Let me begin where I try oft to begin, with a word of thanks and gratitude. It is an honor to be among such noble young minds, daring each week to press the boundaries of twenty-something cooking. It brightened my day when Kelsey showed me k1tchenb1tches and it made me almost jubilant when she extended an invitation for me to cook and share my humble opinions. I immediately sent myself an e-mail, the body containing only this address and the subject reading “your new hobby”. Thank you all for giving me something interesting to do during the week. That being said, shall we roast the meal?
Being so close to the time of turning over rent I forwent the rice and stuck to the main course of Kale and Spinach Enchiladas with Tequila sauce. And what was previously said about rent being due applied to what I purchased at the store as well.
Even though Pacifica has a thriving Hispanic population, the Hispanic food aisle was extremely limited, and I was unable to find tomatillos in a can, I did find them fresh, but having worked with them before I know that unless you spend a lot of time roasting them it is almost like working with Granny Smith apples. So I opted for tomatoes in a can and decided for tartness I would add lime juice. I made it back to my apartment with the substitution of the main ingredient being the only problem (thus far) and a confidence that I was ready to prepare the meal for the week. A confidence that did not last long.
I began with the sauce, and since I had no food processor nor blender I chopped the onions (I went with white) and jalapeno then smashed the garlic to get the good juices (gross, I know) out. Which in the long run did not matter because not having anything to mix the tomatoes with the other ingredients left me more helpless than the lady in Andrew Wyenth’s painting, Christina’s World.
Then I began the filling, I opted for only spinach because I had a lot of it at home, but I did purchase oyster mushrooms which chopped nicely and tasted even nicer. Also, not missing a chance to add cilantro I threw a bunch of that in as well. Again I stuck with white onions. Wanting to add some protein to the meal I boiled chicken in chicken broth (which did strike me as odd, cooking a chicken in it’s own drippings) and when it was just almost done I pulled it apart and added it to the filling mixture.
When the timer went off I added the baked ingredients to the canned tomatoes and began smashing with a ladle. After ten minutes of this and no discernable progress I used a cake mixer… which also did nothing. Then I tried to push it all through a sieve and ended up with the tomato juice that I could have poured directly from the can and forgone the whole smashing/mixing mess. Being stuck with only tomato juice I said “Fuck it” poured in a bunch of vodka (I am out of tequila), threw in some salt, opted for yogurt instead of heavy cream (they were the same price at the store and my AM radio keeps saying it does the same thing) found diced jalapenos in my cabinet and started to run that at a high boil to thicken the whole thing up. I graded the manchego, aged 6 months as to not be so strong, while the oil and sauce heated up.
I threw six enchiladas together quickly, covered them in sauce and cheese, and while fifteen minutes went by I cleaned my 400 square feet of living space. (thank goodness for Adderall) And after fifteen minutes they looked and smelled perfect.
I served myself one and dug right in. It was excellent! The cheese was melted to perfection, the corn tortilla was the perfect casing for an excellent filling. Oh my the filling! It tasted like heaven in a garden + chicken. The spinach had wilted wonderfully, the onions gave an excellent soft crunch and the cilantro, well it did what it always does and that is protect it’s title as best herb of all time. The sauce turned out better than expected seeing as I practically went off-roading in a Mercedes to make it.
I enjoyed this recipe, I liked that it gave you a vegetable but didn’t say which variety you had to use. I like a recipe that lets me make my own choices.
Breaking it down into the categories that it broke itself into;
- Filling: A friggen +
- Sauce: C- (but really we cannot fault the sauce for my ill-preparedness, I am eager to hear what people who made the sauce correctly thought of it. )
- Enchilada on whole: A (it cannot be blamed for my foolishness and judging by how good the rest of it was, the sauce made correctly had to have been great.)