Categories
Uncategorized Vegetarian

New Mexican Veggie Enchiladas with Red Sauce

As a child, my family went on countless road trips through New Mexico. It has always been a magical place to me, with its infinite blue skies, the ability to watch the road go into the horizon as far as the eye can see, the unique and beautiful cultural experiences, the pueblos, the natural springs, and, of course, the food. Ahhh, the food. New Mexico is definitely in a class of its own when it comes to food.

One thing is that unforgettable about The Land of Enchantment is the flavor bomb that is New Mexican red enchiladas. I love to make them at home . . . sometimes with chicken or cheese. This vegetarian version is healthy and so flavorful that you won’t miss the meat. And this sauce is legit. I’m convinced it would taste good on nearly anything. Try these out and let me know what you think!

** Note: If you are using fresh-from-New Mexico chili powder, make sure to taste test it before adding the full amount listed in the recipe. Sometimes that roadside New Mexico chili powder is H-O-T!

Enchilada Ingredients:

2 cups red enchilada sauce (recipe below) or store bought

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 4 oz. can of Hatch green chiles

1 14.5 oz can of black beans

2-3 cups of diced butternut squash

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

½ c. water

Corn tortillas, heated

1 c. cheddar, shredded

Chopped, cilantro, jalapenos for garnish

Sour cream, if desired

Enchilada Sauce:

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. chili powder (New Mexican, if possible)

2 c. water

3 oz. tomato paste

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp. cayenne 

Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Then, add black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, butternut squash, cumin and chili powder. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. 

While your veggies, cook, make the enchilada sauce. In a small saucepan, add oil, flour, and chili powder and set to medium heat. Whisk the ingredients constantly until they start to bubble. Continue whisking for another minute so that the spice flavors release. 

Next, whisk in the water, tomato paste and remaining spices and continue to whisk until smooth. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to simmer and thicken up a bit. Now, add the salt a little at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor. The sauce is ready.

Check the veggies and when the butternut squash is fork tender, add salt to taste. Now cover the bottom of a baking dish with enchilada sauce (about ½-1 c. or so). Then, warm your corn tortillas so that they are pliable. The best way to do this is in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Simply drop the tortillas in, one and time, heat up, flip over to heat on the other side. You can “cheat” and microwave your tortillas to warm them up, but it won’t be quite the same!

Place veggie filling in tortillas, roll them and place them in the baking dish with the seam side down. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, top them with cheese and bake for 10-15 minute (or until the cheese is melted. Serve with green onions, cilantro, jalapenos and sour cream if you’d like! 

I hope you love these as much as I do!

Categories
Pasta Pork Uncategorized

Spaghetti Carbonara

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of warm, yummy pasta? I think not. I don’t know about you, but when the leaves start falling off the trees I start craving comforting food that warms me from the inside out. Spaghetti carbonara is literally made up of all of the best things: eggs, bacon, cheese, pasta! What is not to love about this wonderful dish?

While some people prefer carbonara without peas, I think they add a little sweetness and cut the heavy taste, creating a more balanced flavor and visual palette. Carbonara can be made with all types of pasta, but I like to make it with traditional spaghetti.

Ingredients:

16 oz. high-quality spaghetti

5 eggs

1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan

6 slices of thick-cut bacon or pancetta, diced

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed

Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Salt/pepper

Makes 4 servings.

Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. 

Separate eggs and yolks from 4 eggs. Set aside the yolks for later. Whisk the egg whites and extra egg together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and whisk until combined.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy. Set bacon on a plate, leaving the excess grease in the pan. Add garlic and thawed peas to the pan and cook for one minute. 

Drain pasta and put the pasta into the skillet. Quickly pour in the egg/Parmesan mixture and add bacon. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl with an egg yolk and chopped parsley. 

Enjoy immediately! 

Categories
Sides Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Homemade Sauerkraut

I fell in love with fermenting cabbage by accident a few years back when I belonged to a CSA. I was overwhelmed by the amount of cabbage I had amassed and had run out of ways to cook it. A lightbulb went off in my brain and I realized that I could make sauerkraut and it was last forever, or at least nearly forever. The first time I tasted my own sauerkraut, I realized that I could never buy store-bought again. It’s so much fresher, crispier and brinier. Best of all, it’s insanely easy to make! You only need two ingredients, a wide mouth jar and a little time.

Ingredients:

One medium head of green cabbage
2-3 tsp sea salt

Rinse cabbage in cold water and remove outer leaves. Reserve one to use later.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the core. Then slice into even, thin ribbons (this will ensure that the pieces ferment evenly).

Place the cabbage in a large bowl and pour in 2 teaspoons of salt. Massage the cabbage with your hands until the The cabbage appears a bit translucent and shiny. Taste to test the level of saltiness. If you would like your sauerkraut a little saltier, add a bit more. Continue to massage until there is brine pooled in the bottom of the bowl. Once you are able to squeeze the cabbage and brine runs out freely, you are ready for the next step.

Transfer handfuls of the cabbage into the widemouth jar and press it down. Continue to repeat until there is about 2 inches of space left at the top. Press down again until the brine rises above the cabbage. Place one of the reserved cabbage leaves over the top of your sauerkraut, but below the brine line. Cover the jar with a cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap a rubber band around it. Set it on a plate or cookie sheet, as liquid may leak out of the top.Move to a dark place and ferment for 5-14 days.

Taste the sauerkraut beginning at five days so that it is fermented to your desired taste. Once your sauerkraut is ready, put a lid on it and refrigerate. Sauerkraut will last for about six months in the refrigerator.

