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Thread: Mike's Meals!

  1. #1
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    Default Mike's Meals!

    I am cooking again, & I will share my "fancy" meals w/ you guys. I don't have a digital camera but I can describe, & hope it will have some people's mouths watering.

    Last night I prepared a Mexican dinner: soft tacos w/ fixings, refried beans, beef tamales, & Ecco Domani 2018 Pino Grigio.

    I opened the wine & enjoyed it while cooking & waiting for things to get ready. I went ahead & put on a film to relax & get ready to start it again while eating.

    To prepare the meat, I cooked 2.25 pounds of ground beef in a skillet, drained it, added bottled water & a package of Old El Paso Taco seasoning mix (original). Stirred & set aside.

    For the fixings, I rinsed & drained lettuce (Artisan petite lettuce in a plastic container, with the stems torn off & leaves hand torn to small pieces), prepared one tomato (rinsed the seeds off, then chopped), sliced a fresh avocado, & used packaged shredded Mexican cheese. Also sliced a large lime in half & squeezed lime juice over the veggies.

    In the oven, preheated, I put a pasta bowl w/ one can of refried beans (house brand), another pasta bowl w/ Hormel beef tamales, & a glass bowl w/ On the Border Salsa (hot). All uncovered.

    I set out packaged flour tortillas to get to room temp, which I did not heat this time around.

    When the food in the oven was ready, crusting on the dishes, I assembled the meal: soft tacos w/ fixings, sides of beans & tamales, & wine. I put the rest of the fixings on my plate, squeezed lime juice over everything, & ate while watching the film. I had plenty of meat left over to do another version of the meal soon.

    It was good.

    359256h.jpg

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    Tonight: Thick pork chops, French bread, sliced tomatoes, large artichoke with lemon butter dip, Oak Leaf Cabernet Savignon wine (budget).

    I opened the wine to enjoy while preparing the meal. I was on a budget tonight, & got the cheapest bottle I could find. It was adequate.

    Started w/ artichoke, which takes the longest. Boiled it in deep tap water in a large pan, high heat. When it was looking close to done, I wrapped a hunk of French bread ("baked in store") in aluminum foil & put it in a preheated oven. Then I put my movie on to get ready for viewing. (Let me know if you care to know what movies I am seeing.)

    Then I put the meat on, two large slices of thick cut pork chops w/ bone. Oil in skillet, then the chops, then the heat. When it started frying, I checked the fresh sliced mushrooms I had left over & they were no longer fresh. Tossed into the backyard. I got out canned pieces & stem mushrooms as a substitute. Wal-Mart house brand has a pop top so I don't have to use a can opener.

    Got my spices out & ready. Tonight chose salt, pepper, & McCormick California Style Garlic Powder w/ Parsley, the best spice I used tonight (for the meat). Also got dried basil leaves for sliced tomatoes. See below. Meanwhile, melted butter (Land O Lakes butter w/ canola oil in a tub) on the stove & squeezed fresh lemon into it (a mistake, as it turned out--it was too tart), for a dip for the artichoke. Melted fast, removed from heat.

    At this point, the artichoke was done (or so I thought). I removed it from the water & turned it face down to drain, tossed the water in the pot & in the bowl I drained it in.

    Meanwhile, I turned over the pork (my favorite meat, as it absorbs flavor better than any other meat) & salted, peppered, & garlic powdered it & the canned mushroom pieces. Lowered the heat, so as not to overcook it. The biggest problem w/ pork is overcooking it. As The
    Complete Meat Cookbook
    (Houghton Mifflin 1998) says, you don't want your pork to come out like styrofoam.

    Quartered two tomatoes & put them in the refrigerator in a bowl. Had a sliced half lemon ready w/ dried basil leaves (a mistake, too strong--I generally use prepared Italian dressing & wish I had done that tonight).

