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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

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

Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

In writing an intro for this recipe, I was going to link to all of the other farro recipes I’ve made but then I realized that I’ve only posted about one other — Farrotto with Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Saffron. Maybe I’m thinking of spelt? I do enjoy that whole grain a whole lot (see what I did there)?

So. Yeah. Farro. I have a HUGE container of it at home and I’ve decided it’s time to start working my way through that. And a good option for that 2014 project is to use farro instead of pasta on occasion. Of course, farro is nothing like pasta and it will certainly be a different dish, but the results can be just as tasty. Take this roasted broccoli rabe recipe, for instance.

The grains of farro get plump and chewy and mix well with the still slightly-bitter rabe and spicy harissa. A little goat cheese on top adds some creaminess. Delicious! Roasted broccoli rabe gets a little crunchy in parts, almost like kale chips, so you do need to keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven.

And while you can . . . → Read More: Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta Kale Risotto

Everyone seems to have loved this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe and I was no exception. Although, as someone who kind of feels like they over-indulged a bit during the holidays, I was not super enthusiastic about making a pasta dish filled with cream, cheese, and well…pasta. So, I changed it a bit.

The easiest swap was wheat pasta for the regular (a substitution that I make a lot), the second was skipping the cream – and not just because I was too lazy to go to the store. There’s already marscapone cheese in there, so I thought that, along with the Parmesan would be enough to make it creamy. Not to mention that this pasta dish is cooked kind of like a risotto (hence the name) and the liquid is not drained, so the starchy pasta broth would help it all bind together as well.

I also added some chopped kale and a bit more cheese (hey! because I skipped the cream!) and I think it turned out fairly well. It’s still extremely creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, if a little less French, I guess.

Here’s a link to everyone’s Dressy Pasta Risotto . . . → Read More: FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland's Sunshine Tavern

Sunshine Tavern
3111 SE Division Street
Portland Oregon 97202

Seeing that we live just a few blocks away, occasionally we will head out to Sunshine Tavern for pizza and burgers (and of course cocktails and maybe even some candied hazelnuts to start). This is just what happened last Tuesday when we ended up splitting the Garnet yam and quinoa cakes w fennel and almond as a snacky beginning to our meal. And wow – they were so good.

I’m always on the hunt for new quinoa/interesting whole grains recipes and this one definitely got my attention with the warm spices, creamy yam, and a fennel shallot salad on the side. I really wanted to try and reverse-engineer it at home but then I thought maybe I could try and get the actual recipe. It only took asking one contact and I got an email for Jenn Louis, Chef/Co-Owner of Sunshine Tavern. So I sent her a message, asked her for the recipe, and if I could post it here. She got back to me an hour or so later with the recipe. So cool!

This dish will work with either cooked, mashed garnet yam* . . . → Read More: Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern