15 March 2013

Improvement on Green Enchiladas

You know what's wayyy better than those Green Enchiladas? This: Omit the sauce. Spoon a hefty dollop of Mexican crema onto the middle of a cooked tortilla, add the filling (or even some steamed broccoli, I'm serious!), sprinkle with your favorite cheese, fold into taco-shape, and gently maneuver food into orifice. Repeat.

And repeat.

And repeat.

Mmmmmm.... So luxurious.

11 March 2013

Mexican Vegetarian: Green Enchiladas

The Goofy Family is going gluten-free for two months to test for intolerance, so pretty much everything I'm posting for a while will be gluten-free. This coincides nicely with Passover, although the (Ashkenazi) Passover diet is much stricter. Let's compare gluten-free with Passover.


Nothing that contains wheat, rye, or barley.  Most oats are quite contaminated.

(Ashkenazi) Passover:

Nothing that contains wheat (except matzah). Nothing that contains rye, barley, spelt, or oats. No corn, millet, and sometimes rice. No legumes including beans, soybeans, lentils, and peanuts. Or anything made from any of those things.

So these enchiladas I just made definitely fit the gluten-free category, but they fail in the Passover category. To make these Kosher for Passover, you need to ditch the corn tortillas and serve the filling over rice (if you're cool with that) or quinoa, pouring the sauce on as a final touch. Plus, the sauce can only contain kosher for Passover ingredients.

I really "riffed" on this recipe, which is my first by Rick Bayless, famous famous cook of Mexican cuisine. I chose all the riffs because I am lazy to my core. The recipe that resulted certainly had its delicious components: a fruity and tangy sauce, the smell of fresh corn, and the satisfying chew of gently cooked spinach and mushrooms. Its Achilles heel was the texture of the tortillas, which I did not spray and bake in the oven until pliable like Bayless suggested. Instead I over-toasted them or under-microwaved them. Next time I'll probably cook them in oil in a huge fry pan so I can keep a close eye on their pliability. But the oven is definitely overkill in my opinion.

Green Enchiladas

The filling:

8 ounces button mushrooms, washed, stemmed and sliced
10 ounces fresh adult spinach, washed, stemmed and chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced

The sauce:

1 16 ounce jar (2 Cups) of tomatillo salsa
1 Cup No-chicken or other vegetarian broth
3 Tablespoons crema or sour cream or half n' half

12 fresh corn tortillas

Optional: grated queso fresco


  1. Heat the salsa in a pot for 7 minutes. Add broth and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in crema. Cover and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in a large frypan on medium high heat until browned. Add onions and saute a few more minutes until softened and translucent. Add 1/4 Cup water and then as much spinach as you can fit into the frypan at a time until all 10 ounces are wilted.
  3. Cook the tortillas until pliable. You might need to use oil or a frying pan or the oven or whatever you need.
  4. Dip each tortilla in the sauce. Lay it on a plate. Add 2 Tablespoons of filling. Add the cheese. Roll up seam side down. Ladle more sauce over the top of each tortilla. 
  5. Serve 3 enchiladas on each plate. Do not shout "Olé!"

08 March 2013

Kimchi Fried Rice

I thought this kimchi fried rice would be exciting and invigorating. Instead I felt comforted and warmed. The spiciness increases gradually from the back of your mouth, but the rice keeps the heat from overwhelming your palate.

Kimchi Fried Rice

adapted from one of my favorite recipe authors on Serious Eats, Nick Kindelsperger

Serves 4

vegetable oil
4 Cups kimchi, chopped into bite-sized bits (DON'T TOUCH IT for crissakes)
4 Cups white rice, preferably a day old
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon go chu jang, Korean red pepper paste
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
4 eggs

  1. Heat up a little oil in a fry pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the kimchi. 
  2. Once the kimchi is warm, in about 2 minutes, add butter and go chu jang. Stir until completely coating the kimchi. 
  3. Add the rice, breaking up clumps, and stir until evenly distributed through the kimchi.
  4. Pour sesame oil over the rice and stir again. 
  5. Allow the bottom of the rice-kimchi mixture to develop a little crust.
  6. Take out the mixture and divide among 4 bowls. Cover with plates to keep it hot.
  7. Turn down the heat in the frypan, add some more oil, and scrape out bits of leftover rice.
  8. Break 4 eggs into the pan. Cook slowly. When the egg is still a little oozy, turn off the heat. Put one egg on top of each bowl of kimchi rice. Serve at once.

04 March 2013

Bread Pudding Casserole

This casserole took me a whopping 4 hours to make!

…Are you still here?

Even without careful rationing the casserole fed me through three-and-half days of lunches and dinners, so it ended up saving me about 2 hours.  The picky Goofy Baby loved it, I loved it, and its gorgeousness warmed my hungry heart.  The bon appétit site from which I adapted the recipe tried to market this recipe as a vegetarian Thanksgiving centerpiece, but I don't think so. I would never serve a cheesy dish at Thanksgiving, let alone as the centerpiece. I know some families have a broccoli and cheese casserole tradition on that day, but not as a turkey substitute!

The vegetable ingredients stay in season for months, so you can enjoy this from November through March or even April.

* This dish adapts really well to the gluten-free diet because the baguette I used had to be toasted until it was completely crisp. GF bread has no trouble getting crisp. I think you could use toasted gluten-free bread or even large, unseasoned GF croutons as a substitute (The brand Ener-G makes some). Just be careful to use gluten-free alcohol.

Butternut Squash and Kale Bread Pudding

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
olive oil
1 baguette, * sliced into 1 inch pieces and toasted until crisp.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
7 large eggs
1 pint cream
6 tablespoons dry white wine, sake, or Chinese Shao xing wine
4 large shallots, chopped
1 pound kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped or torn into small pieces
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss cubed squash with 1 Tablespoon of oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in cream, wine, and kosher salt. Add baguette pieces. Mix gently together and allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large pot, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add kale. Cover and cook 2 to 7 minutes until kale has wilted a little but is still bright green.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the bread from the egg mixture to the baking dish. Arrange it to cover most of the dish.
  6. Spoon half of the kale-shallot mix over the bread.
  7. Spoon half of the squash cubes over the kale.
  8. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the squash cubes.
  9. Repeat steps 5 through 8.
  10. Pour remaining egg mixture over the bread pudding.
  11. Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered 20 minutes.
  12. Cool and serve.
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