    The meat was ready, as was the bread, so I removed the meat from heat & turned off the stove, but left the bread in. Took my artichoke in to start watching my film. It's a complicated process to eat a cooked artichoke. You have to toss most of it to get to the good part. I put the lemon butter in a very small mortar (not using the pestle--I got it at a kitchen store in the '80s & have been glad ever since for grinding spices, but tonight used it for the dip) & started tearing off the leaves of the artichoke & dipping the ends in the butter. I pulled off the edible artichoke w/ my teeth after dipping it in the butter, which was too tart w/ the lemon. I have successfully combined lemon & butter, but not tonight. But it was still edible, & I don't remember the last time I cooked a fresh artichoke, so I was glad to do it. When I got down to the base, I had to dig out the rest of the thistles & cut off the inedible part, & then the base of the artichoke is pure pleasure to eat. I didn't bother to dip that, & just ate it as part of my meal. It was a little undercooked, even w/ all the boiling, but it still tasted good.

    I put one chop on a ceramic platter, w/ the hot bread, the artichoke heart, & the quartered tomatoes (dressed w/ squeezed lemon & basil leaves, too strong but still edible) & munched it w/ my wine through the first half of my film. For dinner, I usually pick a film I have already seen & am in the mood to see the first half of again.

    After dinner I put the remaining chop & the sauce in a ceramic pan, seal it & refrigerate. All I have to do is heat it up to have a meal later in the week.

    Best part of this meal: the garlic kicked in & really dressed up the meat. The artichoke & tomatoes could have turned out better. The wine was no better than average.

    Overall, pretty good. A nice home cooked meal. I do not recommend the wine, but payday is tomorrow.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 08-21-2019 at 01:13 AM.

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    Tonight: Chicken Continental, heated French bread, Franzia merlot box wine, fresh pineapple & vanilla ice cream.

    Poured the merlot wine. It's standard issue box wine, no year, & is serviceable but not exceptional. Dressed it up w/ a cutting of fresh lime, fresh lemon & fresh orange over ice. Then it popped.

    Started w/ a whole pineapple. Cut the top off, then cut into inch-thick sections, & cut the sides of each section off, excising the "eyes" on the side, removing the stem, & chopping the rest into smaller pieces. Bagged in zip-lock & refrigerated.

    Prepared the sauce. In a large pan, already over heat, dumped in a double can of condensed cream of chicken soup (any brand will do, I used Campbell's), doubled that with bottled water, then added diced white onion (about half of a large onion), diced Italian parsley (removed stems -- dried parsley is okay, but fresh is better), dried celery flakes, salt, pepper, & sage--I always use sage to flavor chicken, unless I use "poultry seasoning" which also has it). Heat, do not overcook, adjust seasoning by taste. I add pepper by pouring it in the palm of my hand & spreading it on the surface of the sauce & stirring it in. When it's done, take off the heat & cover.

    Heat the stove to 375° & get out a 9X13 pan. In a skillet, put in oil & turn on the heat. I used Pure Wesson Canola Oil, but any vegetable oil should work all right.

    Season white flour (salt & pepper it until you can see pepper in the flour) & dunk chicken breasts in it thoroughly. Make sure all crevices in the chicken are covered. (I wanted breasts w/ skin but all were skinless at the store I shopped in. I'll try another store next time.) I put the breasts into a skillet at moderately high heat, & browned one side, then flipped them & browned the other side. (Mistake: recipe said just brown them, but I should have cooked them thoroughly. See below.)

    When the meat was done (or so I thought), I poured a 14 ounce box of Minute Rice into my 9X13 pan (more than the recipe called for) & stirred in about 4/5 of the sauce. I should have added more water to the sauce, as it should have been about 3/5 of the sauce stirred in. I mixed the rice until it was saturated. (Note: It must be Minute Rice, or house brand instant rice. I've tried this recipe w/ regular cooked rice & it comes out gummy.) Then put the chicken breasts over the sauced rice, & pour the rest of the sauce over the breasts. Then sprinkle the the breasts & the visible rice w/ paprika. Cover with foil & put into the oven for at least 30 minutes (I used 35 minutes). I also heated French bread in foil at the same time. Caution: The oven will heat but not cook the chicken. It came out a little undercooked. Next time I will cook the chicken till it's ready to serve, & then put it on the sauced rice.

