Tuesday, 24 January 2012

WHB Green Goddess Enchiladas and other recent meals

As I have mentioned before, I have been avoiding the temptation of new recipes.  Many old favourites are appearing in our kitchen.  But when a dish appears with the temptress name of Green Goddess Enchiladas using lots of kale which is overgrowing in the garden, it is hard to resist.  It doesn't mean the dish will be as gorgeous as Joanne's version but I had to have a go.

Before telling you about my struggles with the enchiladas, I wanted to give a quick round up of some of the recipes that I have loved revisiting and one that turned on me.  Firstly here is a little overview of dinners last week:

Monday - Bangers and mash
Tuesday - Pumpkin and lentil soup (a bit like this soup but less spicy)
Wednesday - Leftover Pumpkin and lentil soup
Thusday - Broccoli burgers (from the freezer) with simple salad
Friday -  Green Goddess Enchiladas
Saturday - Leftover Green Goddess Enchiladas
Sunday - Mock Tuna (Chickpea) Salad, Coconut Bacon, salad and turkish bread

The soup was great and I got some lunches out of it.  I loved revisiting the coconut bacon.  We had it for lunch on the weekend in a salad sandwich with mayo, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, and avocado.  Even Sylvia enjoyed it.  I also tried the broccoli burgers on Sylvia but she only ate as much as she needed to eat the tomato sauce off the top.  My other enjoyable recent meal from my recipe index was tacos with a simple Kidney Bean and Corn Stew

The mock tuna salad was the one that turned on me.  Well it was a matter of me discovering that dijonnaise was too spicy for me.  Unfortunately I only made the discovery after throwing far too much into the salad I had prepared.  I hadn't realised the dijonnaise was so different to mayonnaise.  A stomach upset that night made sure that I have no desire to ever eat it again.

I am not sure that my kale plant was much kinder than the dijonnaise.  Here it is before the harvest.  Who would have guessed that kale would thrive in a Melbourne backyard in summer.  Its main problem - apart from neglect - was the little insects that race me to chomp through it.  If you saw how brutally I harvested my kale, you might think I didn't deserve any kindness from it.  There is only a stump left.

It felt like a forest in the kitchen.  Much of it went into the compost.  I tried to pick only the nicest leaves.  Sylvia and Dolly were most most interested in it.  I stuffed it into my food processor and blitzed it as much as possible for the Green Goddess sauce.  The sauce never tasted quite right.  Slightly too bitter.  I'd like to think it is a learning experience but I have made the same mistake before.

My main mistake was not so much the kale as the corn tortillas.  I love the latter in enchiladas.  But they can turn to mush all too easily.  And that is what happened.  I was just a little too eager to use up all the kale and a little too busy to read the recipe properly.  Though I did like the tips on heating the corn tortillas to make them easier to work with.

Joanne's post had a photo of enchiladas all crisp with just a little sauce (and used some of hers on the bottom of the pan as well as the top.  My photo is of the enchiladas buried under a blanket of sauce.  Maybe it would have been better if the sauce was less bitter.  My mum suggested that the kale might have been a bit old.  I found that the dish was actually better on the second night with a dollop of guacamole.


I swithered over whether to post this recipe but despite the corn tortillas not crisping on top it was quite tasty and I learnt a few things.  January has been an interesting month for posting less recipes and more of my crazy ideas from my backlog.  This has also been a survival mechanism while Sylvia is still not sleeping well in the evenings.  Fingers crossed her sleeping improves.

I would love to dig a few more posts out of my backlog but it is Australia Day on Thursday and a beach holiday beckons so it may be a bit quiet around here, though I have one backlog post in mind that may be scheduled if time permits.  Meanwhile I am sending Green Goddess Enchiladas to Cinzia of Cindystar for Weekend Herb Blogging #318, the event coordinated by Haalo and founded by Kalyn.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: NCR Sushi Salad and Sushi Rice
This time two years ago: Muffins at the tennis
This time three years ago: Apricot History and a Chutney
This time four years ago: HoTM #11: Chunky Beetroot Soup with Kidney Beans

Green Goddess Enchiladas
Adapted from Eats Well With Others
Serves 4-6

Splash of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 medium carrots, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
kernels of 2 cobs of corn
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
1 cup of cooked cannelini beans
125g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 shake of ground chillis, or to taste
2/3 cup pumpkin and lentil soup (optional)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
seasoning
10-12 corn tortillas
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Kale Sauce:
1 bunch kale (three very good handfuls), stems removed if possible
2 spring onions, chopped
2 fairly mild green chillis, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook onion, carrot, capsicum and corn in a large frypan until onion has softened (I added the vegies as I chopped them in that order).  Add chickpeas, cannelini beans and cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes start to wilt.  Add spices and stir about one minute then turn off the heat and add pumpkin (soup) and 1/2 cup cheese.  Check seasoning.  Set aside.

To make suace puree all ingredients in a food processor until fairly well blended.  (I pureed my raw kale first to make sure it got well chopped and then added other stuff but that is only because I am paranoid.)

Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Lightly cover bottom of the dish with 1/2-3/4 cup of the sauce.  (Oops I didn't do this - perhaps it is why my sauce on top was too much).

Heat corn tortillas.  Do this by either 1) wrapping the stack of them in aluminum foil and placing them in the preheating oven for 5-7 minutes or by 2) microwaving them covered with a wet (wrung out) paper towel for 30 seconds.  Spoon 2-3 dessertspoonfuls of mixture onto each tortilla, roughly roll up and place seam down in the prepared casserole dish.  The corn tortillas crack a bit but don't worry too much about this.

