Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Fall! Let's eat!

It's the last day of summer! Which calls for some fall goodness. Here are a few fall recipes I've tackled over the past couple of days...

Pumpkin Enchiladas!
Now pumpkin has always been a favorite of mine, but it's usually in a sweet variety (pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice lattes!). So, this recipe intrigued me. Could my favorite flavor also come in a hearty variety? Yes, ladies and gentleman, it can. Last night I gave it a shot, and the result was phenomenal!
I fell in love, Jeff fell in love, George, well, George wanted to fall in love. It's super simple, healthy and only took about 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

The Details:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz can of enchilada sauce
1 can pure pumpkin
10 oz chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. (at least) cumin
1 tbsp. cayenne (or chili) powder
3 or 4 tbsp. Siracha Sauce
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Mexican Blend cheese
1 package whole wheat tortillas
1 avocado (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Sauté onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil.
Stir in enchilada sauce.
Add pumpkin and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper (or garlic pepper).
Add cilantro, cumin, cayenne powder and siracha sauce (yummy)!
Spread a light layer of sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
Fill tortillas with an even amount of sauce and chicken.
Roll tortillas and place in the pan with the folded edges facing down to keep them closed.
Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serve with fresh avocado.
Next up. Macaroni and Cheese!

I've had this recipe for a while and finally made it on Sunday. It's a little more labor intensive than the Enchiladas, but definitely worth it, if you can spare some patience and coordinate multiple saucepans.

Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Truffle Oil (or a little taste of heaven)
1 1/2 c. mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
4 oz. herb chevre
4 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz. parmigiano reggiano, shredded
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
2-3 tbsp white truffle oil
2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup panko
10 oz elbow pasta
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large saute pan with 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for 7-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully cooked and slightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper then deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar. Allow all of the vinegar to cook out, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Begin the cheese sauce. Add 4 tbsp butter to a medium-sized sauce pan and place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Once all the butter is melted and hot, whisk in 4 tbsp flour. Cook the flour, whisking, for about 30 seconds and then add the thyme, rosemary, sage, and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and allow the herbs to saute for one minute. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously, so the milk incorporates smoothly and there are no lumps. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer (it won't gain it's full thickness until it does), stirring occassionally.

While waiting for the sauce to come to a simmer start the pasta. Liberally salt the pot of boiling water, about 1/4 cup. Add the pasta to the water and cook the pasta for two minutes less than the suggested time on the box.

Once the sauce has reached a simmer, stir in the chevre, cheddar, 2oz of parmigiano reggiano, and truffle oil until all the cheese has melted. Turn off the heat and and taste the sauce for seasoning levels. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. In small mixing bowl, mix together the panko and remaining 2oz of parmigiano.

Strain the pasta and in a mixing bowl, toss the pasta, cheese sauce, and mushrooms together. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a deep glass or ceramic loaf pan and sprinkle the panko/parmigiano mixture evenly across the top. Bake the mac-n-cheese in the upper part of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and the cheese sauce is bubbly. Serve hot. Enjoy!
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