I love to cook. Ever since I can remember I enjoyed getting out the cookbook and destroying my mother’s kitchen. When I was at Whitford Jr. High, I had two favorite electives. They were wood-shop and home economics.
In home econ I had a lot of fun. I would make a recipe at school and then come home and make it with my mom. We made homemade hot pockets, no bake oatmeal chocolate cookies, and peanut brittle, and many things I cannot remember. We had a lot of fun in our kitchen and I have loved being in the kitchen ever since.
My interest in cooking was kicked up a notch when I was on vacation with my family on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. While we were in a shop, I spotted a cookbook called How to Grill. It changed my life. A couple of days later I went to the Barnes and Noble on the Island where I bought The Barbecue Bible by the same author. Both books are wonderful and should be in the kitchen of anyone who is interested in cooking.
As I have cooked my horizons have broadened, greatly. Back in about 2006, I purchased The Joy of Cooking. This classic got me hooked on soups and chili. Another favorite cookbook that I refer to often is Sam Choy’s Island Sampler. This book has an amazing recipe for beef stew, tri-tip, and lots of other delicious dishes which are a fusion of Asian, Island, American, and, of all things, Portuguese cuisine (Linguica is the best breakfast sausage, period!!!).
Now I am taking on a new challenge, enchiladas. It may sound silly to you, but it is a lot of fun for me.
As with anything I cook my goals are twofold. First, my goal is learn to make something so well that I would not want to order it when I go out to eat. This opens me up to try new things, or, at least get me to attempt to drag my wife to hole in wall restaurants which serve things that I have never had before or could possibly hope to make because they are so complex.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy places like Chile’s, Applebee’s, and am always up for a trip to Mi Mi’s Cafe, however if given the chance of eat something familiar and something new, seven times out of ten I will choose something new.
My second goal is not to stress my wife out. Her stress levels increase exponentially as she sees the number of pots, pans, utensils, and various kitchen sundries pile up in the sink. I can’t help it. When I am in the kitchen I feel like the mad scientist in laboratory on the verge of making a big discovery. Fortunately I do clean up after myself so in the end everything is okay, and everyone is happy albeit a little stressed.
Before I got married I ran across a recipe on Food Network.com. The enchiladas were a lot of work but the pay off was big. They were great. So good that I made them twice and everyone has liked them. However the next time I make them, I am going to dial it back significantly on the chipotles and increase the chicken. They will be a lot better and will not fry out the brains of those of weaker palette (something I learned this summer when I entered some curry in a competition).
This weekend I made some enchiladas that really came together accidentally. I started out with the intentions of making burritos. As I was shredding the pork, it donned on me that these would make great enchiladas. So, some black beans, sauce, and cheese later Tina and I were eating some darn good enchiladas.
If anyone reading this happens to come across an enchilada recipe that looks good or has one they want share, post a link to it or leave in the comments.