Thursday, October 25, 2012

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Enchilada Stacks

Back when I first learned how to make tamales, I bought a bag of masa. After using a few cups to make the tamales, I had a giant bag left over, and no idea what to do with it. That was when I discovered that corn tortillas are made with masa. It was one of those "wow, ash...." moments I'd rather not admit happened. My bag of masa was about $3, and could make hundreds of fresh tortillas, so I did a little cost analysis and figured that it was no longer worth it to spend $1 on a bag of corn tortillas, I just HAD to buy a tortilla press and make them from now on. I also had another ulterior motive, my husband doesn't love corn tortillas, but tolerates them. I think they're so much better than flour, they have more substance to them, and hold up much better when baked. So now there is no reason to buy flour tortillas when we have pounds of masa on hand. 

When I saw this recipe on Bridget's blog, I immediately starred it for future dinner use. But as I do with any enchilada recipe these days, I knew I'd be converting it to a stack. Our tortillas press makes tiny little tortillas, and after we are close to perfecting them, but not just yet so sometimes they're not malleable enough for rolling. Rather than end up crying over split enchilada rolls, I make stacks. Some things just aren't worth fighting!

These stacks were absolutely delicious. Roasting the zucchini ahead of time ensures a non-watery end product, the goat cheese is creamy and cuts some of the heat and spice from the sauce. And no dinner is complete these days without a CSA veggie, so I used a bunch of chopped cilantro in place of the avocado Bridget served her enchiladas with. I also used a mole sauce rather than an enchilada sauce, you can find the enchilada sauce at Briget's blog, or the mole sauce here, from my blog (it's a bit more labor intensive, but I had been wanting to make a big batch anyway).

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Enchilada Stacks

3 zucchini, cut into 1/4" dice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. cooked black beans (I cook dried black beans, you can use canned)
5 oz. goat cheese, divided
12 corn tortillas 

Sauce recipes:

Heat oven to 450*
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss zucchini, onion, olive oil, zest and salt.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350*
Combine zucchini, black beans and 4 oz. goat cheese in a mixing bowl, carefully mix.
Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Layer in tortillas, filling and sauce.
Crumble remaining goat cheese on the top, bake for 20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.
Serve with chopped cilantro.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chard, Sweet Potato and White Bean Gratin

Have you ever felt like you've met your food soul mate? Someone eats all of the same things as you, and whose preferences and favorites are also yours? I swear, whenever I read Joanne's blog, whether it be a dinner entree, a dessert, baked good, or mention of a favorite ingredient, I'm like, yes!! Me too!! Sometimes I wish we were neighbors so we could take turns cooking for each other.... or just have her cook for me every night!

So with that said, my google reader is full of starred posts from Joanne. I've had this gratin in my 'to make' list for the longest time (a year, in fact!), and after receiving a bunch of kale and a bunch of Swiss chard last week in my CSA box, it seemed like the perfect time to make this! I have a baby sweet potato lover, so she was excited about this dish. It was warm, comforting, and hearty, yet relatively healthy.

Chard, White Bean and Sweet Potato Gratin

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of swiss chard
1 tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic
2 c. 2% milk
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 large sweet potato
2 cups cooked white beans (I cook dried, you can use 1 15 oz. can, rinsed)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 c. shredded Gruyere

Preheat oven to 400* 
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Tear kale and swiss chard from the stem and chop leaves in 1/2" ribbons.
Add to skillet, sprinkle with kosher salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted and there is no moisture left in pan, remove skillet from heat and set aside.
Add butter to a saute pan, add onion and garlic, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened.
Pour milk into a measuring cup, add cornstarch and whisk to form a slurry, pour into onions and garlic.
Whisk occasionally, and bring to a simmer, cook until thickened, add fresh grated nutmeg and half of the cheese, whisk to melt and combine, turn heat off. 
Butter a baking dish, add a layer of sweet potatoes, a layer of beans, a layer of swiss chard, and a layer of the sauce.
Continue with layers as desired (I made 3 layers), cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 more minutes, until golden on top.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Deep Dish Apple Bourbon Streusel Pie

Last weekend I invited some friends over for dinner, but they weren't just any friends. They were the one and only couple I've ever set up on a blind date, and they're still together 18 months later! I'm really proud, obviously. They like to cook, so during the week before dinner, we threw around ideas and had a few dishes we each could make. We ended up with quite an eclectic menu, but it was all so delicious. 

