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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What is the trick to making enchiladas pose nicely for a photo?!?

Damn enchiladas. They taste incredibly good, but those irritating little filled tortillas like to get all ugly for the camera. At least that's how it is for me. This is the second enchilada recipe that I've made and photographed, and the first one is still sitting in my files because even though they're delicious, the photos are just not good. Maybe I should just do a few days of ugly photo posts and be done with it, hehe.

Anyway, these enchiladas are George's recipe, at Culinary Travels of a Kitchen Goddess. (Check out her enchilada photos--they're much prettier!) I admit it, I'm a sucker for enchiladas, and these looked really interesting! I always make chicken ones, but these were ground beef and ground pork, with beans, too. Which is what my husband has been asking for--guess he wanted a break from chicken. They certainly don't disappoint! Now, she says right from the start that the spices are toned way down in these, because they were made for her Mum. No biggie, I just upped the spices, adding more cumin, chili powder, and as a quick afterthought, some of the homemade taco seasoning I keep on hand. Same with the sauce, just up the spices. For you recipe tweakers out there, this is a perfect one for you! You get an awesome base recipe, but you can personalize it to suit your spice/heat levels.

I only had one issue, and it wasn't a bad one. This makes 8 large enchiladas, like burrito size! So I used 2 11 x 7 pans with 4 enchiladas in each. This meant I didn't have enough sauce, and no more ingredients to make more of George's sauce. So I pulled out my trusty enchilada sauce recipe which is made from pantry staples and only takes about 15 minutes to make, and added it to George's sauce. The combination was perfection!!

And oh my goodness, are they delicious! Oh! Instead of buying ground beef and pork, I bought a meatloaf mix of ground pork, beef and veal. I also added a bit of a shredded cheese blend to the called for mozzarella topping--whatever kind you have on hand would be fine. Also, subbed black beans for the kidney beans.

These are satisfying and filling. And so good, that my husband took one for lunch, and wants the rest for dinner tonight. So there's a testimony for you!

And in case you're curious, here is my trusty enchilada sauce recipe, because the two sauces mixed together were just perfect--hers has pieces of tomato in it, and mine doesn't, but they added a nice texture to my sauce. Hers also has lime juice, which added an overall brighter flavor to the sauce.

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1-2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 1/2 tsp cocoa
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in a 2-quart saucepan until onion is tender.
Stir in broth, spices, salt and tomato sauce.
Heat to boiling; reduce heat, simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Thanks, George, for another winning recipe! :)

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LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Those definitely are the most gorgeous enchiladas I've ever seen - you have a gift for food-photography, Elle!! No worries!! :0)

April was in CA now MA said...

Mexican food is one of the favorites around here! Since we're taking a quick trip to Boston today we'll be having dinner out, but lucky me (I love the internet) I found a Mexican restaurant to try for dinner. Great minds think alike!

I've tried more of your recipes than any other blog I read and I'll be making this one soon!

Anonymous said...

These look delicious, Elle. I so agree the frustration of the photography though!

Anonymous said...

sorry, hit send before the name..above comment: recipes2share!! sorry!

Elle said...

Veggie--(I'm so sorry, I don't know your name and feel like a dork calling you Veggie!) thank you so much! It's not easy putting your photos out there knowing people might look and think "That is the ugliest enchilada I've ever seen!" hehe

April--have fun today! And thanks so much for your kind words and support, too. :)

Elle said...

R2S--thanks! Enchiladas are just one of those foods that I can't get to look the way I imagine they should. And sausage and pepper sandwiches, too, hehe.

Anonymous said...

I think an extreme close-up and a disclaimer about photos looking clinical is the way to go with enchiladas. I've never managed a decent photo either! :-)

Deborah said...

I actually think your photos look good, but I know how you feel. That's why I started doing Bad Photo Sundays!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Well the photo is so good that I wanted to put my fork thru my screen and get a bite of this.

WOW these look great - I am a huge Mexican food fan and I have not found an enchilada recipe as great as this.


Sharon said...

I still think they look tasty!

I have to agree, enchiladas and for me, lasagna are so hard to photograph. I posted a great enchilada recipe on my blog a long time ago but couldn't get a photo even close to how good yours looked so I left the picture out!

Erika said...

I think they look delicious! Funny enough, I picked the fixings for enchiladas up this morning!

Erin said...

