It’s that time again…time for another Daring Cooks’ challenge.

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food, have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce, was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.

chickenench550

We are big fans of foods with a Mexican flair around here, so this challenge went over very well in my home. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, substituting organic ingredients whenever possible. I think the only real change I made was using less cheese than the recipe calls for…

Recipe for Green Chile and Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

*1½ pounds fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) - roasted, peeled, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
*7-8 ounces tomatillos (about 4-5 medium), peeled and stems removed
*4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
*1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
*2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*½ teaspoon sea salt
*¼ tsp black pepper
*2 tablespoons organic cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
*your favorite hot sauce- optional
*2 boneless organic chicken breasts
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*salt and pepper
*12 small corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
*6 ounces grated organic Monterey Jack cheese
*cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled-optional

Directions:

Roasting Fresh Chiles:

1. Coat each chile with a little olive oil. You can use a gas stove, or you can broil or grill them.

2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.

3. When they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.

4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out. Or open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.

5. DO NOT RINSE!

Green Chile Sauce:

1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.

2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.

3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.

4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.

6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas:

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal grill. Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.

3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.

4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.

5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).

6. Drain on paper towels.

7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.

8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas (I used my cast-iron skillet), ladle a thin layer of sauce.

9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup of sauce over the tortillas.

10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.

11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.

12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.

13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

chickenenchilada1

I’ve been futzing around with rhubarb for a couple of weeks, since the moment the pink stalks first appeared in my local markets.

blackberryrhubarbbake1

I made and loved the maple syrup sweetened sauce that went with this pudding and these custards, and Tom Hirschfeld’s cake, which I baked and took to a Mother’s Day brunch, is delicious.

I had some rhubarb left over, but didn’t want to make something too sweet/rich. I wanted to branch out from the typical combination with strawberries, but most of all, I really wanted to taste the rhubarb. When I found a baked rhubarb recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes from the London River Cafe, I knew it would be perfect.

This recipe is not meant to be too sweet, and the rhubarb’s not meant to turn to mush. I’ve been craving blackberries so I added them…

blackberries

…as well as some grated ginger and maple syrup, along with the vanilla bean and the orange juice from the original recipe.

chopped rhubarbbaked rhubarb ingredients
unbaked

Though the recipe only calls for 20 minutes of baking time, I cooked this for about 35 minutes. If you want the rhubarb softer, you can turn up the heat a bit, or just cook it a little longer. I sprinkled some organic sugar onto the fruit after baking, but I like how the rhubarb is still fairly tart. You may want to add more maple syrup/sugar if you are looking for a sweeter result.

This is delicious for breakfast with Greek yogurt and it’s very good over pancakes. I imagine it’s also fabulous with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I use vanilla beans from Marx Foods. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, use 1/2-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead, and mix it up with the maple syrup and orange juice.

Recipe for Baked Rhubarb and Blackberries with Vanilla

Adapted from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
Serves 4

Ingredients:

* 5 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1-2 inch long pieces
* 2 cups of fresh blackberries, rinsed (or try any fresh berry that you like)
* 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I'm sure honey would work well, too)
*1 tablespoon grated ginger- optional
*1 vanilla bean, split in half
* juice of 1 orange (I used a blood orange)
*organic sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Arrange rhubarb pieces and blackberries in a baking dish (I used a round pie plate).

2. Scrape out some of the vanilla seeds and mix with the maple syrup and the orange juice. Add the grated ginger and drizzle over the rhubarb and berries. Lay the vanilla bean over the fruit in the baking dish.

3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Sprinkle with the organic sugar and discard the vanilla bean before serving.

closeup

topwithyogurt

A Few More Great Looking Recipes for Rhubarb:
Blueberry Rhubarb Preserves from In Jennie’s Kitchen
Rhubarb Raspberry Polenta Cake from Veggie Belly
Gluten Free Rhubarb Tartelettes from Helene at Tartelette

quinoa3

Quinoa is a nutritious seed that comes from the Andes region of South America. While it cooks like a grain, it is actually more nutritious than most grains because it is high in protein, iron, and calcium. Quinoa is also gluten-free.

For many years, the only quinoa I saw in stores was the traditional white quinoa. Recently, however, I am seeing red and black quinoa, as well. I made this salad with black quinoa, but you can use any variety that you like.

Quinoa seeds are naturally coated with a bitter substance that needs to be removed before cooking. You can easily accomplish this by putting your quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinsing thoroughly with warm water before cooking.

For this quinoa salad, you cook the quinoa just as you would cook brown rice- 1 cup quinoa to two cups water. Bring to a boil in a small pot on the stove, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook until water is absorbed. Quinoa cooks fast, so this only takes about 15 minutes. When it is done cooking, turn the heat off but leave it covered for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

black quinoa salad

You don’t have to use grilled vegetables in this salad. If you like the idea of the zucchini and the eggplant but don’t feel like firing up the grill, you could roast them instead. Or you could use chopped tomatoes, cucumber, peppers…lots of combinations would work here, and they’d all be delicious.

Black Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Basil, Feta and Pine Nuts

Yield: serves 6-8 as a side dish

Use organic vegetables whenever possible.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

*1 large zucchini
*1 large eggplant
*1 cup raw quinoa, cooked to equal approximately 4 cups cooked quinoa, and then cooled
*1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
*approximately 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I like French feta made with sheep's milk)
*1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted for a minute or so in a hot skillet

Dressing Ingredients:

*1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
*1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced
*1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
*1/2 teaspoon organic sugar or honey

Directions:

Preparation:
1. Preheat your grill. Sliced the eggplant and zucchini and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in grill basket over high heat and grill until tender. Remove and allow to cool before chopping into bite-sized pieces.

2. Combine the chopped grilled vegetables with the cooked quinoa and the basil in a large bowl. Add most of the crumbled feta cheese. Mix well.

3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour over the salad. Mix well and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

4. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and the rest of the feta. You can sprinkle a little more basil on top too, if desired.

black quinoa salad

A Few More Lovely Quinoa Salads:
Black Quinoa Salad from La Tartine Gourmande
Kalyn’s Quinoa Salad with Avocado
Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad from Closet Cooking

This post is linked to this week’s edition of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.