    When ready, serve a chicken breast, rice, & heated bread w/ wine.

    What was best tonight: the rice. I had three helpings, with plenty left over for later. If serving for a group, make sure each person has a chicken breast. It will go quickly.

    I finished by spooning fresh pineapple over prepared vanilla ice cream for dessert. Yum.

    It took about two hours to prepare this meal from start to point of serving. I like to wash up, wipe up, & do dishes as I go so that I have less cleanup after the fact, but suit yourself.

    minuyr.jpg
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 08-22-2019 at 01:41 AM.

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    Warning to competitors: these meals are off-season offerings only. They will not work in a competition countdown time frame.

    Tonight's meal: beef stir fry, white rice, wine & dessert. I will try to be as concise as possible while remaining clear. I will explain how I prepared the meal, & also offer suggestions for doing it yourself, & avoiding my mistakes. Biggest mistake: I used some fresh vegetables I bought for salads early last week, & some were no longer useable. Best to shop for ingredients as close to when you prepare the meal as possible.

    First, opened the wine. I got Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, California 2017. It was the only white wine at Wal-Mart that had a date on it. I wouldn't get it again. Okay, but had a taste I wasn't crazy about. But drinkable.

    First thing was preparing a marinade for the meat. I bought pieces of round steak, & used about half a pound of it. Recipe called for a pound, but I wanted to save some for a later meal. What I used was sufficient. First, I cut the steak into small pieces, excising the fat. Then I stirred in a tablespoon of prepared stir-fry sauce & a tablespoon of corn starch. The sauce didn't look like enough, so I put another dollop of the sauce in & that did the trick. I used this brand of stir-fry sauce: Kikkoman Preservative Free Stir-Fry Sauce; it has reduced sodium according to the back of the bottle. I recommend it.

    17264638.jpg
    I put the meat at the back of the cabinet top & let it absorb the flavoring. Next I did the white rice on the stove top. I used regular long grain white rice, plus a little salt when I started it on the heat. The rice should be completely done & removed from heat & covered & set aside before starting the stir fry.

    I prepared the following vegetables: a small can of water chestnuts, a small can of bamboo shoots, a small package of fresh snow peas, a bell pepper, fresh mushrooms, half a large white onion, celery, & carrots. You can mix & match vegetables, & no two stir fries come out alike. The chestnuts & bamboo just have to be opened & drained. The snow peas you cut the top & bottom off of, & inspect each one for discoloration or damage. Excise any part that doesn't look good, inspecting both sides. The bell pepper should be seeded (I slice it in half & run water over it, rinsing seeds away, then dicing the rest into inch-size chunks). Fresh mushrooms I washed & got the shit off them (they grow in excrement; any dark particle must be washed off), trimmed stems & cut them in half. The onion I cut into quarters; the parts will separate from each other as they fry. The celery was a disaster. It had gone bad, stored too long in the refrigerator. I finally rescued about an ounce that wasn't bad, but that did help flavor the stir fry. Carrots are diced into quarter-inch pieces. At this point, the rice was almost ready. I added a little water & relaxed until it was done, in less than five minutes.

    I heated oil in the wok on the stove (the lightest oil I could get was Crisco Pure Vegetable, which is soybean oil--I would have preferred safflower oil or sunflower oil). Do NOT use canola oil or olive oil in a stir fry; it's too heavy & gums it up. I put the meat in sauce in when the oil started bubbling, & stirred continuously on high heat until it was done--about 4 minutes. I removed the cooked meat & set it aside. I put in too much oil, so I drained it to avoid its being soggy, & set aside.

