Can you believe I have never had an enchilada? How is that even possible? I had no idea how they were even made. A taco with lots more cheese, or a soften quesadilla with more cheese. It reminds me of the quote I mentioned in this Chicken Taco Chili recipe:
“I laughed because I recently read Jim Gaffigan’s book “Food: A Love Story” and he mentions how mexican food is all the same ingredients served in different ways. Quesadillas are tacos, grilled in a pan, which are the same as enchiladas and nachos. You get the point.”
In any case, they were good. I felt so full, but I loved all the rich flavors. Maybe we will have to do a week where on Monday we have quesadillas, Tuesday: tacos, Wednesday: nachos, Thursday: enchiladas, what should we have on Friday. They are all the same ingredients. I can now say that I have had enchiladas, and this recipe was oh so good. We did not add the garlic (well I should say Chris did not add the garlic) and we cut the recipe in half. Next time we might make them and add beans and rice. Although if we do I might only be able to eat one enchilada.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, chicken, cilantro, jalapeños, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Simmer until slightly reduced, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Lay a tortilla flat on a clean work surface. Spread a generous tablespoon of goat cheese in a stripe down the center, then top with about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam side down, in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 to 25 minutes (if you like your cheese speckled with brown, remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking).
Serve warm, topped with fresh cilantro and a dollop (or splatter) of sour cream if desired.
One of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Ox, has the most amazing Spaghetti Squash. I had never had spaghetti squash until a few years ago at my first visit to Ox. Their version is: Coal-Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Toasted Garlic, Lemon, Aged Goat Cheese. You had me at goat cheese. I am a fan of almost anything with goat cheese. Last week, Chris, tried a new recipe we found for spaghetti squash. It was good, very good. Do not be deterred by how much description is below. It is actually much easier than it looks.
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Creamy spaghetti squash with cheese and herbs, topped with crunchy panko. Serves 4.
Found: Megan (I Eat Therefore I Cook)
1 Large Spaghetti Squash
1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese,
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 TSP Fresh Thyme, Chopped
1 TSP Fresh Oregano, Chopped
1/2 TSP Pepper
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Onion Powder
1 TSP Paprika
1/4 cup Panko
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with knife a couple of times. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
Turn up oven to 400 degrees.
Let cool and slice in half. Remove seeds from squash with spoon. Scoop out squash insides into a large bowl. Add olive oil, mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix together until evenly distributed.
In a 8 by 8 glass baking dish, place squash mixture in pan. Spread evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Sprinkle panko on top evenly. Place in oven and cook until panko becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Note: We skipped step 1, and cut the squash in half, placed face side up with wax paper on top, and put in the microwave for 20 minutes, then went right to step 3.
Let me know if you try to make it, and if you do what you think!
I am a sucker for goat cheese, pumpkin, and sage. I found a recipe that combines all three things. We tried it. Amazing taste, with just a few tweaks. First, I hate having a heavy meal where I feel like I ate a brick a few hours later. There are three things I would change about this recipe:
Use spaghetti or a small round pasta (such as a Campanelle) in place of the Fettuccine. The Fettuccine is too thick and heavy that it makes you dread continuing. When I eat pasta I want to crave it and ask Chris if there is more. Next time we make this recipe it will be with a lighter pasta.
The sauce was too thick, so make it a bit more liquid by adding more heavy cream. Trust me on this.
Last thing. Forget the last step to add the fried sage. It didn’t do anything for me. There is already sage cooked into the sauce. The extra on top is not needed.
This recipe is not hard. Chris said it takes just as long to boil the pasta as it does to put the sauce together. 15 minutes max (just as the recipe says).
I have already blogged this week about New Year’s resolutions. I do them some years, other years I feel ambivalent about it all. The blog I posted earlier in the week was about goals versus resolutions. For 2015, I decided to not make resolutions but find out what was missing in my world, and find ways to bring them into my life. I know that I want to find more time to be creative, and recently came across a concept called #yearofmaking. The idea is to make something everyday. To me that feels complicated, and yet you could take a photo every day and be “making.” I do not want to “make” just because I have a goal to do so. So instead, what kept coming to me is that I would like to jump-start our meals. I often find new recipes to make and then it will be weeks or months until we actual try them (if ever). I want to have a plethora of dinner ideas (and dessert too) and be excited to make them again if they are hits. Lately we have been having the same things each week.
What am I going to do about it? A goal. We are going to try a new recipe each week and I am then going to share how it went on random olio. Chris and my food adventures. I do not want to carve out more than that as life is busy in all honesty. If it is a dinner option Chris will probably be making it (you do not want me to cook) and if it is a dessert option I will be the one in the kitchen.
The first recipe of the year: Roasted Maple + Goat Cheese Carrots. I am not a fan of cooked carrots. I will eat them in soup or stew, but usually I would rather eat them raw with hummus, or veggie dip, or on a salad. Cooked carrots are not really my thing. Until last year. At a local, freaking amazing restaurant (OX) we had a side dish of carrots. Once I had them, I could not stop talking about them. Over the last year we have tried different versions of trying to recreate this carrot dish, with boring, not even close results.
Until last week. Yes, Chris did it. He figured out the missing ingredient. All the recipes we found were to steam the carrots and he decided to roast them instead. The result: the most amazing carrot dish. I keep asking if he will make it.
Roasted Maple + Goat Cheese Carrots
7-8 regular sized Carrots, sliced (I love when we use the colorful kind: yellow, orange, purple…)
1/8 cup Maple Syrup
1/8 cup Olive oil
Sprinkle of Kosher Salt
Mix everything together in a cast iron pan, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Once the pan is taken out of the oven, sprinkle desired amount of goat cheese on top of the carrots, and enjoy!
SAVOR. I have been thinking a lot lately about the word. Memories of amazing food come to mind. Such as goat cheese ravioli from a Portland restaurant called Lucy’s Table that is no longer in operation. When we knew it was closing we went and agonized over our very last serving of their goat cheese ravioli. They closed just three years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I do not remember the amazingness of that appetizer. If only I could recreate it at home.
I can think of a plethora of other items that I savor. French fries (gosh, am I addicted to non fast-food french fries). Eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes or on corn cakes instead of english muffins (thank you, Daily Cafe). The King’s Choice at Veritable Quandary. Yum. Apologies for all the Portland references, but I have my little addictions. Noble Rot fries + burger. Decarli’s salted caramel cheesecake. Crab Rangoon from Shing Yee in West Newton, MA. The “Bill’s Seoul Show” sandwich at Hi Rise Bakery in Cambridge, MA. Okay, I guess I will stop, I could go on.
I love the word savor. There is something downright sassy about it. To me it is anything that you mull over in your thought, crave, or cannot wait to consume. It is not just a word I associate with food. Maybe you savor the idea of a person, a spouse, or friend, or someone who just gets your brain juices going each day. Maybe you appreciate how creative and out-of-the box a colleague is and how that ups your game. You savor a collaborative relationship.
If only I could have a meal of goat cheese ravioli, crab Rangoon, Bill’s Seoul Show sandwich, french fries, a great drink, and salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. Just the perfect meal for my taste buds. Oh, and some time with the people I savor in life.