We are all big fans of mexican food in my house, but we don’t really make it alot. My family just did not make or eat mexican food when I was growing up so the skills are not familiar to me. As an adult I would set out the fixins for tacos occasionally, and even venture to put together a pile of nachos, but that was about it.
After making the Black Bean chili, however, I still had some chipotles peppers in adobo sauce left so I decided to see what else I could make with them and came across a recipe for guacamole that used some chopped chipotles. Hurray!! I LOVE guacamole. I also found a recipe for a spinach ricotta enchilada that looked simple, so I called Vash and we started cooking.
Lets start with the ingredients. For the guacamole we used:
- Two ripe avocados
- a small lime
- 2 scallions
- 1 (or 2) plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 chipotle pepper (we used a half but could have used a whole one)
- 1 ear of fresh corn
We found this recipe on Bon Appetit.com which is so my go to resource when I have an ingredient and want to find recipes that incorporate it. I just did a search for “adobo” and six pages of recipes came up. Can’t beat that.
The ingredients for the enchiladas are:
- large flour tortillas – we used 9 but Vash made them pretty big.
- 2 boxes of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and with the extra fluid squeezed out.
- 2 cups of ricotta cheese
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 2 large cans of enchilada sauce – we used red
- a large bag (8 cups) of shredded mexican cheese blend – can use monterey jack if no mexican blend available.
- 2 small or one large onion – chopped
- 4-6 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons of butter for sauteeing onions and garlic.
I found this recipe on www.organicglory.wordpress.com . I liked the sound of it because I knew my family would like the spinach/cheese filling and I did not have to worry about the spicing – using the prepared enchilada sauce did it for me. I will say that in the future I will find a good recipe for a mole sauce because the canned sauce really did not do it for me – but it was our first foray into enchiladas so we played it safe. We doubled their recipe as I did not think it would have made enough to feed the entire family otherwise.
So here is our Vash with the ingredients (minus the cheese which we forgot to grab from the frig – sigh).
Then I started sauteeing the onions and garlic until they were soft and translucent . . .
Then we put the spinach into the pan with the onions and garlic. Some of the spinach was still a little frozen so we took the frozen part and put it right in the pan with the rest and kept turning it until it was all loose and then sauteed it about 5 minutes more.
Oh my – I need to clean that stove. Too much cooking and not enough looking obviously!! We are in the midst (again) of revamping the kitchen. I walked into the kitchen one day and my cabinet/workspace next to my stove was gone and the oven moved with an unfinished cabinet set above it and my work table in the center of the floor and I just look at Chip with the unspoken “What the heck did you do?” look on my face as he happily said “Look what I did!”. We will see what results. In the meantime, dinner has to be made.
Next Vash mixed the ricotta and the sour cream together . . .
We poured about 1/3 of a can of enchilada sauce into the bottom of each of two 13x9x2 glass baking dishes to cover the bottom.Then Vash started making the enchiladas. He laid out a tortilla and placed a strip of filling down the center.
The tortillas were 9 inch tortillas and the baking dish was 9 inches wide so we knew we could fit the enchiladas across the pan. Next we laid the enchiladas into the pan, with the folded side down . . .
In total, we made 9 enchiladas from this recipe – though they were big enough that a half of an enchilada was sufficient for me for the meal. Cooked they tasted like a mildly spicy manicotti. The tortilla lost its bready texture and the elasticity you get in noodles was more noticeable. Interesting. I looked at Chip and said “Mexican Manicotti” and he agreed.
While the enchiladas were baking we put together the guacamole. I cut, pitted and peeled the avocados which Vash then mashed with the juice we squeezed from half of the lime.
I used our cool-o neat-o corn cutter and cut the kernals off of an ear of corn.
I also seeded and diced the plum tomato (we used one but could have used two) and chopped the two scallions (just the white and light green portions) and Vash mixed them all in together with the avocado.
and then he mixed it into the avocado mix . . .
Final comments on the meal. The guacamole was fairly bland. I could have gone with the full chipotle as the creaminess of the sour cream and avocado absorbed almost all of the spice. Now, I like bland in a guacamole because I adore the taste of avocado, and no one in the family complained about the taste, but for a real guacamole it should be spicier.
I would definitely find a recipe to make my own sauce for the enchiladas. Giving over control of the part of the recipe that is sooooo essential to the overall taste of your meal is just not something I want to do. With that said, if you have a canned or bottled enchilada sauce that you love, then it certainly makes this recipe move much quicker and makes it more practical for a weeknight dinner. I did not like the spicing in this sauce so it took alot of the love away from the overall meal.
Sorry to any of you who checked for the blog over the last two days. There was a fire across the river from us on Wednesday that burned the fibers that carry our cable/internet service to us and we did not get our internet back until late in the day. As my post for Wednesday was just about mordanting – which I had covered some in prior posts – I just let it go. As for yesterday’s Hawk Studio blog, Chip has been feeling under the weather all week so I gave him the week off. His head is still pretty foggy and I don’t think he even knew it was Thursday. We have had the boys home all week from school too which has changed everyone’s routines.
I hope you have a great weekend. We actually received a small layer of snow overnight (first of the month!) which is melting now under the rain – but it was nice to see the white coating on the trees when we got up this morning. Wishing you lovely sightings of nature in your day too.