While living around the world it is important to be able to procure your favorite foods yourself because you might not be able to find them locally. While I can no longer call to have enchiladas verdes delivered from my spot on Amsterdam Avenue (Taqueria Y La Fonda between 107 and 108, those of you still in nyc should oooorderrrrr), I have made an approximation from a few recipes I’ve learned through my years abroad.
Before I delve in please be advised that I make whoever is visiting me from the States to bring me canned tomatillos. If you can not access tomatillos there are a few substitutes you can try: mixing Cape Gooseberries with green bell peppers, or green tomatoes with lemon juice.
I made these most recently for a dinner party involving too-strong margaritas (we could only handle 1 a person) and a bunch of lovely Brits. Another revelation: from now on I’m only having dinner parties the night before the help comes. Magic!
This menu is for eleven people. Also, excuses les photos (see: aforementioned margaritas):
Pico de Gallo of varying spiciness
Roasted baby carrots
Veggie enchiladas verdes
Guacamole: this is P’s domain and most know how to make a good guac, but some need to be advised-
2 ripe avocados, peeled, deseeded
1/2 red onion, minced
1 green chili, minced
2 small tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of half a lemon
Salt to taste
Mash up the avocadoes. Mix in remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips.
Pico de Gallo:
Since we had a range of tastes, I made three times this- one mild, medium and hot
2 cups of chopped tomatoes. (psst: northern hemisphere dwellers…use 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, put it in a mesh strainer and shake out the liquid)
3 tblspn minced red onion
1 green chili
1 tspn red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley if you prefer
1 32oz plain yoghurt
The zest and juice of one lemon
Mix together and serve! This is for setting off the spiciness of the food.
6 cups finely shredded (or ribboned) cabbage
Juice of one lime (or a lemon if you can’t find a lime, obviously, which might be a problem for Saffies)
6 tsp honey
6 tsp minced jalapeno peppers
6 tbsp minced red onion
4 tblsp chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Mix together and serve!
3 cups long grain rice, white or brown
1 white onion, chopped
Double the amount of pico de gallo above, or 2 cans of your favorite packaged salsa
1 Tblspoon evoo
3 cups veggie broth
Heat evoo at the bottom of the pot you will cook the rice. Saute the onions until translucent (1 or 2 minutes) then pour in rice, coating it in oil and mixing onions. Add 3 cups water, and 3 cups broth. Put on cover and bring to a boil. When it has reached boiling point turn heat down to very low and let the rice remain on the stove with cover on for 20-30 min, avoiding removing cover as much as possible. When the rice is finished mix in your salsa of choice.
Roasted Baby Carrots
Baby Carrots about 3 packages (and not the baby carrots you give to a school child, real baby carrots)
1 medium red onion, cut length wise
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, taken off the stems or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 200 degrees C or about 400 degrees F. Spread carrots and onions on baking sheet covered with wax paper. Drizzle a bit of evoo, sprinkle rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper. Put it in the oven for 30 or 40 minutes. Ta da!
6 medium zucchinis or 48 mini zucchinis, shredded
8 large spring onions chopped
2 table spoons garlic
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbspb evoo
In frying pan on medium heat olive oil. Add shredded zuchini, onions, and garlic. Saute for a few minutes before adding cheese and mixes until it melts in. Add salt and pepper to adjust taste.
4 cans tomatillos if available, or 2.5 pounds tomatillos or substitute above
4 bird’s eye chilis (optional to your taste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Bring tomatillos, chillis and garlic to boil. Drain most of the liquid. Using an immersion blender or mixer, liquify the tomatillos.
2 cups shredded cheese (queso fresco if available)
1/2 small white onion, shredded
2 spring onions, chopped
If you have access to corn tortillas then use them! Otherwise get your hands on what’s available and wrap the filling with the tortillas and place in baking dish that has been olive oiled. Pour half the sauce and half the cheese over enchiladas. Heat in the oven for ten minutes on 200C or about 400F. Take out and pour remaining sauce and cheese over enchiladas. Garnish with shredded white onion, spring onions and cilantro. Voila!