Cheese and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

Ok, so my taste buds are like my taste in music.  Pathetic.  They are like the Chris Kirkpatrick of taste buds.  (100 points if you get that reference!!)

Apparently, though, my husband, who claims to have good taste in music has wimpy taste buds, too.  So, there’s that.  A plus on my side.

My poor two year old cried and cried, “It’s too spicy!”  Sorry, Sam.

The funny side to the story is, however, they were SO spicy, but we couldn’t stop eating them.  They were that good.  We were shoving milk and bread in to our mouths after every bite, trying desperately to quench the burn, but we kept eating.  Even getting seconds!!

The moral of the story is, I will be making these again…just maybe without the jalapenos.  

Cheese and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

from Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen–BUY THIS COOKBOOK!! SO GOOD!!

Quick Red Chile Sauce

1 Tb canola or corn oil

1 small onion

4 md garlic cloves, minced

1 lg chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, with 1 Tb sauce

2 Tb chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 C canned tomato sauce

3/4 C water

1 tb fresh lime juice


Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 min.  Add the garlic, chipotle, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano and cook until very fragrant.  Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste.  The sauce can be cooled and refrigerated in an air tight container for a day or two.

Filling and Tortillas

1 Tb Canola or Corn oil

1 lb onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

2 oz drained pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (Omit if you are lame like me)

1/3 C chopped cilantro (fresh)

10 6-inch corn tortillas

Nonstick vegetable spray

Heat the oil in a medium skillet, over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add the onions, sugar, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned deeply and very soft, about 15 minutes.  Scrape the onions into a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.  Add 1 1/2 C of cheese, the pickled jalapenos, and cilantro to the bowl with the onions and toss to combine.

Move the oven racks to the lower-middle and upper-middle positions and heat the oven to 300 degrees.  Spread half of the chile sauce evenly across the bottom of a 13-by-9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Divide the tortillas among two large rimmed baking sheets and generously spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray.  Bake the tortillas for 3 minutes, or until pliable enough to roll easily.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees.  

Doing one tortilla at a time, spoon about 1/4 C of filling across the center of the tortilla and then gently roll the tortilla tightly.  Put seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Spoon sauce remaining sauce over tortillas, making sure each tortilla is coated completely.  Then sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are hot, about 20 minutes.  



Spinach Lasagna

If someone ever found me crouched in my closet with a fork, holding a 13×9 pan of something.  It would be this.  

Friends of ours just had the second most beautiful baby boy in the world, Owen.  (And he’s only second because I am biased and mine would be first) This is hardly fair because they already have the cutest little girl in the world, seriously.

 To give them a break, we made them this for dinner.  I am very jealous though because I want it all to myself.  Being the middle child, however, I’ve perfected the art of sharing, and will just have to make this again, some other time.  Like, tomorrow.

I wonder if the Duggar’s neighbor’s make them a meal every time they have a baby, or if they, like the rest of us, have gotten tired of their baby making.  Thoughts?

Spinach Lasagna from Cook’s Illustrated

1 tablespoon table salt
20 ounces curly spinach (2 bags), stemmed and rinsed

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter for baking dish
5 large shallots , minced (about 1 cup)
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (generous 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Cheeses and Pasta
8 ounces whole milk cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 box
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
8 ounces Italian fontina cheese , shredded (about 2 cups)

1. For the spinach: Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat; add salt and spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted, about 5 seconds. Using skimmer or fine-mesh strainer, transfer spinach to ice water and let stand until completely cool, about 1 minute, then drain spinach and transfer to clean kitchen towel. Wrap towel tightly around spinach to form ball and wring until dry. Chop spinach medium and set aside.

2. For the bechamel: Melt 5 tablespoons butter until foaming in medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 minutes. Do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisk in bay leaves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in Parmesan and discard bay leaves. Transfer sauce to bowl, press plastic wrap directly against surface, and set aside.

3. For the cheeses, pasta, and assembly: Blend cottage cheese, egg, and salt in food processor or blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place noodles in 13- by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish and cover with hot tap water; let soak 5 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on kitchen towel. Wipe baking dish dry and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Use rubber spatula to distribute 1/2 cup bechamel in bottom of baking dish; position 3 noodles on top of sauce. Stir spinach into remaining bechamel in bowl, mixing well to break up clumps of spinach (you should have about 4 cups spinach/bechamel mixture). Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with Parmesan, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with 1 cup fontina, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, followed by cottage cheese mixture. Finish with 3 noodles, remaining cup spinach mixture, and remaining cup fontina. Lightly spray large sheet foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes, then remove foil. Remove lasagna and adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Broil lasagna until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.


Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Apples

This burger is everything that’s right with the world.  Really, there is nothing else to say on the matter.  Well, you could add bacon…then, there’d be absolutely nothing more.

What is your favorite cheese to put on a burger?  Or are you a no-cheese-er?

I linked this recipe up at Jane Deere’s blog.  You should TOTALLY check it out.  Great Blog!

Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Apples

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb butter

2 onions, sliced

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin

2 Tb apple cider vinegar

Salt and Pepper

1 lb ground chicken

2 TB green onions, chopped

3/4 C cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 C cooked brown rice (you can use bread crumbs)

2 TB maple syrup

1 egg 

Salt and Pepper

1/4 C Greek Yogurt

2 TB Maple Syrup

1 Tb Dijon Mustard

Blue cheese or Cheddar, the debate continues

6 hamburger buns, split

In a saute pan, add oil and butter, and heat until butter melts.  Add onions and apples.  Cook covered for 10 minutes (medium low heat) Remove lid, and cook uncovered for 25 minutes or until onions are caramelized and golden brown.  Add the vinegar, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, until vinegar almost disappears, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, add chicken, cheddar cheese, green onions, brown rice, egg, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  Mix until well blended.  Shape into 4-6 patties.  You can cook in two ways: 1.) on the grill.  This is the healthier option, but the chicken will slightly dry out.  2) Add vegetable oil to the saute pan, and heat.  Add patties, cook until slightly browned on both sides (about 5 minutes per side).  This method will result in a juicier burger, since much of the fat is trapped in the burger.  I’d suggest this way, if you have a meatosaurus at home.  They might not even be able to tell the difference between chicken and beef!

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, maple syrup, and dijon mustard.  

To assemble, spread the yogurt mix on one half of the bun. Top with burger, then cheese, followed by the onions.  It would truly be heavenly with bacon.  I’m just saying.


Meatless Monday!

Tostadas with Lentils and Fresh Salsa

It’s Monday.  So throw out the chicken and beef and opt for some meatless protein.  Did you know Lentils contain 25 g of protein per 100 g of Lentils!  That’s crazy.  Tony Horton would be proud!

Tostadas with Lentils and Fresh Salsa

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup salsa

12 corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups spinach

1 cup chopped fresh tomato

1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

6 tablespoons fat free sour cream

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.

Add oil to frying pan.  Briefly place each corn tortilla in the oil, one at a time.  Place on towel to soak up oil.  When cooled, top with spinach, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream.