Tag Archives: sour cream

Leftovers? A Tex-Mex feast is in your future…

I opened the fridge yesterday, and looking back at me was the remains of last night’s braised pork roast, and the remains of a roast chicken I bought from the local mega-mart for a quick lunch a couple days ago, and an idea struck me almost instantly.  It rarely happens like that, but this time it was a brilliant plan.

I whipped up a quick enchilada sauce (recipes aplenty on the net, but here’s what I did…

  • 1/4 cup oil (light olive)
  • 1 finely diced onion, but grated is fine (even a couple tbsp dried would work)
  • 2 cloves crushed or grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup stock or wine, or mixed
  • 1 tbsp powdered cumin (or crush some seeds)
  • 1/2 tbsp powdered coriander (or crush some seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a shallow frying pan (not a saucepan) fry the onions in the oil until beginning to take a nice rich brown colour.  Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute.  Add all of the spices and herbs (not the salt and pepper).
Add the flour, and cook for about another minute, before adding the puree and stock/wine.
Simmer until about the thickness of the tomato puree.  Add more stock if too thick.
Taste, and season.

In another frying pan, I added about 2 cups of oil, and brought it up to a low frying temp.

The Chicken

A great snack, or part of a Tex Mex Feast

A great snack, or part of a Tex Mex Feast

Then I chopped up the chicken and added some cheese to it (I used some cheddar I had grated in the fridge, but crumbled feta or cotija would have been better).  To this I added the Mexican spice trinity (Cumin, Coriander, Chilli), and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Opening a pack of corn tortillas (and they need to be corn, not flour), I dredged them quickly in the hot oil to soften.  Just a few seconds each side.  Then I dropped some of the mix into the middle, and simply rolled them into a tight barrel (about thumb thickness) before placing them seam down on a baking tray.

Setting them aside, I turned my attention to the pork.

The Pork

Slightly over cooked, but bursting with flavour, and very simple to make.

Slightly over cooked, but bursting with flavour, and very simple to make.

The pork was already somewhat shredded from the braise, but if your using a normal roast pork, I would wrap it in foil with some stock or a can of tomatoes, and cook it for a couple more hours to make it shreddable.  Fatty cheap cuts are best, like a shoulder or butt.

Using the corn tortillas again, I dredged them in the hot enchilada sauce to soften.  Then I wrapped the pork mix in a barrel about the size of a golf ball in diameter.  Note I did not season the pork more.  That’s what the sauce is for.

Placing the pork enchiladas in a baking dish, snug but single layered, I then covered them in the remaining sauce, spreading it evenly.  Top the dish with some cheese, and maybe some sour cream at this point (though I added the sour cream at serving).

The Cook

Cook the Enchiladas covered for about 10 minutes, then uncover and add the taquitos to the oven.

Cook for 15 minutes, or until the taquitos are a nice light golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve them with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, diced onion, some cilantro, cheese, a home made guacamole, and sour cream, all nicely presented in separate bowls for people to help themselves.

It’s a simple meal, thrify if you want to just use leftovers, but good enough to do from scratch as a purpose meal.  It’s amazing delicious, and you’ll look like a food hero in front of your friends and family…of just make a ton of taquitos to enjoy with a cold beer while watching the football!

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Fusion Cuisine

Some days I can wander the aisles of a grocery store for ages, trying to get inspiration for the meal ahead, whilst other days I wake up with a meal plan already formed.

Today was the latter, and all day I could not think for the Mexican feast that I had planned for that evenings meal.

Taco’s are a perennial favourite in our household, and tonight would not disappoint.  In addition to the taco’s however, I was fixated on making some enchilada’s.  Whilst the Taco’s were going to be made from minced beef, which is what the kids love most, the enchilada’s were going to be chicken.

With that in mind, I popped into my local butcher to pick up a brace of chicken thighs and minced beef, and while I was there I purchased a couple of legs of lamb for the weekend.  To furnish the rest of the meal, I visited the local mega-mart and tried to get in and out in as little time as possible.

Of course, Coles chose to be less than cooperative.  When making enchilada’s, only corn tortillas hit the spot, and they had none.  There is little more frustrating than being let down by the grocery store when it comes to the sole reason you were visiting in the first place.  Funnily enough, yesterday the item out of stock was milk…of all things.

