Saturday, October 26, 2013

Recipes for Viva New Mexico!

I’ve gotten a little backlash for not posting the recipes from Viva New Mexico!

After getting permission from my mumsie, here they are, with a bit of background.

The recipe for Jose’s Burritos came from a beloved friend named Jose Chavez.  He was a co-worker of my dad’s at the Conoco Refinery in Billings, MT.  There would occasionally be times in the refinery when some of the unioned workers would go on strike, and the Conoco employees would have to pull “strike duty” where they would work extra shifts, and Conoco would set up a make-shift camp for the men to stay in so they wouldn’t have to cross picket lines.  One of those times, Jose made a massive batch of burritos and gave my dad the recipe.  It’s written on a piece of dad’s Conoco letterhead and is in his handwriting, which is funny, because he wasn’t the cook. 

Jose was a really amazing man and good friend to our family.  He taught boxing to underprivileged kids and when he retired became a “lay priest” in his Catholic Church.  And he made really good burritos.

Jose’s Burritos
2lbs Hamburger
1 #1 can whole tomato or stewed
4 cans Ortega’s green chili (or substitute with fresh roasted Hatch Green Chili if you can!)
1 ½ cans cream of mushroom soup
Pinch of sugar
Garlic and onion salt to taste

Brown burger, drain grease.  Chop chili, mash tomato, add soup and spices (or you can do this step in the blender or food processor, like I do).  Add to meat a little at a time.  Add a little water to thin it out (about a soup can’s worth).  Simmer 1 ½ to two hours (or stick them in the crock pot, this seems easier).

To serve:
Flour tortillas
Chopped onions,
Grated cheese
Chopped lettuce and
Chopped tomatoes

Fill a flour tortilla with meat (using a slotted spoon) and cheese, roll and place on plate seam side down, top with juice from the meat and more cheese, place in microwave for 45 seconds to melt cheese.  Top with lettuce, tomato and chopped onions.

The chicken enchilada casserole is one of those things that there wasn’t really a recipe for, Mom just sort of always made it, with a “little of this”, and “some of this”, probably the way you make scrambled eggs, but here’s as close as we could get:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded or chopped (Or you can use rotisserie chicken from the store.  Or you can use your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.)
2 cups roasted, peeled and chopped New Mexico green chili (or you can use canned, if you have to)
1 26 oz can Cream of Chicken soup
Milk (use cream of chicken can)
2 cups shredded cheese
¼ cup onion, chopped
10-15 corn tortillas, torn into pieces to fit your pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Make a mixture with cream of chicken soup and milk, so it’s slightly less thick than cake batter.  Spray a casserole dish (13x9 should work) first with cooking spray, then dip tortillas in the soup and milk mixture and lay them out in the bottom of the dish so that there are no gaps.  Top with a layer of chicken, chili, onion and cheese.  Make another layer of tortilla dipped in soup mixture (remember not to leave any gaps!), then chicken, chili, onion and cheese again.  Whatever is left of your soup and milk mixture can be poured over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated all the way through.

When we were cooking last week, Mom told Amy the story of where she learned to cook these.  Her girlfriend that she worked with at the bank in Las Cruces, NM, is the one who taught her to make these, and I had never heard that story before, even though I’ve eaten this casserole all my life.  She worked at the bank when she was pregnant with me.  How fun to know that little bit of history.

With love from my family to yours.  Enjoy!

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