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Portland, Oregon food blog with many years worth of recipes, restaurant features, and food photos.

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Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Cold wintery weather calls for something with melted cheese and bubbling sauce, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. And it’s really hard to go wrong with Mole Enchiladas. And when you make them a little lighter with kale and black beans instead of chicken, it’s a dinner that’ll find its way into your rotation on a regular basis–maybe even for a Meatless Monday!

For this recipe, I specify an amount of mole sauce to use. Because here’s a confession–the handful of times I’ve made mole from scratch, it’s been um, okay. That’s a lot of work for something that I’ve never been that thrilled with when I attempt to make it myself. So, if you have a homemade mole recipe you love, by all means, use that! If you have a jarred version that you always buy, go for it. You could even swap the mole for a regular enchilada sauce if you’d like (but you’d be missing out a little bit because the rich and peppery mole is definitely fantastic!).

Personally, I’ve had good success with this Black Mole Paste by Juquilita and even the Dona Maria brand that you can most likely find . . . → Read More: Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Winter Cooking: Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

This is the blog post where I announce a triumphant return to blogging on the regular.

Really. This time I mean it. And what better way to start mid-January 2018, than with a recipe for a smoky and delicious chicken goulash? This dish originally comes from Food and Wine Magazine but I’ve played around with it a bit and finally landed on this version. It’s a meal I make at least three or four times throughout the fall and winter. I think it’s best if you can make the goulash earlier in the day, then store it in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavors meld together and get awesome.

If you don’t have time to do that, no problem, just make the dumplings after you get the broth into your pot and it will still be mighty flavorful. The orange brightens up the earthiness a bit and plays very well with the smoked paprika.

Some of the ingredients are divided and used for different parts of the recipe (half the sour cream for the dumplings, the other half with the chicken; some of the butter in the pan, most . . . → Read More: Winter Cooking: Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

October 26th is National Pumpkin Day so let’s live it up with this spicy and satisfying soup!

Aside from being just plain delicious, the aroma of roasting squash and then chiles will make your kitchen smell like Fall with a capital F. You can certainly use canned pumpkin here, but there’s something to be said for diy-ing it—the slightly caramelized edges, the satisfaction of scooping out the velvety goodness from the golden pumpkin shells—it’s all part of this soup’s charm. That said, we all have jobs and responsibilities and using canned pumpkin is certainly a valid life choice. I am not judging. Promise.

But after all of the roasting and/or chopping, this soup comes together fairly quickly. Ideal garnishes include fried tortilla strips and chopped cilantro (or maybe even roasted pumpkin seeds or shredded cabbage) and if you want to substitute the pumpkin, an acorn or a butternut squash will do the trick nicely while still keeping the autumn theme intact.

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup
About 4 main course . . . → Read More: National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

Fried (or not) Avocado Tacos with Creamy Poblano Ranch

Avocado Tacos with Poblano-Buttermilk Dressing

If you haven’t already tried coating avocado with breadcrumbs and then frying, what exactly have you spent your life doing?

It’s okay. You can start now. Using this preparation, the outside gets delightfully crunchy and inside, the avocado is all ripe and creamy. But, if you’d rather not fry, you can achieve pretty much the same results by baking the coated avocado wedges in the oven.

This recipe produces wonderful summer tacos–little avocado wedges on a tasty refried beans pillow. Garnished with shredded cabbage and cheese, as well as salsa, you really can’t go wrong here. Plus, if you prepare the Poblano Ranch Dressing too, you’ll make it better!

I’ve made these tacos both ways; frying in peanut oil and baking in the oven. I found that the frying leads to a bit more of a uniform and golden crispiness, but rotating the avocado wedges in the oven did a fairly good job of even browning as well.

Since avocados can be bland, the key to maximum tastiness is to season the flour well and also to hit the finished avocado wedges with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Avocado Tacos with Poblano-Buttermilk Dressing

. . . → Read More: Fried (or not) Avocado Tacos with Creamy Poblano Ranch

Chana Dal Chowder with Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic

Chana Dal Chowder with turmeric, ginger, and garlic

Feeling a little meh? Forget the chicken noodle soup, this is what you want when you’re craving a big bowl of comfort!

This is a meal for chilly days or sleepy evenings when you’re not quite sure if you’re catching a cold or if you just need to recharge. It’s thick and hearty and satisfying in a way you’d expect a chowder to be but with only a small amount of cream.

Chana dal beans* are a type of split chickpea (a Dezi chickpea to be precise) that sort of resembles a yellow split pea in appearance. They are very high in fiber and typically used in traditional Indian cooking. And once you stock your kitchen with a bag or two of these small and sunny yellow legumes, you will find that you will want to use them in all kinds of things—soups, stews, even hummus.

That said, you can also use the same amount of plain ol’ brown lentils in this chowder instead. And if you want to swap the broth for diet or convenience, go ahead and use a vegetable or a chicken one.

. . . → Read More: Chana Dal Chowder with Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic