As some of you may have noticed I have been slacking in the posting of blogs lately. This heat I live in seems to melt my brain and put a dry damper(is that posible?) on any creativity, and of course any desire to cook. But yesterday I decided I was in the mood for Mexican food, actually I have been in the Mexican food mood for a while now, particularly beef tacos....But not today!Maybe its the theory that if you eat spicy food when it is really hot out side, it cools your body down...Really it just makes you sweat profusely and turn on lots of fans to cool the sweat. Appetizing huh?! Or maybe it is the cold beer that usually accompanies Spicy food.
Living in Phoenix Arizona there are two things you can not avoid, the heat and great Mexican food. Though not all of the Mexican food in Arizona is great, but since there is a Mexican restaurant on pretty much every corner, you have to eat a lot to find the bad ones.
Recently I went to my local farmers market and found that Hatch green chile's were now in season. These chile's are a bit more spicy than the Anaheim Chile but look a lot like them. Long green Chile peppers that are perfect for things like chile Relleno, diced up in chili or as I plan to do green Chile cheese enchiladas.
I decided to roast the chile's and use them in strips. Of course you can also used canned or jarred mild green chile's and red peppers for this recipe if you are not into the roasting peppers thing. It does take some of the burning of the finger tips out of the equation, but not as much fun!
Home made enchilada sauce (way easier than it sounds)
This makes enough for four single servings of enchiladas, I used half and froze the rest.
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
2 large roasted red peppers blended till smooth
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 cloves of garlic minced
Simmer this on low to combine all the flavors for about 30 minutes.
To build the enchiladas I used individual baking dishes. Lightly fry corn tortillas and dredge them through the sauce, place it one in the bottom of each pan. Place two 1/2 inch wide green chile strips ion top of that sprinkle with cheddar and pepper jack cheese. Top with another slightly fried tortilla and repeat the process till you run out of room or peppers. Top layer should be tortilla , top with extra sauce and shredded cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown on top.
I served this with a Ceasar Salad, because after all the Ceasar salad is originally from Mexico. And for the beverage of the night I went with an Argentina Malbec, Tapiz 2007 . A little spice with a big red wine is a wonderful thing!
This morning Phoenix had one of the first monsoon storms, and unlike the eastern half of the country, we get VERY excited when it rains. Today it is noticeably cooler and much more moist outside. I hope this will help revive some creativity and shriveled brain cells and that I will be back here with some regularity soon!
Until then, Bon Appetite!