Sunday, February 28, 2010

Enchiladas and Rum Cocktails

This blog is a new project for me. I am a vegetarian who cooks at home a lot. Recently I have been feeling a little bored with my cooking. I have gotten stuck in a place where I make the same recipes every week. Wanting to change things up a little bit, I have decided to challenge myself to try a new recipe every week. My first new recipe is enchiladas. I have been wanting to try this for a long time. Yesterday, as we were walking past a Mexican restaurant, my significant other and I were enticed by the smell of enchilada sauce and decided it was time to try making our own enchiladas.
Here are the ingredients. I found a simple recipe on the enchilada sauce can and modified it a little to make it vegetarian.
The recipe called for one and a half cups of cooked ground beef. I modified by using one and a half cups of veggie crumbles from Morningstar Farms and a cup of black beans seasoned with McCormick taco seasoning and hot sauce.
The tortillas were warmed on a pan. The recipe called for shortening. I didn't have any, so I tried butter, which created a lot of smoke. I then tried oil. This cut down on the smoke and worked pretty well. The tongs worked great for turning the tortillas.
After heating the tortillas, I used the same pan to heat the enchilada sauce. Then the tortillas were dipped one by one in the sauce. Again the tongs worked great. After dipping, the tortillas were filled and rolled up. I made one group with cheese and one without, since I do not eat cheese, but the people I was eating with do :) Each tortilla was stuffed with a little of the crumble/bean mix, with a little cheese in the cheesy ones. The stuffed tortillas were rolled up and placed seam-down in a baking dish. The remaining sauce was ladled over the top of the enchiladas, and the cheesy ones were sprinkled with cheese. Then they were put in the oven, which was preheated to 350.
They stayed in the oven long enough to heat them through and melt the cheese. Basically I left them in there long enough for me to make the garnishes. Here's a picture of the baked enchiladas.
Here they are with all the garnishes. I made guacamole (mashed avocado, a little vegan mayonnaise, garlic, hot sauce, salt and pepper), salsa fresca, chopped lettuce, and chopped onion. As an afterthought I wish I had also had black olives and sour cream. Next time :) The enchiladas were delicious, and not one scrap of food was left over.
For drinks, we made our version of mojitos, for the first time. No recipe, no measuring.... just rum, mint, lime juice and a little club soda.
We also tried a rum martini, another new recipe. Rum and a little dry vermouth shaken with ice, then served straight up.
It was an excellent meal, and I can't wait to try my next new recipe.