Friday, November 24, 2017
Cooking

From the food editor: A recipe for enchiladas, a good thing to make ahead for your future self

RECOMMENDED READING


By the time you read this, I will be back from spending a couple of days bopping around New York City with a friend.

There will be lots of meals I don't have to cook, lots of gallivanting the night away. But as I'm writing this, I am in the throes of vacation prep. How will I fit everything into one suitcase? What subway line do I take from the airport? How soon can I get my hands on a slice of pizza?

To make my life easier when I return, I am also making it a priority to cook meals now that I can eat later.

I don't always do this. In fact, I hardly do this to such a thoughtful degree. But I know my wallet is going to take a hit on this trip, and I know I will be very thankful to my past self when I come home to a freezer full of food.

So I turned to something that keeps well but still has the wholesome and comforting taste I will crave after a week of traveling: enchiladas.

You can do this one of two ways. Since everything you are putting inside of the enchilada is cooked, you can prep the enchiladas ahead of time and put the dish directly in the freezer, thawing when you get home and then cooking in the oven according to the recipe below.

Or — and this is what I usually do to save even more time when I actually want to eat — you can make the entire recipe, let the dish cool, then freeze the enchiladas until you need them.

The tortillas themselves don't suffer much in the freezing process, because they're already drenched in sauce and cheese and goodness.

About that sauce. I made my own from scratch, partly because I already had some canned chipotle chiles in my pantry and partly because you know how I feel about processed ingredients.

I had never made it this way before, using whole canned chiles and then pureeing the ingredients to form a thick sauce, but the flavor is bold and exquisite. I highly recommend doubling the recipe and freezing it in a couple of batches for the next time you get an enchilada craving.

That is something Future Jet-Lagged Michelle will definitely appreciate.

Comments
Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Thanksgiving can put a heavy burden on the host. We’ve assembled five appetizers that are quick and easy to prep. Some, like our risotto balls and goat-cheese figs, cater to vegetarian diets, so you can be sure to please all your guests. Even i...
Published: 11/21/17
Five ideas for cooking with fresh cranberries

Five ideas for cooking with fresh cranberries

Cranberry sauce has long been a fixture on the holiday table. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ocean Spray, the popular producer of cranberry sauce, cans about 70 million tins of the stuff a year, 85 percent of which gets sold between Thanksgiving a...
Published: 11/21/17
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who donít have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the yearís biggest cooking day.Itís the first thin...
Published: 11/20/17
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving. † From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/20/17
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Here are a few ideas, and be sure to check out our Thanksgiving special report for more tips on preparing for the big day. ...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/20/17
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17
Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

The turkey is the unquestioned star of the Thanksgiving meal. It can be the most daunting part as well. But with a little planning and care, it doesn’t have to be. † Before you start • A decent roasting pan, one heavy enough that it wo...
Published: 11/16/17
Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

If you want to spend more time with your family and friends this holiday season and less time in the kitchen, our judges suggest serving Hormelís mashed sweet potatoes. No need to wash, peel and heat potatoes. Just pop the container in the microwave ...
Published: 11/16/17