For tonight’s dinner, Axelina pulled two tasty recipes out of a pile of cooking magazines of which she was the lucky recent recipient. The prep work involved a lot of peeling and dicing for the veggie salad (which was then essentially complete) and a bit of dicing and spicy, eye-watering sautéing for the enchilada filling, but didn’t end up terribly spicy when all was said and done. As Dave commented, this was one of the most surprisingly filling MND entrées he’s ever had, with even big eaters being satisfied after the first serving.
Crisp Fall Veggie Salad
- 1 tsp buttermilk ranch dressing mix
- 1/4 tsp dill weed
- 1 tsp water
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (cooked, fresh off the cob tastes best)
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup carrots, sliced in coins
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half (we just diced tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk ranch, dill weed, and water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the mayonnaise and buttermilk and mix well. In a serving bowl, combine all of the vegetables. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serves 6.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
- 5-6 large flour tortillas
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled if desired
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 dried hot chili pepper, crushed (sanaam, arbol, tien tsin)
- 15 oz black beans (1 can)
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- vegetable or corn oil
- 1/2 lb chorizo (we used chicken)
- 1-2 cups salsa
- 1/2 – 1 cup sour cream
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Wash and cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Put the potatoes, soy sauce and 1/3 cup of the cider vinegar into a large pot and boil until the potatoes are very soft and the liquid is mostly absorbed (about 30 minutes). In the meantime, sauté the leeks, chorizo (if using) and garlic (if using fresh) over medium-high heat in a little oil with the cumin until you can smell it halfway out the door [editor’s note: a bit of an odd measurement, no?]. Then add the remaining cider vinegar, the chili pepper, the black beans, and the garlic if using dry. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan, and take a break until the potatoes are done.
When the potatoes are finished, mash them, leaving a fair number of lumps. Fold the beans and 1 cup of the cheese into the potatoes. [Editor’s note: we didn’t really mash the potatoes much–it was kind of a
mix with pressure, but it’s mostly going to be an issue of texture, so use your discretion.] Fill the tortillas with about a handful of filling, roll and pack tightly into a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan. Top the enchiladas with the remaining cheese, and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble (we didn’t wait that long–we were hungry!). After it’s finished baking, broil for about 5 minutes, to get the cheese really golden brown and toasty. Serve hot, with lots of salsa, sour cream, cilantro and napkins. Serves 3-6.
As noted, there was a lot of dicing involved to prepare enough of this to serve roughly a dozen people, so don’t underestimate the time needed for that. Although the sautéing for the enchiladas turned the kitchen into a bit of a war zone (eyes burned from the spice), the end result wasn’t especially spicy (to a spice-loving palate, anyway), and probably would have been well-complemented by a spicy enchilada sauce (more work) or salsa/taco sauce (store-bought). As Dave noted (above), one enchilada (in a ~12" tortilla) and a few spoonfuls of the veggie salad left me quite satisfied. I could have eaten more, but was happy with my one plate-full.