Recently, my friend gave me beautiful cast iron baking dishes. I knew that I wanted to make enchiladas in them right away! Our Cinco de Mayo feast was the perfect occasion. Our meal also included chips and guacamole, of course. 😉
The recipe for these hearty, vegetarian enchiladas was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I modified the proportions and method. We ate them garnished with sour cream, red onion, avocado, and cilantro with refried beans and rice on the side. We topped off our festive meal with a Tres Leches Cake. Perfect.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (I used a food processor)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream, plus more for serving, optional
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely grated mild Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
10 to 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s corn & wheat tortillas)
fresh cilantro leaves and stems, for serving
sliced avocado, for serving, optional
diced white or red onion, for serving, optional
rice and refried beans, for serving, optional
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. (I used the convection setting.)
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onions and chopped poblano chile; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and charred in spots, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the cumin and minced garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Transfer half the vegetable mixture to a blender; add the tomatoes, chili powder and chipotle chile. (I used a Vitamix.) Blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If your blender isn’t particularly strong and the sauce looks more like a chunky purée, add 1/4 cup sour cream and blend again until smooth.)(I omitted the sour cream in the sauce.)
Add the black beans and 1/2 cup cheese to the remaining vegetables in the skillet and stir to combine. Some canned beans are already salted, so taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Place the tortillas in a tortilla warmer (or on a plate) covered with a damp paper towel. Cover and microwave for 1 minute, or until warm and pliable.
If using individual dishes, spread a few spoonfuls of sauce over the bottom of each dish. (I used 5 dishes.) Alternatively, pour enough enchilada sauce to lightly coat the base of a medium casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread it to cover the bottom of the dish(es).
Line up the filling, tortillas and baking dish in a row. Place a heaping 1/4 cup of the bean mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place in the casserole dish(es), seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. (I placed 2 enchiladas per individual dish.)
Spoon or pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese, to taste. (I used 1/2 cup cheese per dish.)
Place the baking dish(es) on a rimmed baking sheet and tent with foil. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to bake until the cheese has melted and has browned in spots, about 10 additional minutes.
Top with sour cream, avocado slices, diced onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Note: The sauce and the black bean mixture (without the cheese) can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The spice level in the sauce can be easily modified by adjusting the amount of chili powder.
Tacos are always a welcome dinner in my house. New varieties are even more welcome. 🙂
These chicken tacos were a mildly sweet from the fresh orange juice. Because the seeds are removed from the chilies, the finished dish was not spicy at all. They were really delicious with all of the assorted toppings.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. We ate the tacos with refried beans, brown Basmati rice, and street corn on the side. Fresh and fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 ounce guajillo chilies (5 medium), stemmed, seeded and torn or cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 4 large oranges)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 T white vinegar
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Mexican oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (I used 9 thighs, about 2 1/2 pounds)
warm tortillas, for serving (I used Trader Joe’s corn-wheat tortillas)
diced white onion, for serving
sliced radishes, for serving
cilantro leaves, for serving
crumbled queso fresco, feta, or shredded Mexican cheese blend, for serving
sour cream, for serving
rice and refried beans, for serving, optional
Squeeze the orange juice into a liquid measuring cup.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, toast the chile pieces, pressing with a wide metal spatula and flipping halfway through, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes total. (I used a 12-inch stainless steel all-in-one pan.)
Transfer to a small bowl and pour in the juice; press on the chilies to submerge. Let stand until the chilies have softened, about 10 minutes. Set the skillet aside. (I placed the chilies in the liquid measuring cup with the freshly squeezed orange juice.)
In a blender, combine the chilies and juice, garlic, vinegar, coriander, honey, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. (I used a Vitamix.)
Pour the puree into the reserved skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high.
Trim the chicken thighs of any excess fat to prevent the finished dish from becoming greasy.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce, cover and cook over medium-low, stirring and flipping the chicken halfway through, until tender and opaque when cut into with a paring knife, about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside until cool enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces.
While the chicken cools, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Warm the tortillas. (I microwave them in a tortilla warmer with a damp towel for about 1 minute.)
Serve the shredded chicken with warm tortillas and assorted toppings, as desired.
