- Prickly Pear Cactus Mojito
- Half Moon Bay Halibut with cilantro pesto
- Black bean and cheese enchiladas with green chile salsa
- Posole as a vegetable
- Refried beans
- Ensalada de Noche Buena
- Brown rice
Following a recipe from Feed Your Vegetarian, I pulled together a Prickly Pear Cactus Mojito. I could not resist the prickly pear cacti in the store, they were so beautiful – and once I had peeled them and whirled them in the hand blender, I mixed the juice with sugar to create a simple syrup, and followed the rest of the recipe. Our guests gave this a universal thumbs up!
I made the cilantro pesto a week ago, from fresh cilantro in our CSA box. I adapted the recipe I usually use for basil pesto, from Marcella Hazen’s book. A bunch of cilantro leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 2 TBS pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, S&P, whirled in my hand blender. Spread over the top of the halibut (or salmon) fillets, then baked at 400F for 15 minutes.
The black bean and cheese enchiladas were a creation of our own. Mix together one can of refried black beans with 2 cups cheese (jack or a Mexican blend). Spread about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture inside a whole wheat flour tortilla, gordito size, roll up and place intoa 9″x13″ casserole. Repeat with 11 more tortillas. I made a green enchilada salsa with some roasted tomatoes from my garden, and poured about 2 cups over the top. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
On Simply Recipes, I found the recipe for refried beans (kitchen gadgets used: pressure cooker, strainer, cast iron pan and potato masher). Because several of tonight’s guests are foodies, I decided to make the beans from scratch, rather than buying them in a can. And, I toyed with making them black, but decided to give the pinto a try, as according to the USDA Nutrient Lab, they are about equally good for you.
The Ensalada de Noche Buena comes from Cooking Light magazine – I tried it last December, when I hosted a Tamale Making-Cookie Exchange Party (yes, we had a lot going on!), and it was very tasty. Check out Simply Recipes for a easy tutorial on cutting and de-seeding a pomegranate.
Posole as a vegetable (as opposed to soup, which is the way it is usually served around here) comes straight out of The Feast of Santa Fe, by Huntley Dent:Posole as a Vegetable
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch oregano
- 2 tablespoons red chili powder
- 4 ounces canned green chilies, chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups canned hominy, drained
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over low heat, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium, add spices (cumin through chili powder), and cook for 1 minute to develop spices. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. The liquid should be only slightly thickened, add a little water if it seems to thick.