I knew that I was going to have to dive right back into TJOC after a summer of being away! I decided to make Enchiladas Verdes (p. 104). The first step of EV is to make a half recipe of Roasted Tomatillo Spinach Sauce (p. 568). Not the best idea in August, considering the roasting, but I'm ready for fall...
The first step--to take a pound of tomatillos and rinse, husk, and core them. I've always been very intimidated by tomatillos...I had no idea what to do with them. I know they are more or less tomatoes but I had never used them before. They were really cheap though--only a couple of dollars a pound.
The mighty tomatillo:
You have to peel the husk off. The vegetable (fruit?) is then bizarrely sticky, so it needs to be rinsed off. The book says to "core" the tomatillos so I just kind of cut out part of the middle--pretty sure that isn't what I was supposed to do but close enough.
The recipe also required a poblano or Anaheim pepper. I only had one pepper (another item from dad's garden). It was this pepper:
I don't know my peppers very well and have absolutely no idea what kind of pepper that is. I decided that it was close enough. I also quartered an onion and some garlic and set it to roasting.
It roasted for about forty minutes--a fairly long time on a hot day! At this point, the vegetables were pretty soft and starting to blacken.
The recipe said to transfer everything to a blender or food processor. The world's smallest food processor was certainly not up to the task and I didn't want to haul out the blender, so I decided to use the immersion blender with it's little plastic cup. I transfered everything into the cup, along with fresh spinach, cilantro, some homemade chicken stock, and some salt and pepper.
It was a perfect fit! Which was a good thing because I really didn't want to transfer it to a pot.
It blended down pretty quickly, leaving me with about two and a half cups of sauce exactly like it was supposed to. The immersion blender is godsend--it makes the cleanup so easy.
Once the sauce was made, it was on to the enchiladas. This was easy enough--pretty much just combining cooked chicken (I used a store bought cooked chicken), sour cream, scallions, cilantro, and salt in a big bowl (sorry for the sideways picture). This recipe is a GREAT use for leftover chicken and sour cream--we are NEVER able to use all the sour cream before it goes bad.
The tortillas then are supposed to be laid out and brushed with vegetable oil. My cookie sheet only held ten tortillas, but I figured that was okay.
Then you fill the tortillas with some filling, and roll them up. I always do it when they are still pretty hot and burn my fingers but I hate waiting for the tortillas to cool down! It would have been no problem to add two more enchiladas (which is what the recipe calls for) to the pan.
Add the sauce to the top (this is certainly not the most attractive sauce in the world):
Mmm....the sauce gets even less attractive....
The enchiladas were delicious! WOW were they good. I really really can't recommend this recipe enough. The enchiladas themselves were creamy and the sauce was tangy--they were absolutely great. And the recipe looks complex but it really didn't take very long in actual work time (all the time was in roasting or baking time).
I was categorizing how far I was in TJOC and I noticed that I had not done much of the grains recipes.
I decided that Spanish Rice (p. 357) would be perfect with the enchiladas and we would actually be eating a meal that went together!
This recipe was extraordinarily easy. First, you heat up some oil, bacon, onion, and garlic--great start! Anything with bacon in it is a definite hit in this household! The recipe also included green peppers but I DESPISE bell peppers so those always get cut. The only foods I hate: peppers and tuna. Josh hates chickpeas. Fortunately the list isn't that long or it could be a big problem!
At this point, you mix rice in, and then chicken broth, canned tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Pour it into a bowl....
And bake it for a while--easy! How was it?
Rice is one of the items that I have the most trouble with at altitude. Usually the rice is too soupy AND manages to not be cooked enough--but cooking it more doesn't seem to solve the problem. Maybe a higher temperature would help?
Even though the rice wasn't quite cooked enough, the flavor of spanish rice was incredible. It was tasted heavily spiced even though there wasn't much in the way of spices and the bacon was a great touch. I can't wait to try this recipe again (preferably at sea-level).