Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Roja

July 22, 2009

IMG_0116_enchiladasI got this recipe from the Latin American Spice & Recipe Kit, which was on clearance at Williams Sonoma.    Not sure if they have any more, but I got mine at the store on Walnut.    It’s a nice box with 6 different mexican spices (Cumin, Guajillo Chili Powder, Achiote Powder, Ancho Chili Powder, Chipotle Chili Powder, and Mexican Oregano).   I’m pretty sure you can buy most of this in the Giant Eagle Mexican section or Reynas in the Strip.    It’s an interesting recipe as in it requires you to make your own enchiladas sauce, but with a blender – it’s very easy to get everything down to a puree.    I was blown away by the tastiness of the sauce paired with the sour cream.   For the radishes, slices seemed kind of big, so I cut it into planks and it was a nice complement to the other flavors.    I might try not to reduce it too much in the pan, because it didn’t seem like I had enough sauce.    Or possibly double the sauce recipe to have enough left over.

IMG_0116_enchiladas_2Another thing I really like was running the tortillas thru the hot oil.   Not only did it get the tortillas very pliable to roll, it added a little crust and really brought out the flavors.    I’ve used this to much success for making soft tacos out of the remaining corn tortillas.   Usually I’ve been more of a flour tortilla guy.   

One last thing, I might keep the enchiladas in the oven a bit longer to warm especially if it’s taking you awhile to assemble the dish.



Provencal Vegetable Gratin

April 25, 2009

I made this dish last week for the meeting of the two families.   My parents got to meet Lisa’s parents for the first time.    It’s an old favorite I saw on FoodTV – decided to pull it out for something I can make here, assemble and transport to Wheeling to cook.    I used regular vine tomatoes but I think if I make it again, I would use the firmer roma tomatoes and maybe slice at an angle for bigger pieces.   The regular tomatoes got kind of mushy when I had to toss with the olive oil.   It got rave reviews from the family plus the presentation is great with the red, yellow, and green colors.


Basic Stovetop Polenta

December 8, 2008

I got a new cookbook a week ago on homecooked Italian family meals, and decided to try out their Polenta recipe.   Polenta is one of my early Italian favorites when I got into cooking back in 2000.    I ended up making some adjustments to their recipe because it needed a little more flavor (butter, pepper, a little more salt) + more water was added to soften up the mixture.   It was good, but I was reminded of a better recipe in Henry Hill’s the Wiseguy Cookbook which contains many of my adjustments.   This is a great cookbook for old Italian recipes and contains several stories from Henry Hill’s life in his family and the mafia.   

Usually when I make this recipe, I like to top it with my favorite spaghetti sauce to serve.    My favorite is from Figaretti’s, an excellent restaurant in Wheeling, WV.    You can find this sauce here at Penn Mac in the Strip.


Sweet Potato Casserole

December 7, 2008

This is another good recipe for the holidays that gets raves.   It’s a nice alternative to the savory dishes – and fits well in the holiday theme.   It’s also loaded with butter.    Thanks to Lisa for this recipe… this is hers.    I helped her this Thanksgiving and added some of my notes.