The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, May. 29, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6D

Culinary lavender grows on you

Caroline Ghinassi of Newcastle was hoping someone knew of a place to purchase culinary lavender.

Rene Martin of Yuba City has a friend who grows lavender. Her website is

Coleslaw like the Colonel used to make

I love coleslaw and some time ago I saw in The Bee the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken's coleslaw. I cut it out but failed to put it in my cookbook. I have since lost the recipe. This recipe made perfect coleslaw. I even lost weight eating it. I am 86 years old. I love your column. Thank you so much.

– Loudella Gossage, Turlock

(Also requested by Anna Sturla, Sacramento)

Garlic beef enchiladas

Prep time: 25 minute

Cook time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Makes 10 enchiladas

Jeff Guro of Sacramento was looking for the brown enchilada sauce recipe used at Pancho's and other Sacramento Mexican restaurants.

Although we haven't heard from the restaurant, we received this recipe from Nina Poole of Kyburz. She says that every time she makes this dish she gets nothing but compliments. This may be a close match for Guro.

Note: The cook time for the sauce overlaps the cook time for the filling.


Beef filling:

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

One 15-ounce can Rotel tomatoes


4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

One 14.5-ounce can beef broth

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 to 2 teaspoons rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

For serving:

Ten 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese


For the beef filling: In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

For a less spicy version: Omit the Rotel tomatoes and brown the meat separately then remove from pan. Drain off most of the drippings. Add to the pan the one chopped onion, and add one chopped green, red or yellow bell pepper. Cook until onion is translucent and the pepper is limp. Return the meat to the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

For the sauce: While the filling is simmering, in another saucepan, sauté garlic in butter for 1 minute or until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings; heat through.

Into an ungreased 9-by- 13-inch baking dish, pour about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Spread about 1/4 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Roll up tightly, then place seam side down over sauce. Top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Per enchilada: 374 cal.; 19 g pro.; 29 g carb.; 20 g fat (11 sat., 5 monounsat., 2 polyunsat., 2 other); 66 mg chol.; 1,227 mg sod.; 3 g fiber; 48 percent calories from fat.

Enchilada gravy

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Makes enough for 24 enchiladas

Sandra Schirmer of Citrus Heights lost a favorite enchilada gravy recipe in a move. She was hoping someone could help.

Carol Walker of Ceres and her sister always use this recipe when making enchiladas. Maybe this will be a match for Schirmer.


1/2 cup shortening or oil

1/2 cup flour

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

8 cups water

1/4 cup chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


If using shortening, melt it in a skillet and mix with flour to make a smooth paste or mix the oil and flour together to make a smooth paste. Add tomato paste and blend into the shortening or oil paste.

Blend in 8 cups of water, 1 cup at a time, blending well. Add chili powder, salt and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat until smooth, then simmer on low heat until ready to make enchiladas.

Per serving: 57 cal.; 1 g pro.; 4 g carb.; 4 g fat (1 sat., 2 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 220 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 66 percent calories from fat.

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