Tag Archives: Tomatillos

Mushroom Spinach Enchiladas

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It probably sounds a little funny and hugely un-revolutionary to many, but seeing as I grew up in two extended families of carnivores, and living in the Land of the Almighty Cow, vegetarian fare is somewhat novel to me. But I have to say, it’s grown on me more and more, to the point where I will actually seek it out. Those who knew my youthful self would never have predicted this, but it’s true – I love vegetarian cooking and I’ve even purchased several vegetarian cookbooks.

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And so it goes with these extremely tasty enchiladas. Instead of just being meat-free and cheese-filled every which way, they have actual vegetables in the filling (not that cheese isn’t there aplenty; it is). The mushrooms have something of a meaty texture. While mushrooms themselves don’t taste like beef per se, and you won’t be fooling any of your diners, the texture is quite pleasing to the chew. They give the enchiladas heft.

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The spinach provides a nice leafy background note, and its slight bitterness contrasts nicely with the bright, acidic tomatillo salsa. And of course both the filling and the enchiladas themselves are ensconced in creamy cheesiness that we all love. It’s a filling meal! Without a lot of guilt. That always works in my book. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple-Turnip Hash, Apple Maple Walnut Cobbler, Apple Crisp}

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

Ingredients:

SALSA:
1 poblano chile
1 large jalapeno
½ lb. fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
½ cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup vegetable stock
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp canola oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

ENCHILADAS:
1 tsp canola oil
10 oz. white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
½ medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or small jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (16 oz.) container ricotta cheese, full-fat or low-fat, but not fat-free
1 tbs lime juice
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
2 cups (about 8 oz.) Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Directions:
First make the salsa. Roast the poblano and jalapeno either under the broiler or on an open flame from a gas stove, until the outside skin is blackened all over. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 15 minutes. Using either your hands or a paper towel, scrape the blackened skin off. Cut off the stems and remove the seeds from inside the chiles, then add the flesh to your blender.
Meanwhile, add the tomatillos to a small pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos are tender but not gone to complete mush. Drain, and add the tomatillos to the blender, along with the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, vegetable stock, and cumin. Blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in the pot you used for the tomatillos and place over medium-low heat. Pour the salsa into the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then turn the heat to very low and just keep it warm until you need it again.
Now make the filling. Heat the oil in a medium-to-large skillet on medium. Add the mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Add a pinch of salt and remove to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chile and cook another minute.
Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring it out over the sink, until you’ve gotten most of the excess water out. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes, just to remove the excess water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Shut off the heat and add the spinach mixture to the mushrooms in the large bowl. Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then add the ricotta, lime juice, cayenne, cumin and cinnamon. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir to combine everything. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a large casserole or baking dish. Warm the tortillas either in the microwave or on top of your gas stove. Store them in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
Take a heated tortilla and drag it through the salsa, coating both sides. Use tongs if it’s too hot for your fingers. Shake off most of the salsa back into the pot, but make sure the tortilla is pliable. Lay the soaked tortilla on a clean work surface and add about ¼ cup of the mushroom spinach mixture to the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 11 tortillas. Pour the rest of the salsa over the enchiladas and top evenly with the shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve immediately. Leftovers are good.

Chicken Pozole Verde

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Today finds me rather upset with myself, seeing as it’s another Sunday Supper, but one I’m unable to officially participate in. Last weekend I made and photographed this lovely recipe, specifically for today’s Sunday Supper, and then thanks to a high-octane work trip for my other job, completely forgot to sign up in time. Go me…

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But, since I have the purty pictures and all, I thought I would still share today’s Slow Cooker menu. (That’s the #SS theme today – Slow Cookers. And one of my favorite things in my kitchen, which ensures some extra bummed-out-ness for me that I’m not technically participating. Oh well, life happens, doesn’t it?)

So let’s talk about the ingredient that makes pozole a pozole: hominy. I couldn’t stand, and this cannot possibly be overstated, could not stand hominy as a child. Now, one of the running themes on this blog is my triumph over childhood picky eating, and my triumph is probably at least in part due to the fact that my parents simply didn’t tolerate the behavior. I had to eat what was on my plate, and if I dug in my heels and refused, I went to bed hungry.

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Picky eater that I was, the first time I was served hominy, of course I was highly skeptical. It was a peculiar looking veggie with (to me at least) a highly repulsive smell. Of course I voiced my objections and of course they were met with a nonchalant, “eat it anyway.” So I took a bite, and literally chucked my up, right at the dinner table. It tasted that gross to me. From that point on, hominy was placed in a special category all its own – my parents never again told me to “eat it anyway.”

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So then I grew up, and became a grown-up who still vividly recalled that fateful hominy incident, but also a grown-up who learned about pozole. A Mexican soup/stew that always looks delicious, but isn’t pozole without the addition of hominy. What to do?

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Solution: dried hominy. I gave it a try and found it to have blessedly little in common with its canned cousin. It doesn’t smell bad and tastes wonderful. Of course it is more time consuming, but unsurprisingly well worth it to me personally. I’m giving directions for using dried, but if canned doesn’t bother you, then of course feel free. I hope y’all enjoy it!