Steaming, and wanting to dump my groceries and head to the local competitor, I walked past the tortilla’s one more time when the rows of “mountain bread” caught my eye.  Thin square flat breads, made to use as a wrap for all manner of “sandwich” options, I quickly realized the potential when I spotted the corn version.

Enchilasagne was born.

Think lasagne, with alternating layers of chicken with enchilada sauce, and cheese with sour cream.  Each layer separated by a thin square piece of corn flat bread instead of the traditional pasta sheet.

What is your favourite mashup of foods to come up with something unique?

Why did the pumpkin cross the road?

Because it wanted to play squash!

Ok, so that’s a bad pun joke based on a bit of botanical confusion.  It seems as though the humble pumpkin is leading a double life as a squash…or a winter squash to be more precise.

It's a Butternut...erm...Pumpkin....or Squash...or Gourd!

Throughout the world, regional nomenclature will call this gourd like fruit either name (or gourd too, for that matter), and there really does not seem to be any rules for how the name is used.  So, at the risk of sounding egotistical, I’m going to state the Pumpkin/Squash rules as I see them:

  • If you cannot eat the fruit, but rather use it as a decoration or vessel: it’s a gourd.
  • If you can eat it, and cut it open to reveal a cavity holding the seeds: it’s a pumpkin.
  • If it’s edible, and you cut it open to reveal seeds distributed throughout the flesh, without a cavity, it’s a squash.

Regardless of what you call it, the pumpkin is a delicious and versatile fruit that packs a wallop of vitamins and minerals into a sweet and tasty package.  It can be served roasted, a mouth watering side to a delicious Sunday Roast.  It can be covered in brown sugar and marshmallows, and accompany Turkey on Thanksgiving.  You can even make a heavy custard with the flesh, mixed with eggs and a bit of sugar, and serve it as a deliciously spiced pie, paired with a scoop of ice cream.  Or, as is my personal favourite, you can turn it into a soup which served hot will warm you on the coldest of winter days, or served chilled will satisfy you during the most oppressive of hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (just over 2lbs) of pumpkin; peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 250g Carrots; peeled and cut into chunks
  • 250g Onions; peeled and diced
  • 3-4 cups Chicken Stock (use Veggie Stock to make this dish vegetarian)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic
  • 250ml Sour Cream (or 300ml cream plus 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice)
  • Up to 250ml Milk
  • Up to 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Extra sour cream (or natural yoghurt) for serving

I almost always use Butternut Pumpkin for this recipe.  Jap pumpkins are also delicious here.  Given the difference in sweetness and water content between different types of pumpkins, and indeed different pumpkins of the same type, I have included milk and sugar as a variable quantity ingredient.

Ok, so I copied this photo from the Internet. I have to get myself a light box.

Add the first 7 ingredients to a soup or stock-pot.  Make sure it’s enough liquid to just cover the fruit/veggies.  If not, add more water, but note that you will need to evaporate some of it out later, or it may be a bit watery.

Simmer for about 2 hours, or until the carrots are very tender.  The pumpkin will be well cooked by then, and even be breaking down a little turning the liquid a light shade of orange.

Using a stick blender (or food processor) blend until it is all smooth.  At this point you can pass it through a sieve, which I would if I were using a more fibrous version of pumpkin, or I was serving it during a particularly swanky dinner party.

Add the sour cream, and blend some more.  Now check the consistency and taste it.  If it is too thick, more like baby food than soup, add the milk.  Season it, if it needs.  Finally, add some brown sugar, if it is not quite sweet enough.

Serve in a nice bowl, with a toasted crouton, and a dollop of sour cream (or yoghurt) in the middle.

Pumpkin soup in all it's glory

Certainly this is not the most complicated pumpkin soup recipe out there, but it will provide you with delicious consistent results every time.  Sure, you can roast the veggies first, before turning them into a soup…the result will be richer and probably sweeter…or you can add other spices to jazz up the flavour profile, but there is only one “variation” that I might truly recommend.

Boil some ravioli until al dente (large fresh or frozen ones are best).  Toss the pumpkin soup with the cooked cheese ravioli .  Fry up some prosciutto or chorizo sausage in olive oil and garlic, until nice and crispy.  Scoop out the prosciutto or chorizo and scatter around the top of the dressed ravioli.  Drizzle the pan oil over it all, and enjoy.

So I haven't made the ravioli...YET...but here is a photo of something very similar. Ditch the nuts, and add the pork product, and...well, you get the idea.