Saturday, February 23, 2008

spinach enchilada-ish and other Friday night activity

That warm spell we had last week in Atlanta? It's over. So in order to coerce people over to Tavo's and my unheated house we have to warm it up. Preferably with food.

Are you ready?

Friday night dinner party!

First things first, have to get the enchilada sauce going. This recipe is adapted from recipezaar as I wanted to try out the addition of cocoa powder. I pretty much stuck to that recipe, except I used a whole 15oz can of tomato sauce instead of 8 oz. eez good.

Enchilada Sauce:
-3 T chili powder
-3 T flour
-1 t cocoa powder
-1/2 t garlic salt
-1 t oregano
-3 cups water
-1 can tomato sauce (I used 15 oz)

While that's cooking down, we start on chips, salsa and guacamole. Since its winter, I don't even bother with the sad "fresh" tomatoes--nope, I'm canned all the way. Herdez is my favorite brand of salsa. Its salty, but consistently good. The cans are great for camping, too.

But avocados are on sale right now--and they are delicious. Could not pass up the opportunity to make some homemade guac--recipe follows.

-1/2 can of tomatoes with chilis, drained (reserve liquid & other half for rice)
-3 avocados, peeled & diced
-juice of one lime
-1/2 onion, diced (other half for beans)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 jalapeños,minced (keep the seeds in there, wuss)
-cilantro-I err on the side of lots

mash and eat-keep the avocado pit in the guac to preserve color

Now its time to put the enchiladas together and get them in the oven. I admit it--I HATE rolling up the tortillas in the sauce and getting my fingers all dirty. Just can't stand it. Plus, the tortillas usually fall apart in the cooking if I do them in a casserole dish, so I cheat.

Spinach Enchilada-ish:
-sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish
-layer of 4 tortillas (corn)
-more sauce
-bag of frozen spinach (or two boxes) boiled/sautéed with garlic and salt, drained
-cheese (we used cheddar and monterey jack)
-four more tortillas
-more sauce
-more cheese

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

The key to any good meal is good music. Here are the DJs of the evening, Joseph and Tavo!

Onto the rice. I like to wash and soak my rice before cooking. I've always used room temperature water, but a friend told me to pour boiling water over the rice and let it sit for 10 minutes. Sounds good to me! Here is the finished product--recipe follows below. With mexican rice, you can pretty much add whatever you have in the cupboard. I just did simple tomatoes, onions and jalapeños.

Mexican Rice:
-drain 1 cup rice and sautée in saucepan with 2T vegetable oil
-add a small onion, minced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
when rice starts to brown, add
-1/2 can tomatoes and reserved liquid
-2 cups broth (I used veg, most recipes call for chicken)
-diced jalapeño (or 2)
-cook until rice absorbs liquid
-cover and remove from heat, let set 10 minutes

And of course we need beans.

There really isn't a recipe--we eat these multiple times every week. Sautee the reserved 1/2 onion for 5-7 minutes, add some cumin, garlic, coriander, cayenne and drained can of beans. Add a little water, broth or beer and cook down for 20 minutes.

How do they taste?

well, some people like beans more than others...

All right, let's eat.

No! Don't eat the food!

that's better

and its time to head out



Cynthia said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and helping me to discovers yours!

Looking forward to seeing you around.

doggybloggy said...

HEY its my culture calling

snowelf said...

Oh wow that looks GREAT!! I have been eating guac like crazy lately, so yum-o! I'm not a big fan of cooked spinach, but I'm sure I can throw some zucchini or yellow squash in and it'd be just as yummy. :)

Have a great weekend you guys and keep warm!!


buffalodickdy said...

You're a heck of a cook, young lady! That looked as good as any I've ever seen!

TavoLini said...

Cynthia--thanks! Your blog is beautiful--congrats on the book!
Doggy--is it authentic? I lived in Mazatlan for about 3 months, but mostly ate coconuts, mangoes and ceviche. oh yeah, and beans. Ever since, I always have a sack of maseca handy...
Snow--no spinach? Popeye would be disappointed ;)

doggybloggy said...

its close enough for government work...LOL

Anonymous said...

Um, well, that sure seems like it was hotter than 300 hells. For the right amount of sweet American dollars, I can share the famed recipe to our fantabulous Sloppy Jajos. You know, if you think it'll be worth it.


TavoLini said...

Doggy--all right ;)
Nick--what can I say--dad fed me jalapeños when I was a baby. "Here, try this pickle"

pinknest said...

wow, i can't believe you made all that food!!! i'd be passed out, covered in cheese. anyway, those enchiladas look RIDICULOUS. i want to try that.

Latayy said...

wow everything looks so spicy just how i like it
i will be trying these sauces and I will let you know how they come out. I never had a lot of mexican food because of where I am from but I like spicy sweet stuff.
Thanks for stopping on my blog again
I am back