So after going an entire week without cooking any meals at all, due to my husband going out of town and me going out of town as well, I finally returned to the kitchen this past Monday night. I made the last 2 of the meals from my previous posting (Monterey Chicken = SUCCESS!; Vodka cream sauce/pasta=SUCCESS (it was nice and thick this time). And last night I made a third meal that is an old standby, but never a disappointment: Jalapeno Enchiladas. I found this recipe in a cookbook that I borrowed/stole from my mom. (I use the borrowed/stole phrase because I chose to believe she gave me the cookbook, although I'd be more than willing to give it back, although I don't plan on giving it back....:) Anyway.......
1 lb ground beef
4-5 jalapeno peppers
1 can cream of mushroom soup, prepared
1 package flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Brown beef and season with garlic powder. Seed the jalapenos to your taste. (If you like spicy, seed 50% of them or less. If you prefer mild, seed most of them). Puree them in a food processor. (if you don't have one, just finely chop them--I've done it both ways and it works fine). Add the peppers to the prepared mushroom soup (I use a can of milk to cook the soup) and cook until simmering. Once the soup is prepared, spoon the beef into each tortilla and roll up. Lay into a greased 9X13 pan. Usually I can cram about 8-10 enchiladas in a 9X13. Pour the soup/pepper sauce over the top and top with shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes. YUM-O!
Now onto my discovery....
So tonight I did a rather easy meal: salmon, grilled on my awesome 2-burner grill pan; green beans, and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were from a small bag I bought at Kroger this past weekend. Anyway, I boiled the potatoes, not really knowing what I would end up doing with them but ultimately decided to just go ahead and do mashed potatoes. Once I had mashed them and thrown a bit of butter over them, I suddenly realized I had nothing else to stir into them to make them creamy. I don't keep regular milk on hand, unless necessary, and I had zero sour cream or even Ranch dressing. So as I stuck my head inside my fridge....pondering...my eyes fell onto a container of ricotta cheese. Bingo! So I ended up dumping the remains of this 16 oz. container into the pot of smashed potatoes and mixing well. I added some garlic salt and a bit of chicken stock (also something I did not realize I had).
The very best pancakes I have ever had in my entire life were made with ricotta cheese. They were SO fluffy and perfect. Now I know why. The potatoes were FANTASTIC. And I give all the credit to the ricotta. Thank you, Ricotta! You made my potentially bland, non-smooth potatoes, fluffy, creamy, and delicious. People often dog ricotta bc it is so "rich", but truthfully it doesn't have much flavor at all. It merely adds a richness and texture to your food that other types of cheeses, sauces, or liquids can't do! I will definitely keep ricotta at the forefront of my mind from here on out.