Friday, March 28, 2008

Birthday Dinner

Big J asked for beef enchiladas for his birthday dinner. It's been a long time since I've made beef enchiladas, so I decided to see what sort of recipes were out there. Okay -- None! I was looking for an authentic Mexican recipe. Apparently there are really no authentic beef enchilada recipes because Mexicans don't make enchiladas in the same way North Americans have decided they should be made. So, I decided that I would have to come up with my own recipe.

I ended up making shredded beef enchiladas with chile Colorado sauce. Not bad. Of course as will all Mexican meals it ended up taking more time than I anticipated. But it was worth it. For the beef I took two pounds of boneless beef chuck and cut it into two inch square pieces. I placed that in a put with one sliced onion, 4 cloves of garlic and some salt then covered it with water. I simmered it for a little over 2 hours then shredded it. It was moist and flavorful.

For the chile Colorado I destemmed and seeded dried ancho chiles and dried guajillo chiles and then toasted them briefly, put them in a bowl and coved them with boiling water for 15 minutes. In a blender I put an onion, a couple garlic cloves, oregano, salt, cumin, the soaked peppers and three cups of the soaking liquid, blended it all together then poured it through a seive to remove any bits of pepper skin. I rendered a piece of bacon in a cast iron skillet and then poured in the sauce. After cooking it for about 30 minutes I added a little sugar and vinegar.

I mixed the meat and some of the sauce, dipped tortillas in the sauce and rolled up the enchiladas then poured the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas and baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

With the enchiladas I served shrimp ceviche cocktail as a starter, and a romaine salad along side the enchiladas.

Big J asked for chocolate mouse for dessert, but he agreed to chocolate souffles. I have to say that souffles get a bad rap, but they are actually pretty easy with a little patience. They turned out great with little j announcing that it was "the best dessert ever!"

To drink I found a bottle of Bogle old vine zin and for pre-dinner cocktails I made blackberry lime margaritas (yum!).

Big J said it was a perfect birthday dinner.

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