    I put in fresh oil & started the veggies. Put in the longest to cook first: snow peas, chestnuts & bamboo shoots. Stir continuously w/ a long-handled large spoon. I had to cut the heat down a bit to avoid them sticking to the skillet. Gradually I added everything else, continuing to stir. You can put the spoon down for a minute or so, but stay with it. Add more oil (which is absorbed by the veggies) as needed. When all the veggies are in, I added spices. Tonight I used salt, parsley flakes, & garlic powder (the kind I pictured earlier in this blog). I tasted the result & added more salt. If you are cooking for more than one, use a different spoon each time you taste-test it. When it was done, I added the meat again, & a half cup of the stir fry sauce. Stir until it's ready, then remove from heat.

    I served it by putting down a bed of white rice & dishing the stir fry over it. I didn't use soy sauce for the rice this time. The stir fry sauce has soy in it, & soy is loaded with sodium.

    Had more wine w/ the meal, & topped it off with a half bowl of cut fresh pineapple from an earlier meal this week.

    It was good. Best part: the fresh veggies that absorbed the oil & sauce. I would use the stir fry sauce again, but not all the time, as it made everything taste the same.

    Time to prepare from start to sit down: 90 minutes.

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    "What have you done with the Earth man Gordon?"

    "I will not tell you, unless you decree that his life be spared."

    Started with Merlot box wine. I had been icing it w/ citrus slices, but it is better warm without the dress up.

    Tonight's meal: Angus Premium USDA Choice cowboy ribeye steak, fresh asparagus, French bread, & apple pie/vanilla ice cream.

    Started with the French bread (baked in store). Tore a hunk off, buttered it & lightly sprinkled the butter with powdered garlic, wrapped in aluminum wrap & put it in the oven.

    Prepared the fresh asparagus. Washed it, trimmed the stems, & placed it in a large pot with water. Then applied high heat to get it to start steaming.

    Used canola oil for the skillet to cook the meat, placed the steak in & heated one side. Turned it & heated the other side. Then turned it again, at which time I placed prepared scallions on the meat, as well as seasoning. (To prepare scallions, get a bunch & trim them: cut off the green stems & the root side, so that they measure about 2 inches--a bunch results in about seven scallions). Tonight's seasoning: salt & pepper ("the master spice").

    Checked the asparagus & adjusted temp. (Cut it down to simmer, which was too low, so I upped it a bit.) Also cut down the temp on the steak. Do not overcook either.

    It was soon done. I used tongs to move the asparagus to a ceramic baking dish, dowsed the vegetable with dried basil, & tossed. Put the baking dish lid on & placed it aside.

    Took the meat off the stove. Looked & smelled good. Cut a piece off the meat in the pan & placed on my platter, with a tong-full of asparagus, & the bread, removed from the oven. Refilled my wine & enjoyed my Flash Gordon serial (the first of three, Space Soldiers, 1936).

    Had dinner watching one of my favorite serials. Finished the bread & the asparagus (as it doesn't keep well), but had enough steak for another meal. Be sure to pour the sauce on the steak to maintain flavor, which is often better in seconds than the first time around.)

    Dessert was apple pie (bought) & vanilla ice cream.

    What was good tonight? Everything. Best: the basil seasoning for the asparagus. It was heaven.

    Preparation time: about an hour.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 09-05-2019 at 02:14 AM.

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    Dinner party for two guests & myself. Started the meal w/ three separate trips to both grocery stores in my area, getting various things for all aspects of the event, including luxury napkins ("they have the texture of cloth"). I'm in the Martha Stewart school of dinner parties: every single detail matters to the overall experience. I want my guests to feel like royalty, & admit I'm anal about it. But the purpose is to let everyone relax & enjoy each other's company, & leave w/ happy memories of the event. I try to do something unique at each party I give, & I don't give a lot of them. (The last one was 18 months ago.) This time, I explained that I was planning to downsize my book collection, & if either of them wanted something on my shelves, they need only pick it out. They were soon looking through my shelves. I suggested some things when I found out their interests, so that one left not only with the book but also the DVD of the film. I will only replace two of the books they took, & I can get the film on Blu-ray.

