Sunday, October 23, 2011

Junque Food - What's Been Cooking at the Micro-Mini-Ranch

The name of the game the last few weeks (and into the indefinite future) is: "Use what you have." Since I am off work due to hand surgery, and Mom's currently looking for work, there's only daMan currently bringing in a full paycheck. Money is tight, as it is for most of you out there. But as a result, we've set upon ourselves the challenge to not grocery shop, except for necessities. We've been hitting the pantry, the canned goods shelves, and the last of the garden growings for our meals. And we are getting pretty creative about the whole thing too.

I'm a nut for tacos, and I've made fish tacos, meat tacos and I had a yen for chicken tacos, but I wanted something different, so I thought we'd try our hand at enchiladas. I didnt have a can of enchilada sauce in the pantry, though, so I pondered how to make it from canned diced tomatoes without blending. I do have a blender/food processor combo, but I'm not fond of it. It was a $10.00 cheapy thing I got at Walmart, but it's loud, and frankly, it scares the poop outta me. I really only use it to grind up cukes for making relish. Yeah, I'm a chicken. BAWK.

So anyway, how to get a sauce out of tomato chunks? I can, and have, used a potato masher. It does OK, but I have limited use of my hands at the moment, and mashing tomatoes as they simmer takes a long time. I'm just going to have to have chunks. Which is fine with me. Then it hit me. V8 juice! I usually have some on my pantry shelves. I like to throw a can of it in chili when I make it in the crock pot. Perfect.

Since we are going to have chunky enchilada sauce, I decide to go all the way, and con Mom into chopping up an onion, and some jalepenos I just picked out of the garden before they got frost on them. One was pretty close to being ripe, and it was so pretty I had to take a picture of it. Who knew that peppers turned red on the inside first? I didn't!

So the sauce was shaping up to be pretty decent. We used a large can of diced tomatoes, half of a very large onion, a good cup of diced orange bell pepper, and metric ton of Cumin (we love Cumin), a little bit of orengo, 2 cans of V8 juice, and simmered for an hour. Viola! sauce!

I used up some corn tortillas I had in the freezer, which was perfect, they were pretty dry and crumbly, and the sauce perked them up quite a bit.

I used a can of chicken, threw some diced onions in with it, rolled it up in the tortillas, and smothered them in the sauce. Served with a side of refried beans covered in gooey cheese and even more onions.

it was OH. MY. GOD. good. It officially deserved the NOMmy title. And that was Friday.  :)

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