Tag Archives: Homesick Texan

Guest Post – Breakfast Bacon Enchiladas

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This week I have had the pleasure and honor of guest posting over at the wonderful and popular blog, Cupcakes and Kale Chips! Brianne is a fellow Sunday Supper member, who has one of the best food blog Facebook pages ever. Definitely head over and “like” her, then give her blog some love too. You won’t be sorry!

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Since August 30th, 2014 is National Bacon Day, I chose to make these Breakfast Bacon Enchiladas for her blog. I mean, it’s bacon…. In an enchilada!!! Crazy good.

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You can read all about them plus get the recipe over on Cupcakes and Kale Chips! Don’t miss them – because they’re also terrific for lunch or dinner. Just sayin’! Enjoy!

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Peach Salsa #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week we are Preserving Summer Produce! This theme is very good for me, because …… I’m really ready for fall. Okay, there I said it – it’s my shameful secret. This happens to me every year about this time. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I start becoming a tad ungrateful for all the beautiful summer bounty and I just want to make chili and watch a football game. And then bake something with apples…

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So thanks to my Sunday Supper gang for encouraging me to use up that summer produce while I still have access to it, and put off thinking about fall cooking and baking for a few more weeks, as I very well should.

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My grocery store is selling lovely, local Jersey peaches, so this week I snapped some up and made you this homemade, from-scratch peach salsa. I don’t know about you, but I have *always* been sorely disappointed by store-bought fruit salsas. I have a couple of brands I trust when it comes to store-bought regular tomato-based salsas, but it seems that the minute you add the word “mango” or “peach” to the label, well, brace yourself, cuz it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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There is no disappointment with this homemade peach salsa. Oh my, it is divine. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness to salty, with the peaches being front and center without overpowering the whole thing. So perfect.

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Oh, and this is so easy to make, too! The stovetop and food processer do most of the work for you. And I really can’t stress how delicious it is. That said, it’s not terribly spicy at all – probably very kid friendly. Leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapeno, or just add a second jalapeno if you prefer it hotter. So please try this one while you can still get fresh, in-season peaches. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week.

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Oh and be sure you give some love to my wonderful Sunday Supper peeps!

{One Year Ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta Alfredo}
{Two Years Ago: Mussels in Red Chile Broth, Pickled Doughnut Peaches, Mexican Lamb Barbacoa}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

1 lb. peaches (about 3 medium-to-large)
1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded if desired, and halved
½ a red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thick slices
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ red onion, peeled and root tip discarded
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

First you will need to peel the peaches. To do this, bring a medium to large stockpot of water to a boil – you need just enough water to cover the peaches. Using a small paring knife, make an “X” on the bottom of each peach, a shallow cut that just cuts the skin. Submerge the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Lift them out with a slotted spoon to a plate or cutting board. Let them cool a few minutes, just until you can comfortably handle them. Starting at the bottom where you made the “X”, peel off the skins. They should come off easily; if a few little stubborn bits are insisting upon hanging on for dear life at the top, don’t fuss over it. Life’s too short. Now pit the peaches and cut them into quarters.
Add the peaches, tomatoes, jalapeno(s), bell pepper, onion, and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (I did a combination of covered and uncovered). Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully transfer all the solid pieces to your food processor. Add the lime juice and pulse on and off until combined but still somewhat chunky. If it’s too thick, add some of the water left in the stockpot.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Let it cool the rest of the way to room temperature, then either serve or store in the refrigerator.
This is fantastic as just a dip for chips, but it’s also wonderful on chicken or fish – as tacos or by themselves. Oh and it makes a ton – about 2 cups!

Learn how to …

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Authentic Southern Cornbread

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Continuing on this week’s theme of The South, I’m sharing another American Deep South recipe, and for the American Deep South, it just doesn’t get more iconic than cornbread. No one who grew up between about West Virginia and west Texas doesn’t have too many memories to count of eating good ol’ proper Southern cornbread; you eat them at picnics, it’s a standard side at barbecue restaurants, and sometimes just a side at dinner. Or an afternoon snack.

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But, Southerners are picky about how their cornbread is made: no sugar in the batter! This is of utmost importance. Cornbread is not cake. It is supposed to be served alongside your dinner, and therefore it cannot be sweetened at all. You serve wedges of cornbread hot out of the oven with a pat of butter slathered all over. That part is not optional.

