with jams, jellies or whatever canning goodness, you need to seal the jars. First, add the lid, ring and make sure they are extremely tight. This is key to making sure your canning goodies stay fresh. There are jar tighteners on the market that you can use.

Add your cans with the tightened lids back to the pressure cooker. Make sure there is enough water in the bottom to properly sanitize and seal the jars. I like to have a half inch. Slide your lid back on, place the cooker on a hot burner and wait for the whistle. The jars should make a popping noise when the properly seal. I like to make a mental note of how many jars are in my pressure cooker listening to make sure all the jars have popped. You can check them after you open the pressure cooker. Lids that are sealed should snap or bounce a little when you push the lid down.

 

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Step 4: Let Your Canning Sit

One step not to overlook is to let your cans sit and cool. I like to use a thick cutting board to set my hot jars on while they cool for about 24 hours before placing them in my pantry. This is especially important for jams and jellies. The sugars need time to cool so they can thicken. Otherwise, you have a bunch of syrup for your pancakes and french toast instead.

Read more about my passion for canning: Orange Marmalade RecipePlum Jam Recipe  and Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

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