My Family Mexican Dishes - Lela's Cooking Journey Blog at - 274210

Lela's Cooking Journey

My Family Mexican Dishes 
Apr. 30, 2012 6:52 pm 
Updated: Jan. 15, 2013 6:40 pm
lass="x_x_x_x_x_x_x_x_Apple-style-span">Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner. I thought I would  share some Mexican recipes that I grew up eating and my family today requests over and over again. The Mexican food I grew up  on was not fancy, but it was tasty. 
One of my goals, now that I am older and wiser was to trek down the cooking road to perfect those childhood dishes my Grandma and Mom used to make.  

     A lot of the dishes my mom and Grandma made used lard as an ingredient.  Now, cooking with lard is not exactly good for you. So, I have converted my recipes using lard to using canola oil. For example, my tortillas are made with canola oil and I fry my corn tortillas for enchiladas or tacos in canola oil. There are just some Mexican dishes that I feel you just have to fry in order to get the flavor of a particular dish.  There are many ways to make Mexican Food healthier; however, that would be another blog someday.


Recipe Links

My grandma made beef enchiladas with a red enchilada sauce that had a hint of red chili, but not so strong that the chili tasted bitter. She never wrote her recipe down, but I think I have stumbled on a recipe similar to my Grandma's enchiladas.  I crave these beef enchiladas drenched in red enchilada sauce, with melted cheddar cheese, and a sprinkling of sweet onions on top. Mrs. Espy's Enchilada Sauce here on AR that is somewhat like my Grandma's sauce.  I think the secret my Grandma had is using New Mexico Chimayo powdered chili. The New Mexico Chili is quite spicy, so you do not need 1/4 cup of chili per Mrs. Espy's Enchilada Sauce. I only used 2 Tbsp. of chili. Also, instead of using 2 cups of water, I used 2 cups of chicken broth.

 Recipe Link:

Now, my friends my task is to write up the recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. Soon my friends, soon.

May you have a Great Cinco De Mayo!