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Like anyone who grew up in this general region, I ate my fair share of cornbread growing up (and probably a few others’ fair shares too, to be perfectly frank!). So I know beyond a doubt that not all southern cornbread is created equal. This may be blasphemous of me to say, but I actually understand why the Yankees started putting sugar in the batter, because there is a lot of dry cornbread out there. It’s shameful, but true. This recipe, however….. This cornbread is among the moistest cornbread I’ve ever tasted in my life. Strong statement, but 100% true.

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And to make an even stronger statement now: I think I may be done trying new cornbread recipes. This one might just be the one. It’s so unbelievably perfect. I’m absolutely thrilled to have it on my blog, even though it’s not my original recipe. Of course it’s Lisa’s. But if me sharing it puts it out there for even a few more people, then I’ve done a good deed for society. Never will you have dry cornbread again!

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{One Year Ago: Strawberry Spinach Salad, Strawberry Silver Dollar Pancakes}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

¼ cup lard, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk, well shaken

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
While the oven is heating, put the lard or oil into a 10” cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until the lard is melted and sizzling. Remove from the oven as soon as it is sizzling to avoid burning it.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium to large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined.
Take the cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into it. No need to stir anything. Immediately place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool just a few minutes, then slice into wedges and serve with pats of butter. The typical way is to take a regular butter knife and make a slit down the center of each wedge, lengthwise. Stick a pat of butter inside there. Then take another pat of butter and put it on the top of the cornbread. Slather it around as it’s melting for even coverage. Dig in!

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

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In light of yesterday’s Avocado Milkshakes, and because I have some ice cream photos/recipes lying around to share with you, and because I’m leaving for a much-needed vacation later this week and don’t have time to cook much of anything, I’m doing ICE CREAM WEEK on the blog this week!! Everyone scream…

So, banana pudding ice cream! Yeah, it’s a thing. Apparently Blue Bell, the greatest commercially made ice cream in existence anywhere, ever, makes a banana pudding ice cream they release in limited edition every summer. I haven’t tried it. I can’t get Blue Bell in New York. I’m not bitter. But thanks to Lisa, we can all make it now. And that eases the resentment slightly.

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I simply adore a good banana pudding (and bad banana pudding is pretty good too, actually), and I have very fond memories of it gracing many picnic tables every summer growing up in Texas. Given the triple-digit temperatures of Dallas summers, desserts during that time period tend to be chilled. And preferably no-bake. So, banana pudding is a no-brainer.

And now we turn it into ice cream. Delicious, summery, beautiful ice cream that literally tastes like someone just magically went pouf!! and turned a bowl of banana pudding into ice cream, just like Jesus turning the water into wine. Really amazing. Everyone at your next summer gathering will go nuts, I promise.

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{One Year Ago: S’Mores Ice Cream, S’Mores Whoopie Pies}

Source: The Homesick Texan

1 1/2 cup of cream
1 1/2 cups of half and half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 egg yolks (save the whites for something else as we won’t be making a meringue)
3/4 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large banana, cut into slices
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups of Nilla Wafers roughly crushed (make sure they’re not crumbs but nice chunks)

Add the cream, half and half, and salt to a medium sauce pot. Scald the dairy, meaning bring it up almost to a boil. Do not let it boil though.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Slowly add 1/2 a cup of the warm cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, and then stir the egg mixture back into the remaining cream and half and half in the pot.
Heat this on medium low for 10 minutes or until it gets slightly thick. Stir constantly. Do not let it come to a boil. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the back of your spoon.
Stir in the nutmeg and lemon juice, turn off the heat, and strain the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add in the banana slices. Let the mixture rest until it cools to room temperature.
Remove the banana slices, chill overnight or for at least four hours and then freeze according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. About five minutes before the ice cream is finished being whipped around, add the Nilla Wafers.

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

Queso flameado with Chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

So the other day I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I realize that I am craving fried shrimp something fierce. I mean, fierce. So I try to talk myself out of it. Because swimsuit season is approaching, and fried shrimp can be quite detrimental to the waistline. And I don’t really need them, it’s just a craving. But I tell myself that I can absolutely have shrimp for dinner, I just can’t fry it.

