Sunday, February 27, 2011

Calabacita Enchiladas with Salsa Ranchera

Thinking of my vegetarian friends while making this dish.  Yes, it takes quite a bit of work, but with fresh ingredients like these--the dish is healthy, delicious and beautiful.  Calabacitas is a Mexican side dish usually comprised of squash, tomatoes, green chile, cheese and corn.  I got the recipe for these fabulous enchiladas from the new cookbook I won in a contest from Bueno.  Order yours at 

I must say here that I did change the recipe slightly.  However the change I made makes a significant difference in the taste.  The original recipe calls for 1 cup frozen corn and I substituted Birds Eye Southwest Blend which is a combination of corn, black beans, chile, onions and red peppers.

Even the most discriminating MEAT EATER will love these enchiladas.  However, I am making Buffalo Tacos with Pickled Radish and Salsa Ranchera to go with this meal for the hunky hubby.

Salsa Ranchera  (this salsa is an excellent addition to eggs, quiche, beans and tacos)
Cooking the chile, onions and tomatoes

Add the cilantro and lime juice

1 small onion, diced
1 7-oz container chopped green chile (sorry Alaskans you will have to make due with canned)
2 tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
1/3 cup water
1/4 of the bunch of fresh cilantro, diced
1 TBSP lime juice

Cook the onion, chile and tomatoes and salt over medium heat.  Add water and simmer until most of the water is absorbed and onion is translucent.  Add cilantro and lime.

Calabacita Enchiladas with Salsa Ranchera
20 Calabacita Enchiladas topped with Salsa Ranchera

Ingredients you need in addition to Salsa Ranchera
These are the ingredients you will need to make Calabacita Enchiladas (also the Salsa Ranchera above)....makes 10 enchiladas

1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 medium onion diced
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup frozen Birds Eye Southwest Blend OR corn
1/3 cup water
10 yellow corn tortillas, softened
Salsa Ranchera
                                                                                    1/3 cup Monterey Jack Cheese

Prepare Salsa Ranchera and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan and toast onions about 3 minutes.  Add spices and salt, cook 3 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.  Add corn and water and cook 3 minutes more. 

I like rolled enchiladas
Make either flat or rolled enchiladas by topping corn tortilla with vegetables, cheese and salsa.  I like rolled, so I rolled corn tortillas with vegetables and cheese, layered them in a non-stick sprayed stoneware baking dish and topped with Salsa Ranchera and more Monterey jack cheese.  Bake at 350 until hot (20 minutes).

                                 Muy Bueno!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Belgian Waffles

Jim loves waffles so I bought a professional waffle maker for him for Christmas a few years ago.  No, I didn't make Belgian Waffles this morning, but served the frozen ones I made last weekend.  I'll give fair warning now that these are not easy to make.  As a matter of fact, they are a pain-in-the-rear, but completely worth the effort.  Plan on spending at least 2 hours preparing these and serve with only the best homemade blueberry syrup or pure maple syrup.  Personally, I like the Goodnight Waffles better than the Classic Belgian Waffles and you can find find that recipe in my blog as well.

Recipe makes 10 waffles

1 1/2 cup water
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3 cups sifted flour (a pain...but do it)
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, separated + 1 egg white (a pain...but do it)
1/3 cup sugar
8 TBSP. unsalted butter - melted and cooled (a pain...but do it)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Heat 1/2 the water to lukewarm (105-110 degrees).  Dissolve yeast in water with a pinch of sugar from the recipe; let stand 5 to 10 minutes, until mixture begins to foam.

Put the sifted flour and salt in a large bowl and stir to blend.  TO THE YEAST MIXTURE:  Add the egg yolks, one of the egg whites, and remaining sugar, stir to blend then add to this:  remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla; stir into the flour/salt mix until smooth.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold the egg whites gently into the batter.  Let the batter stand for 1 hour, stirring gently every 15 minutes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut


Is there anything better?  I created a fabulous and healthier way to make halibut than the way I typically love it (deep fried in a beer batter served with malt vinegar).  This halibut fillet is dipped in beaten egg and coated in a mixture of macadamia nuts and panko crumbs then baked 10 minutes on each side.

Skin your halibut and cut into serving size pieces.  Combine crushed macadamia nuts with about 1 cup panko Japanese bread crumbs.  Beat 2 eggs in a separate dish.

Dip halibut pieces in egg and then in nut/crumb mix.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, flip and bake an additional 10 minutes.

I served this with our own garden grown and processed veggies (yes, we were reorganizing the cabinets)....Kale and Beets and I made a lovely salad of romaine, avocado, cherry tomatoes and balsamic doesn't get any simpler than this...Alaskan peasant food.

Pop Over Pie

Putting on the Pop Over Pie!

I learned this trick as a little girl....a quick and easy-throw it all together- dessert.  I don't eat dessert.  But I made the "Girl on the Couch" a Cranberry Cottage Cake with Lemon Sauce and had left-over cranberries and thought, "What the devil am I going to do with these?  I hate throwing good food away."  Remembering favorite childhood desserts that are easy to throw together I naturally thought of Pop Over Pie which can be made from any fruit.  I only had about a cup of cranberries, so I perused the pantry shelves for other canned fruit to accompany and happened upon sliced peaches that have been begging to be opened for a few years.  Yeah, peaches and cranberries would make a beautiful marriage.  Here is my mom's recipe for Pop Over Pie.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
 3/4 cup milk (I use skim but use whatever you have
1 stick butter
Fruit of your choice (I have used peaches, apples, cherries, blueberries...anything goes here)

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and milk while you are melting the stick of butter in the oven in 9x9 baking dish.

When butter is melted, pour on top the batter, then spoon fruit over the top and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until done.  Especially wonderful with ice cream.