Monday, October 3, 2005

Last night's Mexican inspired meal.

Last night was fun. I hinted at it in my previous post, but I just didn't have time to post more last night. Poor Zander was needing his Mommy after spending the day playing really hard.

Anyway, last night I made an empty-the-fridge sort of Mexican meal, and it was awesome! I even had leftovers for lunch today- and I'm not a leftover type of girl. I started with a Double Meat and Roasted Red Pepper Enchilada. I can't say that I have exact ingredient amounts here, but I can give a general guidline, and you can adjust accordingly to your tastes.

I started with half a leftover pork roast, and half of a leftover chuck roast. I used a fork to shred up the meat on both and tossed them in a bowl. Then I slowly carmalized 4 medium onions, and added all but about 2 large spoonfuls to the meat. In goes about 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper. Then I stirred in about 3/4 cup of sour cream and spices. The spices were cumin, chipotle chile powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Finally, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese completed my filling. The sauce I'm almost embarrassed to share- it was super simple. I took one large can of whole tomatoes and crushed the tomatoes with my hands. Next I added the remaining carmalized onions and turned the heat on medium low. I let this stew for about 15 minutes, drawing out the sweetness from the onions into the tomatoes. Then I added a pint and a half of homemade salsa. I let this simmer together for about 5 more minutes before attacking the pot with my immersion blender. A check for seasoning and a pinch of salt, I had enchilada sauce, that was awesome! I rolled up the enchiladas in flour tortillas, topped with extra shredded cheese, and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes. Mmmm were they good!

Next I made a new salad: Chickpea, Tomato and Pickled Red Onion Salad. This recipe comes from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore. While I enjoyed the salad, I don't know that the salad itself was anything to write home about. However, the pickled red onions themselves were a star. I think they will make a great condiment for just about anything, and you could easily substitute a different herb for the mexican oregano. Here is the recipe for the pickled onion, followed by the recipe for the salad.

Pickled Red Onions

3 TBS olive oil
1 large red onion, quarted lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano (Mexican variety preferred), crumbled
1 1/2 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the onion is barely tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Serve the onions at room temereature, or sizzle the onions briefly in a hot skillet just before serving.
Makes about 1 cup.

Chickpea, Tomato, and Red Onion Salad

1 red onion, pickled
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 TBS olive oil
Freshly ground black pepepr, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)

Prepare the pickled red onion and let marinate at least 1 hour. Reserve in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, vinegar, salt, olive oil, and pepper. Drain the onions and add to the salad along with the crumbled cheese. Toss gently to mix. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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