So. I put it on top of a bunch of melted cheese instead. Because that’s soooo much better and healthier than frying it. It is! Why are you laughing? Okay, fine…

queso flameade with chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

I can’t tell you this little dish is low-cal, but it is insanely delicious. I found it on one of my favorite food blogging sites, The Homesick Texan.

A+, Lisa. Seriously, A+. This is incredibly tasty and satisfying. If you’re unfamiliar, queso flameado is the Tex-Mex version of the Mexican appetizer dish queso fundido. Queso flameado is popular around Houston and closer to the Mexico border; growing up in Dallas, I’d actually never heard of it as a kid. But, it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s melted cheese! How bad can it possibly be? So good, y’all….

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

{One year ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream}

Source: lightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 very small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo chile
1/2 cup cilantro
Kosher salt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Tortilla chips, or warmed tortillas, for serving

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion, garlic and jalapeño are softened. Turn off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the queso flameado, lightly grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and add all the shredded cheese to the skillet. Set aside.
Meanwhile, as the salsa is cooling, toss the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. After the salsa has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor, along with the chipotle and cilantro, scraping the sides of the pan to get out all of the salsa. Pulse the salsa until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste.
At this point, place the skillet with the cheese in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
While the cheese is baking, in the same pot that you used for the salsa, heat up the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp along with any marinade juices, and cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to low as soon as the shrimp are cooked. Pour the ranchera salsa into the shrimp and stir to combine. Let it go for a couple more minutes or until the sauce has warmed up again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the cheese from the oven and spoon on top of the cheese the shrimp and ranchera salsa. Serve warm with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas. You’ll need a spoon for scooping the dip. Enjoy!

Black Eyed Pea and Chorizo Soup

Black eyed pea and chorizo soup

Happy New Year!!! Here’s hoping your celebrations were fun, happy, and safe. We played things low-key this year, just stayed home, did some cooking, and watched my Baylor Bears lose the Fiesta Bowl, a bowl game they were favored to win. Oh boy….

Despite that, I’m feeling incredibly happy and thankful today, because on this exact date last year, I awoke with a very bad case of the flu. Today I awoke feeling perfectly fine. I’ll take it!

I have discovered only in recent years that this is a Texas and some-of-the-Deep-South thing, but growing up we always ate black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Apparently they are supposed to bring good fortune in the coming year. I have no idea the origin of this tradition, but I figure it can’t hurt, so I made this utterly delicious soup on New Year’s Eve. A soup that makes your house smell sooooo amazing and warms your belly and soul on a cold, icy, blustery, winter day (the likes of which we are apparently supposed to have until Sunday).

black eyed pea and chorizo soup

A few recipe notes: the original recipe calls for pureeing much of the soup ingredients, namely the veggies and spices. I knew that, but then I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing and tossed the onion into the crumbled chorizo. Oops. As you can imagine, we had a chunkier soup. Which worked just fine and was delicious. Of course I’m linking to the original recipe to give source credit, so if you’d rather have a smoother soup, definitely check that out. Second recipe note – you are looking for Mexican chorizo for this soup, not Spanish or Portuguese chorizo. Mexican chorizo is raw, usually in casings, and is sold in the refrigerated meat section of the grocery store, or behind the butcher counter. Spanish and Portuguese chorizo is cured, ready-to-eat, and is not refrigerated when sold. Make sure you get the correct kind. And I think that’s it! Enjoy, and Happy New Year!!

Black Eyed Pea and Chorizo Soup

Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan

1 teaspoon lard or vegetable oil
1 lb. Mexican chorizo, removed from casing
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
6 cups chicken stock
15 oz. canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
3 (15-oz.) cans of black-eyed peas, drained
8 oz. pepper Jack, shredded
1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnishing
2 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnishing
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Sour cream, for garnishing

In a large soup pot, heat the lard or oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up with a potato masher or sturdy spoon, until it is crumbled and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the onion is translucent.
Add the chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, and allspice; stir to combine.
Next add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and black eyed peas. Bring the soup up to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the soup from scorching on the bottom of the pot. You can skim off the fat if you please, too.
Add the cheese and tortilla chips. Let the soup continue to softly simmer about 3-5 minutes more, to melt the cheese and incorporate the tortilla chips. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Remember the chorizo is plenty salty, so you may not need much.
Serve in soup bowls, garnished with cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream as you please.

