Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mexican food day

Today I cooked in my new kitchen for the first time.  I was craving something spicy.

I had some tomatillos from my farm share, so I decided to make salsa verde.  My version is based on this recipe from Tasty Kitchen.  However, I didn't have a pound of tomatillos, and I don't like cilantro.  So there.

3 tomatillos, husked, washed, and sliced in half
a handful of yellow, pear-shaped tomatoes (any idea what variety these are?)
1 small onion
several small garlic cloves
a forkful of jalapenos (from a jar, alas)
a spoonful of diced green chile (from a can, alas)

Place everything on a roasting pan, and broil until they look and smell yummy.  I may have let mine go a little to long, hence the brown.  Once everything's roasted, pulse in a food processor until it's the consistency you want.

Not as green as I would have liked.
In keeping with the Mexican-themed food, I made enchiladas for dinner.  I haven't made anything this complicated in awhile.  It was fun!

For the filling:
1 lb ground beef
a forkful of jalapenos
a handful of chopped green onion (you could use yellow or white here too; I wanted to use up my frozen green onions)
crushed red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
garlic salt

Brown the beef in a large skillet; add peppers, onion, and spices about halfway through, and let cook completely.  Drain off the fat (I did this by spooning the beef onto some paper towels, but whatever works for you) and let cool.

Mmm, salty spicy beef.
Black beans
a forkful of jalapenos
enough water to cover the beans

I was thinking ahead, so I soaked my beans overnight.  You could use canned beans instead, or do the fast-soak method in boiling water.  When your beans are ready, put 'em in a pot, cover with water (unless using canned beans, then NO WATER!), and cook until tender.  If you run out of water before they're done, just add some more.

I also cooked up a giant pot of brown rice.  I assume you know how to cook rice, so I'm not going to go into that.

Put some grated cheese in a line down a tortilla.  Add rice, then beans or meat (or both, I suppose, but one kind of protein is enough for me).

Roll it up and place in a deep baking dish.  Repeat until you have no more room in your dish.

The tomatoes are to remind me which ones have beans instead of meat.
Now, here's the fun part.  Pour heavy cream all over everything.  I didn't have any cream, so I used fat-free half and half, but you should use cream.  No fat, no fun!  Then spread some diced chiles (again, from a can, so sorry) on top, and finally sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese.  It should now look like this:

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then broil until the top is golden brown.

Attempt to swallow the aroma whole.  It's that good.
Invite over your housemates, friends, or family, because you're gonna need help eating this.  Chop up some tomatoes for optional garnish.

It turns out, I have a vegetable garden.  With yellow and red tomatoes.
You're gonna need a big spatula and a spoon to get these babies out of the dish.  They're pretty gloppy, but oh-so-good.  Enjoy!

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