January 27, 2015

Red Enchilada Sauce

Red enchilada sauce, salsa roja, is the perky salsa that bathes and brightens our favorite stuffed and rolled tortillas, enchiladas. It’s a basic cooked not-too-hot Mexican sauce with deep earthy pure chile flavor. Salsa roja is what makes enchiladas “en-chil-ada”, or “seasoned with chile.” Make this easy blender sauce once, and the next time you won’t even need a written recipe.

Red Enchilada Sauce Salsa Roja

Hanging out in Baja Mexico, my goal, call it a New Year’s resolution if you want, is to get a couple of Mexican sauces down pat, to be able to make them from memory. This rusty red enchilada sauce is one of those recipes. I think it’s in my brain for good, but check back with me in a year. Because if I had a nickel for every baking recipe I knew by heart and forgot, I’d be rich.

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January 20, 2015

Chard Enchiladas

These chard enchiladas are not what you expect. They’re filled with leafy greens and tender chard stems, herby cilantro, and the crumbly salty cheese. Plus meaty black olives and mild green onions for texture and a bit of crunch. Roll ‘em up and sauce ‘em. Really, you will be blown away with deliciousness.

Chard Enchiladas

Most of us gringos are familiar with Tex-Mex enchiladas, filled with chicken, or beef, or sometimes pork, gooey melty cheese inside and all over the top. Meatless enchiladas in a restaurant? You can plan on beans and cheese inside. But you know what, enchiladas are nothing more than rolled up and sauced tortillas, and can be filled with anything you damn well please. Continue Reading…

January 16, 2015

Garbanzo Bean Soup + Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico

Fresh mint is one of only 5 ingredients in this tummy-warming garbanzo bean soup. It’s an unusual addition, that brings in unique and subtle flavor. Seasons of My Heart cooking school, where I first tasted sopa de garbanzo, calls it a bisque. Creamy bisque without a lick of cream. And it comes together in a quick and easy half-hour.

Garbanzo Bean Soup + Cooking School in Oaxaca Mexico

Tucked into a beautiful mountain valley in the state of Oaxaca, in southwestern Mexico, Susana Trilling’s school is much more than a hands-on cooking class; students learn about the diverse cuisine and culture of Oaxaca outside of the kitchen too. Continue Reading…

January 8, 2015

How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Garbanzo How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Here in Baja Mexico, my cooking has gotten simpler. We eat a variety of beans, spiced with fresh or dried chiles, a big salad, and either fresh-made corn tortillas or herb-flecked brown rice. Call them garbanzos or chickpeas; I bought a bag of the dried ones at the tienda the day we moved into our beachside trailer. They inspired this post–how to cook garbanzo beans in a pressure cooker.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that any time a recipe calls for beans, I mention the timesaving value of pressure cookers. I think pressure cookers are the only way to go when cooking beans from scratch. My next post is a delicious garbanzo bean soup from a famous Mexican cooking school–here’s is how to pressure-cook those legumes.
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January 3, 2015

Preserved Lemons and Baja Road Trip

Back in November, a lovely surprise, a box of Meyer lemons arrived from Arizona. I had never seen a Meyer lemon, the citrus hybrid of lemon and orange, though I knew immediately what they were. They are tiny bit sweeter, and in my very minimal experience, a lot more juicy than regular lemons. Some of those Meyers are now in a jar evolving into preserved lemons.

Preserved Lemons

To get in the mood for our upcoming trip to Mexico, I first made lemon margaritas. Then I experimented with lemon curd in a gluten-free crust, a recipe that needs more testing to perfect. A pot of lemon garlic soup was next—look for that recipe this coming year. The last 4 of those tangy juicy Meyer lemons are now preserving themselves. They rest in the back of our fridge in Park City, stuffed into a glass quart jar and saturated with kosher salt. I used Real Salt kosher salt. As you can see in the photo, the untreated minerals give the liquid a pink hue. Continue Reading…