Mint Chocolate Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

mint chocolate cookies and cream ice cream

Since I blogged a childhood favorite yesterday, the elementary school cafeteria favorite kind of cookie, I thought why not keep going on that theme for today? This childhood favorite was not sold in our school cafeteria, I don’t recall them having any real ice cream, actually. Just the packaged ice pops and nutty buddy things. I think.

chopped oreos for ice cream

Anywho, my family occasionally liked to treat ourselves to Braum’s, which if you’re not familiar is a regional ice cream store that doesn’t seem to exist in New York. But they are your typical ice cream store with the big buckets of all the various flavors behind the counter. One scoop or two, cone or cup. My favorite flavors were the typical kid ones: mint chocolate chip, and cookies and cream. I seemed to alternate between the two each time we went.

Mint Chocolate Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Apparently I wasn’t alone; Lisa Fain confessed to favoring those two flavors as well while she was growing up, so she mish-mashed them together and created this one delicious ice cream flavor. As soon as I saw it on her site I knew I would eventually make it. And finally, I did. It’s so friggin’ tasty.

Mint Chocolate Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

And if your childhood self preferred different flavors from these, I would still highly advise trying this one. No matter what, I think your adult self will absolutely love it.

Mint chocolate cookies and cream ice cream

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1 scant tsp peppermint extract (this stuff is strong!)
1 1/2 cups rough chopped chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cream, half-and-half, sugar and salt. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until bubbles just start to appear at the surface, about 3-5 minutes. Shut off the heat. Ladle out 1/2 cup of the scalded cream mixture and pour it slowly into the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly. Slowly pour the cream and egg yolks back into the pot, whisking or stirring constantly. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring slowly and continuously, until the custard has thickened to the point that it will coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. I’ve found the creamiest ice creams are the result of a good 10 to 15 minutes of stirring.
Remove the cream mixture from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to avoid the dreaded “skin” on top. Once cooled, store covered in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, or until well chilled.
After cooling, stir in the peppermint extract and then churn in your ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the last 5 minutes of churning, add in the chopped cookies and let your ice cream maker incorporate them. Chill in the freezer for about 4 hours or until firm.

Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I made this as a side dish for Labor Day, and it’s a damn good thing I did, because our main dish was a complete and utter disaster. In hindsight, it’s a funny story, one I’ll tell you very soon. Suffice it to say, this mac and cheese can become a main dish if need be. And well, we needed be the day I made it.

mac and cheese before baking

That said, this mac and cheese was outstanding and very easy to pull off. Truth: it is a little bit spicy. The abundance of dairy does cool down the chipotles, but let’s face it, there’s only so much dairy can do – chipotles are hot! Matt and I love our spicy food, so it was great for us. You can back off to one chipotle chile if you prefer.

chipotle bacon mac and cheese

chipotle bacon mac and cheese, almost done

In other admittedly unrelated news, it was a busy weekend for us – we dropped our little rescue kitten off at the wonderful no-kill shelter where I volunteer. She’ll be available for adoption in a couple of weeks, and I’m sure she will find a good home quickly. We miss her a little bit, but I have to admit that it was nice to not wake up to my feet being attacked and my bare toes being bitten this morning. Yeah, she did that. Every. Single. Morning. Now there’s an effective alarm clock for you!

Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Anywho, enjoy this mac and cheese. It’s rich and cheesy and perfect. It would make terrific tailgating or game day fare! Or just some wonderful comfort food to spice up an otherwise dull evening, or make up for having a bad day. Or just because! That always works too. 🙂

Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan

2 tbs unsalted butter
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
2 chipotles in adobo
1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 cups total grated cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy and chopped

Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet by melting the butter over medium heat, making sure to brush it on all the sides of the skillet.
In a blender, mix together the milk, cottage cheese, chipotle chiles, mustard powder, garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.
Stir in two cups of the shredded cheese, then transfer the mixture to the greased skillet. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and stir the macaroni and cheese a couple of times. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and chopped bacon and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Summer Squash Enchiladas

April showers bring May flowers … if you live in an elementary school science textbook. The reality (this year anyway) is that is that gorgeous May days seem to have brought chilly, rainy June days. Hmph.