You know there's some stuff that you just can't or shouldn't photograph. Most brown foods are pretty unappealing to look at. I mean I love meatloaf but I don't take pictures of it. Ditto to lasagna and chocolate cookies. They just tend to look bland and or messy. All the same this looks pretty good though :)

Beth (jamandcream) said...

These look delicious. If you want to see bad photography look at my blog!! Ive just ordered a new camera, in the hope that its not me!!

Anonymous said...

That's the problem, there are so many good foods out there that are a pain to photograph however I think your enchiladas sounds great!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

Hmmm I haven't tried enchiladas in all 23 years of my life cuz I avoid cheese as much as possible and I know it's kinda sad. But I think my husband is totally gonna love this!

hungryandfrozen said...

Hey, you should try taking a photo of chicken livers ;) Seriously though there are some foods that just *won't* look good in photos. Personally, I think your enchilladas look fantastic :)

LyB said...

Those enchiladas look pretty good to me! In fact, I'm having a craving for enchiladas right now, too bad it's almost ten PM, I guess I'll have to put this one on the list! :)

Tiffany said...

oooh, my favorite!! :) nummy nummy

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Lol. Sometimes its hard to make food look good for the camera, even if it tastes amazing! Your picture still lookied great!

Anonymous said...

Your pic looks great Elle :)

Shelby said...

I love enchiladas also! I don't think your photo turned out bad! I'll have to try your sauce recipe sometime, I like there is cocoa in it! (and a whole lot less oil than there is in my recipe!)

Alfie said...

Actually - I think these look really delicious!

grace said...

i spy with my little eye...cocoa powder! what a great enchilada sauce recipe! it's interesting that what some people find unattractive, others find beautiful. i think your enchiladas are gorgeous, and would be no matter what. :)

Anonymous said...

i LOVE enchiladas and my mate Ben makes them amazingly well. They're not just the tastiest, but the neatest I've ever seen enchiladas made :)

but who cares abt Ben? Elle you amazing kitchen goddess you. These pose great for the camera and BLIMEY, check out the cheese. it's awesome. i'm gonna go do a dance now and eat a chunk of cheese.

Pam said...

They are hard to photograph but you did a great job. They look tasty.

Elle said...

Ann--I guess that's the way to go, hehe.

Deborah--I should have waited for Sunday and posted with you!

Cathy--thank you! They're not my usual enchilada, but they very well could be!

Sharon--I guess I wont be trying lasagna out on my blog any time soon, either, lol.

Erika--thanks! And how funny is that!

Erin--I don't bother photographing meatloaf, either. Too bland looking. Course, that could just be my meatloaf! hahaha!

Beth--I looked at your blog. Your photos are great!

Cathy--thank you!

Mrs. E--thank you! You could always leave the cheese off of some of them if you wanted.

Laura--your chicken livers look great!

Lyb--thank you! I always get cravings when I read blogs, any time of the day, hehe.

Tiffany--one of my faves, too.

Jessy--thanks so much!

George--great recipe!

HoneyB--thank you! I love that sauce because not only does it taste good, I usually have everything on hand.

Alfie--thank you so much!

Grace--thank you! I find the cocoa gives a nice little *ooomph* to the sauce. So does the cinnamon.

Diva--thanks! What is it about guys? My husband can make anything that gets rolled look nice and neat. Hmmm...wonder where he got all that experience? ;) hahaha!

Pam--thanks so much! And thanks for the help with my blog a couple weeks ago, too! :)

giz said...

I dunno Elle, they look pretty good to me.

Vicarious Foodie said...

I can't tell you how often I make enchiladas, yet have never posted about them because I just can't be bothered with trying to make them look good. Yours look awesome though!

test it comm said...

Those enchiladas look nice and tasty!

Anonymous said...

i've never made enchilladas before, but these look so good elle i'm gonna try them! i think i have everything too!

Garrett said...

Yum! I love enchiladas, but never make them myself. Don't worry, I'm sure your pictures look great no matter how ugly you think they are!

Anonymous said...

I think your photos are terrific -- and the recipe even better. I'm a sucker for enchiladas and have never been able to make them well. My tortillas always seem to fall apart! But maybe it's really because on just about every street corner here, you can buy really yummy ones. Spoiled!

Amy said...

Oooh I love enchiladas but I"ve never actually tried them. I'll have to give these a shot!

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