Friday, October 30, 2009

Vegan MoFo III: Bluebonnets and Lonestar Beer

This is the second part of my ode to Tejas.  I love that place.  Wink.  I should probably tell you that I pretty much loathe Lonestar Beer, though.  Blech.

I'm going to give the recipes for the enchiladas, rice and sopapillas, but the enchiladas need to be tweaked.  First, the ricotta was too thick.  I think I'll leave out tofu next time and just use cashews.  Maybe.  It needs to be thinned out at the very least.  The tomatillo sauce is missing something.  I'm thinking it needs more cumin and maybe jalapenos?  Also, I found the jackfruit distracting.  It didn't add to the dish at all.  And my Teese didn't melt (even after I did that broiler thing)!  What the frack?!  I need Daiya to come this way already.  It's the only consistently reliable melty cheese for me.

First Attempt @ Enchiladas Poblanas
*Note: This recipe is considered a fail. Prepare at your own risk*
20 oz jackfruit (in brine NOT syrup), drained and marinated*
Cilantro Cashew Ricotta (recipe below)
6 halved poblanos, stems and seeds removed and roasted (skins removed)
12 corn tortillas
Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce (recipe below)
vegan cheese, optional

Make the Cilantro Cashew Ricotta and the Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce first. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 casserole pan with nonstick spray. Coat the bottom of it with a thin layer of tomatillo sauce. Heat a skillet over medium high. Set up an assembly line: corn tortillas, hot skillet, tomatillo sauce, filling, then your enchilada pan. Take a corn tortilla and warm it up in the skillet, don't cook it. It just needs to warm up to be pliable. Next dip the tortilla in the sauce. This keeps it moist. Finally add your filling: cashew ricotta, poblano half, and some jackfruit. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Pour the rest of the tomatillo sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese if you are using it. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty and the exposed tortillas are a little browned.

*Jackfruit is completely optional.  I marinated mine in beer and chikn broth powder.

Cilantro Cashew Ricotta
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
juice of 2 small limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Combine everything in a food processor and blend until silky smooth.

Tomatillo Sauce
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
2 lbs tomatillos, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
2 large avocados, pitted and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium high heat. Cook the onions and tomatillos until the mixture goes from bright green to pale green. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add the cumin and oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and water. Bring it to a boil.  Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.  You may need to add more sugar to balance out the tartness.  Let cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, add cilantro and avocado to a food processor or blender. Add the tomatillo and onion mixture. Blend until you get a sauce. Adjust the seasonings. Pour into a saucepan or dish so it's ready for tortilla dippage.

Not the prettiest picture, but tasty for the most part!  Oh, those refried beans are out of a can.  I always add a little oil and water to thin them out because I hate that super thick canned refried bean thing.

The rice is pretty easy.  I used achiote oil for it, which is a Terry tester for her Vegan Latina cookbook.  Achiote adds a very subtle flavor and gorgeous color.  Any oil works.  You may want to up the cumin to 1 tsp if you don't use achiote.  I just like saying achiote.

Rice w/ Peas and Carrots
1-2 Tbsp oil
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup long grain white rice
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 3/4 cups water (1.5 cups for a firmer rice)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and carrot. Saute until they just start to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add cumin, salt, and rice. Cook until rice gets a little toasty. Add water and peas. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer for about twenty minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Okay...sopapillas!  They are little fried pieces of heaven.  Now I openly admit this is a complete bastardization of actual sopapillas.  The traditional stuff is made from dough and fried.  Whatever.  This is just as tasty and takes about as much time to prep as it would take to just gather ingredients for that dough.  So there.  Ha ha.  Traditionally, sopapillas are served with butter and honey.  I've added margarine and agave but it's optional.  They aren't too sweet as is.  I like that the margarine and agave make them crispy and gooey/chewy.  Also, this is a combo between just plain ol' powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar because I like how delicate powdered sugar makes these seem.

Cheater Sopapillas
5 refrigerated flour tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
Vegan margarine, optional
Agave nectar, optional

Take the tortillas and cut each one into four wedges and set aside. Mix together the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. And have a cooling rack prepared. Heat a wok on medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. (NOTE: If you don’t have a wok, use a medium saucepan but a wok heats faster and hotter).

Drop the wedges into the oil, but don’t over fill. 2 to 3 at a time is enough, depending on how big your wok is. I only did one at a time, though.  You want to flip them as soon as the edges start to go golden.  Then again after 3-5 seconds or so.  It shouldn't take longer than 10 seconds per batch.  The temperature is perfect if the wedges puff up and turn golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack. This is crucial for them to stay crispy.

Repeat until finished. Let the sopapillas cool to just above room temperature. Sift the cinnamon sugar over them and serve with margarine and/or drizzle with agave nectar. 4-5 servings.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I'm going to collapse in a food coma.  Mmmm.


Mihl said...

I never had jackfruit...and I am a bit scared of it. It's a relief to hear you found it distracting.
Sopapillas - they sound really cool and easy to make!

Anonymous said...

This was a meal right after my own heart...why can't you live closer to me? (Or rather, since you have the better weather...why can't I live closer to you?) Then I could quit cooking and just pull up a chair at YOUR house, LOL!

I know...selfish, selfish. But that's just my stomach talking.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Ha ha. Nobody loves the weather when it's over 100 night!