    They were scheduled to arrive by 6:00 p.m., so I started my pork roast in a crock pot around 3:30 p.m. That was later than I really should have started it, but it wasn't a problem, as we didn't sit down to eat till almost 9:00 p.m. I sliced off sections of the pork roast, trimmed fat, & placed aside. I placed bottled water in the crock pot (I never cook with tap water), & lined up my spices. Picking out spices is a great pleasure, & pork absorbs flavor better than any other meat. I picked the following: salt, pepper, garlic powder, & a bay leaf. I mixed the salt, pepper, & garlic in a small dish & dumped it in the water with the bay leaf. (For a stew or roast, a bay leaf is a must.) I took two bunches of green onions (long stem), trimmed the stems & the root sides. I froze the remaining pork, put the pork slices in the water, tossed in the onions (about two inches long), & set the crock pot on high.

    I was planning a berry desert, & had gotten three kinds, including red raspberries, so I rinsed those, pulled out a few that had gone bad, & put them in a bowl in my fridge. I also had blueberries & blackberries, but it turned out I didn't need them & will explain. I was running around clearing & wiping tables, floors, putting coasters out, setting the table, & so on. The bathroom was ready before I started the meal. I needed about five more minutes to clear the floor when one guest arrived, so I had help finishing the job. She brought iced brownies from a deli unexpectedly, so that became dessert when I confirmed that she liked the raspberry topping. I was ready with canned whipped cream, but it wasn't requested. She also brought the beverage she wanted to drink, & I poured it for her & made sure she had refills all evening (the party broke up around 10:30). When my second guest arrived, he had some deli sausage & muenster cheese which I quickly incorporated into my finger food snack spread before the meal. I proposed a toast with my favorite Korbel Extra Dry champagne, which was a delight. I have champagne glasses, which came in handy.

    korbel-extra-dry.jpg


    They didn't drink much champagne, so I finished it. I love it.

    As they talked, I assembled the snack spread: mixed nuts, Fritos, extra sharp cheddar cheese pieces on toothpicks, the muenster rolled & skewered w/ a toothpick (it was packaged for sandwiches), halved mushrooms, sliced dill pickles, large Spanish olives (the only kind I buy), also on toothpicks, & Keebler Town House oven baked crackers (light & buttery original: they're perfect w/ cheese). At that point, I ascertained that they didn't want the steamed vegetable I planned to serve (yellow squash & zucchini), so I offered a tossed salad & they said yes to that. I have pasta bowls that are ideal for small salads, & verified the ingredients they wanted in their salads & the preferred dressing (served on the side, always). I also verified they wanted garlic & butter on their heated French bread, which I put in the oven in aluminum foil--not big slices either, as it's carby. Then I prepared the salads & made sure each had the ingredients in their respective pasta bowls.

    At that point, the meat was done, tender & fragrant. I put the crock pot on low & refreshed drinks & chatted till the bread was ready. Then we repaired to my dining table, & started w/ our salads (with pepper in a tiny bowl, which I suggested they take pinches of if they wanted it). When that was finished, I brought the bread in, & dished the pork & flavored water (now a sauce) into a serving dish & brought that in. After we ate that, I asked them to go back into my living room where I had served the snacks, as I hate to sit & talk over congealing food on plates. After 20 minutes, we had dessert. We started out listening to Kodály & ended with Beatles for Sale.

    The evening was very pleasant. Best thing: hard to say, as it was all so good. It was nice to share a meal.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 09-12-2019 at 01:39 AM.

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    "And I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do."

    Dinner with a friend over. I don't consider it a dinner party w/ one guest. I picked her up & we made a run to Wal-mart for last-minute shopping for the meal. That was fun. The wine I got was Marco Negri Moscato D'Asti 2018, which was a bit pricey but worth it.

