Archive for August, 2011

August 23, 2011

Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Corn Enchiladas

by cillefish

Simple and filling but light. Matt’s mom makes these. Adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Serves: 4.

Summer Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Corn Enchiladas

Filling:

  • 1 c lowfat cottage cheese, pureed until perfectly smooth
    (I just use ricotta instead)
  • 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out
    using a serving spoon and a strainer or colander
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 c frozen corn, thawed (1 small can, or a jar of the roasted stuff from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 7-oz jar roasted red peppers, patted dry and diced (about 1 c diced)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fresh (or 2 tsp from-a-jar) jalapeno pepper, minced superfine (optional)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Butter for greasing dish
  • 8 8-in wheat flour tortillas

Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 c mild or medium salsa
  • 1/2 c heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/4 c milk (for thicker sauce, replace the cream and milk with 1/4 c ricotta + 1/2 c water. Add more water if necessary to get it about the consistency of a salad dressing – closer to Thousand Island than to Italian)
  • 1 1/4 c grated Monterey Jack cheese (use up to 2 c if necessary. I do half some other cheese – cheddar, Pepper Jack, whatever’s around)

Scrape ricotta / pureed cottage cheese into a medium bowl. Place spinach in a strainer and press out all its liquid. Set spinach aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute ~10 min, stirring frequently, until golden-edged and soft. OPTIONAL: Add corn at the same time as onion, and set the heat a little high so both will cook together and the corn will blacken up a bit. When onion is cooked fairly well, add cumin and cook 2 min, stirring, until toasted.

Stir in spinach and cook 2 more min, tossing and stirring. Let mix cool, then stir in cottage cheese along with remaining filling ingredients (filling can be prepared and chilled 24 hours in advance).

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9 x 13-in baking dish, or 2 smaller similar baking dishes. If tortillas seem dry, use a pastry brush to dampen edges with water. Divide spinach mix into 8 portions; place a portion along the bottom edge of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place each enchilada on the counter as you complete it.

To make the sauce, combine salsa, cream, and milk in a small, 2+ c bowl. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Carefully, to avoid spilling filling, place the enchiladas in the dish, then spoon on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some cheese along each enchilada (may be prepared to this point up to 8 hours in advance Cover and chill if longer than 1 hour, and bring to room temp before baking). Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 min. Remove the cover and bake 5 more minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let sit 5 min before serving.

Advertisements
August 23, 2011

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

by cillefish

Great shortbread cookies with a gentle zing. The original recipe called for 375°F and a full 1/2 cup of chilled butter, so you could probably do it that way if you want them more flaky and buttery. Measurements below are for a double batch because this recipe makes only about 10 cookies otherwise. They don’t expand much, so they fit on a good-sized baking sheet.

Makes: about 20
Prep + bake time: 25-30 min

Lemonier Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
  • 14-15 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 full Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped up finely with a scissors and then measured
  • 4 scant tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 c Sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place flour, powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed, scraping frequently. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart. Using fingers or a flat measuring cup dusted with powdered sugar, press cookies into 2″ rounds, re-dusting fingers with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. flatten edges in to prevent them crumbling and burning. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sanding sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are barely blushed with a little color, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

August 8, 2011

Summer Blackberry Cornmeal Cake

by cillefish

This moist summer cake balances rich sour cream with cornbread’s grainy goodness — the result is fresh, summery, and sweet, but avoids the dense cakiness of winter treats. Adapted from this recipe by Matt’s mom.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for skillet
  • 2 containers fresh blackberries (5.6 ounces each), or 11.2 ounces frozen, thawed, and drained (about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.

In a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron; a large square stoneware or pyrex dish also works), heat remaining tablespoon butter in the oven until melted and skillet is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Pour batter into skillet; scatter blackberries on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake, with a baking sheet on rack below (to catch any drips), until top is a toasty gold color, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen; cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Excellent with vanilla ice cream.

*Matt’s mom tells me she grinds fresh nutmeg into the dry ingredients until it looks right — I’ve never seen that in action, so 1/4 tsp seemed a reasonable guess based on other recipes I know that use nutmeg.