Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce

A long, long, time ago, in a far away time and place (40 years ago and 3 or 4 miles from here) my father would throw together some of the best Mexican food ever eaten. At least that's the way I felt about his enchiladas. I don't know where he bought his tortillas for we had no Mexican influence here then, but I do know he deep fried them, probably in Crisco oil. I don't know how he made the sauce, but I'm reasonably sure he fried the hamburger in a skillet. We had never had food like this before and it was wonderful. I remember eating seventeen of them once. I was a teenager then and my stomach went down into each leg.

So, thanks to my good friend, Joe's, recommendation for this recipe, found at Cooks Illustrated online, I had to give it a try. My wife and I worked most of the afternoon making the tortillas from "scratch," bbq'ing the chicken; and cooking the sauce, also from "scratch." We agreed that we didn't think this would be as good my dad's enchiladas were; but we were wrong. These babies were scrumtious and we'll definitely have them again.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Our First "Croque Monsier" Sandwich

This recipe emerged from the pages of a fancy little book called, Paris Cafe - The Select Crowd. The book outlines the history of French cafes in general and cafes in Paris specifically; but we'll save the history and character of Le Select for another time.

The recipe for the Croque Monsier is one of three basic meals served in Le Select and having been to Paris a few times, there was no way the recipe could be avoided. We decided rather than making a closed sandwich, to use only one piece of freshley made no-knead bread. It was tasty, but we think maybe we should go ahead with the second, more thinly sliced piece of bread next time.


1 slice Poilane bread (or Almost No Knead Bread)
1 slice cooked ham (we recommend 4-6 slices of Black Forest ham)
1 thins slice Gruyere (Emmenthal) or Swiss Cheese
1 Tbsp grated Gruyere or Swiss Cheese
1 pat butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions for Open Face:

Lightly toast and butter the bread (iron skillet, or griddle); place the ham, then cheese, on top of bread. Cover with grated cheese and heat until the cheese bubbles. Serve immediately with lettuce garnish and a favorite wine.


A richer version uses 2 thinner slices of bread (crusts removed) with ham and cheese between. Place bechamel (white) sauce and grated cheese on top, and heat.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers have been a staple in our family for three decades. Whether on a cool autumn evening, or a freezing winter one, this meal satisfies the craving for not only something good, but something warm and fulfilling. This recipe serves 2.


2 green peppers
1/2 lb. hamburger, fried
1 8oz. tomato sauce
1/4 C chopped green pepper (chopped tops)
1/3 C raw rice
1/3 C chopped onions
1 Tbls Worchestershire sauce
1/2 C water
1 Tbls Brown Sugar
Shredded Cheese - enough to cover the tops of the peppers

Mix all ingredients except the peppers,and the cheese, and simmer for 25 mins.
Cut the top off the peppers. Boil the peppers in salted water for 5 mins, then fill them with the mixture, top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

salt to taste

Suggested Side Dishes:

Strawberry Almond Salad

Home-made No Knead Bread