For months, I’ve been making an effort to cook most of our meals at home. I’m retired and don’t work outside the home. Although I don’t mind shopping, I try not too spend to much time rushing to the supermarket for a specific (or missing) ingredient. Instead, I use what I have on hand, make substitutions or completely do without. Cooking at home has its perks:
1) Since I’m the one who does most of the cooking at our home, I can keep our meals healthy because I choose the ingredients.
2) Me and Mister Jack no longer want or need the larger portions served at restaurants.
3) As long as I shop smart, we save money.
4) When you save money by cooking your meals at home, then you can put aside funds to occasionally dine out at favorite restaurants. That way, dining out becomes a special occasion for us. And it’s even better when we can invite family and friends to join us at a favorite restaurant. Cooking most of our meals at home allows us to splurge on lunch or dinner. We very seldom get poor service at our favorite restaurants, so we also make a point to leave at least a 20% tip for our server.
Dried California Enchilada Sauce and Stacked Enchiladas in a Crock Pot
1 – 3 oz. package dried California chiles
2 cups chicken stock
3-4 tablespoons chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons oregano
4 tablespoons butter
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch or flour
- Fill a pot with water (halfway).
- Place California chiles in pot.
- Bring water to boil.
- When chiles soften, turn off the heat.
- Drain water and discard. Remove chiles and place on a plate or cutting board. Slit each chile.
- Remove stems. Scoop out most seeds. Discard.
- Roughly chop chiles, then place in blender or food processor. Blend chiles into a smooth texture.
- Add chile powder, cumin, garlic salt, oregano, 2 cups chicken stock to chile mixture. Blend.
- In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Whisk cornstarch into the butter until mixture is smooth.
- Slowly add enchilada sauce to butter and cornstarch mixture–stirring constantly.
- Simmer on low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When sauce is slightly thickened, turn off heat and set the sauce aside.
12 small corn tortillas or 6 large flour or corn tortillas
2 cups filling (shredded cheese, vegetable or meat mixture*)
1 cup chicken stock
Dried California Chiles Enchilada Sauce (above)
1-2 cups shredded cheese
Sliced olives for topping (optional)
Crock Pot Instructions
- Coat bottom of crock pot with about 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce.
- Place 4 small tortillas or 2-3 larger tortillas over sauce.
- Spread 1 cup of filling over the tortillas.
- Repeat steps #2 and #3.
- End stacking by topping tortillas and meat mixture with tortillas or tortillas strips.
- Sprinkle with cheese. Top with sliced olives if desired.
- Cover and cook on “LOW” setting for about 6-8 hours.
- Serve immediately or freeze.
Refrigerate the Dried California Chiles Enchilada Sauce. Place the sauce in a sealed container and label with current date. Use on eggs, chilaquiles, burritos, tacos, etc. When refrigerated, the sauce will last approximately one week.
Crock Pot Stacked Enchiladas makes an easy and inexpensive meal. Like most crock pot and casserole dishes, it’s even better the next day as leftovers. Here is how I packed Mister Jack’s work lunch for next day.
*Meat Mixture for Enchilada Filling
To save time, I freeze leftover meat filling and use it later for burritos, tacos and casseroles. I used pulled rabbit for these enchiladas since I already had that stored in my freezer. The pulled rabbit filling already contained sauce, spices, onions, garlic and celery–saving me even more time.
Choose shredded or diced:
If desired, add chopped garlic, onion, celery and spices to meat mixture.