Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chimichangas with rice and refried beans

Next to green chili with pork, this is my favorite Mexican dish.

1 lb Lean beef or venison
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
4 Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp lard
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 tsp Flour
1/2 c canned whole green Chiles
4 fl Tortillas
Oil for deep frying
Red chile sauce or salsa
1 c Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
1 c Sour cream
8 Black olives
1/4 c Green onion, chopped
1 tb Whipping cream
2 cups Shredded lettuce

Cut the beef into 4 pieces. Place in a 5 to 6-quart pan and add water tocover. Bring to a boil; skim the foam from the surface. Add the salt,pepper, and garlic. Simmer until tender, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the beef, reserving 1/2 cup of the broth.

When the meat is cool, coarsely Shred in a food processor. Chop 2 of the tomatoes. Melt the shortening in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add the flour, whisking until no lumps remain, and cook 2 minutes. Add the shredded beef, reserved broth, chopped tomatoes, and whole chilies. Simmer 15 minutes.

Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in a line down the center of each tortilla. Fold both ends over 1 inch to 2 inch; fold one side over the other and roll up in a neat package. Secure with a toothpick. Deep fry in very hot oil 400'F until crisp and well browned. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the broiler. Place the chimichangas on an ovenproof plate or in a baking pan. Spoon red chili sauce over liberally. Sprinkle with grated cheese and green onion. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts.Combine the sour cream and the whipping cream. Slice the remaining 2 tomatos. Top the chimichangas with the sour cream mixture and Guacamole. Garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole and olives.

Serve with rice and refried beans.

Mexican Rice

This is the perfect rice side dish for the chimichangas.

1 cup uncooked rice -- your choice
2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
Olive oil
1/2 Onion Coarsely chopped
1 Small roma tomato, chopped into about 4 pieces
Hot pepper of your choice, sliced lengthwise
3 TBS Tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin powder
1 TBS chicken bouillon (1 cube in the cooking water)
Salt, to taste

Put a little olive oil (1-2 Tbs.) into a medium-sized pot and heat to a medium temperature, add the rice, uncooked, and brown in the oil. Make sure all the rice is lightly coated with the oil. You do not have to stir the rice around very much at first while browning, but as the rice becomes browner stir it around to make sure it all browns evenly and doesn't burn. It will turn brown, but it's not burning unless it's turning dark/black. Towards the end of the browning, add the garlic so that it is sauteed/browned.

Next, dump the water on the rice (it will steam up) and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and cover (with a small air escape). Reduce heat to medium-low to medium, and let cook for 20-30 minutes. (Cooking time and temperature varies with your stove. Check after 20 minutes to make sure you don't burn it. The essential rule of this recipe is "Do Not Peek" while the rice is cooking.

When it is ready, all the water will be absorbed, the rice will fluff, and each grain will be "split open" because of the browning. It should be dry, not saucy. You can adjust the spices/peppers to your taste. The recipe can be changed by keeping with the 1 cup rice/2 cups water ratio, and adjusting remaining ingredients.

Just before serving, add green enchilada sauce to the rice and stir in.

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