Salsa The Great Appetizer!
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Lela's Thick Style Tortillas
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Beef Enchiladas in red chili sauce
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Lela's Spanish Rice
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Lee B 
Apr. 30, 2012 7:04 pm
My tummy is growling! These look so delicious.Thanks for sharing your recipes!
Apr. 30, 2012 7:08 pm
I am actually having tacos tomorrow.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:11 pm
Lee-try any of the recipes. You wil have to use the link I provided since none of these are published.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:12 pm
King Sparta-hello. What kind of tacos are you making? Nice to see you here.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:15 pm
Mmmmm, I will probably do a pot of borracho beans next week! Love the flavors of Mexico! Great pictures!
Apr. 30, 2012 7:17 pm
Luv Mexican food . . . your pics make for a great presentation . . . thanks for sharing!!
Apr. 30, 2012 7:25 pm
My favorite food is mexican food! Thanks so much for the recipes!:)
Apr. 30, 2012 7:33 pm
Long ago there was a little tiny restaurant that made a killer chicken mole dish and it was only 15 minutes away. The owners divorced and I went on a quest to figure out how to make that dish. It wasn't easy but I came as close as I could. Then I started growing my own peppers that went into the dish. Made all the difference. I've even tried canning my own enchilada sauce. I'm sure I could use and appreciate any tips you'd like to share :)(: Especially in making your own tortillas. Still working on that one.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:41 pm
Yummeroo, thanks so much!!!!!
Apr. 30, 2012 7:41 pm
Hello Bibi. Ah, Borracho Beans-do you use a special beer for these? Thanks for stopping by.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:42 pm
I'm with you Conky Joe-luv Mexican food. Mexican food in on my menu every week.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:43 pm
CookandBakeGirl-you are welcome. I hope you try some of these recipes out.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:44 pm
tomorrow is beef tacos. wednesday is Prime Rib, since it is my wife's and My 36th wedding anniversary.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:48 pm
Cat Hill-you are right about chili making a difference in Chicken Mole. I can't make that worth a lick. I hope you share your recipe. I live in the best place for getting New Mexico red chili and also Pueblo chilies. The Pueblo Chiles are grown locally and really give the green chili a flavor that makes you come back for more. I never canned anything, other than help my MIL put up pickles. I wish I had your talent in canning sauces.
Apr. 30, 2012 7:51 pm
King Sparta-beef tacos yum. Prime Rib- you are making me hungry -save me a plate. I have only eaten Prime Rib at home once for Easter and my Mom made it. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife.
Apr. 30, 2012 8:00 pm
Cat Hill-people keep asking me for tips on making tortillas-I will think on that and write a blog. Making tortillas for me was hard when I first started many years ago. My first attempts looked lopsided and not so pretty. Now, the tortillas I make are pretty round. I would be happy to share any tips I have.
Apr. 30, 2012 10:35 pm
Beautiful blog Lela. I know it takes a while to make tortillas right. My friend tried to teach me how to make tortillas years ago and I'm still awful at it. She told me one time that she loved it when her Mom came to visit from New Mexico because her Mom made batch after batch of tortillas while she was at work and her mom's tortillas were soo much better than hers. Her Mom was 80 and my friend's tortillas were really good! It really is an art form.
May 1, 2012 4:48 am
Nice blog Lela, and great looking food. I "HEART" Mexican food, grew up on it also. Lived in S. Calif. and western TX as a child. I'm pretty sure I eat something Mexican at least once a week. I've never tried to make flour tortillas, I should we use them every single day for sandwich wraps and of course my favorite breakfast burrito. Maybe I'll get adventurous and give it a whirl.
May 1, 2012 5:10 am
Lela, tell you what I'll share mine if you share yours :) LOL! I haven't made my mole sauce for a long time. The guys don't love it like I do. I really never knew there was SUCH a flavor difference in peppers. I thought it was a choice of hot or mild. The pasilla subtle flavor really makes the mole sauce. The minero hybrid is a guajillo-type pepper that was recommended for homemade enchilada sauces. I don't quite have that mastered. I'm sure it's because I'm missing a "Grandma" secret either in the prep or an ingredient. Can't wait to see a tortilla blog!
May 1, 2012 5:34 am
Sherri-thanks. My family like yours eats Mexican food once a week. Making flour tortillas does take time, but the homemade version is so much better.
May 1, 2012 5:37 am
Cathill-the kind of New Mexico chile powder I use is called New Mexico hot chimayo powder. You are right, there are different peppers for different Mexican dishes. I am working on that tortilla blog.
May 1, 2012 4:45 pm
by the way the enchiladas look really good. we did have tacos today but I should have picked up some sour cream for them.
May 1, 2012 6:18 pm
King-I like sour cream on my tacos. My husband does not like sour cream on any of his Mexican food. I bet your wife is looking forward to the prime rib this week, too.
May 1, 2012 7:24 pm
Wonderful blog Lela!! I have never made my own tortillas, I should try yours. Could I use grapeseed oil instead of canola? how does your enchiladas compair to mine? And do you add fried eggs on top? It is the Best! Another layer of saucy goodness! Thanks for sharing! Happy Cinco De Mayo:):) Lovely photos too!
May 1, 2012 7:24 pm
May 1, 2012 7:29 pm
hi lela! i'm ALWAYS in the mood for mexican food. just finished a burrito and am sipping a margarita. ;) i wish i lived closer, i would be inviting myself over for dinner at your place! :)
May 1, 2012 7:54 pm
