Per usual, we ate well in the DH household last week. We had a couple of pitfalls, but I’m glad when these happen because we learn to cook better the next time around. Here are some highlights with simple recipes of our culinary adventures from last week ~
Roasted okra. Please don’t judge me by the amount of ketchup I put on my buffalo burger. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.
Roasting is the easiest way I have found yet to prepare okra. I snagged a pound from the market last week and stored it in a paper bag in the fridge to minimize bruising. (Thanks, Alton Brown, for the tip.) Then, I set the oven to 425 degrees, and spread out the okra marinated in a bit of olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper on a baking pan. About 20 minutes later, we had a delicious side for the burgers and salad with leftover Goddess dressing.
We also enjoyed vegetarian enchiladas last week.
Excuse the half-eaten picture, but this was one of those experiences where I learned *a lot* whilst cooking. So the process itself was definitely not a sight to behold. Now that I’ve done this once, I don’t think it’ll be quite so complicated the next time around. I’d also recommend making the sauce on a Sunday when you might have more time, storing it in the fridge or freezer, and then pulling out as needed. These enchiladas were a bit of a smorgasbord with lots of left-over and fresh veggies from my ecstatic return to the Baltimore farmer’s market last week ~
, but of course you could stuff with any protein you are craving. I chose to sauté these chopped beet greens left over from an appetizer, as well as some cabbage that I needed to use up. I combined it with fresh cilantro (a controversial taste I know, but I never miss an opportunity to cook with it), black beans, corn and shredded cheese. I’m sure you know the drill, but you’ll want to warm the tortillas a bit, then stuff with your chosen ingredients (I did about 3/4 of a cup of of my vegetarian delight), roll up the tortilla, place in a glass baking dish and then cover with the red enchilada sauce ~
In the food processor, you are observing ~
-1 28 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
-4 diced jalapeños (roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes, then seeded and chopped)
-2 cloves of garlic
-1/4 tsp of ground cumin
-freshly ground black pepper to taste
You’re going to want to pulse all this until it’s as liquid as possible (which with our little guy was not all that liquid-y). This did not prove to be a big problem though because what you do next is strain the mixture into a sauce pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Like this ~
You’re going to constantly stir the sauce for 5 to 7 minutes, until it’s about the consistency of tomato paste. Then add 2 cups of chicken broth and allow it to come to a boil. Finally, you’ll simmer the aromatic concoction to allow it to reduce some until it’s the consistency you desire. For me, this ended up being about 10 minutes.
Now you’re ready to pour the sauce over the stuffed tortillas. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Here are some tips I found that you shouldn’t follow if you stumble across them as well:
1. Don’t cover the bottom of the pan in the sauce, put in the tortillas, then attempt to stuff and roll them. Embarrassingly obvious after the fact I know, but being the
sheep rule-follower I am, I followed this direction. It made no sense and a big mess. Just stuff and roll them on the counter, then place in dish.
2. Don’t feel like you have to get the peppers or chiles the recipe you find calls for. Go with your preferred level of heat. That’s why we did jalapeños.
3. Don’t brush the tortillas with olive oil and put them in a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes. D warned me on this one but refer back to #1 to see why I followed the direction. We did get delicious tortilla chips, but they were not roll-able enchiladas.
Of course, the sauce is the most labor-intensive part, but if you like avoiding preservatives and have a little bit of time, I think it’s well worth it. What did you cook last week?