For dessert, I went to the Williams-Sonoma website for some ideas, and the recipe on the front of the 'desserts' tab looked perfect. This pie is meant to feed a crowd, but it was just the four of us, so I cut the recipe in half. I also added some old fashioned oats to the crumbly topping because I think all streusel toppings need it! The only difficult part of making this pie was choosing a bourbon from my husbands collection. For the record, I went with Maker's Mark because he has 2 bottles, and wouldn't miss a few tablespoons! 

Deep-Dish Apple Bourbon Streusel Pie
just slightly adapted from this Williams-Sonoma recipe

1 3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. butter, very cold (or frozen)
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. ice water

3 lbs. baking apples (I used 1.5 lbs. Golden Delicious, 1.5 lbs. Gala)
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp. bourbon

1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4  c. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped pecans
4 tbsp. very cold butter (or frozen)

To make dough:
Add flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl.
Using a box grater, grate butter into the flour mixture, toss with a fork to distribute.
Add egg yolk and 1 tbsp. water, toss dough with a fork, when it begins to come together, quickly mix with fingertips, be careful to keep butter pieces in tact. 
Add water by the tbsp. to moisten flour just until dough comes together.
Form into a disc and wrap in saran wrap.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to a day in advance.

Prepare filling:
Add all ingredients except apples to a large mixing bowl.
Peel apples, core and slice into 1/4" slices.
Toss apples with sugar mixture, coat pieces evenly.

Prepare streusel:
Add all ingredients except butter and nuts to a mixing bowl.
Grate butter into streusel, use a fork to distribute evenly.
Add nuts, stir with a fork.
Place streusel in the refrigerator while preparing pie.

Preheat oven to 350*
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into shape of your baking dish (I used a deep pie dish).
Place pie crust into baking dish, flute edges by pinching.
Pour apple mixture into pie crust, scrape out all of the syrup and drizzle over apples evenly. 
Crumble streusel mixture on top.
Place pie in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Check to see if top has browned too much, if so, cover with aluminum foil.
When crust is golden, top is browned and apples ooze up the sides, remove from the oven (timing depends on shape of your baking dish)
Cool and serve warm to room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

I'm probably breaking some sort of rule by posting a fall-ish recipe in August, but isn't it what bloggers do? Or better yet, isn't it what Floridians do? By August, I am so sick of the 90*+ days that all I can do is dream of cool fall days back in the midwest with Football, crisp apples, and my favorite sweater...

I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes and black beans, but it can get awfully starchy. Butternut squash and pumpkin make nice substitutes while lowering the carb and calorie count of a dish. This chili combines a few of the best late summer veggies with the best fall has to offer, pumpkin and pumpkin beer!

As you northerners start to feel fall creeping in, enjoy this dish while I stubbornly sweat in eternal summer eating my chili!

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili
adapted from Crumb blog

2 tbsp. EVOO
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
8 oz. pumpkin beer, such as Harvest Moon
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 15 oz. can solid packed pumpkin
1 28 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 c. vegetable stock
2 beans (canned or dried and cooked)
1 c. frozen corn kernels

Heat a soup pot over medium-low, add EVOO and bring to temperature.
Chop and add onions, garlic and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper. 
When veggies have softened, add spices, pour in beer and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up bits with a wooden spoon. 
Turn heat to high, add maple syrup, pumpkin, tomatoes and stock.
Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and add black beans and corn.
Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings.
Top with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, or any of your favorite chili toppings.