    Negri.jpg

    Planned meal: wine (two kinds), finger food snacks on a large wooden cutting board, beef stir fry & white rice.

    At home I placed the Moscato in the freezer for quick cooling (don't forget it or it will freeze), & served Francia chillable red box wine (I keep some in a carafe in the refrigerator). Then I prepared the finger food: saltine crackers, extra sharp cheddar cheese sliced, large Spanish olives, a bowl of potato chips, a bowl of mixed nuts, & sliced yellow squash (she wouldn't eat it but I did). The Moscato was chilled so I got it out & twisted off the top (no cork, even from an Italian winery). We kept our red wine & sipped both alternately (I have never done that, but it was fun). Wine & munchies fueled a pleasant conversation (& Abba on the CD player helped). Then I prepped the stir fry.

    The beef was eye of round thin. Good choice, as I only had to cut it into small pieces w/ no fat to excise. Half a pound is enough for two. I marinated that in corn starch, stir-fry sauce (the same kind I used in my last stir-fry meal), & soy sauce. (The last time I followed directions on the sauce label & put the rest of it into the stir fry, but that buried the veggies' flavor; this time I used the sauce only in the marinade, which was much better). Then I assembled the veggies, discussing w/ my guest what she wanted (she nixed zucchini): packaged veggies labeled "Fajita mix" which worked for stir fry (it had onion, red & green bell pepper), & only had to be chopped a little more; mushrooms, celery, carrots, broccoli, canned bamboo shoots, & snow peas. Meanwhile I started the white rice. It's better to have the veggies prepared before the guest arrives, but I was readying the house & didn't have time. I like having the rice ready before the stir fry starts, but was too busy talking to do it this time. It was ready when the stir fry was.

    To execute the stir fry, I seasoned the wok (put a little oil in & wiping the inside with a paper towel) & turned the heat on high. I drained the marinade from the meat & put the meat in when the oil was hot. Cook the meat quickly & remove it before the veggies are cooked, as the meat will overcook if left in. The meat takes about four minutes. Then I stir-fried the veggies, putting the different ingredients in one by one, stirring continuously; I adjusted the heat down a little to reduce spattering oil. When everything was in & had cooked down, I added spices: salt, dried parsley, a little garlic powder, a little dried basil. I finished w/ corn starch stirred into soy sauce & added the meat, stirring another two minutes. It was served on a platter dish, with rice in a separate dish. I refreshed drinks, put the food on the table, & we helped ourselves. It was enough not to need dessert.

    Best thing tonight: the wine was excellent (I can't drink cheap Moscato, but this Marco Negri is almost like champagne), & the stir fry very good. As was the movie after dinner. As was Abba.

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    red.jpg

    Franzia Chillable Red box wine, a nice table wine that dresses up chilled w/ slices of fresh orange, lemon & lime.

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    Tonight: Enchilada casserole (beef with red sauce, and beef with cream of chicken sauce), veggie garnish on the side, nosh plate with ranch dressing to start, & Cabernet Sauvignon wine.

    You will need a frying pan, two pots, & two oblong baking pans. The wine was Black Box Cab (Chilean, from 2017). Here is the 3-liter box.

    Cab.jpg

    As box wines go, it is one of the best I have found.

    I prepared the nosh part on a large wooden cutting board, putting out baby cut carrots (smaller than most other cut carrots, ideal finger food), sliced green bell pepper, halved fresh mushrooms (wash thoroughly & trim stems), sliced celery, a small bowl of ranch dressing, & on the side bowls of potato chips, Fritos & mixed nuts. My guest & I both got small plates for the eats. I transferred the wine to a carafe because the wine dispenser spewed it all over the place (the only drawback of Black Box).

