Vegetarian Enchilada Stacker

October 16, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Some may think that eating vegetarian meals requires making fussy gourmet recipes every night of the week…in reality, it’s far from it. We vegetarians are just like everyone else where sometimes we want to eat good and eat good NOW. Even more so, it’s getting to the time of year where I want to come in out of the chilly air, spend just a few moments in the kitchen, and then immediately get in my jammies. I’m constantly looking for warm, filling and easy easy easy recipes to make.

This enchilada stacker recipe is an easy weeknight meal that converts to some fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day. I whipped up some homemade enchilada sauce (seriously, it’s super easy) and then got to work quickly layering some ingredients I had on hand. While the pie was cooking in the oven, I had just enough time to get my jammies on…and it was time to eat!

Vegetarian Enchilada Stacker
by Megabeth

  •  6 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15.5 oz can black beans)
  • 1 8 oz package seitan chicken strips, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (use a combo of monterey jack and cheddar cheese)
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

Coat bottom of glass pie pan with cooking spray (or, drizzle a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat the bottom).

Then add the ingredients in the following order (spread evenly):

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

– two tortillas

– 1/2 of the seitan

– 1/2 of the black beans

– 1/3 of the cheese

– two tortillas

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

– 1/2 of the seitan

– 1/2 of the black beans

– 1/3 of the cheese

– two tortillas

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

Put the tortilla stack in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top of tortilla stack. Place back in oven until cheese is melted  – about 5 minutes.

See, told you…easy easy easy!

Gratin Des Pates Aux Champignons (Wild Mushroom Pasta Gratin)

April 07, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Sweet bliss. Spring has sprung, the leaves are back on the trees, flowers are blooming and the cycling season is in full swing now.

This French recipe is in honor of Paris-Roubaix. A grueling one-day race featuring some of the best cobbles in the world (or perhaps the worst cobbles depending on if you’re on a bicycle seat or comfy on your couch watching the action).

ArenbergI made this whilst the In-House Taste Tester was doing his own Paris-Roubaix in the streets of Washington DC. (Easy to do with all the post-winter potholes out there.) Upon his return, he opened the door, and was greeted by the warm smells from the kitchen. He immediately remarked, “Oh, something smells good.” And, he soon discovered that it also tasted good, too.

I’ll admit, the gruyere may be a bit of a spurge on the wallet, but worth it as the earthy mushrooms (with the nice little bit of brandy) go perfectly with the flavors of the mixed cheese.

By the way, while Paris-Roubaix may be one of the most difficult races, this recipe is beyond easy leaving you more time to watch this epic race.

Gratin Des Pates Aux Champignons (Wild Mushroom Pasta Gratin)
from The Vegetarian Bistro

  • 1 pound mushrooms, preferably a combination of cepes, portobellos, shiitakes, chanterelles, or other wild or field mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brandy, port, Marsala, or Madeira
  • 5 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 pound small elbow macaroni
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter or olive oil until they are lightly browned.

Add the spirits, then cook over a high heat for a few moments. Remove from the heat and add the shallots, garlic, and stock. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well, then toss with the mushroom mixture, salt, pepper, chives, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, and about a third of the Gruyere and Parmesean.

Spoon into a 12-inch gratin dish, or into individual casseroles. Springkle with the reminaing cheese and bake until bubbly and golden brown. Serve right away.

Paris-Roubaix Photo by:  Walter Bendix Schönflies via flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts

January 08, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

This is a recipe worthy of being doubled or even tripled. Be forewarned, the measurements below make just enough for two people as a side dish. The curry flavoring and the bite of pecorino cheese adds a unique twist to how one may normally eat spinach. I wish I had made more because it was certainly the star of the show the night we ate this for dinner.

Spinaci Gratinati con Pecorino e Pinoli
Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts
from the July/August 2011 issue of La Cucina Italiana

  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Toscano or other mild sheep’s milk cheese, grated on large holes of box grater (1 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, spread pine nuts on a baking sheet, bake until fragrant and just lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let nuts cool.

Submerge spinach in the boiling water and cook until just wilted, about 1 minutes. Drain in a colander, squeezing to extract excess water.

Heat broiler. In a large gratin dish, spread half of the spinach. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and pinch salt. Top with remaining spinach. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, pinch salt and curry powder.

Broil until cheese is lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining 1/4 cup cheese; continue to broil, rotating pan once halfway through, until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes more.

Vegetarian Vuelta a España: Artichoke Rice Cakes with Manchego Cheese

August 22, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Vuelta a España

Continuing on through the Vegetarian Vuelta a España we get to one of my favorite subjects – Cheese! Manchego is a grassy, crumbly sheep cheese produced in the La Mancha region of Spain. Spaniards don’t mess around with the production of this cheese outlining particular qualities for a cheese to be designated as manchego.

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These qualities include the cheese being produced in a particular region, it can only be made from a specific breed of sheep raised on registered farms in this specific region, the cheese must be aged for at least 60 days and it must be produced in a cylindrical mold to very particular height and diameter specifications.

Well, with all this work to identify manchego cheese, we must appreciate its grassy and tart flavor with a great recipe – and this is it.

I quickly discovered that even before forming the rice into little cake, the rice mixture itself was so good that I feared we ate too much of it to make it to the frying stage. All you need to do is throw some shaved manchego on top of the prepped rice and you’re good to go for an amazing side dish. But, where’s the fun in that? Push your sleeves up, dig in, and get your hands gloopy making these rice cakes. Fry them up and enjoy. I did discover that if you place them in the pan and press them with your spatula, the cakes have a tendency to break apart. So, resist the urge to squish.

Finally, the original recipe calls for a fresh artichoke, but long-time readers know me…I get into the kitchen and the less to fuss with the better. Find good quality jarred/canned artichoke hearts in water and you’ve saved yourself some time and that pesky fuss.

Enjoy the manchego!

Artichoke Rice Cakes with Manchego
adapted from Spain Recipes

  • 8 quarters artichoke hearts from a jar, packed in water (not oil), finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 2  – 3 cups hot vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Manchego cheese, very finely diced
  • 3-4 Tablespoon fine corn meal
  • olive oil, for frying
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Melt the butter in a pan and gently fry the chopped artichoke heart, onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the rice and cook for about 1 minute.

Keeping the heat fairly high, gradually add the stock, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked – this should take about 20 minutes.

Season well, then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Leave to cool, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the palm of one hand, flatten slightly, and place a few pieces of diced cheese in the center.

Shape the rice around the cheese to make a small ball.

Flatten slightly, then roll in the corn meal, shaking off any excess. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 12 cakes.

Shallow fry the rice cakes in hot olive oil for 4-5 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot, garnished with flat leaf parsley.


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