Pour kale sauce evenly over top of enchiladas. Joanne says not to worry if it is liquidy.  My sauce covered the whole lot and I think next time I would make sure there only enough sauce so that there is plenty of tortilla showing through it.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and scatter with sesame seeds Bake for at least 25 minutes (mine was more like 40 and could have been more) until cheese is bubbly and the tortilla peeking through is crispy.

On the Stereo:
Super Trouper: ABBA

31 comments:

  1. Hello Johanna,

    I loved this article. I loved how you talked about your garden, your struggles, your impressions and you shared a slice of life. When I read you, I always feel that I'm right there with you in Melbourne. I just love the scope of the web. It is worldwide and it connects us all. I've never dared to try kale, it's not a pretty veggie and it seems like it would taste quite strong. What would you compare the kale taste to?

    Cooksploratrice (www.cooksploratrice.com)

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    1. Thanks Cooksploratrice - yes the web is amazing - hope you get to try kale

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  2. You're so lucky you can grow kale in your own backyard (even if you couldn't salvage quite all of it!). And thanks for reminding me about the mock tuna--I did love that dish (though I didn't use dijonnaise, so I think I'm safe). :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - yes the kale plant has been amazing - and I must try the mock tuna again with proper mayo

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  3. Love all of the dishes you mention here. I so envy you! A beach holiday ... I only wish for me because I am shivering even though I am covered up with a warm blanket. I am so tired of this Canadian winter.

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    1. actually Lisa we were pleased it wasn't too hot on the beach holiday - there is only so much heat that is comfortable but I guess it is hard to feel that way in the midst of winter :-)

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  4. I think the kale sauce sounds just delightful!!!!

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  5. I too was wanting to make these enchiladas so it's great to read your experience with them! I would've been eager to use up more kale too so I'll keep in mind to follow the recipe closely. :)

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    1. Thanks Ashley - perhaps check out Joanne's comment about the sort of kale she used - I think it is a recipe that is worth tweaking as it was almost there

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  6. Oh kale grows well? I should try growing it next year then. We love kales!

    I tend to harvest them a bit young to avoid the toughness. Will have to try this source!

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    1. Thanks Anh - I was going so well with harvesting my kale plant regularly and then it got a bit out of control over summer when I had less desire for kale

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  7. Kale is finding itself into a lot of our meals at the moment. It's such a wonderful super food, (and I wish I could grow it!)

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    1. Thanks Brydie - wish I used kale more - it is a great leafy green to have in the diet

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  8. You have me impressed with your kale growing, so you could have done whatever you'd liked with it and I'd still have enjoyed the post :) I can't seem to find kale anywhere, so I'm leaning more and more towards just growing my own. It can join my heirloom carrots which were also planted out of necessity (although we'll see if the carrots grow first!). I do also like the idea of this sauce, although I'm sorry to hear of your traumatic dijonaise experience!

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    1. thanks kari - my mum brought along the kale plant and it seems to have been very little work and survived better than some of my plants - so I think you should give it a go if you can find a plant

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  9. So impressed with the kale-growing, particularly as you were kind enough to share it with the garden inhabitants but still had enough to make this! I'm very interested in your dijonnaise experience, as I'm mildly addicted to the stuff and find it very mild and rather sweet. I use the Coles of Praise (I think?) version. Did you use the Maille one? I think I remember that being heaps spicier than the one I've got right now.

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    1. Thanks Hannah - no I wasn't kind to the garden inhabitants - I suggested they eat the succulents instead and they were just wilfully stubborn. I used a Melrose dijonnaise - so maybe I need to try some other brands!

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  10. I might have to try growing some kale as there are so many recipes I want to try that use it and it's not that easy to find. The broccoli burgers are such a great recipe, must make them again soon. And I need to work up the courage to attempt some more coconut bacon! Hope you have a great time at the beach with E and Sylvia.

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    1. Thanks Mel - I highly recommend the coconut bacon in a salad sandwich - the BLT (or BLAT) sort are brilliant with coconut bacon and it is so quick and even nice to just nibble on - and yes more kale in the garden and broccoli burgers on the plate is a beautiful thing!

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  11. I haven't used kale for ages, must get some. Have to try some enchiladas too. I like that you have done something different with them.

    ps hope Sylvia starts sleeping better soon x

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    1. Thanks Jac - am really into Mexican lately - I think it suits the warmer weather but is great in any weather - Sylvia loves eating cheese and taco shells (or melted on corn chips) but cooper might like the sauce too. As for Sylvia sleeping, that just doesn't happen as much as I would like yet!

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  12. Hmm so sorry it turned out bitter! Mine wasn't bitter at all...maybe it's the type of kale that was used? Mine was the curly kale...maybe the dino kale is more bitter?

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I've only come across the dark/black/tuscan kale here - would be interested to try the dinosaur kale - especially as sylvia loves dinosaurs right now and might take to it! Might explain the difference in the recipes (but love your recipes - always great inspiration so no apologies needed)

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  13. I made this recipe tonight and the kale wasn't bitter but it did have a raw taste which I didn't care for much in this context.

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    1. Thanks Anon - I didn't think the kale was raw tasting but I did wonder if I should have cooked it first - would be interested to hear back if you do try that!

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    2. Cooking the kale might improve things a bit, but I'm not going to give it another go. It looked better than it tasted.

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  14. These enchiladas look delicious - and who doesn't love a bit of Abba?

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - enchiladas and abba is perfect way to end the day :-)

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  15. So amazing, all what you've written and most of all the fact you can grow kale in your own backyard in Australia, and that dark/black/tuscan kale is hardly to find in Italy outside Tuscany! :-) I should follow your love for the vegetable garden :-)
    Thanks for the recipe, an alternative for the kale we are used to cook in soups.

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  16. I forgot one thing: tuscan kale here is a typical winter vegetable, but now in Australia is Summer, isn't it? :-)

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