Wednesday, July 11, 2012

what's corny and cheesy and delicious all over?

There are many blessings found in living in a small town.  This week, that blessing was fresh-picked-from-the-garden corn.  Last night, I used some of it in a simple pasta with shrimp, tomatoes and white wine.  Tonight, I decided to take those same veggies and make something entirely different: roasted veggie enchiladas!  I think this is because it was raining.  We Texans like to make enchiladas when it's rainy (or sunny, for that matter).

                      Get ready for a sensational seasonal supper, y'all!
Cut the corn off of two cobs (trying not to let those kernels fly all over the kitchen like confetti).  Then chop two roma tomatoes (sans seeds), 3 cloves of garlic (chopped large) and a large shallot or half an onion.  Drizzle with vegetable oil (not evoo: it has too strong a flavor for this) and season liberally with 1 T cumin, 1 t chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.

 Roast at 400ºF/204ºC for about 15 minutes.

 While those veggies are roasting, get going on your enchilada sauce.  Add enough oil (vegetable again) just to cover the bottom of a small pan (about 3 T) and go a bit crazy with the cumin.  Also add a bit of chili powder and enough flour to soak up all of the oil.

The French call this sort of sauce base a roux.  But we're making Mexican, we'll just call it deliciosa.
Add in about 1 T of tomato paste, which gives it a rich color and depth of flavor.

Then add about 1 1/2 cups chicken stock.  When my family makes enchilada sauce, they just use water, which tastes great too once it thickens.  I must've been thinking of this as I made my sauce, because I seasoned it with salt and pepper without tasting it, thus making it waay too salty.  Like Atlantic Ocean salty.  *Must remember how salty chicken stock can be!*  If at first you don't succeed...

 ...try and try again.  Much better.

 Grate some cheese as that sauce thickens (again).  I just used colby jack because it's what I had, but pepper jack would add a nice kick.

Now, get your corn tortillas ready to fill with those spicy roasted veggies and mild cheese.  Unless you never outgrew that "eating paste" phase from kindergarden and like all your food to be paste-ish, only use corn tortillas.  Very fresh corn tortillas will probably roll up without tearing, but mine have been hanging in the fridge for a few weeks (they last a good long while) and so they needed a quick dip in hot oil to soften them so they wouldn't tear.

Fill each tortilla (I made eight enchiladas) with a tablespoon or so of filling and cheese.  Roll up.

Cover with that delightful sauce.  I actually strained mine through a sieve, just to be sure I got a nice smooth sauce.  Top with a bit more cheese and a sprinkling of chili powder.  If you have any filling leftover, put that across the top as well.

Cover with foil so they don't dry out, and bake for 15 minutes at 400ºF/176ºC.  Uncover and cook 5 minutes more.

Here you have it!  Top with cilantro, or if cilantro is as appealing to you as kindergarten paste, chopped scallions will do.

 Absolutely deliciosa.  Full of flavor and very satisfying.

Poor Hayden didn't even get one bite.

Bon appetit!

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