Homemade Enchiladas

Have you ever created a recipe so spot on that you actually make an “hmmmm” sound throughout the entire meal? Well, this is one of those. It was perfect, from the first bite to the seconds and to the thirds (I made a lot, ok?). This recipe was a work of art. It took almost a whole day to prepare, but trust me, it was worth every minute of anticipation. This is my new Mexican winner recipe. Hands down.

Start off my dicing up peppers and onions and throwing them in your crockpot with the chicken, and let it cook for as long as you can stand it (mine cooked for almost 10 hours on low. For this recipe, the longer, the better!)

Make sure to add a healthy dose of spices and lemon juice. The spices are what make the dish, so be liberal with them.

Here’s the chicken and veggies, after having slow cooked for almost 10 hrs!

Next, I took out my awesome shredder mallet that I picked up during a pampered chef party. This handy little tool shreds meat effortlessly. With my love for my crockpot and pulled meats, picking up this guy was a no-brainier for me! 🙂

Shred the meat until it looks like this!

Now, the meat may be a little extra watery because of the veggies. No worries! Bust out your fine mesh strainer and press the liquid out of the meat. You don’t want the meat to be too liquidy, because your enchiladas will a little too wet.

Next, dice up the block of cream cheese and throw it into the crockpot. If you strained the meat, I would recommend turning the crockpot back on low, folding the cream cheese into the meat, and letting it sit for 5 minutes to melt. That way, when you come back in 5 minutes, it will be gooey and awesome and easy to mix.

Add the beans and the corn and mix the cream cheese into the meat well.

Now that your meat is all ready to fill the best enchiladas you’ve ever had, here is a quick tutorial on what to do if your enchilada sauce tastes vile. Yep, that’s right. I went to the store to specifically pick up these cans of enchilada sauce, and to my dismay, they were completely inedible. They were actually so gross that I poured them down the sink and set to work making my own sauce from scratch, which turned out to make the dish that much better.

The sauce was quick and easy to make. I used a whole jar each of marinara sauce and salsa, a dash of some really hot Mexican hot sauce my mom brought me back from Mexico, and added chilli powder and Smoky Asado spice from Elaine Wilson’s Food You Can Cook. Now that’s the secret ingredient that made the dish that much more WOW!

Mix it all together, add a little water to make the dish go the extra mile, and VOILA! Homemade enchilada sauce that kicked the canned stuff to the curb (literally, because it was disgusting!)

Next, fill a tortilla with some of the filling and roll it like a burrito (or an enchilada, your pick!)

Add a little sauce to the bottom of the cooking dish.

Place rolled enchiladas into the pan, on top of the sauce.

Cover with more sauce.

Top with cheese.

And bake until everything is bubbly and gooey and filling your kitchen with the most remarkable smells imaginable.

Top with sour cream and serve alongside a salad.

The best part? This recipe made 5 meals of 2-3 servings, which are waiting for me in the deep freeze to enjoy on another cold winter’s night.

Jacquie’s Rock Awesome Homemade Enchiladas (Adapted from Six Sister’s Stuff) ( Makes 12 large enchiladas)

Ingredients

You will need:

For the filling:

6 chicken breast

1 sweet bell pepper

1 medium sweet onion

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp chili powder

1/8 cup lemon juice

1 can of sweet corn nuggets

1/2 can black beans

1 package of light cream cheese

 

For the sauce:

1 large jar of marinara sauce

1 jar of salsa

3 tbsp chili powder

3 tbsp smoky asado powder (from Elaine Wilson’s Food You Can Cook)

1 dash (or more if you like heat) of your favourite hot sauce

1/4 cup of water

 

For the enchiladas:

12 whole wheat tortillas

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Sour cream to serve

 

Preparation

For the filling:

Dice pepper and onion and place in crockpot with chicken. Add seasoning and lemon juice and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Once cooked, shred meat and drain excess liquid. Keeping the crockpot hot, replace drained meat and cut block of cream cheese into cubes and throw into crockpot with meat. Cover cream cheese with meat, replace crockpot lid and let the cream cheese melt for 5 minutes. Add corn and black beans and stir to combine evenly.