This was a crowd-pleasing dish to make with my beautiful CSA Napa cabbage. As suggested in the original recipe, we ate it in flour tortillas but it would also be delicious served over rice. It was reminiscent of one of our family favorites, Thai One-Pot.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I modified the proportions, used scallions instead of chives, and wilted all of the Napa cabbage.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
16 to 18 ounces hot Italian sausages, casings removed (I used 6 sausages)
2 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 to 10 cups very thinly sliced Napa cabbage, divided (I used 1/2 of a large head)
2 to 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions or chives
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
8 large flour tortillas or mu-shu wraps, warmed (I used Trader Joe’s handmade flour tortillas)
hoisin sauce and Sriracha, for serving, as desired
Using your hands or a wooden spoon, work ginger and garlic into sausage in a medium bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (I used a 14″ stainless skillet), over medium-high and cook sausage mixture, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, crisp, and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to a clean bowl.
Increase heat to high and cook mushrooms in the fat in the skillet, tossing often, until browned and starting to release their juices, about 4 minutes (if skillet looks dry at any point, add a bit more oil).
Add half of cabbage and cook, tossing often, until cabbage is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. (I incorporated all of the cabbage, a handful at a time.)
Drizzle in vinegar and soy sauce and cook, tossing, until liquid is mostly reduced and skillet is dry in spots, about 2 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and incorporate sausage and remaining cabbage (if reserved) into stir-fry.
Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions/chives and sesame seeds.
Serve stir-fry with tortillas, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha for making individual wraps.
Why have I never thought of making a BLT taco before? Genius.
This quick and delicious weeknight dinner recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I cooked the bacon at a lower temperature, increasing the cooking time. I think that this method isn’t as messy. 🙂 I added avocado slices, used corn-flour hybrid tortillas, a Serrano instead of jalapeño chile, increased the lime juice, and used chipotle Tabasco in the mayonnaise. I also warmed the tortillas with steam in the microwave.
Yield: Serves 4
1pound thick-cut bacon, about 10 slices
1pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered (mixed colors are pretty here)
1small Serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded or not, finely chopped
2-3T cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ½teaspoons Cholula or other hot sauce, or to taste, plus more for serving (I used Chipotle Tabasco)
8(6-inch) corn or flour tortillas (I used corn-flour hybrid tortillas)
Romaine lettuce leaves, sliced into bite-size pieces
1avocado, sliced into eighths
refried beans and rice, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Lay bacon in an even layer in 2 9-13″ glass pyrex dishes or on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates and let cool. (Keep rendered fat for another use.)
While bacon is cooking, toss together tomatoes, chopped chile, cilantro, lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, if needed.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and hot sauce.
Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or medium bowl. Top with a damp paper towel and seal with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute to warm. (Alternatively, the tortillas can be warmed on the stove top: Lay a clean kitchen towel in a medium bowl. Using the open flame from a stovetop gas burner (or in a skillet placed on an electric burner), warm and lightly char tortillas, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Transfer warmed tortillas to a towel-lined bowl, and cover with towel to keep warm while you finish remaining tortillas.)
Serve, letting people make their own tacos by layering bacon, salsa, lettuce, spicy mayonnaise and avocado, on tortillas. Top with more hot sauce, if desired.
We are counting down the days until the end of my son’s elementary school career. 😦 His 6th grade Graduation- a.k.a. “Moving Up” ceremony- is next Tuesday. So… it’s the perfect time to share this recipe for a popular Middle-School lunch! I’m getting him ready for his next chapter. ❤
The recipe for these “Middle-School ‘Gringo’ Tacos” was featured in a New York Times article titled “The Case for Hard Shell Tacos,” contributed by Sam Sifton. They were a wonderful upgrade from a taco kit. 🙂 I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, decreased the chile powder and red pepper flakes, and doubled the garlic. We topped them with grated cheeses, sour cream, guacamole, shredded iceberg lettuce, and chopped grape tomatoes. I served them with refried beans on the side as well. Great.
Of course, my kids absolutely loved them! Then they informed me that their school lunch tacos are served in soft tortillas. Funny. Maybe that’s an elementary school thing? We’ll see! 😉
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Time: 30 minutes
For the Meat Filling:
2tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, peanut or grapeseed
1medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2pounds ground beef or ground turkey
1-2tablespoons chile powder
1tablespoon ground cumin
2teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2teaspoons smoked paprika (or substitute hot or sweet paprika)
1/2 to 1teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1cup chicken stock or beef broth, low-sodium if store-bought
12-18 hard taco shells
refried beans, optional
grated cheese (I used both cheddar and Monterey Jack)
shredded lettuce or cabbage
Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the onion, and cook until softened and starting to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so to soften, and then the ground meat. Cook until it starts to brown, stirring and chopping with a spoon to break up the meat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off excess fat, leaving only a tablespoon or two in the pan.
Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cornstarch, paprika and red-pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
Add the stock or broth, stir, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
As sauce cooks, place taco shells (on a taco rack, if possible) on a sheet pan, and toast in oven until they are crisp and smell nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve a few tablespoons of meat in each taco, along with whatever toppings you like.
I have received an exorbitant amount of Swiss chard in my CSA box so far this season. It’s a good thing that I absolutely love it! and… Who doesn’t love chard when it’s combined with fabulous cheese?!?!
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Gabriela Camara. I have made these quesadillas a couple of times with my CSA greens, using both raw milk extra (extra) sharp yellow cheddar (from Trader Joe’s) as well as Cabot extra sharp 3-year aged white cheddar. I have also used combination of greens including Swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, as well as baby bok choy.
I adapted the recipe by increasing the garlic as well as using a red onion, whole wheat flour tortillas, and chipotle salsa, avocados, fresh lime, and sour cream, for serving. I also microwaved the assembled quesadillas for a quick dinner! We ate them with refried beans on the side. Delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 for dinner or up to 8 as an appetizer
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
½ medium white or red onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
10 ounces Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, or a combination of greens including beet, turnip, or bok choy, chopped
I did it! I have been talking about making homemade tortillas for a while. I have read several encouraging posts making the process sound so simple, but an article about tacos in the New York Times pushed me to finally do it. For a taco lover, this article is heaven! I want to try every recipe. 🙂 I made these tortillas to accompany Black Bean and Roasted Poblano Tacos. The tortillas were delicious and made the tacos much more special.
I hesitated to make tortillas because I was apprehensive about pressing the dough. It was so easy! I shouldn’t have worried. The secret was to line the tortilla press with a ziplock bag. What did surprise me was how time-consuming it was to cook the tortillas- using two skillets expedited this process somewhat. I kept them warm, wrapped in a kitchen towel, in my new tortilla warmer. 🙂 Yay! This recipe was adapted from Gran Cocina Latina by Maricel Presilla, via the New York Times. I may add a pinch of salt to the dough next time.
Total Time: About 1 hour
Yield: 15 tortillas
12 ounces nixtamalized corn flour, like Maseca
coarse salt, to taste, optional (I used 1/2 tsp)
Cut 2 10-inch squares of thick plastic from a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag and set aside to line an 8-inch tortilla press.
Place the corn flour in a large bowl. Slowly add 2 1/4 cups hot tap water, kneading it in with your fingers. Once all the water has been added, knead until dough is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. The masa should be very soft but not sticky, about the consistency of Play-Doh. If it is too dry, work in more water, 2 tablespoons at a time. If it is too wet, continue kneading until it dries out a bit or knead in additional corn flour. Masa dries out very quickly, so once it is at the right consistency, keep it covered with a damp kitchen towel.
Heat a pancake griddle or a heavy nonstick or cast-iron skillet (or 2) over medium heat. The goal is a steady medium-low heat.
Pinch off about 2 ounces masa and roll into a ball about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Flatten lightly between your palms to make a 2 1/2-inch round. Place one sheet of plastic on the bottom of the open tortilla press and place the dough in the center. Cover with the other sheet of plastic and press the lever gently but firmly to flatten the dough. Don’t crank the lever down as hard as you can because the tortilla will be too thin.
Flip the tortilla (still in the plastic) and press lightly again into an even 6- to 6 1/2-inch round. Place the tortilla (still in the plastic) in your left palm. Use your other hand to peel off the plastic, then invert the tortilla onto your right palm and peel off the other plastic. Gently release the tortilla onto the cooking surface.
Watching carefully, cook just until one of the edges begins to appear dry, 15 to 25 seconds. (If you overcook the tortilla at this step, it will not cook properly.) Flip the tortilla and cook on the second side just until it is speckled with brown spots, 1 to 2 minutes, rotating it once. Flip the tortilla back to the first side. The tortilla might begin to puff at this stage. When it is just beginning to brown on the bottom, flip again, back to the second side, and move to a cooler part of the cooking surface, toward an edge. Let the tortilla finish cooking there until most of it appears translucent when held up to the light, 30 to 60 seconds
Stack cooked tortillas in a basket lined with a large napkin that you can fold over the top, which will let them continue steaming, keeping them soft and pliable. If not using immediately, store cooked tortillas in the refrigerator, well wrapped. To reheat, place directly on a hot surface or wrap in a damp towel and heat in the microwave for a few seconds.