    After that was finished, I moved on to the enchiladas. This is a family recipe from my mother. Here are the ingredients:

    48 corn tortillas (I used 36 of them, 18 for each kind of enchilada)
    1 package of shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese (I'll tell my Cheddar Gorge story another time on Muscle Central)
    1 large can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup (any brand is okay)
    2 pounds lean ground beef (the store only had one pound, but the meat counter guy ran another pound up for me)
    1 large white onion (I could have actually used more of this--I ran out of it)
    2 small cans of chopped green chiles
    3 cans of Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce (10 oz. cans--I got 2 & ran out of it)
    Cooking oil for the tortillas
    Head of red lettuce
    One vine-ripened tomato
    One ripe avocado
    One lime

    Set the oven to 325 degrees. Cook the ground beef, pouring off the grease in a recycled jar (pickle jars with large lids are ideal--I store them in the fridge until full, then toss). Put aside.

    While the ground beef cooks, assemble the garnish. Wash the lettuce & fill half a small bowl with pieces torn by hand. Cut the tomato in two & rinse the seeds out under the faucet, then dice it. Peel the avocado & dice it. Put all those things in the small bowl, & squeeze a cut lime over it, tossing until the lime gets to everything. Refrigerate the garnish. If you're cooking for more than two, you will need more.

    Then cut the onion into half-inch pieces (or dice it) & start the sauces. Open & dump the red sauce in one pot (it needs no prep but heat), & dump the cream of chicken soup in the other pot, adding drinking water from a gallon jug (I never cook with tap water except for spaghetti), & chopped green chilis. Stir the chicken soup sauce with a wisk frequently to avoid sticking; stir the red sauce a couple of times. Put a quarter teaspoon of salt in the chicken soup sauce (the soup already has a lot of sodium). Assemble ingredients: corn tortillas, ground beef, shredded cheese, diced onion. The sauces are ready when they boil. Take them off the heat.

    Heat cooking oil in a skillet (enough to cover the bottom plus a little more) until it is hot. With tongs, put a tortilla in the hot oil, swirl it a bit to cover it with oil, & flip it to the other side. Remove it within 20 to 30 seconds with tongs & put it in one of the oblong pans. With freshly washed hands, put meat (about a spoonful, but I use my fingers), cheese, onion & spooned sauce (I do the red sauce first, but suit yourself), roll or fold the tortilla & repeat, lining up the enchiladas as you go. (My mom uses tongs to dip the tortillas in sauce, but they tear when I try to do that so I spoon sauce.) When you have enough tortillas to fill the pan, sprinkle more ground beef & onions over the enchiladas & cover them in sauce (that's what makes it a casserole). Put aluminum foil on the pan & move to the oven. Then repeat the process with the other sauce.

    The red enchiladas were ready when I finished prepping the chicken enchiladas, so I removed the first pan & we started eating right away. Don't forget the garnish; I can't tell you how many times I left something in the fridge that I prepped. I have the table set, with coasters & heating pads in place, so we can start dinner quickly. I had the carafe of wine refilled & on the table. I use fancy dinner napkins for guest meals, but if it's just me I use dish cloths. Enjoy.

    I had no dessert, so we did a run to Sonic & got some ice cream.

    Prep time: from the point I turned the oven on, it was less than an hour. But you have to shop, assemble ingredients, & I had to clean the oven beforehand because I had spilled something the last time I used it.

    Best thing tonight: the wine, doing two kinds of enchiladas, & the conversation. It was all good.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 10-12-2019 at 02:31 PM.

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    I was timed out before I could add the following:

    Put the tortilla just out of the oil on a plate covered with paper towels & sop up whatever oil you can. The tortilla will be very hot, so watch that you don't get burned. Then transfer it to the oblong pan & proceed.

    Leave the pans in the oven about 20 minutes. Don't overcook them.

    To be clear, I cooked the ground beef in a skillet on the stove & then used the skillet for the tortillas.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 10-12-2019 at 02:41 PM.

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