Archive | July, 2009

Bob’s your enchilada

26 Jul

Mags and I have been on a big of a Mexican food kick this month. I think it’s because the summer heat always makes me crave spicy things. Earlier in the week I made polenta with jalapenos and pepper jack and a couple of nights ago Mags and I made some scrambled tofu chilaquiles which were delightful and scrumptious. Yesterday the Boy intimated that he had a hankering for enchiladas. I decided it was past time to learn to make my own enchilada sauce. I did an enchilada casserole (or mexican lasagna) rather than rolling the enchiladas because a) I am lazy b) I wanted to put potatoes in and I was worried the rolls would be too chunky and wouldn’t stay together. The sauce breaks down the tortillas anyway, so there’s not a whole lot of difference in taste (the way I make them).

Sauce:

1/2  very large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2  giant cloves of garlic, crushed

olive oil

chile powder

paprika

cinnamon

cumin

oregano

1 box veggie stock

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

2 large dried anaheim chiles, de-seeded w/ tops cut off

2 chipotles deseeded + 3 teaspoons adobo sauce

Casserole:

Corn tortillas

3 yukon gold potatoes

2 ears of corn (I used red corn because it was on sale at the store and it was so sweet and delicious)

cheddar + pepper jack

1 can of black beans

paprika

onion powder

garlic powder

chile powder

salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Saute onions, bell peppers and garlic in olive oil. Add spices and dried chiles, let everything get coated. Add can of tomatoes, box of veggie stock, chipotles and adobo.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover,  and let reduce for about an hour. Blend.  I think next time I make it, I’ll add some peanut butter right before blending, then let it reduce further so it develops a more complex flavor.

After you cover the sauce and leave it to reduce, dice potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss in olive oil, salt, chile powder, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Wrap in an aluminum foil bundle and place in preheated oven.

I think it’s easier to make this if you prep everything first: grate the cheese, drain the beans + mix them with the corn kernels, get the potatoes out of the oven, etc.

Ladle sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish, then do a layer of tortillas, then potatoes, beans + corn, cheese, more sauce, tortillas,  and so on, like layering a lasagna. Bake about 30 minutes, or until insides start to bubble up around the edges.

Let sit a few minutes before serving, or you may burn yourself with scalding cheese. Not that I did that.

Would be awesome with avocados but the avocados looked terrible at the store.

The Boy declared them amazing and ate a huge amount. Success!

Be careful out there,

-C

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Chiles Rellenos

21 Jul

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something new. Life has been distracting, in a way only life can be and C. and I have not experimented. I have played around with some ratatouille as well as some roasted vegetable salads, all of which were fantastic and a joy to eat, but not something I believed warranted posting. I finally had an inspiration to make something post-able, though, and here is the first attempt of (drum roll, please) CHILES RELLENOS! C. and I live in the Southwest, more specifically, Tucson, Arizona, so Mexican food and Mexican inspired food is a given in our diets. I have noticed these beautiful Poblano chiles in the grocery stores and have wanted to experiment with my own version of this ever so versatile and truly southwestern dish. My version is filled with mexican-spiced ratatouille and home-made refried black beans and is baked (and not battered) for a healthier version. Served with some salsa and rice, it makes a perfect fresh summer meal!

Enjoy!

Mags

Chiles Rellenos

Chile Relleno with Mexican Rice (Photo by D.)

Chile Relleno with Mexican Rice (Photo by D.)

4 poblano chiles

1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped finely

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 Tbs tomato paste

1/4 C olive oil (2 tbs divided)

1/2 C chopped mushrooms

1/4 C cubed yellow summer squash

1/4 C cubed zucchini

1/4 C cubed red bell pepper

1/4 C cubed green bell pepper

1C shredded Monterey jack cheese (vegan or real)

1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1) Place a wire rack on top of the gas burner on the stove, and place the poblano chiles on the rack. Turn the heat on and roast the chiles until the skin begins to blister and char. At that time, remove from heat, wrap in a towel and set aside.

2) Make refried beans:

a) Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in pan. Add drained and rinsed black beans. Heat on medium heat mashing against the side of the pan with wooden spoon.

b) Turn off the heat and let sit to cool down.