For the sauce:

Before making the sauce, preheat oven at 375. To make sauce, combine all ingredients. Taste and add more of any ingredient, according to preference.

To assemble: Place about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into bottom of baking dish. Fill tortillas with meat and cream cheese filling and roll like a burrito or enchilada. Place roll on top of sauce in baking dish. Repeat until you have filled the dish with enchilada rolls. Cover with more sauce. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 until bubbly. Serve with sour cream and enjoy, A LOT!

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Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread is that kind of treat that, while it takes the better part of an afternoon to make, it is so so worth it in the end. This is my first time making it, at the request of my little sister, and it turned out absolutely fantastic. I used Chef Michael Smith’s recipe, and it turned out absolutely beautifully!

First things first, I combined the ingredients for the dough and used my bread hook attachment on my mixer to incorporate.

I mixed it all up until the dough began to pull away from the sides of the bowl. I also gave it some extra time in the mixer because I used Gold Forest Grain‘s soft white wheat, which is lower in gluten and needs more lovin’ when it comes to goodies with yeast in them.

I covered the dough with some Mighty Trio Organics Canola oil and placed it in the warmed oven to rise.

Here’s the dough after it’s first rise, almost doubled in size!

I punched it down to get rid of some of the bubbles.

Next, I melted some butter in one bowl and some cinnamon and sugar in another.

I made little dough balls and dipped them first in the butter…

and next, the cinnamon sugar.

While normally the recipe would be make in a bunt pan, I made several small monkey breads in pie tins instead. I piled each little dough ball on top of each other in the pie tins, making smaller, delicious servings.

Into the preheated oven they went for a 2nd rise.

Here they are, all risen for a 2nd time.

They rested out of the oven while it heated up again, and then went back in to bake for 30-40 mins.

Here’s the beauty, still warm and gooey from the oven.

It pulled apart so nicely, all pillowy soft. It was very difficult not to sit there and eat all of it while I wrote my essay.

Jacquie’s Rock Awesome Monkey Bread (Courtesy of Chef Michael Smith)

You will need:

For the bread

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For rolling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

For the bread

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Lightly oil a large bundt pan or other baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add the melted butter, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and yeast. Mix for a few minutes and then add the flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together in a shiny mass, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Put the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel, turn off the oven and place the dough in the preheated warm oven to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. When the dough has risen, take it out of the oven. Pour the melted butter into a small bowl. Put the sugar and cinnamon into a second bowl and whisk well to combine.
  5. Punch down the dough to knock the air out of it and then form and roll small balls in your hand or on the counter. Dip them first in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar and layer them into the bundt pan or other baking pan.
  6. Put the pan into the oven to rise for a second time, for about 45 minutes, until the dough balls reach the top of the pan and double once again. Remove from the oven and increase the heat to 350°. Once hot, place the pan back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

100th blog post! A food blogger’s review of the past two years of culinary adventures…

Good Morning awesome readers!

This post marks my 100th blog post – can you believe it? I certainly can’t. It seems like yesterday that I started collecting recipes to add to my online repertoire. As a 100th post celebration, I thought it might be fun to write an introspective post, to look back at a few of my adventures since I started blogging.

Why did you start blogging in the first place?

To be honest, I started blogging because I was bored! Justin was in school and I had a lot of time to myself in the kitchen. After trying my hand at several very good recipes, I decided I needed a place to store these recipes, and I figured a food blog would be the best place.

Has the point of the blog changed since you started blogging?

Actually, no. I still find that I hunt down the best local ingredients for my recipes, and as I continue on my food journey, I encounter new producers and begin to use their products regularly.

What has changed since you started blogging?