Categories
Fish/Seafood Uncategorized

Portuguese Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

In 2019, I embarked upon an adventure of a lifetime: the Camino de Santiago, a 150-mile walk, that took me up the coast of Portugal into Spain. Armed with my backpack and (what turned out to be terrible) walking shoes, my friend, Debbie, and I walked over cobblestones, boardwalks, dirt trails, tree-lined fairy forests and alongside semi trucks rushing down the highway for 10 days. It was a truly magical experience that provided me with ample time to reflect, think about who I was and what I wanted to accomplish in this big, beautiful world.

Along the way, we enjoyed some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. We ate seafood for nearly every meal, and the Portuguese certainly know what they’re doing in terms of cooking amazing fish. Bacalhau, or salted cod, is a very popular dish in Portugal and you can find it at nearly every restaurant near the coast. There are literally thousands of ways it can be prepared, and I haven’t yet met a bacalhau I don’t like.

One of my favorite ways to prepare bacalhau is in this style, enveloped in potatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil, and covered in salty olives and hard boiled eggs. While salted cod is traditionally used, my recipe calls for plain-old cod because it’s not easy to find salted cod in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this comforting dish as much as I do.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. cod
2 lbs. potatoes
3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
4-5 hard boiled eggs
15-20 Kalamata olives
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Peel potatoes and boil for 25 minutes or until soft. Cook onions with olive oil over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain potatoes and let them cool. Cut potatoes 1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Evenly pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bottom of casserole dish. Add a layer of sliced potatoes, followed by a layer of cod pieces, onions and garlic. Repeat layering, ensuring a layer of potatoes ends up on the top. Pour the remaining quarter cup of olive oil on top evenly. Bake for 40 minutes.

Take out of the oven, place the halved hard-boiled eggs and olives on top. Bake for 10 more minutes. Allow the dish to cool for two minutes. Sprinkle generously with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Categories
Pork Uncategorized

Korean Pork Japchae

It wasn’t until this year that I learned about this legendary meal that consists of glass noodles with all of the most marvelous veggies and meat mixed in with the most flavorful sauce you can imagine.

My daughters and I are frequent customers of a local Korean grocery and we have gotten to know the owner. He recently commented to me that I tend to buy creative ingredients and asked me if I have ever made japchae. I confessed I had never heard of it, and he said it was necessary for me to make it in order to make my daughters happy. He explained what ingredients were needed and said I could be creative with the composition, so here is my take on japchae.

Japchae was once an exclusively royal meal in Korea, but is now enjoyed by the masses as a celebratory dish that is served at special occasions, like weddings and birthdays. I can certainly see why it was considered a royal meal. It’s that good. Enjoy!

Pork/marinade:

1 lb. thick-cut pork chops
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. white sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 tsp. mirin

Veggies/eggs/noodles:

1 small onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil, salt, pepper
1 lb. sweet potato (glass) noodles

Sauce:

1/3 c. dark soy sauce
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. sesame oil
Sesame seeds, green onion for garnish

Freeze pork for about 20 minutes that it becomes firm. Then, using a very sharp knife, sliced into very thin slices. Combine all ingredients for pork marinade in a bowl. Place the pork slices into the marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours or overnight.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Pour beaten eggs in and cook until set. Flip and cook until set on the other side. Slide onto cutting board and chop into thin slices.

Next, add a little more oil and cook the onions until soft and translucent. About four or five minutes. Set aside onto a plate to cool. Repeat this process with the red pepper, carrots, spinach and mushrooms.

pour the pork and marinade into the same skillet and cook until the sauce is a bit caramelized. Set aside.

Cook the sweet potato noodles boiling water for then time indicated on the package.

In the meantime whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.

Drain the noodles and cut them, if you would like. Put the drained noodles into a large bowl. Add the pork, vegetables and egg. Pour sauce in slowly, tasting frequently, until the desired result is achieved. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

Categories
Desserts/Sweets Uncategorized

Snow Day Cinnamon Rolls

Ahhh, the snow day. There is nothing quite like it. Just last week, we got the glorious robo-call announcing that the next day would be a snow day and there would be no school. As a mom and a teacher, nothing is more exciting. We all woke up bright and early to celebrate our freedom from school and decided that we would make our unrivaled (if I do say so myself) cinnamon rolls.

Like most good things, these babies take a little time and effort. But I promise you, it’s worth it. These are so deliciously decadent and slightly dangerous because you might want to eat all of them at once. But snow day calories don’t count, right?

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 (¼ oz) package of active dry yeast

1 c. warm milk (microwaved for 45 seconds)

½ c. white sugar

4 c. flour

⅓ c. butter, room temperature

2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling:

1 c. brown sugar

⅓ c. butter

4 Tbsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

¼ c. butter

1 ½ c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. Vanilla

¼ c. cream cheese 

Pour the yeast packet into a cup of warm milk and stir to dissolve (wait 5-10 minutes). In a separate bowl, mix sugar with melted butter. Add eggs and stir. Add 2 c. of flour and mix. Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 c. of flour and mix until well combined. 

Put dough into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for one hour or until dough is doubled in size. 

Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll until it’s ½ thick. The rolled out dough should be about 18 x 12 inches. 

To make the filling, combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a food processor. Blend until the mixture has a sandy texture. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough. 

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough to the top so that you have created one large cylindrical roll. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 slices (about 1 ½ inches thick). Place the rolls into a greased pan. Cover with a towel and let the cut rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes. 

While you wait for the rolls to rise, mix all of the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with any electric mixer.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The rolls should be light brown when they are ready. Take the DELICIOUS rolls out of the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes. Then, spread the frosting on evenly and get ready for the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tried!