Posts tagged ‘tortilla’

July 4, 2012

Last night’s dinner: Enchiladas with sweet potato, beans, greens and feta

Prepping the enchilada for the oven…

The finished article…

We’ve never made enchiladas before but Jeannie Macaroni we’ll make them again. Why? Because these were a feast of flavours and really packed a punch. We love stuffing tortillas with chilli infused fillings, so why oh why have we not done this before?

The basics are that you take corn or wheat tortilla flatbreads, stuff them with some lovely, er, stuff, and then bake them in the oven, topped with a little sauce and cheese. The authentic variables often involve meat but of course you’ll find none of that here. So, what to stuff your tortilla with?

Our filling is a fairly tried and tested mixture: sweet potatoes, cubed and lightly roasted in a little olive oil; borlotti beans (or other medium sized beans), cooked at home or from a can, to add protein; wilted greens (we used curly kale) to contrast the sweetness of the potato; and feta cheese to bring a sharpness that cuts through the other flavours.

When cooked, bring all these together in a bowl – add a little freshly squeezed lime juice too if you like, and some chopped coriander leaf.

Next for the sauce and, really, any chilli–tomato sauce will do. For ours, I finely chopped an onion, sweated it in a little olive oil for a few minutes, added some finely chopped red chilli, a heaped teaspoon of ground cumin, a little paprika and a can of chopped tomatoes. Mix well, add a little water and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the tomatoes have cooked down and the flavours have all combined. Set aside.

Now, back to the tortillas. To prep them for the oven, first warm each tortilla you’re using in a dry frying pan on a medium heat, splashed with a tiny sprinkling of water. Warm them for around 30 seconds a side, making sure they don’t stick.

Take a serving-spoonful of the tortilla filling and place it in the middle of each tortilla. Fold over two opposite sides of the tortilla slightly, then roll up the other ones to make a sealed cylinder – or something approximating one. These need to be transferred to a lightly oiled baking dish – so make sure they’re rolled up tightly enough to be able to transfer them. Be careful!

When your tortillas are sat snug in the baking dish, cover them with your chilli–tomato sauce. Bake for 15 minutes, then take them out of the oven, grate some cheese over the top (cheddar or gouda will be fine) and return to the oven for 5 more minutes until it melts.

Serve hot with some salad. Oh and be careful when lifting them out of the baking dish – they’re liable to fall apart.

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June 7, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Cajun Black Bean Soup with Smoked Tomato Nachos

Friday 20 May

Ella treated me to this Paul Gayler recipe a couple of weeks ago. We’d been eyeing it for some time but for one reason or another (maybe just habit) we use Gayler’s Pure Vegetarian recipe book less than some of our others. Somehow it gives the impression of being dinner-party food – worked-up recipes, with hard-to-find ingredients and tricky instructions. I suppose it could be because Gayler was known as a pioneer of vegetarian haute cuisine. In fact, many of the dishes are rustic and straighforward, just like this one.

It hardly requires a recipe – but if you want it, you can buy the book from here.

Basically, it’s a blended vegetable soup with black beans, eaten with nachos made by chopping corn tortillas into triangles and shallow frying them, then topping them with a rough tomato sauce made with garlic and smoked paprika, then topped with cheese and placed under the grill. The soup was very good. The nachos were amazing.

May 2, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Quesadillas

Saturday 30 April

I won’t include a recipe for these – there are so many variations. Basically, we filled a tortilla with spicy black bean paste (mashed black beans with spices, coriander leaf and lime), a salsa made with avocado, tomato, red onion and lime – and, in a break from authentic tradition, feta cheese. I had feta in a burrito years ago at a little place in Southwark and my it works. It replaces the sour cream and Cheddar/Monterey Jack combo you often see in Britain and it adds a really good tang to the meal. Pile up the tortilla, fold over and warm in a dry frying pan. Perfect.

April 15, 2011

Recipe: Nigel Slater’s artichoke and rosemary tortilla

Does anyone else think that Nigel Slater’s TV programmes are a bit creepy? That huge, empty kitchen? The carefully tended but lonesome garden? The meals that always seem to be just for his own solitary soul? Where are Nigel’s friends and family? Surely food is about sharing, after all? Did I say creepy? Let me change that to sad.

I’m not usually a big fan of his food either. It seems caught between wanting to go all out for Nigella indulgence and yet is also as restrained as a Delia curry – not knowing whether it wants to be salt-of-the-Earth, make-do-and-mend 1950s, or sumptuous millennial decadence. Nigel, come out with it, please – tell us who you really are, tell us what you want from life. Show us your friends, we’re not going to snigger. And if you miss your mum, that’s okay too. Can we drop the pretence? You don’t seem very happy.

Having said all that, his artichoke and rosemary tortilla seems like a very good idea indeed. The recipe is here.