Category Archives: Dinner

Black Bean Enchiladas Suizas – A Cinco de Mayo Celebration

One of my favorite restaurants in Ballard is Señor Moose Café on Leary Ave NW. They serve a mean Enchiladas Suizas and I’ve been searching for a home-made substitute ever since my first bite. This is the best recipe I’ve found yet (thanks to Epicurious!) and it’s easier than I ever imagined. I should note that I’ve substituted black beans for chicken, but both options are fantastic. So what are you waiting for? Dig in!

1 lb tomatillos (about 8), husked
1 serrano chile
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
2, 15 oz cans black beans (or 3 cups pre-soaked and cooked dry beans)
8, 6″ tortillas (try making your own with N’s tortilla recipe)
1 1/2 oz Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

Place tomatillos and chile in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil over medium-high heat for 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Note: For a milder dish, take a moment and scrape the seeds from the serrano and discard – you’ll thank me later. Transfer tomatillos and chile to a blender or food processor. Add garlic and cilantro and blend until smooth, adding liquid if necessary.

Heat oil in a small saucepan (I rinse and reuse the same pan from earlier) over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo-chile puree and reduce to medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and sour cream. Stir about 1 minute and set aside.

Heat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/3 sauce in a 9″ baking dish. Divide black beans evenly among tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, and roll up. Arrange enchiladas in 1 layer with the seam down. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve immediately.

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Mom’s Chicken Chili

Don’t get me wrong – I love sharing the kitchen. Nothing beats having two sets of hands when things get busy. But today I have the kitchen to myself. While still technically unfinished (the flooring and painting are next), I’m done waiting for the ribbon cutting. The big “first meal” will have to wait a little bit longer, but I’m ready to get back in there.

So what’s for dinner tonight? That’s easy: my mom’s chicken chili (my partner in crime has an open petition to change the name to something like “white bean and chicken soup” or “french white bean cassoulet” since this dish isn’t what you’d picture a hearty chili to be, but I’ll let you decide what to call it). I’ve always known it to be a family recipe – one that’s been tweaked over the years by each new cook. To me it smells like home. And on a cloudy day like today, I need a warm reminder of home.

Chicken Chili (6-8 servings)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
3, 15 ounce cans navy/white beans (or 4 1/2 cups pre-soaked and cooked dry beans)
3-4 ounces chicken broth
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1, 4 ounce can mild chillies (or 1 fresh, diced Anaheim chile)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Drain and rinse beans, add to pot, and cover with chicken broth (I use 4 ounces for soup or 3 ounces for a thicker chili). Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer 3 minutes. Incorporate chicken and chillies and let simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

This chili is fantastic with some crusty bread and a glass of white wine. The flavors will continue to grow over time, so this is a great do-ahead lunch option for a cold winter week.

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Yam Stir-fry

Kitchen update: I should know by now that construction always takes longer than I think it’s going to. By three times, at least. The countertops are in and the plumbing is complete but the tile and flooring are dragging out the length of the project considerably. Cooking in a swirl of dust is not ideal so I’m writing instead about a stir-fry we made last week. I hope to get back to baking soon, but here is a picture of the progress to tide you over (the new tile and flooring are laid out but not yet attached)!

I love stir-fry. Simple, delicious, and a great way to use up the vegetable tidbits floating around the fridge. Cabbage in a stir-fry? That was new to me, but I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised! It adds a little spicy crunch to the dish and loads of color in contrast with the orange yams and fresh green cilantro. In fact, the beauty of this stir-fry alone is enough to make it a regular on my dinner menu.

This recipe came from Epicurious, though I’ve excluded chicken in my version (it’s great either way, so feel free to experiment). Hoisin can be found in Asian markets and specialty stores. If you’re having trouble finding it in your area, I recommend ordering a bottle from Soy Vay.

Yam stir-fry with Red Cabbage and Hoisin (4 servings)

2 tbs Asian sesame oil, divided
2 yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes – about 1 pound), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3 inch-wide strips
1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3 inch slices
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups red cabbage (about 1/4 medium head), sliced into 1/3 inch-thick strips
3 tbs hoisin sauce
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Heat 1 tbs sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add yams and onion, cooking until yams are just tender. Adjust heat if yams are browning too quickly and add water by the tablespoons if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes.

Add remaining 1 tbs oil, ginger and garlic to skillet. Stir-fry 1 minute. Toss in cabbage and cook until wilted but still slightly crunchy, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro.

Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Enjoy!

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