Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vegetable enchilada pies made a terrific dinner on a special occasion

Talk about a great meal! I’ve already mentioned how Hubby and I dined in for Valentine’s night and avoided the packed restaurants (and ideally, the flu bug). We decided to partner to prepare our own meal. This was the delightful main course.

We really enjoyed these pies with the accompanying homemade enchilada sauce (sauce made twice as much as we needed, so we froze the remainder for another use).

I’ll be quick to state that we did eliminate the dried hibiscus flowers, which the recipe listed as optional. Didn’t have them on hand, although the recipe says they can be quickly obtained at Hispanic markets. The black beans plus the chopped vegetables made the enchilada pies very substantial; the beans gave the enchiladas a meaty texture.

This was a terrific entrée that actually assembled into more than the four pies projected. We had leftovers for several days; the food item only got better as the time went by.

Vegetarian Enchilada Pies

1 (2-ounce) package dried hibiscus flowers, picked through (this ingredient is optional)
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 1/2 cups chopped bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
1 tablespoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup vegetable broth
12 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas
1 1/4 cups (5-ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Enchilada Sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
toppings: sour cream, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring flowers and 2 cups water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 5 to 8 minutes or until flowers are plump. Drain flowers and coarsely chop. Sauté flowers, onion, and next 2 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in beans and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Pour broth into a shallow dish. Dip 4 tortillas, 1 at a time, in broth. Place tortillas 1-inch apart on a foil-lined 15-inch-by-10-inch jelly-roll pan. Divide half of hibiscus mixture among tortillas; top each with about 2 tablespoons Monterey Jack cheese and 1/4 cup warm Enchilada Sauce. Repeat  layers once. Top each stack with a tortilla. Spoon 1/4 cup Enchilada Sauce over each stack. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with queso fresco and remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Serve with Enchilada Sauce and toppings. 

Enchilada Sauce

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chili powder (yes, this is correct—1/4 cup)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce (I used salt-free)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Cook first 2 ingredients in hot oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir often, 2 minutes. Stir in onion; cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients and 3 cups water. Cook, stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened.

Recipe makes 4 servings. (Source: Southern Living, January 2013)

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