Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Enchilada Casserole and Pretzels

Sorry for the posting hiatus! Life has been busy! Mind you, I have still been cooking, eating and taking pictures like it was my job (which I really wish it was) I just haven't gotten around to putting together a few coherent sentences for you.

Now I know that Enchilada Casserole (from my mom) and Pretzels (cousin Jennifer) don't naturally go together, but it tuned out to be a pretty decent meal. I had my friend, Luke, over to be a designated eater so I didn't have to eat the leftovers of this dish for weeks to come.

The pretzels were rather challenging. I am pretty sure that whole wheat flour behaves a little different from white flour. My stab at a healthy alternative turned into pretty dry dough. I am thinking if you use whole-wheat flour, then it is a good idea to add more of the liquids. So I was trying my very best to role out the dough into pretzel size tubes when Luke looks over my shoulder, "Do you want me to do that for you?" I appreciated the help as I needed to tend to the casserole, but I understood the underlying message; Luke was thinking; this really can't be that hard...Jenna just sucks at it. So I said yes and Luke tried his hand at it. It wasn't five minutes later that Luke says, "this is a lot harder than it looks'. Ha! See it isn't just me! So we both bumbled through the rolling of the dough and made some skinny pretzels, fat pretzels and one that looked like a snail. You can get really creative with the pretzels: salted, cinnamon and sugar, parmesan, cheddar, really any topping you want. What would you like best on a pretzel?

The Enchilada Casserole was relatively easy and involved few steps. The grocery store was out of grass-fed beef, so I got grass-fed bison instead. It made for a nice substitutions and it was a very tasty dish. Whats great about the casserole is that is seemed to taste better reheated the next day. To me, that is genius.

• 1 pkg. yeast
• 1 ½ cups warm water
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 4 cups flour
• 1 egg
• Coarse salt
Mix the yeast, water and sugar and then add flour. Kneed and shape into pretzels. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake on greased sheet for 12 – 15 minutes at 425°F.

Enchilada Casserole
• 1 ½ lb ground beef
• 1 can cream of chicken soup
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 can diced Ortega green chilies
• Picante sauce to taste
• 1 pkg. flour tortillas
• 6 oz Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
Brown beef, drain, add soups, chilis and picante sauce. Place tortillas in 13x9 pan, add ½ mixture, top with cheeses, add another layer of tortillas and repeat as above. Bake at 350°F, 25-30 minutes. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

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