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Red chile-spinach enchiladas

Posted in food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by bosquechica

 

This is a favorite dish in the sunny southwest and can be made mild to hot – know how to choose your chile! It’s possible to buy a quart or two of prepared red chile sauce at any number of New Mexican restaurants and Mexican grocers throughout New Mexico. If you are sadly unable to acquire your sauce RTE, I’ve included a basic recipe here. Don’t used canned enchilada sauce – it’s just wrong. This sauce does not have tomatoes in it – it is a very basic sauce made with a roux and the chile puree. New Mexican enchiladas are typically made flat, not rolled. Quite like a lasagna with ooomph.

This recipe is easily assembled once the sauce is ready. The baby spinach does not need to be pre-cooked, just layer it along with the other ingredients. This recipe makes 8-12 servings.

  • 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 to 1.5 quarts red chile sauce
  • corn tortillas
  • olive oil
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend, to taste

Red chile sauce:

  • two cartons frozen raw red chile puree (Bueno)
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • garlic
  • onion
  • cumin
  • oregano

The sauce: Cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add flour and brown. Add the thawed red chile and whisk until you have a smooth, creamy texture, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency. Stir in the garlic, onion, oregano and cumin.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a  9×12 baking dish. Dip corn tortillas one at a time in the warm red sauce then lay flat in the dish (two-two-two covers the bottom). Add a layer of uncooked spinach. Cover with red sauce, sprinkle cheese blend on top. Repeat: tortilla-spinach-red sauce-cheese until pan is full. Last layer will need to be compressed a bit and covered with the last of the red and a dash more cheese.

Bake, covered, for one hour. Uncover in last 15 minutes to give a little crisp to the top. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Wish I had a picture. In the absence of one, I’ll fill in with a picture from Jemez Springs and will pop in a picture of the dish next time I make it. This is a healthy, sustaining meal, good for the mouth and not particularly difficult. The spinach is fabulous with the red sauce. A favorite at Chez Bosquechica.

Have una cerveza, some guacamole and chips while you’re cooking. Life is good, que no?

Colcannon

Posted in farm, food, home, how to, nice things, recipe with tags , , , , on December 30, 2009 by bosquechica

Ni geal an gaire ach san ait a mbionn anbiadh

(Laughter is gayest where the food is best)

 

Ingredients

Potatoes, 1 lb.
Kale, 1 lb.
Olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chives or green onions, fresh
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk

Directions:

Boil the potatoes whole, peels on (I like Yukon Gold for mashed potatoes, but this is a matter of taste). Mash and mix with milk and butter to a pleasing consistency.

Chop the kale fine, the chives as well.  Sautee together until they are well cooked.

Serve the mashed potatoes in a round scoop. Make a hole in the middle and pour in a bit of melted butter. Top with the kale. Salt and pepper to taste. This is a simple recipe, but delicious and sustaining. For all that.

Variations:
Beer gravy: here’s a vegetarian version – make a standard roux, add miso and a stout beer. This is a strong gravy, not to everyone’s taste, but complements the kale nicely.
Bacon or pancetta – well cooked, sprinkled on top.
Green cabbage instead of kale.

Do enjoy.

 

This is what you do

Posted in food, how to, nice things, recipe, this-n-that with tags , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by bosquechica

flying fish
Great weekends involve a little nice food, some rest, some play, a few lightweight retail adventures, time with the garden and the pets, and happy weather. So far this weekend I’ve: gone on a bike ride, made a pineapple smoothie, bought curtain hardware at Lowe’s and fancy smoothie straws at Party City. Then we had a tower of tuna millefuille on top of a bed of spinach for lunch, with fresh made carrot-apple-lemon-ginger juice on ice in tall glasses (with fancy straws), watched a little movie in the heat of the day and took a quick nap. Now we are going to pick up the porch swing and hang the curtains.

Tuna Millefeuille

Sashimi grade tuna
Mozzarella
Basil
Olive oil
Lemon
Olives
Roasted red bell peppers
Flying fish roe
Crispy pecan crackers, optional

Chop the olives and mix with basil, olive oil and lemon. Slice the roasted red bells and toss in with the olive mixture. Salt and pepper lightly.

Slice the tuna and the mozzarella both in 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Stack the tuna, the olive/basil mixture, and the mozzarella in alternating levels, until it is 3 or 4 inches high.

Pretty it up by topping with basil leaves, ribboned carrots and roe. Drizzle with olive oil and serve stacked high.

This is an approximation of a dish at Noda’s Japanese Restaurant in Rio Rancho (891-4378), which has both the best and the most original Japanese food in New Mexico, in my opinion (which is fairly well informed, I will say without undue modesty). The crackers at Noda’s are homemade, crispy and dense, with pecans, seeds and something else… they would be tough to replicate, I think.

Mmm. Now you may happily continue your weekend.

Caprese salad with goat cheese

Posted in food, garden, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2008 by bosquechica

Ingredients:

Fresh tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Goat Cheese

Preparation:

Wash and dry basil. Pluck into small leaves. Slice tomatoes, lay flat on a platter. Place basil leaves neatly and prettily on each tomato slice. top with a small bit of fresh goat cheese (feta, mozarella or chevre all work well). Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve as an appetizer.

This recipe is a variation on the traditional caprese, which uses cow’s milk mozzarella. If you are a fan of goat cheese, you will find this variation absolutely delightful.

(Pictured is a mozzarella caprese from Wikipedia.)

Eggplant. I love it.

Posted in family, farm, food, garden, how to, life, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , on August 22, 2008 by bosquechica

Oven-fried eggplant. Quick, easy, tasty.

