Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Mexican Enchiladas

This recipe comes from Saveur. I had never made enchiladas from scratch before and I like this recipe. It does seem a bit involved, but it was worth it. Make sure to use New Mexico red chiles - the matured dried green chiles (hatch) otherwise the sauce will get too spicy.

8 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 oz. Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra, roughly chopped
1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 saltine crackers or 2 1⁄2 tbsp. bread crumbs (use gluten free if desired)
1 clove garlic
1 whole clove
1⁄2 cup plus 1 tbsp. canola oil
Kosher salt, to taste
2 cups queso añejo, grated, plus more to garnish 1⁄2 small yellow onion, minced
12 corn tortillas

Make the red chile sauce: Heat chiles in a 12″ skillet over high heat, and cook, turning as needed, until toasted, about 5 minutes; transfer chiles to a blender with chocolate, oregano, cinnamon, crackers, garlic, clove, and 1 1⁄2 cups boiling water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Puree until smooth, and then pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, and add chile sauce; cook, stirring often, until reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas, combine the queso añejo and onion in a small bowl and set aside. Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°.

Using tongs, grasp all the tortillas in a stack and submerge in oil, swirling in oil until slightly fried and pliable, about 15 seconds. (The surface of the tortillas should puff up in tiny pockets in several places.) Remove from oil and set aside on a plate to cool. (Alternatively, you may wrap the tortillas in a damp towel towel and briefly microwave to steam.)

Dip each tortilla in chile sauce until completely coated. Transfer to a plate and top with 3 tbsp. cheese filling; roll up like a cigar and sprinkle with more cheese. Serve immediately with rice and beans.

Date Feta Cabbage Salad

This recipe comes from I have mixed feelings about this salad. I liked it and also didn't like it. I think there was not enough feta cheese for my taste and I couldn't decide if I wanted more or fewer dates. I think I might need to make this salad a couple more times to get the right feel.

If you don’t like your cabbage too crunchy, dressing it as directed and letting it rest in the salad bowl for a while before adding the other ingredients will soften and wilt it a bit.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side

1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds

Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoon of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Do this a few times, to make sure the base is well seasoned because it will be hard to do later.

Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.

Do ahead: The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge. Mine is going strong on the second day. You can also prepare the parts separately (feta, chopped dates, sliced cabbage) to assemble right before serving, if you’re planning ahead for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.

Brothy Beans

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit. I wanted to like this recipe. I really did. It just seems a little dull or boring or that it lacks something but I am not sure what that is. Also, be careful with the salt. I followed the recipe and started with 2 T of salt and that seemed to be a little much.


1 pound dried gigante, baby lima, or cannellini beans, or chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, drained
1 onion, halved
2 carrots, peeled, halved crosswise
2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Olive oil (for drizzling)

Place beans, onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot and add cold water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer very gently until beans are cooked almost all the way through, about 1½ hours. Season with salt and continue to cook, adding more water if needed to keep beans submerged, until tender (outside skin should still be intact), 45–60 minutes. Discard onion, carrots, and celery.

Transfer beans and broth to a serving dish or a large bowl; season very generously with salt (start with 2 Tbsp.) and pepper and drizzle with oil. 

Do Ahead: Beans can be cooked and seasoned 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat gently before serving.

Toasted Garlic Beef Stock

This recipe is from Camille Becerra in Bon Appetit. This is a great stock. It smells fabulous, looks gorgeous and tastes great. Even though Camille says that it's the roasted bones, I think the secret to the color is the tomato paste.



4 pounds beef bones
½ bunch celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 medium carrots, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves thinly sliced
1 bunch herb stems (such as parsley, cilantro, and/or thyme)
4 bay leaves
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds


Preheat oven to 450°. Roast bones on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet 30 minutes. Arrange celery, onion, and carrots on sheet; roast 10 minutes. Spread tomato paste over bones and vegetables and roast 5 minutes more; let cool.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium and cook garlic, shaking pan occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; set aside garlic. Set aside oil for Ditalini Risotto and other uses.

Transfer bones and vegetables to a large pot; pour in cold water to cover. Add herb stems, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and reserved garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming fat and foam from surface, until caramel colored and flavorful, about 3 hours. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.

Do Ahead: Stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

Rustic Canyon Family Meal Fried Chicken

This recipe comes from Jeremy Fox in Bon Appetit. I like fried chicken and my wife adores fried chicken. This passed the test. Make sure to let the chicken cook enough in the fryer and then in the oven to cook through all the way. If the temperature of the oil drops the thicker/larger breast pieces may not get done all the way.



1 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
½ cup chopped peeled ginger
½ cup garlic cloves (20–25), smashed, peeled
1 3½–4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 3 cups)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

Combine mirin, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag and add chicken. Seal bag, turn to coat, and chill 2–12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Pour oil into a large cast-iron skillet to come 1" up sides. Heat over medium-high until an instant-read thermometer registers 350°.

Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off; season all over with salt and pepper. Combine flour, 2 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper in a shallow bowl or large resealable plastic bag; toss chicken in flour mixture to coat.

Working with 5 pieces of chicken at a time, remove chicken from flour, shaking off excess, and fry, turning, until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes. Lay chicken skin side up on a wire rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Season with salt.

Spring Beef Stew

This recipe comes from the Market Math cookbook by Food and Wine. It's a very straightforward stew which means that you must get the best ingredients possible. The dill is a welcome surprise and brightens up the flavors. Overall, this is a solid recipe.

Active: 30 min
Total: 2hr
Serves 4-6

2 T olive oil
2 lbs beef chuck cut into ~ 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 qt chicken stock
6 shallots halved
½ lb carrots cut into 2 inch lengths
1 ½ c frozen peas
5 oz spinach
2 T chopped dill

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add it to the saucepan in a single layer. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, the shallots and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for about 1 ½ hours.

Add the carrots and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Add the peas, spinach and dill and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Ladle the stew into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Herbed Chickpeas

This recipe comes from Alison Roman in Bon Appetit. This is a winner. It's easy and flavorful and versatile. I like to add a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes and let them cook down with the beans.



2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry
4 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2½ cups chopped mixed tender herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, chives, and/or basil)


Place chickpeas in a large skillet or Dutch oven and add garlic and oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are crisped and some have split open (these will be the most delicious ones), 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in herbs.