Skillet Layered Enchiladas with Avocado Corn Salsa and Red Leaf Salad with Heart of Palm

These are enchiladas for crispy edge lovers and impatient cooks.  Because of their small size, they take about half the time to bake than your average tray of enchiladas, and the higher edge ratio means more crispies!

Mini skillet enchiladas are also great for customizing according to various tastes at a given meal- add more spice to one, omit cheese for vegans, make one with meat for meat lovers, etc.  There are all kinds of ways to customize these little enchiladas.

If you only have one skillet and you’re cooking for two or fewer people, prep the beans, sauce, and avocado corn salsa in advance, then just use half your ingredients today and save the rest for assembling another round of skillet enchiladas tomorrow.

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Skillet Layered Enchiladas with Avocado Corn Salsa

Makes 2 6.5-inch skillets (Serves 4)

For the beans:

1 can black or pinto beans

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro

Chipotle Sauce:

1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil

1/2 white onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

big pinch salt and plenty ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 14.5-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

1 chipotle pepper in adobo

Avocado corn salsa:

2 avocados, medium dice

1/2 cup corn kernels (raw from cob or defrosted from frozen)

juice of 1 lime (about 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice)

1/4 white onion, minced

1/4 cup minced cilantro

salt and black pepper, to taste

1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced (optional)

For enchiladas:

6 corn tortillas

4 ounces cheddar, feta, or cotija (I used Cabot clothbound cheddar)

Plain kefir or yogurt, to serve

Minced cilantro, to serve

Hot sauce of choice, to serve

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease 2 small (6.5-inch) skillets with oil or fat of choice (not virgin coconut oil).

Mash beans with spices and 1 tablespoon minced cilantro in a small/medium bowl and set aside.

Prepare the chipotle sauce: heat oil in a 1.5-quart saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add spices to onion and sauté 30 seconds before adding tomato sauce.  Rinse can with broth and add to pot, along with chipotle pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss ingredients for avocado corn salsa in a medium bowl and set aside for serving with enchiladas.

Remove chipotle chile from sauce and stir in cilantro.

Assemble enchiladas: put a dollop of sauce in the bottom of each skillet, and begin to layer: tortilla, beans, sauce, cheese / tortilla, beans, sauce, cheese/ tortilla, sauce, cheese.

Brush exposed edges with a little bit of oil and place filled skillets in oven and bake until bubbly and beginning to brown, about 20-25 minutes.  If your enhiladas look cooked through, but you want some more browning, turn the broiler on for 2 minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

Remove from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving with yogurt/kefir, cilantro, and hot sauce.

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Red Leaf and Heart of Palm Salad

Serves 4

1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped and triple washed

3 radishes, thinly sliced

3 hearts of palm, rinsed and sliced

Pumpkin seeds (toasted in pan with pinches paprika and salt over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently)

Dressing:

2 tablespoons mango passionfruit jam or peach jam

2 tablespoons Coconut vinegar

3 tablespoons White wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, grated

1/3 cup avocado oil or sunflower seed oil

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Toss salad ingredients (except for pumpkin seeds) together in a large bowl.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, or shake vigorously in a jar.

Drizzle dressing over salad (you will probably have some leftover) and sprinkle pumpkin seeds at the end.

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Avocado and Roasted Tomatillo Dip

My CSA this week included five beautiful tomatillos.  I’d never cooked them myself before and had only eaten them in the form of green enchiladas and salsa verde in various Mexican restaurants in California.  But here I was in New York City with five locally grown tomatillos.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly excited when I saw that it would be included in the week’s CSA share,  and my first thought was “OK, what am I gonna do with these.”

Well I was inspired by a recent Bon Appetit Instagram post and luckily had most of the ingredients I’d need already on hand.  Tomatillos have a bright and slightly acidic flavor that brightens up this quacamole-ish dip.  I didn’t even add any lime.  Also, roasted garlic adds aroma and depth of flavor, sans the bite and bad breath of raw onion.

No need for special equipment, as I don’t have much myself, but if you have a food processor I suppose that could be a convenient way to incorporate the ingredients.  I just used my knife and cutting board.

Serves 2-4

What you need:

2 avocados, cubed

5 tomatillos

3 cloves garlic (do not peel or crush)

3 red chili peppers (a.k.a. fresh cayenne peppers)

handful cilantro, finely chopped

salt, to taste

What to do:

Put whole tomatillos, garlic cloves and chilies on a pan and place in oven set to broil.  Roast for about 15 minutes, turning once as it begins to blacken.  (The tomatillos may pop a bit- that’s okay.)

