Sunday, April 22, 2012

you ain't gettin' this at Taco Bell, honey.

When it's late April and the day is rainy and a chilly 52 degrees, what's a Texan to do, y'all?  Make enchiladas, of course!  These are actually my favorite enchiladas to make: roasted tomatillo and chicken.  After a full day at church (complete with a really fun "Show and Tell" and lunch), I was interested in a no-fuss, easy supper.  This takes such little effort and has dynamite flavor.

First, you'll need some of these guys: tomatillos.  They look kinda dodgy on the outside, but are similar to a tomato.  If you've ever had green sauce in a Mexican restaurant, these little gems are probably behind it.  You'll need about 8 of these.

Peel 'em and they'll be sticky under that papery skin.  Rinse them off and then chop into bite-sized pieces.

Here's where your whole sauce comes together: to those tomatillos, add 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 an onion chopped and 1/2 a jalapeno chopped in thirds.  It's a good idea to taste your jalapeno a bit, because they can range from bell pepper mild to quite kicky. Mine had some good heat (which is why I didn't use the whole thing).  Toss the veggies with a bit of canola oil (or other flavorless oil: evoo has a bit too much flavor for Mexican food) and season with salt, pepper and 1 T of cumin.  Roast 400ºF/204ºC for 20-25 minutes.

They'll look all slimy and mushy when done, but don't worry.  SO good.  Trust me.

Just a wee bite, please??
While tomatillos + friends are roasting, prep your enchilada filling.  Now, of course, one could roast your own chicken or use leftovers.  Or, if one wants to take the easy route, just buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.  It shreds really nicely for enchiladas.

The enchiladas are easy to put together: just corn tortillas (never use flour tortillas to make enchiladas unless you never outgrew your elementary school penchant for paste) filled with white cheddar cheese and the chicken.

Once those tom's are good n' roasted, blend them in a food processor with 3/4 cup of warm chicken stock, until smooth.  Taste to see if it needs any seasoning.  Tomatillos have a tang to them, so I usually go a bit lighter on salt when using them.  And that's your sauce.  To quote the indomitable Ina, how easy is that?

Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with extra chicken.  (I ended up using half of a rotisserie chicken to make 10 enchiladas, the other half's in the freezer for emergency lemon chicken soup if I have a cold.)  Note slightly creepy grin on my enchilada-desiring dog.  Ha.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF/176ºC, until well-heated through.  The sauce is really nice and thick, so won't bubble a lot.

These enchiladas are best with sour cream on top, and if you're feeling a bit fancy, put some in a ziploc bag and snip the end off to make a piping bag.  It also helps detract from the way my enchiladas somehow fell apart in the short journey from the baking dish to the plate.  These enchiladas have delightful flavor: the tang from the tomatillos, heat from the jalapenos and creamy goodness of sour cream is splendid.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

austin avocado omelet

Several years ago, I was checking out seminaries and spent a weekend at Austin Seminary.  While I didn't feel called to go there, I discovered something amazingly tasty in Austin: omelets with creamy avocado.  I also remember that the cafe had a carafe of coffee and mugs while you waited for a table.  That was especially fantastic.  After a wonderful week in Florida with my German friends the Kuhlas, I slept in and craved these omelets this morning.  They're especially good with a bit of turkey or ham in them, but I just used what I had: sharp white cheddar and avocado.  
 Simple egg prep stuff: s&p in two eggs.

 Whisk together and for a bit of extra flavor, add whatever herb you have on hand.

 (I used thyme.)

Heat a small nonstick skilled over medium-high heat.  Put some of this super-healhy delicious stuff in it. :)

  Add the eggs and cook until just set.  (When you add the eggs, pour them directly over the butter and it will spread out under them.)  Once they're set, flip it over gently, using a spatula.

Slice up your avocado while the eggs cook.  If you open your avocado and it looks as pretty as mine does, do a happy dance!

 My sweet dog really wanted a bite of avocado.

Grate some cheese.  I sort of have an aversion to bright orange cheese: this sharp white cheddar is the best.

 Please can I have some cheese?

After you flip the eggs, add a little cheese to one side, then layer the avocado on top and season well with salt and pepper.  Add more cheese on top and fold the omelet in half, cooking until the cheese melts.  

Slice some bread to toast if you like.  I'm infatuated with this honey brown bread.  If your omelet breaks a little, don't sweat it.  There are bigger issues in the world than broken omelets!  I make mine really thick, which is probably more Texas style than french style.  I'm sure Julia would reprimand me for this, but I love big, fluffy omelets.

Enjoy!  The creaminess of the avocado with the sharp cheddar and kick of pepper is just divine.

Bon appetit,