sauteeing summer squash

The upside is that comforting dishes like enchiladas suddenly don’t seem too heavy or out of season. And as I’ve been craving enchiladas for the past few weeks, this worked out nicely. Yet, seeing as this weather could turn itself around in a heartbeat and suddenly feel like summer, and you know, force us to wear shorts and tank tops, I decided to go vegetarian and keep things light. I also decided to highlight some summer produce at its peak.

making enchiladas

I found these on The Homesick Texan and they fit the bill perfectly. And if you’re familiar with Lisa’s blog or book or recipes, you already know that it was outstanding.

enchiladas ready to be baked

When I told Matt we were having enchiladas for dinner, he raised his eyebrows, and I could tell he was thinking that sounded heavy for summer. I quickly added, no no, they’re vegetarian. Vegetarian? Meaning cheese enchiladas, he said. No no no, I replied, there’s actual vegetables in there! He looked simultaneously pleased and surprised…

enchiladas out of the oven

So if your summer catches a chilly, rainy day, or you are blessed with central air conditioning, or if you’re experiencing an overabundance of zucchini, then this should definitely go on your summer menu. It’s just awesome.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan

6 dried guajillo chiles, stems cut off and most of the seeds shaken out
1 canned chipotle in adobo
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 (15-oz.) can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 generous tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tbs canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large yellow summer squash, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

First, make the sauce: in a dry medium saucepan heated on high, take the chiles and toast on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Leave the heat on and cover the chiles with water. When the water begins to boil, shut off the heat, cover, and let chiles soak until soft, about 25 minutes. Lift the chiles out with tongs and add them to the blender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch skillet on medium heat and cook the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Place onions and garlic into the blender with the chiles. Add the canned chipotle chile, the tomatoes, 2 cups of the chile soaking liquid, cumin, and oregano; blend until smooth.
In the same skillet you used to saute the onions and garlic, heat 1 teaspoon of oil on low heat, pour in the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and black pepper to taste and adjust other seasonings as needed.
To make the filling, in a separate large skillet, heat the oil on medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook for a minute. Add the diced zucchini and yellow squash, cilantro, cumin and sauté for 10 minutes. Add salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Warm the tortillas either over your gas flame (using tongs!) or wrapped in foil and placed in the oven for 5 minutes while the oven is preheating. If you heat them on your stove top, then be sure to keep them in a tortilla warmer or in a foil packet so they don’t lose that heat.
Take a warmed tortilla and dip it into the sauce. Shake off most of the sauce, but make sure that it’s moist enough to be pliable. Lay the tortilla on a plate or clean cooking surface, add a spoonful of the filling down the center of it and then roll the tortilla. Place rolled enchilada in greased baking dish seam side down and repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve topped with avocado wedges and extra minced or torn cilantro leaves.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar and tortilla chips

A few months ago, I had the following exchange with my darling husband, who you’ll remember is not from Texas.

Matt: What’s Texas caviar?
Me: Black-eyed peas.
Matt: Oh, I thought it was veal testicles.
Me: ???????

What can I say, the man leaves me speechless sometimes……

black-eyed peas

Texas Caviar is actually a salad-esque dish of black-eyed peas and veggies; it’s eaten either with a spoon as a salad/side dish, or with tortilla chips as an appetizer/dip. It was created in the 1950’s by a woman named Helen Corbitt. Corbitt moved from New York to Dallas to become the food service director at Neiman Marcus, an upscale department store.

assembling Texas caviar

The New York native was understandably unfamiliar with the humble legume, but quickly discovered its deep roots and beloved status in Texas. She came up with this dish and began serving it at swanky gatherings and chic hotels. When she served it to some wealthy patrons at Austin’s Driskill Hotel, it was dubbed Texas Caviar, and the name stuck.

making Texas caviar

It’s a delicious, healthy and filling dish. I was happy to finally make it for Matt and let him see what the fuss is *really* all about (as well as what it’s not about). I can report that he is now a big fan of the humble black-eyed pea recipe. With tortilla chips, of course.

So now I proudly present to you official, legit Texas Caviar.
With no veal. And no testicles.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar with tortilla chips

Source: The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

2 (15 oz.) cans of black-eyed peas, drained
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lime juice
1 generous tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the black-eyed peas, scallions, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and cumin. Stir into the black-eyed pea mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 4 hours. Serve cold with tortilla chips.