3) Make Mexican-spiced ratatouille:

a) Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in large pan.

b) Add chopped onion and cook until beginning to golden on medium-high heat.

c) Add mushrooms and cook until onions are golden and mushrooms are aromatic.

d) Add tomato paste and stir.

e) Add zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers. Cook for a couple minutes.

f) Add tomatoes and stir.

g) Add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium and cook until tomatoes lose most of their moisture.

h) Turn off the heat and set aside for a couple minutes.

4) Rub the poblano chiles to remove the skin, rinse under tap water to be thorough. Slice open vertically (from tip to stem) ending in a horizontal cut (end should look like a T) and take out seeds and membranes – again, rinsing under tap water helps in this.

5) Spread 1/4 refried black beans inside chile. Fill the remainder of chile with a heaping cooking spoon (1/3 – 1/2 C) ratatouille and sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining chiles.

6) Place in a pan glazed with olive oil into a 425F oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Photo by D.

Photo by D.

7) Serve with Spanish Rice (Sauté 1/2 sweet onion chopped finely in 2 Tbs olive oil. When translucent add 1-1/2 Tbs tomato paste. Then add two Roma tomatoes, diced. Cook until begins to dry then add cooked brown rice (1C dry). Stir to combine.

Important Blog Update

20 Jul

Potato-Kale Minestrone (with quinoa instad of noodles) + Spicy Mediterranean “Caviar” (add hot sauce) = delicious combo. Just FYI.

-C

Moroccan Fried Rice

19 Jul

Clearly, I’m cleaning out my fridge. The players:

3 small eggplant from my aunt’s garden

3 baby yellow peppers from the farmer’s market

1 bunch kale and 1 bunch chard, from an earlier farmer’s market

1 1/2 cups leftover rice

1 cup reconstituted beef-flavored TVP

1 can tomato sauce

1 can Great Northern beans

1 handful pecans

Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, crushed red pepper, chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper

Clean + tear kale + chard, place in pot, cover with water. Throw in there peeled garlic cloves, some salt + crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. While greens are cooking, dice eggplant + toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Evenly layer on cooking sheet or in baking dish, place in preheated 350 oven.

Throw everything together in a hot wok.

Y’all, this was really funky. And ugly. The cloves were maybe not the best idea. HOWEVER. I took the leftovers, added some lemon juice and feta, shaped it into patties and fried them on the griddle and they were super tasty. The eggplant/ rice/ lemon/ white beans with moroccan flavorings I think will get reimagined into a burger recipe for my veggie friends who don’t do soy meat. Updates as something more edible comes along.

It’s called “experimental” for a reason!

-C

Breakfast Tacos

19 Jul

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I’ve had this picture on my camera for a month or so, and I completely forgot I’d taken it. The recipe’s not very “interesting” (it’s basically a variation on a tofu scramble) but it is delicious. I’m not sure what exactly I used for the tofu, but I’d guess onion, garlic, red bell, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, cumin, oregano, thyme, green taco sauce and enchilada sauce, and a little lemon juice (from the pic, it looks like there might be some vegetarian bacon bits in there?).

Everyone does their tofu scramble differently, and I really think the best idea is to experiment to find out what you like best. However, since it’s a cooking blog, I’ll tell you how I do it:

Start with the firmest tofu you can find. I like the kind that’s vacuum-packed, without any water. Chop it small or smoosh it in your hands, depending on the texture you prefer (I like cubed, Mags likes smooshed). Add to bowl with: maybe a teaspoon each of soy sauce and lemon juice, plus whatever dry herbs you’re using, toss, set aside. I like to season outside of the pan bing sticks to the tofu better. Saute onion, bell pepper  and garlic in pan with a little oil. Add tofu, a splash of taco sauce and maybe a quarter cup of enchilada sauce as well as the nutritional yeast. I like a LOT of nutritonal yeast. The reason I use both green taco sauce and red enchilada sauce is I love the combination of earthiness from the red and tartness from the green. Cook on medium-high until mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

I parcooked the potatoes in the microwave and then threw them on the griddle with the tortillas. Melted some pepper jack on the tortillas, piled everything on top. It was one of the best breakfast I have ever eaten. Tacos are ALWAYS a good idea.

Eat with love,

-C