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Posts Tagged ‘Enchiladas’

This morning, the sun’s golden rays graced New York City with the first true day of Spring. Donning a summer dress & flip flops, I pranced out of my apartment eager for the first taste of 75+degree weather. As I took in the sights of scarlet red tulips, golden daffodils, and pretty-in-pink magnolias blossoming all around us, I stared in amazement at this seemingly sudden arrival of Spring. Surely this transformation didn’t happen overnight, but when one has been as absorbed in work as I have been in the past few weeks, it’s easy to let the world slip past you in the blink of an eye.

It was at that moment when I decided to reclaim the balance in my life, to make sure that I pay proper attention to things I love and enjoy – cooking up a storm, blogging up a bigger storm, curling up with a good book, and taking the time to just be.

My balance comes from my freedom to unleash my creativity, to draw inspiration from things I see, hear, smell, and taste, and create something that I can call my own. So it is with the same explorer’s attitude¬† that I cook up this Korean-Mexican fusion with Korean Pajeon pancakes, and Latin-flavored fillings and sauce. The flavors are nothing foreign to me, but the combination of smoky, spicy veggie fillings wrapped inside a rice-flour crepe-like pancake instead of the usual corn-flour tortilla introduced a new refreshing twist to an old favorite.

Recipe:

This is a 3 part recipe, which may seem daunting and complicated at first glance, but once you get the prep work out of the way, it’s very straightforward and easy to put together.

For the Pancake:

Ingredients:

  • Instant Korean Pajeon pancake mix – follow directions on measurements of mix + water
  • Or if you have time, 1/2 cup allpurpose flour, 1/2 cup rice flour, 3/4 c seltzer water, 1 egg, salt & pepper. (Notes: The rice flour gives it that transparency and lighter texture, the seltzer water makes it fluffier – found this tip from various bloggers and the kitchn)
  • a small bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cucumber, shredded
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce, more or less depending on your taste

Directions: Mix the batter together until well integrated and texture is smooth. Throw in the veggies and herbs, soy sauce, and in batches, spoon out batter onto an oiled frying pan. Spread out batter so it is about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick, turn heat to medium-low and when batter sticks together, flip to the other side and cook until pancake is crispy and gives off a golden brown hue.

For the Veggie Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of cremini or portabella mushrooms, sliced about 1/4 inch (you can play around with different varieties like shitake, chinese black, button, enoki, morel and oyster)
  • 2-3 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced roughly 1/2 inches thick
  • 2-3 medium sized zucchinis, diced into 1/2 inch thick medallions
  • 1 bell pepper (red, green, orange, or yellow), cut into strips that are about 2 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width
  • 14 oz can of diced tomatos
  • 1-2 handful of Morningstar Veggie crumbles (this is optional, but I love the texture they add)
  • Salt & pepper
  • A pinch of the following dried herbs: Rosemary, Oregano, Parsley, Basil

Directions: Saute the veggies, starting with carrots, which are the hardest to cook. At this time, I also add in the diced tomatoes to help flavor the carrots. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then add bell peppers and cook for about 2-3 more minutes, then add the zucchini, mushrooms, and veggie crumbles last. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, adding in salt, pepper and herbs until veggies are cooked through and well-flavored

Chipotle Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Chipotle en Adobo sauce (you won’t need to use it all)
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • 1 dash of champagne vinegar

Directions: Take out 1-2 chipotles out of the can of chipotle en adobo sauce (plus a few spoonfuls of the thick sauce itself). I find these extremely spicy so you should only need a couple to get that smoke and spice into the sauce. Finely chop the chipotle, or process in a small food processor. Mix it into the tomato sauce, add paprika and the vinegar and mix well.

Putting it all together:

Option 1: Spoon in the filling into the pajeon pancake, roll it up and place it upside down on a dish, repeat until you fill an entire casserole dish, drizzle with the chipotle sauce

Option 2: (My preference because it’s more fun) Lay a piece of the pajeon pancake on a plate, fill will the veggie filling, drizzle with the chipotle sauce, and then roll it up like a burrito and eat right away

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Once in awhile, you experience that magical feeling. Your eyes grow big with wonder, your heart beats slightly faster with anticipation, and your mind soars high up with unbridled imagination. I’m not talking about the Abracadabra kind of magic. No, this is the kind of magic found in childhood wonder. Like the first time you flew a kite and watched it sail across the sky, the time you lit up sparklers on 4th of July, your first home run, or the first time your tongue makes contact with the most exquisite sip of wine (hopefully, this was a bit past your childhood). You become raptured by the moment, bewitched by its spell.

And that’s the kind of magic I found in these Enchiladas. My heart sang cheery songs while I chopped and mixed, my feet danced a happy jig as I sprinkled and seasoned, and my tummy did cartwheels and somersaults as my mouth savored the fusion and harmony of flavors.

Spicy Seven Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 Poblano Pepper – broiled, peeled, and chopped finely
  • 1-2 Jalapeno Peppers – broiled, peeled, and chopped finely
  • 2 Chipotle Chiles
  • 1-2 Tbsp Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Chile Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 can/1 large Diced Tomato, with juice
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 Limes

Get Saucy:

  • Combine all ingredients (except Cilantro) together in a pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the smoky aroma fills the air, and the spice stings your eyes :). Add Cilantro.
  • Take a hand blender and pulse until desired smooth/chunky texture achieved.

For the Enchiladas:

  • 1 package of corn tortillas (about 10 pcs)
  • 8-12 oz of cheese (I used Monterey Jack, but Cheddar/Harvarti (sharper taste), or Mozzarella (milder taste) would work just as well)
  • 2 handfuls of Cilantro, washed, and chopped
  • 1 can/1 large Diced Tomato
  • 1/2-1 pkg of Baby Bella Mushrooms (or any other that strike your fancy)
  • 1 large Zucchini, chopped into little square cubes
  • 1 handful of Sweet Corn
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, broiled, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper (Orange/Yellow/Red), chopped into little square cubes
  • 1/2 White Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Pinch of dried rosemary
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried parsley flakes
  • Pinch of Chili Pepper Flakes
  • Some Chives
  • Butter, for cooking
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Now Get Enchanted:

  • Make the Filling: In a pan, saute onion in butter. Add in Bell Pepper, Poblano Pepper, Jalapenos, Mushrooms, Corn, and Zucchini. Season with Salt & Pepper.
  • Add in the Tomatoes and cook until all the flavor of all the vegetables blend together in perfect harmony
  • Season with herbs and spices above (Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Oregano)
  • Finally, stir in 1/2 of the Cilantro and all the chives. Drain any excess liquid
  • Now, assemble the Enchiladas. Spread some of the Enchilada Sauce (above) into a baking pan. Spoon some filling into a tortilla

  • Tightly roll each filled tortilla and place side by side in baking dish

  • Repeat until dish is filled and top with the remaining Enchilada Sauce.¬†Sprinkle generously with cheese and stick in oven

  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the rest of Cilantro on top

  • Now, take a fork and dig in!

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