Life! I’ve gone from being fully employed to married to unemployed to a full-time student. It’s been quite the adventure over the past 2 years. I’ve tried countless recipes, some turn out better than others… and Justin and I have plants two gardens in the past two summers, with this past harvest being extremely successful! I have learned TONS about local ingredients and cooking techniques, and I still feel that my food journey is only beginning.

Share a secret behind Garneau Home Kitchen:

There are a lot more recipes behind the scenes than what meets the eye. I would say that 1 out of every 5 recipes I make end up on the blog. This is primarily due to not having enough time to post everything I make, and to being a little too critical of myself and my recipes. Should a recipe not turn out exactly the way I want it to, it doesn’t end up on the blog.

Share your favourite post from the past 99:

Ok, this isn’t possible, so I am going to narrow it down to the top 5.

1. Aussie Chicken

2. Sour Cherry Pie

3. White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

4. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

5. Sweet Curry Chicken Burgers

*Note, this is just a random few, but I find myself dreaming about these recipes, so they ended up on the top 5 list.

All in all, I have loved my culinary adventures in my 1940s kitchen so far, and will continue to eagerly hunt down new recipes with tasty local ingredients! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next 100!


Long Macaroni and Cheese

Alrighty folks. This recipe is coming to you straight from my childhood. When we were young, my mom would make us long macaroni and cheese for an easy, meatless week night meal. Don’t ask me why she called it that, because there is no macaroni in this recipe, nor is it a real cheesy sauce, but ever since, the name stuck and it is awesome. This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, is incredibly delicious, and some times, you just need a meal that makes little to no brain power, and is kick ass. With Snowmogedon raging outside yesterday, it was just one of those nights.

My mom use to make this meal with 3 ingredients: A can of tomato soup, a whole bunch of shredded cheese, and some spaghetti. In my attempt to make this meal a tad more nutritious and local, I added red pepper and onions, and opted for local sylvan star aged cheddar.

I diced up the pepper and onions…

And cooked them down in a pan.

Next, I added the can of tomato soup and about 2 tablespoons of milk to make it a little creamier.

I shredded about 1.5 cups of cheese…

And threw it into the sauce to let it melt away.

Here’s the sauce, all melty and ready to go!

I drained off the pasta and added the sauce directly to the noodles for maximum coverage. Now that is the perfect meal in which to face a torrential snowstorm, reminiscent of rock awesome childhood days.

Maman’s Long Macaroni and Cheese

You will need:

spaghetti (enough for 4 servings)

1 small onion

1 red pepper

1 tsp cooking oil

1 can of tomato soup

2 Tbsp milk (optional)

1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, and cook your spaghetti. While you’re waiting, dice your pepper and onion. In another pot, add cooking oil, pepper and onion and cook down until tender. Add can of soup. If you like a runnier texture, add the milk. Heat until bubbly, then add cheese. Stir to incorporate. Drain your cooked pasta and add to sauce. Enjoy with childhood memories. 🙂


Rosemary and Garlic Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken: It has to be the cooking method that makes for the juiciest, most tender chicken out there, while simultaneously being one of the most vile. If you think about it, you are basically inserting a can of beer into a chicken’s but to cook it. While being an absolutely disgusting concept, I would challenge anyone out there to find a more delicious way to cook a chicken.

I decided to use a local Alberta cider to cook this bad boy. Rock Creek makes an awesome dry cider, that paired perfectly well with the rosemary and garlic rub I came up with.

The rub was pretty straight forward. I used about a tsp each of fresh garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, and some olive oil, to give the chicken a nice crunchy coating.

Once the chicken was seated nicely on it’s “throne” in my cast iron pan, I rubbed it all over with the seasoning, making sure to create a nice, even coating around the skin.

Here’s a back shot.

I baked it at 400 until it was nice and golden brown. While the outside got nice and crispy, the meat inside stayed nice and moist. It turns out perfect every time.