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
2 T Mayonnaise
Salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425F.
Slice eggplant in thin circles (one-half to one inch)
Salt the slices and place them in a colander on their sides.
Let sit for 30 minutes. (The point of salting is to drain away the bitter liquids you sometimes get in eggplant. I’m not sure it’s really necessary if fresh-off-the-vine.) Rinse the salt off and pat dry.

Put the eggplant in a large bowl and add 2 T mayonnaise. Mix to lightly coat each slice. Add the parmesan and toss to distribute.

Lay the eggplant slices on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in oven on highest rack. Flip after 10 minutes and cook for 10 minutes more.

These come out light and crispy, and have been known to convert even the most fearful of eggplant-o-phobes.

We’ll have these for dinner this evening with rice and lamp chops.

Bonus round:
The French word for eggplant is aubergine. In Spanish it is berenjena.

Question:
I believe we have a regional variation on the Spanish word, but I cannot remember what it is. Anyone?

Nutritional Information:
Eggplant is one of those wildly healthy foods. Read all about it right here.

Derailed – the embarassing update

Posted in food, health, life, recipe, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2008 by bosquechica
Thai style hot sauce

Thai style hot sauce

Leaving my private practice and going back to full-time-with-benefits is a great decision, a very interesting new opportunity, and a little stressful (nightmare! What was I thinking! Why oh why did I not check their references? I know they checked mine!) 
My leave-taking was emotional for me and my families; I’ve had several in tears this week. This is good work I do: meaningful, personal, heart work. I see the results of my clinical and personal skills and really, how could I ask for much more?

Well, I have asked for more. I’ve asked for a job with health insurance and paid holidays and less driving around. And I’ve gotten that, and delighted to have it, in this unstable economy.  (But in retrospect, having work that I enjoy and doing it for as long as my beautiful and incredibly supportive wife has health insurance that covers me too — well, there is just more than one way to do things, isn’t there?)

So I’m saying goodbye (so I said goodbye to some and said hello to some new kids just yesterday ) to my current families (with the little ones, I sometimes work with them weekly for as much as two years), and it’s stressy and exciting, and that’s made me tired and the long and short of it is now I’ve got strep throat (babies = germ vectors). Derailed my Nablopomo commitment to post every day for the month of July (topic of the month is food).

Oh well. Maybe next month I’ll earn my merit badge.

I’ll be back after the cold medicine kicks in and try again.

Recipe:

Hot and sour soup is a terrific remedy for sore throats. I make it like this:

Chicken or vegetable broth
Lemon juice
Sriracha
Lemon grass

Heat it up. Drink it hot. Kills germs or at least stuns them.

How to eat like a millionaire

Posted in family, food, garden, home, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2008 by bosquechica

Wow, I love this headline.

I’ll interview all my millionaire friends and let you know. Back soon.

Well, first of all, they tell me billionaire is the new millionaire, so I’m going to raise the bar.

Second — I was thinking it must be all about eco-friendly, sustainable, local food. Rich folk are locavores this week, right? Here’s the food-for-the-rich scenario as I had imagined it (turns out to have been entirely wrong):

“I’ll have my au pair drive to the farmer’s market to buy all the freshest just picked vegetables – the lettuces, the leeks and onions, the rainbow chard, the homemade pies, the early baby creamer potatoes, the hand-salted goat cheese. It can be a lesson in sustainable farming for my seven-year-old. Truffles dug up by my yard man’s farmer friend Joe. Corn and raspberries are hand-picked and delivered to my home weekly.”

As I looked into it, I realized actually that’s how I eat, and I am not a millionaire. Or billionaire. Plus, I don’t have kids, an au pair or a yard man. Wish I did – at least a concierge or something.

How do the very wealthy eat? I did some light reading, and this is what I found. Let’s go look at some of the finest restaurants in the most expensive cities in the world:

According to selected menu items listed in the SPellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, the very wealthy might be eating at this very moment:

Snail Porridge
Bacon and Egg Ice Cream
Warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine
Sheep’s milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern
Beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings
“Macaroni and Cheese” (butter-poached Maine lobster with mascarpone-enriched Orzo Pasta)
“Oyster and pearls” (a sabayon of tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar)

This convinces me that I am not a billionaire. However, thanks to the beautiful farmer’s market in the small village where I live, I do eat like a millionaire of home-grown tastes. Very sensible of me. Only without the yard guy or the au pair.

With that in mind, here is a recipe for your basic pasta primavera:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
Pasta
assorted fresh spring vegetables
goat cheese 
herbs de provence:

Preparation:
Set your pasta water on to boil. Prep your vegetables – chunky or thin sliced, as you prefer.

This is what we had yesterday:

  • Onion
    Garlic
    Yellow bell pepper
    Yellow squash
    Zucchini
    Fresh oregano
    Herbs de provence – chervil, rosemary, savory, lavendar, tarragon, marjoram, mint (variations are common)
    Goat cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil at a medium-high temperature. When these are soft and clear, add each vegetable in turn. Denser vegetables first. Don’t abuse your vegetables by mashing them about with a spatula or boiling them to death. Add a generous splash of vermouth or white wine. 

Drain your pasta and dress lightly with oil or butter.

Plate the pasta, sprinkle an ounce or slightly more of goat cheese on it. Spoon the sauteed vegetables on top of all that. Add salt and pepper.

Serve hot, with a glass of chilled white wine. Have some while you are cooking, too, if it seems advisable.
Light mixed green salad on the side.

Life can be relatively easy, can’t it?