Tag Archives: spinach

Chicken and spinach enchiladas

If there was ever a point in my life where I was forced to eat only one ethnic group’s food for the rest of my life, I’d probably pick Mexican food. All the pungent flavors, bright colors, and different textures just sing to me when I eat it. It’s beautiful! Red tomatoes, green peppers, yellow rice, brown beans, and slowly-cooked meats marinated in deliciously spicy (or sometimes sweet-savory) sauces…how can you go wrong?

When M and I first moved into our current apartment, I was unsure of my cooking skills as chef, even if I had been cooking for over a decade. So, when we began planning out the meals we’d eat, M decided she wanted enchiladas, and I readily agreed. Simply to make and easy to eat, enchiladas are a great meal to make, whether cooking for a crowd or just two people. M and I always make four enchiladas, and eat two apiece. This night was an anomaly, but I chalk it up to the veggies in the enchiladas…they’re great filling!

I mixed up a canned enchilada sauce with chipotle peppers, roasted garlic and spices to make it taste better than ever, and add some to the filling to make the flavors pop. You can use any kind of shredded cheese you like, although I always reach for Tillamook. When wrapping, it’s easiest to roll with the flap on top so that you don’t get filling all over everywhere.

Cheesy chicken and spinach enchiladas

3 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

4 flour tortillas (we used medium ones, as large is too big)

2/3 c shredded cheese

3 c spinach, wilted and chopped

2/3 c refried beans

3/4 c canned enchilada sauce (we use Rosarita brand)

1 tbsp chipotle pepper puree (or adobo sauce, if you prefer)

1/2 tbsp roasted garlic, mashed into a paste

cumin, cayenne, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C.) Line an 8×8 inch cake or brownie pan with foil.

In a pan, heat the refried beans and season with some cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and pepper. Mix and cook until heated through, then set aside. While it’s cooking, use a small bowl to mix the enchilada sauce, roasted garlic, pepper and chipotle puree. Taste and adjust for spice.

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, chopped spinach, and about a 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese, as well as 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce. Spread two tablespoons’ worth of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Place a tortilla inside the pan and spread 1/4 of the beans across the tortilla. Fill it with the chicken and spinach mixture, then fold it and flip it over. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas.

Once all your tortillas are folded, spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, making sure to spread it around evenly. Top with the remaining cheese, and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is entirely melted. If you like, place them under the broiler for a few minutes for color, but keep an eye out to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.

Once you’ve taken the enchiladas out, serve them up with beans, chips, pico de gallo and whatever else you like! 

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Spinach and cheddar quiche with roasted garlic

Note on my changes: After a little deliberation, M and I have decided that neither of us liked the crust enough to want to make the quiche with it again, so I’m omitting it. It still creates an amazing, crustless quiche 🙂 

Eggs are really popular in our household. M generally only cooks when eggs (or easy mac) are involved, our roommate loves to boil them and leave them out on the counter for us to find, and I think they’re pretty swell, too. Eggs, sunny-side up, served with toast and some sharp cheddar are by far one of my favorite ways to start off the day.

When it comes to egg suppers, though, M loves nothing more than quiche. She’s mad for eggs. And yet, as much as I love quiche, I don’t make it very often. The sheer amount of cholesterol in the number of eggs it takes to make quiche are generally enough to scare me off, not to mention the glut of butter and cream the recipes call for. So, when M requested quiche for tonight’s supper, I was a little hesitant. Quiche is quick, and since we’ve got an engagement tonight, that is a great thing. I did balk at the idea of it, until Pheasant stood up and said to me, “No! You will make the best quiche ever. And you know what? You’ll enjoy every. Last. Bite.”

To the internet!

I’ve sifted through countless recipes looking for the perfect quiche recipe. And, finding none, I decided to improvise. I took pieces of quiche recipes from two or three different ones, and ended up with this one.

I love herbs, and so I decided to play with the herbs in this quiche…generally, I feel like quiche is really bland unless there is a ton of cheese (read: fat) in it. I love the idea of flavoring the eggs themselves so that no only the cheese and vegetables have flavor, but the eggs as well.

So, I set out with this lovely recipe in mind. Because we don’t have a pie pan, I used an 8×8 inch brownie pan, and just cut the quiche into nine pieces for easy eating.

Quiche, squared

4 eggs

1 c 1% milk

1 tbsp sour cream

1/2 onion, sliced thinly

10 oz fresh spinach

1 tbsp garlic mash

1 c grated cheddar

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

parsley, paprika and rosemary to taste

First, preheat your oven to 350°F (171°C.) In a large skillet, place the onions and some oil to sauté. When they’ve become golden-brown, add in the spinach until it all wilts down.

