Monday, November 11, 2019

Chiles Rellenos

When the Hatch chiles came to town this summer, I really loaded up! I've got bags full in my freezer, and that's a good thing. I have used them in egg dishes, quesadillas, and refried beans. Lurking in the back of my 'recipe' mind, is a vegan white chili with a bunch of them. (I'm thinking white beans, potatoes, roasted corn, vegetable broth thickened with some cashew cream, and lots of chiles. I'll let you know!)

Hatch chiles come from a certain part of New Mexico and are available at only certain times of the year. They are not poblano and they are not anaheim; the medium ones are really not that spicy. And they are the perfect and classic pepper to use for a chile relleno.

My son and I were a little obsessed about our precious chiles when we got them in the house and we just had to try the rellenos! I'm not a great lover of fried food, but for these authentic rellenos, every splatter of grease and every calorie was worth it!

Here's what you need:
(I don't really have quantities. This was truly a free-form cooking event. I had a lot of help and encouragement from other bloggers and internet 'friends.')

Hatch chiles (roasted and peeled, seeds removed). I am sure other Mexican chiles would be good here as well.
Monterrey Jack cheese cut in strips
4 eggs separated
4-5 fresh tomatoes, cored
2 garlic cloves
nutritional yeast (optional)
other seasonings

Here's what you do:
Boil the tomatoes with the skins on in enough water to cover for a while. Whirl them in a blender with the boiling water and with the garlic cloves, 2-3 T nutritional yeast (optional), and other spices to taste. Keep it a bit simple because you want the chiles to be the star of the show. Heat 2-3 T corn oil and add 2-3 T flour to create a roux. Add the tomato sauce and cook for about 1/2 hour or until the sauce is thickened. Set aside.

Slit the chiles lengthwise and remove seeds. Stuff them with cheese. Set aside.

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until fluffy. Also whisk the yolks until creamy and light yellow. Add 2-3 T flour to the yolks. Carefully incorporate the whites into the yolks. Dip the stuffed chiles in the egg batter and fry carefully in hot oil.

That's it! It's really not too difficult! The hardest part is locating the Hatch chiles!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Creamy Spinach and Cauliflower Stuffed Shells

Pasta shells can be stuffed with just about anything. A lentil meat crumble and tomato sauce would be good. Mushrooms and chestnuts sauteed and ground up would be great. Minced veg and mashed potatoes would even be good - kinda like a pirogi. A few years ago I created an excellent shell stuffed with cheese and artichokes and smothered in a lemon sauce. So good!  (See my Lemon Artichoke Stuffed Shell recipe HERE)

NOTE: This is a double batch!

Today I made this ridiculous amount of shells stuffed with spinach and cauliflower, bound together with a thick creamy cashew sauce. Healthy and light and very nice on a blustery November evening.

Here's what you need:
1 box jumbo pasta shells
2 x 12 oz bags frozen cauliflower - defrosted
3-4 oz fresh spinach (3 big handfuls)
1 t miso paste
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 C non-dairy milk
2 T cornstarch
1/2 C raw cashews
1 C water
32 oz marinara sauce
salt, pepper, dried basil

Here's what you do:
Start by chopping the onions and garlic. Saute the onions in a small bit of oil until soft and translucent. Add the garlic toward the end, being sure not to brown the garlic. Add the miso and incorporate it well. Set aside.

Working in small batches, process the cauliflower, spinach, and sauteed veg in a food processor. Season with salt, pepper, dried basil. Mix well and set aside.

Whirl the cashews and water in a high speed blender to create a cream. Thicken the cream over low heat. Whisk the corn starch into the milk and add it to the cashew cream. Whisk constantly until quite thick. Add this cream mixture into the spinach-cauliflower mixture. Season appropriately.

Cook the shells until just al dente and fill them with the lovely mixture. Place the shells in a 9x13 and bake until bubbly.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bulgur Taco Meat

Don't panic when vegans come to visit! Serve them this foolproof bulgur taco meat and everyone will be satisfied!

1 C bulgur
1 package taco seasoning
1 can Rotel brand tomatoes
1 1/2 C water

Cook bulgur according to package or until all the liquid has absorbed. This stuff is really good!