Pattycakes-I have never tried grapeseed oil. Doesn't hurt to tweak any recipe I say. My husband has eggs on top of his enchiladas when dining out. Here in the local restaurants it is called Enchilada Tejanas. The Enchiladas are stacked instead of rolled then a fried egg is added. Your enchiladas sound yummy. My chicken enchiladas differ in that I usually use a combination of chicken breasts and chicken thighs-only because that is what I have on hand. I roast them in the oven. I fry the corn tortillas, add shredded chicken, diced sweet onion, mild cheddar cheese, and some of my green pork chili. Roll up and add more green chili. Top with more cheddar cheese.Then, like you, I bake in the oven. I will try to write this up in recipe form soon. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
May 1, 2012 7:58 pm
Hello-Zeebee- send me a margarita. Sounds so good especially with Mexican food. Hey-come by anytime. You made me think of the burritos I freeze. I will have to write up the recipe. Looks like I have more work to do here. Feel free to try any of these recipes and of course tweak away.
May 3, 2012 2:33 pm
Lela, I love your blogs. :) Now I too am in the mood for Mexican. I just remembered that there is a little Mexican luncheonette nearby that I want to try. I like cooking Mexican but I'm also in the mood to be cooked for. We always ate Rice-a-Roni Spanish rice when I was a child-- yours looks better. I used to make tortillas but that was more than 10 years ago. I've been sheepishly eyeing my tortilla press (stored in basement) and if you blog tortillas I will dust it off! Thanks so much for sharing. :)
May 3, 2012 3:28 pm
Allie-isn't it nice to have someone serve you. I think I will blog on tortillas soon. We ate chicken enchiladas on Tuesday since there has been so much talk about Mexican food here on AR. Ah, the tortilla press, I have an electric one and a hand press one and I tend not to use them when I make tortillas.
May 5, 2012 4:43 am
Your tortillas look great, I will try your recipe soon thanks for sharing
May 5, 2012 9:26 am
impellizzeri-I have made these tortillas for years. Everyone always wants me to make them a dozen or two. I hope you enjoy them.
May 5, 2012 10:07 am
Hi Lela, your flour tortillas sound really good. I make my own tortillas using a recipe on this site. But I will give your tortilla a try next time I make it!!
May 5, 2012 12:30 pm
Hello Merlion. Thanks. I have been thinking about you and your grandmother. I hope she doing better. Take care my friend.
May 6, 2012 6:22 am
Well done blog Lela. I'd have to say that Mexican food is by far my favorite.
May 6, 2012 9:52 am
B.D. Mexican food has a place of honor in my home at least once a week. Thanks for stopping by.
May 6, 2012 12:13 pm
Mmm. everything looks so good! I haven't tried my hand at tortillas yet, but I'm going to have to do that soon. And Minute rice...well, now I know what I've been doing wrong in Spanish rice. My husband's son loves the rice, and I've tried making it a few times before, and it just never came out right. I'll have to save your recipe for our next Mexican meal and give it a try. Great blog!
May 6, 2012 9:23 pm
Hello wiseetp. I have tried other rice and it seems that minute rice works the best. I hope you enjoy it. It does make a large batch.
May 7, 2012 4:51 pm
Thank you for taking the time to post your own recipes. I can't wait to try them. I have a sister who has lived in Ensenada for nearly 30 years and I have visited several times. I love authentic Mexican food and it's pretty rare here in upstate New York. I'll have to try tortillas. Bet I'll love them.
May 7, 2012 6:18 pm
Janet-What I have noticed about Mexican food-every family has their own twist on Mexican Dishes. I would have to say the tortillas are my kid's most requested Mexican food item I make.I hope you do try them. Thanks for stopping by.
Jan. 15, 2013 6:40 pm
Enchilada recipe, please! (tapping toes) Still waiting! Seriously, Lela, as much as we love enchiladas, I've yet to make them to our standards. Yours look so yum-yum-yummy! C'mon, you promised!
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About Me
I enjoy cooking for our family sit down dinners. Although my kids are grown, we are a close family that enjoys 4-5 sit down dinners a week together. My family's favorite dinner is chicken enchiladas smothered in green chili. I have a passion for cooking, baking for the holidays and food photography.
My favorite things to cook
I am family oriented and spend time with my family enjoying meals. My favorite things to cook are Mexican food and any food my family asks me to cook. My family looks forward to home cooked Mexican food at least once a week and Italian food.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am on a journey to reclaim family recipes that were lost when the cooks in my family passed away. Cooking traditions are a major part of my passion for cooking. On Christmas Eve, we always had green chili and tamales. Cookie baking, lemon bars, pizzelles , and potica have been a must at Christmas as long as I can remember. My family looks forward to homemade pizza, when we gather as a family to decorate the Christmas cookies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without noodles and gravy piled high on mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and broccoli and rice casserole. On the 4th of July, there is the 4th of July Potato Salad that I make using 10 pounds of potatoes. Mexican Food is part of our weekly menu--green chili served over mashed potatoes or as a slopper (green chili poured over hamburgers.) I am always making tortillas for someone. They call my tortillas little white pieces of gold. Saturdays are Family night for dinner. It is the one day my kids can request a meal.
My cooking triumphs
Seeking help on the Buzz and the AR Blog has resulted in a few triumphs. I am extremely ecstatic about overcoming the yeast monster. I can now bake baguettes, focaccia and the best rolls in the world, my Grandma Rita's Butter Rolls.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempts at baking bread/rolls resulted in rock hard flat rolls. However, I am improving. Baking at High Altitude is somewhat of a challenge.
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