ENCHILADAS, QUICHE TAMALE PIE, CHILE RELLENOS, PERFECT ENTREES FOR A PARTY
Take four or five big, wrinkly dried chiles, they are reddish black, completely sun-dried, avail in bags, a dozen for 2$. Open them up, take out the seeds and put them in envelope (to start in spring garden in full sun.) Soak the chile pods in water for an hour.Or put them in boiled, pure, spring water that's still hot! Now, when they soften up, throw them through a grinder blender with the liquid, using large hole strainer, strain off the skin which is useless. It's like all pepper skin, indigestible.
You now have a brownish red thick sauce. Saute some onions and garlic in oil, maybe a black pepper corm some cumin seeds or powder ; add the red, wet sauce, salt, simmer a minute. Now cool it down. (Or buy a good enchilada sauce in a can, not cheap by the way and unfortunately, carrying TIN into you.)
MEXICANS heat pan w. oil and drop tortillas in for a sec to soften them in that hot oil. And they use lard, not oil! I often just flame-heat the tortillas to make them soft. (That method is more "fall apart" for the finished enchilada.) EITHER WAY, FILL THEM, roll them or fold them, stack in pyrex dish, add more sauce on top, olives, green onions. After baking throw cilantro on top.
NOW THEY NEED A FILLING : So decide, MEAT and cilantro, onion? Or blanched chopped almonds with burger, tofuburger? Or cheesey chicken w. cilantro? Depends on your taste. Can be fine sliced steak, or leftovers. Most of the soft, cooked yellow SQUASH COMBINES beautifully wi. cheese and almonds!
TOFU BURGER STUFFING for ENCHILADA- Chopped almonds, bell pepper, crumbled tofu, celery, celery seed powder, thyme, bread crumbs, onion, mushrooms a little grated jack cheese. It will melt into a lump while enchilada cooks. Bake 20 min at 350.VARIATION would be
ENCHILADAS VERDES made with tomatillo. Called ENCHILADAS SUIZAS in Mexico. (Swiss ) Simmer tomatillos, deseeded jalapenos 5 min. SAUTE onions, garlic. Mash the boiled tomatillos with a masher, drop into sauteeing onions. Add lots of chopped cilantro, salt. GREEN SAUCE results, delicious with roast pork. But we can fill enchiladas wi. Cheese, chicken, or por, or beef. In this case, in addition to cheese all over the top before you bake it, LOTS OF SOUR CREAM!
QUICHE- First, the CRUST- Whole grain flour,salt, the amt for one crust. Eyeball it. Cut a half stick of butter into it, pelletize the butter with fingertips, so you have pea sized pellets in the flour. Add ice water or milk, keeping dough very dry and crumbly. NEVER let it get too wet or you get hard dough. Roll and line a pyrex pie dish. Pre-bake ten min with hard beans to keep it flat
FILLING- 4 eggs, beaten well, a cup of milk or half and half, a cup of grated cheese is the custard part. You can add either or all, lots of onions, sauteed first, BACON, HAM, sauteed PEPPERS, hot or mild, sauteed first, ditto eggplant, herbs like cilantro, parsley, tomato sauce. Bake 325 an hour.
OTHER GOOD THINGS:
TAMALE PIE: http://mexican.food.com/recipe/authentic-mexican-tamale-pie-389770
CHILE RELLENOS: . Turn a gas burner on high Char the chiles on the burner grate, turning with tongs (a pro uses her hands!), until blackened all over. Or char the chiles under the broiler. As each comes off flame, put in brown paper bag, sealed neck, to steam. Let them soften. Transfer the charred chiles to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and close. Let stand 10 minutes. The chiles will steam in the bag, making them soft and easy to peel. Remove the skin.Gently rub the chiles with paper towels to remove as much black skin as possible. It's okay if a few flecks remain-they'll add flavor, so don't rinse them off. Open the chiles.Using a paring knife, make a slit across the top of a chile just below the stem, leaving the stem intact. Starting from the middle of the slit, slice lengthwise down to the tip of the pepper (cut through only one layer). Open the chile like a book and pull out the seeds and inner membranes. You may need to use a paring knife to loosen the top of the seedpod. Repeat with the remaining chiles. Prepare the sauce. Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender until smooth. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato puree and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; the sauce will be broth-y. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. Make the filling. Place the cheese in a bowl, then add the oregano, crumbling and rubbing it with your fingers to release its flavor. Season the mixture with salt and pepper .Stuff the chiles. Fill each chile with about 1/4 cup cheese mixture. (alternative filling, burger,raisins, blanched chopped almonds.) Fold in the sides to cover the filling, then thread 2 toothpicks across the seam to form an X. You will probably need to make a second toothpick X to secure each chile so the filling doesn't leak out when you fry.Mix the batter.Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolk and beat 1 more minute. Batter and fry. Heat about 1 inch vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Dredge: Pour flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. One at a time, coat the stuffed chiles with the flour. Batter: Holding each chile by the stem, lower it into the egg batter to cover completely. Let any excess batter drip off. Fry: Add the chiles to the hot oil, 1 or 2 at a time; fry, flipping once with tongs, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Place a fried chile on each plate and pour the warm sauce over it. Serve immediately.
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