Part II: Red Enchiladas
Last month Sales Manager Miguel Anaya shared his easy-to-prepare, very tasty Cheese Enchiladas with Green Sauce recipe. For those who might enjoy a more complex culinary challenge of a very different color, Ceci Granados provides the perfect follow-up with her healthy version of the Red Enchilada from her corner of the company’s Marketing Department.
“A few years ago, I was gaining a lot of weight and became very aware of my health,” Ceci explained. “So, I changed my eating habits, which just had to include exploring ways to continue enjoying my traditional Mexican foods without feeling guilty! Red Enchiladas are one of my favorites, but the dish is very oily and not healthy. Basically, my recipe was chorizo wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla dipped in red sauce and lots of cheese; I decided to try making it a diet-friendly dish. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.”
The secret to Ceci’s makeover is Melissa’s Soyrizo, which replicates chorizo to a flavorful “T” without all the artery-clogging baggage that comes with traditional sausage products. Soy-based and infused with the same unique seasonings as the real thing is the key to this guilt-free enchilada. Take it from an admitted ex-chorizo head – one’s palate is completely fooled by the flavor and texture of this great product, while the rest of the metabolism detects the differences immediately with a big, heartfelt THANK YOU!
The other key to Ceci’s dish is what she does not tweak – the red sauce. Heads up foodies, this is a real standalone keeper for your recipe collection that you can use in any number of dishes! The ingredient list is simple and short; the preparation is a traditional reduction of dried Chile Guajillo. It’s a fun procedure that will appeal to the home chef who enjoys the process of cooking in stages and appreciates the authentic flavor result compared to picking up a similarly labeled can in the ethnic food aisle. Note: there’s a texture challenge that requires the right balance of liquid to solids; just be measured and patient in its construction. Full disclosure: while the prep picture and instructions reflect Ceci’s instructions to dip both sides of a tortilla in this wonderful sauce, the tongs were awkward for me – the tortilla kept slipping and tearing, so I simply slathered each tortilla with a basting brush— done!
There’s nothing fancy about the filling – the aforementioned soyrizo, onion, garlic, carrot and our Baby Dutch Yellow® potatoes— a hearty combination that is simply simmered to meld the flavors, then wrapped in a warm tortilla coated in red sauce. No frying required, and the traditional high sodium cheeses served in or on most enchiladas have been replaced with a dollop of healthier sour cream and just a sprinkle of parmesan. I would add a tall glass of a chilled Mexican beer, but that’s just me (and Snoop!).
Ceci Granados is a longtime member of Melissa’s team, who celebrated her 22nd anniversary on the marketing team just last month. The marketing “corner” referred to earlier is actually a subdivision of the department, the Print Shop, also known to all as “The Piece of Cake Team.”
“My reflex response to every request for a project that comes in with a very short turnaround time (as in needed yesterday!) has always been the phrase "Piece of cake!”. So much so that we started to be referred to as "The Piece of Cake Team,” and it stuck. Actually, the phrase reflects my work ethic and those I work with in responding to the challenges that we are tasked with daily. I like to do things right away, so if there is a big request, I process it at that precise moment. I do everything the way I would expect to be served. There is a lot that goes into every new product introduction, season promotion and even supply updates in the business of fresh produce; visuals are needed in-house with the flow of real-time emails to keep Sales informed and excited; spreadsheet production and working with other department teams on artwork needs, to name just a few. We also must produce seasonal POP materials, bar codes, QR codes, GTIN codes and support the needs of Marketing’s Social Media and Design departments in a timely manner. I could fill a small book with the list of the ways this corner of the Marketing Department serves the rest of the company! It sounds so very trite, but we are a real team, everyone plays an important roll, and everyone deserves credit for our success. I am very proud to be part of the Marketing/Print Shop Department, especially when it is a last-minute request. In reality, that challenges my potential to complete that task. It never stops and is actually quite fun— a piece of cake!”
The daily challenges of Ceci’s workday continue at home with her young son, Emmanuel, who is a special needs child. That means constant visits to the doctor, school and a local community regional center, where mom must attend meetings to educate herself to be able to advocate for her son. Ceci also coordinates a weekly support group for families with special needs loved ones that provide advocacy workshops, finances, self-esteem and health resources. Though certainly no “piece of cake,” Ceci considers Emmanuel an unexpected gift who has taught her so much about her own strengths and capabilities.
“Emmanuel has changed my life entirely in a positive way. He has helped me to discover a very different Ceci that I did not know existed deep down; a natural gem, if you will, ready to be polished and become the best version of herself. He has forced me to discover my full potential and gave me the confidence to know that I can achieve whatever I want in life— it just takes believing in myself. I also must include a special thanks to Melissa’s for always being flexible, understanding, and supportive as I do my best to achieve a successful balance between home and career demands. They say that we mothers give life, but sometimes our kids are there to give life to us. I am very blessed.”
Inspiring words that made even more sense when I asked her to name the dream dinner guest from history that she would invite to her table if she could. Ceci says it best:
“That would be Martin Luther King Jr. As the leader of the civil rights movement, he was a man of peace. I love his speech "I Have A Dream," and I share the same ideology and hope that one day we in this country will all be able to sit down together at a table in brotherhood.”
Makes approximately 14 enchiladas
For the sauce:
2 packages (3-ounce) Don Enrique Chile Guajillo, stems removed only
1 garlic clove
3 cups water
½ small yellow onion, rough chopped
Salt to taste
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 package Melissa’s Soyrizo
10 pieces Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes, diced
Salt to taste
Romaine Lettuce leaves
Light Sour cream
Green Pickled Jalapeño Pepper (optional)
Place the Guajillos peppers in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, garlic clove, cover and simmer on a low flame for about 10 minutes or when they look soft. Remove the saucepan from the stove and let both chile and garlic cool in the water.
Once cooled, put the guajillo peppers, garlic, retained water, the other half of the onion and salt in a blender, then puree until a smooth texture is achieved. Strain the sauce into a small cooking pan and boil. Add water if needed, being careful not to add a lot as the sauce needs to be not too thin or too thick. Set aside.
In a fry pan, sauté the carrots until soft then add the onion. When onions turn translucent add the Soyrizo and cook for 5 to 8 minutes before adding the potatoes. Mix all together thoroughly, cover, and simmer until potatoes are cooked through.
Warm the tortillas in a griddle pan just enough to make them pliable, then dip each in the red sauce using tongs – being very careful not to tear the tortilla.
Place each on a flat plate, add the filling and then roll them up.
Plate a serving of 3 enchiladas on a Romaine lettuce leaf. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a few green pickled jalapeno peppers (optional).