Posts tagged ‘light’

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.

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December 2, 2010

Top 10 Best Tofu Marinades

by cillefish

Marinaded, pan-seared tofu with kale and cheese-topped bread
Marinades easily, simply, & brilliantly get tofu to “pop” with flavor. If you get the marinade going ahead of time, they’re also fast.

Squeeze or drain the tofu very well beforehand, slice it (see below), put in a watertight lunch container with the marinade ingredients, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more (1 hour is better), shaking or turning upside-down every 15-30 min (you can even open the container up and rearrange things to help ensure maximum absorption).

To pan-sear: Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and marinade. Once marinaded, arrange, sans oil, in your favorite super-nonstick, tofu-friendly pan and sear each side until firm and crunchy (should be the color of medium to well-done toast, but not burnt).

To bake: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut tofu into 1/2 slices, then slice crosswise into strips 1/4 to 3/8 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long. Prick on both sides with a fork, marinade, then place in a nonstick or lightly-oiled baking sheet, reserving any unabsorbed marinade if serving tofu on its own. Cover sheet with parchment paper or foil and bake 30-45+ minutes (depending on how dry you want it), turning ever 15 min or so. If serving tofu on its own, after baking, add back the reserved liquid and test seasoning to add more sauce or herbs as necessary.

The Recipes:

Bonus Tips:

  • Timing: I like to put together the marinade before going out on a run or hike; after I’ve cleaned up, the tofu is ready to cook for an easy dinner, along with rice (or pasta) and a salad.
  • Tofu: I like Trader Joe’s firm tofu because it’s in 2 containers for easy halving and is more amicable to getting the juice REALLY pressed out of it. For Azumaya tofu I cut out the top label along the inner edge of the tofu container, then use the plastic to press the tofu down while I squeeze from the sides. Instead of squeezing, the tofu-wary &/or faint of heart can just slice the tofu and put it between two plates, bottom plate tilted to drain, with some books on top (takes longer, though).
  • Meat Eaters: Most of these are equally superb with tofu or chicken, but if you’re going with real meat, cut the soy sauce down by half, add another tablespoon of oil, and marinade overnight or up to 3 days, depending on how juicy and tender you want the results to be. For longer-marinaded items slated for the barbecue, be careful not to cook at too high a heat, or the juicy middles will stay undercooked while the outsides burn. Easy solution: halve breasts lengthwise-flatwise before marinading. Obviously, always discard marinade used for meat; never use it for anything afterward. If you need additional marinade, make a separate batch that won’t touch the raw stuff.

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