Meanwhile, place avocado and cilantro in medium bowl.

When ready, remove roasted vegetables from oven and let cool slightly.  Remove garlic from the peel and toss in bowl with avocado and cilantro.  Squeeze chilies from their skins and remove most of the seeds, without obsessing too much.  Chop as much as you can- a little smooshing action is okay.  Add to bowl as well and, finally, chop up the tomatillos and begin mashing that with the rest of the ingredients.  Season with salt and serve with chips, on top of fish, salad or whatever else you feel like!

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Mexican Wild Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana)

I finally made the move to NY to begin the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute and once again have INTERNET!  Here is the last meal I made pre-move…a whole foods approach to Ameri-Mex fare.   It is both winter and summer friendly…serve it warm in the winter (leftovers sauté nicely) or cold in the summer (great for picnics and barbecues).  Add the jalapeño if you like some heat.

Wild rice is especially high in fiber and vitamins compared to other types of rice (it’s not really a rice, actually) and yes, it’s gluten free.  I hear the Native American hand cultivated wild rice is the best in quality, nutrition and taste, but I have yet to try it.  In the meantime, I use the common black variety.

About the corn…if it’s summer, get it fresh, slice the kernels right off the cob and throw it in the water with the asparagus.  However, this time of year you’ll want to go ahead and get it frozen.  Don’t worry about cooking it, it will thaw as the rice cooks and especially once it’s tossed with the warm rice.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice, soaked for 2-8 hours and rinsed

3 cups light vegetable broth or well salted water

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 heads Belgian endive (red or white), cut into 1/2″ slices

1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 golden beet*, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 bunch fresh asparagus, stems snapped off and the rest cut into 1″ pieces

juice of 1 large (or 1 1/2 small) lemons

salt and black pepper, to taste

avocado, to serve

cilantro, rinsed well and finely chopped

What to do:

Begin to cook soaked wild rice in the broth or water, covered, in a medium pot.

In the meantime, place olive oil, endive, corn (if using frozen), jalapeño, cumin and thyme in a medium bowl and toss together.

After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add the beet chunks.  After 10 more minutes, begin to test the rice for doneness.  Once the rice is just a few minutes from doneness, add the asparagus (and corn if using fresh) and let steam with the rice.

Test the rice, asparagus and beet chunks to ensure doneness.  Pour into a strainer to allow everything to cool and to let any excess water drain off (about 10 minutes).

Add cooled rice, lemon juice, salt and pepper to bowl with vegetables.  Toss gently and serve with sliced avocado and cilantro.

Great alongside roasted tomatillos and “refried” black beans :).

*Unfortunately, I didn’t have yellow beet for this photo and had to use turnip instead.

Mexican Wild Rice Salad - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

200 gr di riso selvatico, impregnato per 2-6 ore e sciacquato

700 ml di brodo leggero oppure d’acqua salata

2 cucchiaini di olio d’oliva extra vergine

2 indivie, tagliate in pezzi a 1 cm

175 gr di mais fresco o 200 gr di mais surgelato

1 peperoncino fresco, tritato coi semi tolti (facoltativo)

1 cucchiaino di cumino in polvere

2 cucchiaini di timo fresco, tritato

1 barbabietola gialla, pelata e tagliata in cubetti

1 grappolo di asparagi, tagliati in pezzi da 2 cm coi gambi rimossi

succo di un limone grande

sale e pepe, a piacere

avocado, per servire

coriandolo fresco, tritato

Cosa fare:

Fate cuocere il riso selvatico nel brodo o nell’acqua, coperto, in una pentola media.

Intanto, metteteci l’olio, l’indivia, il mais (se congelato), il peperone piccante, il coriandolo, il cumino ed il timo in una scodella media e mescolate.

Dopo 15 minuti di cottura, aggiungete i pezzi di barbabietola al riso.  Dopo altri 10 minuti, cominciate a controllare il riso per la cottura.  Poco prima che sia pronto il riso, aggiungete i pezzi d’asparagi (ed il mais se usando fresco) e fateli ammorbidire col riso.

Controllate il riso e l’altra verdura per la cottura.  Scolate e lasciate raffreddare per una decina di minuti nel colino.

Unite il cotto al crudo ed aggiungete il succo di limone, del sale e del pepe.  Agitate e servite con delle fette d’avocado.

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