Monday, June 30

Somehow enchiladas make saying goodbye a little bit easier

As most of you know, moving to Norway has been challenging at times. All in all, I love this place, but sometimes I really LONG for home and for my family and my friends. One bonus of working for a HUGE international company is that I am always guaranteed to be surrounded by people who look, think and sound different than me. Yet, there are also times when you meet people who are alot like you and it makes you feel not so alone in this really big world.

Cassie was one of those people. She is also a Texan, the life of a party, and just an all around really cool girl.

Cassie makes me smile.

Well, as is also common in HUGE international companies, people move around alot and suddenly Cassie is heading off from Norway to Australia.

Cassie shares my love for cooking and she makes a mean macaroni and cheese and can bake a wicked banana bread. Cassie also has a REAL mexican grandma who can COOK. So you can imagine how nervous I was the first time I ever made tex mex for her. One of the first things I made was enchiladas, and she LIKED them!!! The gravy was different from what she was used to, but she ate it and gave it a thumbs up!!

And now, we fast forward 2 years later and it's our last supper together. What should we have, we wondered. We settled on enchiladas. It just seemed right. Two Texas gals in a kitchen in Norway, far from home as one prepares to move even farther. Yes, enchiladas would do nicely.

Of course there are no corn tortillas in Norway, we're kicking it old school:

About 2 cups of Masa and 1 cup of warm water mixed together:

Cassie uses her dainty hands to make walnut sized masa balls:

Put the ball in the press between some parchment paper:

Press the HECK out of it:

Peel it off the paper and slap it onto a cast iron skillet:

Repeat til they are all done and you have a pretty stack:

Next we make the sauce. I didn't take pictures of the entire process, just the ingredients, Penzey's Ancho Chili powder, cumin, salt and mexican oregano:

It's really simple to make tasty enchilada sauce. I use 2 Tablespoons of flour, (here's a hot diabetic tip, use GRAM flour, which is ground chickpeas, and your sauce is carb FREE!!) and some olive oil and make a basic roux. To that, add the spices above, mix it all together, and add chicken broth while stirring constantly. (Don't you hate when directions tell you to stir constantly? I NEVER do)If you find the sauce a bit pungent, add a squirt or two of tomato paste!

For the filling of these enchiladas, I cooked some lean ground beef and grated some white cheddar and chopped some white onion. We then started the assembly process. I LOVE the Sonoran style of enchiladas, they don't roll, they FOLD, which in my opinion, makes things so much easier and keeps me from cussing. I also DO NOT fry my tortillas in oil first, cuts out more fat and calories so we can save it for more important things like the CHEESE!! So put some sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish and put the the corn tortilla down and then flip it over so both sides are covered in sauce. Put in a spoonfull of meat and some cheddar:

Fold it over and repeat til the pan is full:

like so:

Top with the extra cheddar and ground beef and pop in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until it's all melty and bubbly:

When they are done, top with chopped onion and you are good to go:

Friends, there is truly nothing better in this world than good Tex-Mex. One bite can cure my homesickness. I will NEVER tire of anything that looks like this:

Earlier in the day I made a pot of chicken alphabet soup. Another hot tip for you, one cup of alphabet pasta will give you quite a big pot of slime, trust me.

Anyway, Cassie was playing with some pasta and really summed up the evening quite nicely:

Good food. Good friends. Good memories.


Scott said...

I really have to admit that I am impressed that you have brought the tastes of home over by making them yourself ... that's a real talent! When I lived in Finland, I found it much easier to get used to some of the local foods and eat more like a Finn ... sometimes I still have an open-faced sandwich of ham on dark rye (pumpernickel) with butter for breakfast, and maybe another with crabmeat from a tube (ABBA brand, available at IKEA) and sliced eggs ... certainly not something we'd find for breakfast in the U.S.!

But when I lived there, the ground-breaking Mosaic internet browser hadn't yet been invented, so it wasn't possible to search for recipes instantly! Regardless, I give you a lot of credit for doing so well under the circumstances, some people aren't as good at coping!

Patty said...

The enchiladas look sooooo good! I'm glad you were able to make them with Cassie. Now please come to my house and make them with me. :)

Karpoozi said...

OOOOOOH! You just made me HUNGRY!
I am off in search of some food! ;-)

CJ said...

I am a Minnesotan visiting Oslo and am wondering where I can buy some ancho chili powder- would you have any suggestions? I am hoping to make a fabulous chocolate cake for some friends, but forgot to pack the ancho chili... I am not sure if the 'Mexican' chili I have seen in a store in Frogner is the right stuff...Thanks in advance for your help!