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{One Year Ago: Date and Prosciutto Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Jalapeno Poppers}

Source: adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Ingredients:
SOUP:
12 oz. dried hominy
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, with root end intact
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
5 cups water
4 sprigs cilantro
SALSA VERDE:
½ cup raw pepitas, roasted
6-8 tomatillos, husked and washed
1 cup diced white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped Hass avocado, for serving

Directions:
Place the hominy in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Set aside at room temperature at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, garlic, onion, salt, cumin, chicken stock, and water. Drain the hominy well and add it to the slow cooker. Let it cook on LOW for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through but not falling apart. Remove the chicken and let cool. Add the cilantro sprigs to the slow cooker. Discard the chicken bones and skin and shred the meat into pieces. Store in a food storage container in the refrigerator.
After you have removed the chicken and added the cilantro, let the soup cook for another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the Salsa Verde. Place the tomatillos in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and place in a blender, along with the pepitas, onion, garlic clove, serranos, and cilantro. Add ½ cup broth from the slow cooker and puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth. Pour the salsa into the empty pot you used for the tomatillos and cook over medium to medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir the salsa into the soup and let it go at least another 3 hours, or until the hominy is done. You know the hominy is done when it bursts and is very tender with a soft chew to it. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Add the shredded chicken into the slow cooker for about 30 minutes to warm back through, then ladle into bowls. Serve with lime wedges and avocado.

Chipotle Chicken and Chorizo One Pot

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So let’s talk about one-pot meals today. Since I love cooking – it’s a passion and a therapy for me – I don’t mind elaborate meals that dirty up several pots and pans simultaneously, or even those meals that make it look like a tornado ripped through my kitchen and dining area. No, I don’t even remotely enjoy doing dishes, but it’s always worth it to me, even as I eyeball the stack of dirty dishes piling up in the sink with a hint of dread. Okay, fine, a lot of dread. I really do despise washing dishes…

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But every once in a while, I too want a one-pot meal to avoid the mountains of dirty pots and pans to wash. Let’s face it – no matter what your schedule or your cooking level, one-pots are just nice. They are necessary for everyone’s culinary repertoire.

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But for me, they cannot skimp on flavor. I can’t compromise on using good ingredients and producing a dish that I’ll truly enjoy eating. And today’s recipe completely fits that bill. The flavors are seriously bold, a touch spicy, and very hearty and comforting. Very, very perfect fall food here. I hope y’all will enjoy it too!

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{One Year Ago: Guest Post – Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
4-5 oz. chorizo, cured or raw; diced if cured, and casings removed if raw
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 tbs adobo sauce
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted variety
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Guacamole or chopped fresh avocado, for serving

Directions:
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a Dutch oven or other large, deep skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but about a tablespoon of chicken fat. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook. If using cured, cook until it is crispy and the fat has rendered. If using raw, cook until crumbled and no traces of pink remain. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and add it to the plate with the chicken.
Now add the carrot and onion. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika. Cook 1 minute more.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a bubble, then return the chorizo and chicken to the pot. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Double check with a meat thermometer – it should read 165 F.
When the chicken is done, garnish with cilantro, spoon it into shallow bowls and serve immediately with lots of sauce.

Ancho Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

Ancho Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

Robb Walsh, one of my favorite cookbook authors, released a new book this year that is all about hot sauces. I quickly added it to my Amazon cart. I mean, I would, of course; I’m such a chile-head. And it’s a very cool book for those that like it spicy.

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One sauce in particular really intrigued me – an ancho tomatillo sauce. Reason being, I’ve always thought about Mexican hot sauces in a somewhat binary fashion: it’s either a red sauce, the base of which is tomatoes and dried red chiles, or it’s a green sauce, the base of which is tomatillos. But here two prominent ingredients, one from a red sauce and one from a green, are combined to make one sauce. How creative!

Ancho Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

Ancho Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

I was immediately dying to try it. And chicken enchiladas sounded like the perfect vehicle. Well. Can we say utterly delicious? The flavors of ancho and tomatillo complemented each other and made for a rich, deeply flavored sauce that was soaked up by the chicken and corn tortillas. I decided to go easy on the cheese so that the sauce wouldn’t get drowned out. A little Cotija was perfect. Enjoy!

ancho tomatillo chicken enchiladas

Ideas for Side Dishes: Cotija Rice, Mexican Green Rice, Slow Cooker Refried Beans

{One year ago: Roast Chicken with Honey Mustard Black Pepper Sauce and Hatch Chile Spoonbread}

Source: adapted from The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh

Ingredients:
ANCHO-TOMATILLO SAUCE:
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 tbs olive oil
½ medium onion, sliced
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
6 tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 tbs lime juice
¼ cup chicken stock
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

ENCHILADAS:
Olive oil
¼ cup diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (can be homemade or just buy a rotisserie chicken; can be light or dark meat, or a combination)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
10 corn tortillas
¾ cup finely grated Cotija cheese
2 tbs minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
First, make the sauce. Place the dried chiles (anchos and guajillos) in a small to medium saucepan. Toast them over medium-high heat for about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Cover the chiles with water and place back over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, shut off the heat and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Leave it be for 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the serrano, garlic, tomatillos, and chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the onion mixture to a blender. Add the softened dried chiles, as well as the lime juice and cilantro. If it’s a little dry or your blender is a little stubborn, add up to half a cup of the chile soaking liquid. Puree the mixture until very smooth. Be careful when pureeing it as it is very hot.
Add salt to taste.
Wipe out the cast-iron skillet. Return it to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tbs olive oil, then pour the sauce into the skillet. Bring to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep warm.
Now make the enchiladas. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Now add the chicken and cook until the chicken is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with ½ a cup of the ancho-tomatillo sauce. Set aside.
Now warm the tortillas. You can do this in the oven, the microwave, or by passing them over your gas stove with the flame on medium-low. Place in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in foil or clean kitchen towels.
Working one at a time, dredge each tortilla through the sauce. Lay it on a flat surface and fill with a spoonful or so of chicken mixture and about 1 tbs of the Cotija cheese. Roll the tortilla and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 9 tortillas.
When all the enchiladas are assembled in the baking dish, pour the remaining sauce evenly over them. Sprinkle the remaining Cotija cheese evenly over the sauce. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until bubbling hot. Remove from the oven, garnish with the cilantro, and serve warm.