Then I asked Justin to cut it up for me. There was only so much icky chicken-ness I could deal with for one evening. It was delicious though!

Jacquie’s Awesome Rosemary and Garlic Beer Can Chicken

You will need:

1 whole chicken

1 can of cider

1 tsp minced fresh romesary

1 tsp minced fresh garlic

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp olive oil

Mix the rub my combining the rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Open the cider and pour out or drink about 2 inched down the can. Remove the lid completely with a can opener. Stand the chicken upright on the can and place it in a cast iron pan. Rub evenly with seasoning mixture. Bake at 400 for about a half hour, or until chicken is fully cooked and crispy brown on the outside.


Edmonton’s Food and Agriculture Policy Hearing – A Food Blogger’s Adventures in Live Tweeting

In May, I attended the Food in the City conference, hosted by the City of Edmonton. The goal of the conference was to engage the local food community, to discuss the future of food and agriculture in Edmonton and to create a local Food and Agriculture policy for Edmonton. I had the opportunity to engage with many local food heroes and discuss topics near and dear to my heart, like food sustainability within city limits through rooftop and backyard gardens, backyard chicken coops (I am SO getting one at some point), and supporting local farmers.

Since then, the city has created and released it’s Food and Agriculture policy strategy, aptly named Fresh. The city held a public hearing on Friday, October 26, to allow for the public to voice their concerns and support for the strategy. I had the opportunity to attend the morning session of the hearing, representing and live tweeting for Slow Food Edmonton. The hearing allowed for another fantastic and rich discussion on the future of food and agriculture in Edmonton.

Throughout the hearing, as speakers began to go up one by one, I began to notice a distinct divide between local food advocates and developers. Local Food Heroes like Jessie Radies and Kevin Kossowan could not support the document in it’s current form because it did not go far enough to support Food and Agriculture in the city (and wasn’t that the point of creating the policy in the first place?). Developers seemed to love the document because it was just vague enough to include possible developing opportunities. I feel that Mack Male sums it up perfectly in his comments at the hearing.

As I was live-tweeting for Slow Food Edmonton, I had to keep my tweets neutral and have them reflect the Slow Food message. This was incredibly difficult at times, because I found myself agreeing 100% with the foodies (and wanting to pump my fist in the air every time they spoke) and agreeing not-at-all with the developers. I had to take the neutral ground and describe, rather than editorialize. At one point, though, I was able to tweet that @Slowfoodyeg believes that the preservation of the local food culture in #yeg is paramount (to development, of course!). It felt pretty good to add to the discussion! To see the live-tweet stream, check out @slowfoodyeg on twitter.

Photo Courtesy of MasterMaq.

Since I wasn’t able to editorialize throughout the discussion, I am bringing my opinions to my blog. Here they are, uncensored:

My biggest problem with the discussion was the “either, or” tone. There was very much an either food sustainability or development feel to the whole discussion. I am fairly confident that the city doesn’t want to take sides in that debate, or they wouldn’t have written a Food and Agriculture policy in the first place. I personally feel that, while incomplete and still needing work, the document provides the city with a place to start and to work from. While we could debate the fine details of the strategy ad nauseum, I am definitely in the “lets get this train rolling” camp. City Council will need to take all sides into account, and I am happy that so many people came out to have their say at the hearing. In the end, we will have to wait and see what City Council decides to do with strategy, whether it be to revise it or scrap it and re-do it before implementation.

Other local food heroes have highlighted their thoughts and opinions on the issue, so I wanted to share a few links here: A Random Sampling does a great job of recapping the hearing on Friday. Eat My Words has a great post too. Here’s an interesting Editorial from the Edmonton Journal, and an interesting article on how the policy will not preserve farmland. (Agreed!)

I am fortunate to be part of the discussion, and look forward to future opportunities to get involved in the future of food and agriculture in Edmonton. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the hearing. Please add your comments below!