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Topic: Tailgate and other Recipes.... rescued from damnation- a project for all of us.

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utee94

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I had an enchilada in Paris that was the best I've ever had.  I wanted to ask how they made it but they didn't speak much English.
I had some really fantastic New Mexican food in Leuven, Belgium.  Their green chili was so good, every bit as good as I've had in Santa Fe.

FearlessF

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that just doesn't seem possible
"Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

utee94

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that just doesn't seem possible
I found it shocking, that's for sure.  
On the flipside, the very worst Tex-Mex I ever had was in Nantes, France.  My local field service engineers insisted on taking me since I was from Texas.  They served fajitas extremely rare. And cut them with the grain.  Truly horrifying.

bwarbiany

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Are you asking specifically about the sauce and/or construction, though?  I know it's been posted around here before but I can always re-post it.
Yes, would appreciate it. I haven't seen it previously.

utee94

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Alright, someone on another message board asked me for the same, so here goes.  I've actually tweaked my gravy over the years, and this is the current method:

Step 1) The dried chiles. It varies a little depending on what I have around, but the basics are always the same, and for this batch I used 5-6 anchos, 5-6 dried New Mexican red chiles, 5-6 Guajillo, and 5-6 chile de arbol.  This is enough dried chile to make a large batch, enough for 2 pans of enchiladas.  Remove stems and seeds on all of them, then toast on a comal (if you're super-cool and have one) or in a hot dry skillet, or a 225 oven (which is what I use because I'm typically processing a bunch of chiles and don't want to wait and I'm also not cool).  Toast them just until fragrant, a couple minutes in an oven, and even less than that on the range top, flipping them to get both sides.  I also toast about a teaspoon of ground comino and 1/2 tsp of Mexican oregano and set them aside.  While you're toasting, heat up a pot of water to near-boiling, and then steep the dried chiles in the hot water for maybe 20 minutes.

Step 2) Char some onion, garlic, and tomato.  I quartered two roma tomatores, about 1/2 of a medium white onion, and smashed 4 cloves of garlic.  Then heated them in a skillet and flip them, until they charred on all sides.

Step 3) Blend.  Take your chiles, charred tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and toasted oregano and comino, and around 2 cups of the delicious chile-flavored steeping water, and blend until smooth.  Make sure to use a strainer spoon to transfer the reconstituted chiles, and ensure that none of the seeds make it through.  I also add maybe 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper at this step, so it gets thoroughly mixed in
.
I'll admit that this step is about 1000000% easier now that I have a Viatmix blender.  Previously I used our house blender (a standard old-school beehive Osterizer) and blended for... well, forever.  I got it as smooth as possible, and then pushed that mixture through a fine mesh  tea strainer to make sure that little bits of skin don't make it through.  But now, I just blend with the Vitamix until it's really, really smooth, maybe 60-90 seconds.  That might even be too long but why rush it? 

Step 4) Fry.  I usually use around 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but this time I had the rendered duck fat, so I used about 3T of duck fat and 1T of vegetable oil. Get it good and hot, so that as soon as you pour the blended mixture into it, it starts to fry.  Let it fry as-is for a couple of minutes, stirring a little bit to make sure all of the blended mixture gets a chance to fry.  Then stir it up thoroughly and simmer for around 20 minutes.

Step 5) Taste, adjust, and thin if necessary.  After about 20 minutes, go ahead and taste the sauce.  It might need a little more salt, since I only added 1/2 tsp in the blend I might add another 1/2 tsp here. Salt wakes up food but I definitely want the chile peppers to star here, not salt.  Also check for thickness, it should be pretty silky and smooth but if it's too thick, you have some choices.  You could add some plain water, or some of the steeping water that you reserved, or you could also add some chicken stock or beef stock if you feel like it needs that.  This bit is definitely to taste.  I usually go with more of the steeping water, but at times when I've felt it needed a little more depth of flavor, I've used chicken stock and it helped round out the flavor profile. 

