Friday, July 3, 2009

Food! Food! Food!

I wanted to post the Chilaquiles recipe for you all. My apologies for the terrible picture, it looks more like corn glop than anything scrumptious, but take my word for it - this dish is out of this world!

Simply Amazing Chilaquiles

Made simply, with few ingredients and using corn tortillas, this traditional Mexican dish is typically eaten for breakfast or brunch. My husband and I discovered it in one of those little, tiny, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants in New York, and ordered it not knowing what we would end up with. What we were served was an amazing combination of tortillas, cheese and creamy sauce that melted in our mouths. I couldn’t get enough – and quickly learned how to make it at home using basic ingredients. Apparently, this dish is traditionally made with fried corn tortillas, covered by a red or green mole sauce. The one I make, and ate the first time had a white sauce, which I imitate by using sour cream. I have made it with tortillas and with tortilla chips, and either way is fine, but they are quite different. I find the tortilla version to have a deeper taste, and prefer this, but seldom have the time to do the frying (because I decide last minute to make it). The chip version is fast, still tasty, but quite different - more like fancified-nachos-meet-casserole-ish.


12 corn tortillas, cut in strips and fried in batches in oil until somewhat crispy (or substitute 4 cups of your favorite unflavored tortilla chips, if short on time)
Salt, to taste (if using tortillas)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Once the tortillas are finished frying, assemble the following ingredients, improvising as you see fit:

1. 2 cups shredded cheese – I use a combo of Monterey jack and cheddar
2. 1 cup sour cream
3. 1 cup milk
4. 1 egg, beaten

Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may also add other spices at this point.

To add to this mixture, use your imagination! I typically add sautéed onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes and corn, but you could also add greens, cooked carrots, cooked beans, squash, potatoes, anything that sounds good to you, or that you have in the kitchen to spare.

Place tortillas/chips in 9 x 13 cooking dish. Pour sour cream/cheese mixture over tortillas, making sure some of the liquid gets in under them. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving to set. Enjoy!

A few days ago, I spoke of a chocolate chip banana bread that we make. I was asked to share the recipe for that, and here it is. My recipe is adapted from the one in the Moosewood Cookbook. However, if you have a favorite recipe of your own, try adding chocolate chips to it and see what you think. I bet even dried cranberries would be fantastic. The trick to cooking, I find, is to tune in to your inner cook and become comfortable with improvising - trying new tastes within something safe like banana bread. Try it and let me know what you think!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

A simple twist on banana bread, adding chocolate chips brings this family favorite to new heights.

Preheat oven to 350 F.


1 cup softened butter
1 1/3 C packed brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Beat the above ingredients in large bowl, beginning with sugar and butter, add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat until light in color.

4 C flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon

In another bowl, sift together above dry ingredients twice.

1 ½ C mashed bananas

12oz package of chocolate chips

Add flour mixture and banana mixture (no chips yet) alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour (flour, banana, flour, banana, flour). After each addition, mix gently to combine, but do not beat or otherwise overmix – this toughens and dries the cake. Add chocolate chips (and nuts, if using) last, and again mix very, very gently – until just incorporated. Generously butter 2 loaf pans, or a 9 x 13 baking dish. Divide batter, pour into dishes and bake, 40-50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove to finish cooling.

Have fun cooking, everyone, and make sure you let me know how it turns out!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Gluten Free Version

1 1/2 C gluten free flour mixture (tapioca, rice, sorghum, garbanzo - or any other mixture you have)
1/4 C potato starch
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C shortening
2 T milk
2 eggs
1 C mashed bananas (2-3 medium)
1/3 chopped nuts (if desired)
12 oz chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.
In another bowl, combine the milk and eggs, beating slightly.
Add half of the milk mixture. With an electric beater, beat to combine. Add half of the banana mixture and beat to combine. Repeat with remaining mil mixture and banana, beating between additions.
Beat the batter on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add nuts, if desired, chocolate chips and combine.
Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
(adapted from Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids, by Sheri L. Sanderson)


Linda said...

Your recipes look divine, thanks so much Jill, I am going to try them both.

You have a wonderful blog.

Jill said...

Thank you, Linda! Let me know ho they turn out.

Pink & Green Mama said...

Yummy and YES PLEASE!!! Thanks for sharing such fantastic recipes. I plan to try both of them : )

Angela said...

Thanks Jill! I can't wait to try them both- they will both be a huge favorite of my husband, I know. We love chiliquiles, but I had never thought of making them. Nor had I thought of putting chocolate chips in banana bread, which is his favorite bread.

And since I'm such a demanding reader, I would love the gluten-free version of the recipe because we have a friend that I'm always on the lookout for desserts to make while he's at our house.