The latest issue of Vegetarian Times magazine did the needful to get me back in the groove of cooking and yes, blogging! I just returned from a 2 week trip to India, hence the long almost 4 week silence. Well, given the lapses between my entries normally, it’s not that much of a silence, do I hear folks say;) Let’s just say I’m my own critic so it’s my guilt conscience at work here. India was hectic, as always, but this particular trip was special and actually helped me shut off mentally, so getting back in the humdrum of work, home and roz ka khana was a little more difficult than I thought. I needed more than just an inspiration this time to get me to be myself again.
I’d recently signed up for a subscription to the magazine to put a stop to the number of times I’d almost “sneaked” it out from the doctor’s offices or from waiting rooms at my son’s classes. I was quite intrigued by the magazine but was hesitant to cough up the $15 for the subscription. A quick search for deals found me a link to the subscription for $4.95 for not one but a 2 year subscription. I haven’t received my first issue yet, but a few recipes in the September issue were tempting enough and I caved in and actually bought the issue at the local store. $4.95 for one issue vs a 2 year subscription. I told myself it was still a deal. Doesn’t sound like quite the inspirational story but it was enough to get me to start my food shopping.
The feature on the enchiladas hit the spot for me. We had it for lunch today with a side of Sprouts and Grapes salad and I think the lunch combo was an overall hit in the family too;)
Here’s the recipe by freelance writer Juston McCarter and chef Donna Meadows in the Sep 08 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. In the writer’s words…Fresh poblano chiles and dried New Mexican chiles give these enchiladas a spicy, smoky flavor that’s not too hot.
I confess that I “spiced” it a little more to suit our “extra-spicy” craving taste buds with some cayenne pepper and small green chiles (can also use serrano peppers) for a little more kick. Please note that these 2 ingredients are purely optional and only if you like your food “extra-spicy”.
Ingredients for sauce:
Olive oil – 1tbsp
1 small onion- chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
2 oz dried New mexican chiles, halved, stemmed and deseeded, plus additional green or red chilies for extra spice
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cayenne pepper powder (red chili pd) – optional
6 Poblano chiles
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1 1/2 cups queso fresco (cubed or crumbled)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
12 6 inch corn tortillas
Method for enchilada sauce:
1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
2. Add dried New Mexico chiles, and saute for a few more minutes.
3. Now stir in tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes till the chiles get soft.
4. Remove from heat, cool then puree in blender till smooth.
Method for making enchiladas:
1. Preheat oven to broil. Place poblano chiles on a baking sheet and broil for 15-20 minutes, till it gets blackened on all sides. Make sure to turn often so it gets cooked evenly. Cool in a bowl, peel off the sking and remove seeds. Chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute onions and garlic till a little soft.
3. Transfer this to a mixing bowl, and to this add the chopped roasted poblano peppers. To this, also add the queso fresco, and the monterey jack cheese, cilantro and chopped green chiles or serrano peppers (optional)
4. Heat the oven to 375F. Take the corn tortillas on a baking sheet and warm for about 3 minutes in the oven till soft.
5. Now take a 13×9 baking dish and spread one cup of the prepared enchilada sauce at the bottom.
6. Take each corn tortilla, spoon the cheese and chile mixture into it and loosely roll it. Place the filled tortillas on the sauce in the baking dish.
7. Spoon the remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on it.
8. Bake the tortillas in the dish for about 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. You may also add shredded serrano peppers for extra extra spice;)