Combine the eggs, milk, and spices together, whisking to form a thin scramble. Spread the spinach and onion across the bottom of the crust. Cover in cheese, pour the eggs in, and replace the pan in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let cool, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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Filed under All things eggs, Baking

Spinach-stuffed sole

So, pheasants, how do you feel about fish?

As for me, I absolutely adore fish. Both of my parents hail from the lovely and sunny state of Hawaii, where fish is practically a staple. My dad has lots of stories of going out fishing with his brothers, and whenever we go back, my family loves nothing more than to visit the Suisan Fish Market for the tuna, opihi (like limpets, but much better) and anything else they’ve got for sale that day. It’s heaven to look at, and the local boys working there aren’t bad either!

From a very young age, I learned to love fish. It hasn’t always been that way, though, pheasants. Believe it or not, there was a time when I wouldn’t touch the stuff. I turned my nose up at it, believing it to be disgusting, nasty stuff…that wasn’t, however, the case with lobster. And my dad is a devious man when he puts his mind to it.

I can’t recall exactly what age I was when it happened, but we went out for supper one night after many, many nights of coaxing on my parents’ behalf to get me to love those delicious morsels from the sea. I wouldn’t have it. At this restaurant (a seafood restaurant) we all ordered. I was quite excited, because although I didn’t like fish, I was mad for all other sea critters: shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams. I’d scarf them down like they were going to be my last meal. And, like any young child, I didn’t pay a whit of attention to my parents’ orders. The coloring mat I’d been giving was much, much more interesting.

So, the food came, and I was all a-bounce for it. My dad, casual and wonderful man that he is, cut up his food, and offered me a forkful. I sniffed and turned away.

“I don’t want that!” I said. “You know I don’t like fish.”

“I ordered lobster,” My dad said, and, more excited than not, I gleefully shoved the fork in my mouth, chewed, and swallowed. Then, I frowned. “Did you not like it?” He asked.

“I liked it a lot. But it doesn’t taste a thing like lobster. Are you sure that’s what they gave you?”

“Not at all. Because I ordered fish.”

Oh, pheasants, can you imagine the heartbreak, the horror I felt at this deception? I pouted. I frowned. I couldn’t believe this. But it tasted so good, pheasants. So, so buttery, smooth, and with just the right touch of salt. And thus began my love affair with all things piscine.

So, it was with great excitement that I headed with the girlf (from here on out, she requests to be known as M. I’ll never be able to think of her as anyone else but the James Bond character again) down to Costco, that wondrous land of plenty. We were headed for the fish section. About a month before, we’d purchased some lovely tilapia fillets, which were completely and utterly delightful. My dad can say what he will about tilapia, but it’s absolutely delicious to me.  However, this time, M picked up a pack of Dover sole fillets.

“How about this?” She said. I turned away.

“Sole tastes like nothing,” I replied. “Why not go with the tilapia again?”

“Sole is cheaper,” M insisted. She loves it when things are “cheaper.” I shrugged.

“Fine, but it won’t taste like much.”

So, tonight’s supper is, after everything, going to be stuffed sole. And not just any stuffed sole, pheasants. Don’t ever think I go with “just” anything. No. We’re stuffing this sole with garlic-scented wilted spinach, baking it, and topping that puppy off with an aioli sauce to knock your socks off.

Pheasant’s Spinach-Stuffed Sole Fillets

2 Dover sole fillets

1 1/2 cups packed fresh spinach, washed and drained

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp black pepper, optional

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 whole lemon, rolled and halved

1/4 tsp roasted garlic oil, optional

1/2 tsp butter

To begin with, you’ll want to put a pan on medium heat, and add the olive oil and garlic. Wait for the garlic to saute, and when it’s slightly golden and extremely fragrant, add the spinach. Toss the greens in the oil and garlic, coating everything. Allow it to wilt down, then take the pan off the heat and divide the spinach into two equal portions.

Placing the sole on a foil-lined, Pam’d, rimmed baking sheet, place half the spinach (make sure it’s cooled, so you don’t burn yourself!) on one sole fillet, and squeeze some of the lemon juice onto it. Then, roll it up like you’re making a pig in a blanket. You can secure it with a toothpick if you like. Once both fillets are all nice and roly-poly, place the butter and garlic oil in a small dish, whisking them together until they’re blended (or, to skip this, just nuke it for about ten seconds.) Then, divide and baste each fillet with half that beautiful mixture. Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper and parsley, if you like, then stick them in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and looks cooked. Once they’re out, let them rest for a moment. Sprinkle with more lemon juice, dollop on some aioli if you please, and dig in!

Servings: 1 ~ Calories: 250 ~ Fat: 9g ~ Carbs: 9.5g ~ Fiber: 3g ~Protein: 34g ~ Sodium: 612mg

Questionable content:

What types of fresh, regional fish do you prefer?

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Filed under Seafood