Step 6) Don't eat it.  Yeah, that's what I said.   This one's tough and I rarely have the time to do it, but like chili or many stews, it's better the next day.  Refrigerate and re-heat the next day if possible.  If that's not possible, then letting it cool and refrigerate for a few hours, still helps.  It also tends to thicken up though, so be ready to add more water or stock to loosen up the mixture.  Just not too much, because you don't want to dilute the flavor of the gravy too much.

847badgerfan

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I really want a Vitamix. Hard to justify though. I don't use a blender enough, and the Kitchenaid I have ain't too shabby.
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

utee94

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The construction of the enchiladas is pretty standard.

1) Buy some good-quality corn tortillas, a 10-pack if you're doing one pan, and 20 if you're doing 2.

2) Grab your standard pyrex baking dish (or metal baking pan or aluminum foil pan) and coat with non-stick spray.

3) Heat up your enchilada gravy to warm in one shallow sauce pan, and heat up some vegetable or oil in another-- enough to coat the bottom and deep enough that your entire tortilla can submerge.  You're going to very lightly fry your corn tortillas in the oil, and each tortilla will pick up some of the oil, so be ready to add more if necessary.

4) Grab TWO sets of tongs.  The first is for the oil.  The second is for the sauce.  If you use only one set, and some of that sauce slides into the hot oil, it's going to splatter all over. 

5) Get your assembly line ready, it should look like this: Hot oil, hot chile gravy, warmed filling, shredded cheese of your choice.  For the BB duck I wanted a mild cheese that wouldn't overwhelm the duck, so I used Monterrey jack.  For my brisket enchiladas I like to use a medium cheddar, it's a stronger cheese but the brisket holds up to it quite well.

6) Take your first tortilla with your first set of tongs, dip into the hot oil and fry for a few seconds, then flip it over and fry the other side.  You're not trying to make a hard tostada shell here, actually the opposite.  Lightly frying actually makes the corn tortilla more pliable without breakage, and it also makes it stiff enough that it won't fall apart.  With that same set of tongs, remove the tortilla and let it drain well.  Then drop it into the warmed chile gravy.

7) With your second set of tongs, get both sides of the tortilla lightly coated with the gravy, then move to the pan and place in an open u-shape. 

8) Place a small spoonful of your filling along the bottom of the tortilla, then sprinkle in some of your shredded cheese.

9) Roll the tortilla until it's completely closed, with the seam side down.  Your hands might get a little messy. That's okay, you're allowed to lick the tasty chile gravy or meat filling or cheese-- but you better wash your hands after that!

10) Continue the process until the baking dish is full.  Then cover everything with more of the gravy and plenty of the cheese.  It's also common to add finely chopped white onion to the top, but I always ask my guests to make sure they like that.  I'm a big fan of the onion so if it's just for me, I always add them.

11) Toss that baking dish into the oven at 325-350 until all of the cheese is bubbly and melty.  Pull out, and serve.


utee94

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I really want a Vitamix. Hard to justify though. I don't use a blender enough, and the Kitchenaid I have ain't too shabby.
You-know-who went and bought one without asking.  I gave her a hard time, but she gives me the old "I told you so" every time I make enchilada gravy (or Texas red chili since I start with reconstituted chile peppers for both).
Ultimately, I've had to tell her-- she was right.  :)

MarqHusker

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Very nice Utee, thanks for the effort.  I'm going to make that sauce.

utee94

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Coolio, hope you like it!

My i s c & a aggie wife can never wait and let me put the gravy on the enchiladas.  She just grabs a bag of tortilla chips and eats it right out of the hot skillet, like a warm salsa.

bwarbiany

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Thanks @utee94 !!

Sounds delicious... I threw it all into a Word document and it's going into the cookbook, forever to be titled "utee94's Brisket Enchiladas"

CWSooner

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Utee:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't tell the difference between the filling and the gravy there.
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utee94

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In this case the filling is either the smoked duck as I did, or smoked brisket as bwar was talking about.  The gravy is the sauce.

CWSooner

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SMH.

Thanks for helping me see what should have been obvious.

I'll blame it on bwarb and his name for the recipe.  Yeah, that's what threw me off track!
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