Monday, February 28, 2011

Captain's enchiladas


Why is it that after it's been a stint since writing a blog post or a journal entry, we feel the need to say, "sorry it's been a while"  or give some justification of what we have been doing that would elicit such absent behavior?  It's as if our blog or journal is some loyal dog that has been waiting at the door for us hungry.

Here's my excuse: I got a job, I've cooking less (because of the amazing chef living here), I've been catering to my husband with a broken leg, and I'm pregnant.  Yes, 22 weeks.  She or he is due on the 4th of July, and therefore has been named, Captain America.  Captain is apparently Latino.  All I have wanted to eat for the last 5 months is corn chips, papusas, tamales, fish tacos, burritos, huevos rancheros, posole, and now enchiladas.

I've been feeling achy and having muscle cramps lately so, yesterday I went to see my favorite massage therapist, Scott.  I described to him how I've been feeling, "achy, as if I have molasses in my joints."  He worked on me a bit, and then asked, "Have you tried eating molasses?" BRILLIANT! 

How am I to fit molasses into my diet?  You would think that growing up in Louisiana, I would have all kinds of ideas, but not for these such cravings.  So, the enchiladas were born.

Deer Spinach Enchiladas
In this recipe, I used deer meat that my father hunted for me.  Ground turkey , beef, or firm tofu or tempeh would also work well.  Serve the enchiladas with brown rice and a green salad for a full meal. 

Serves 4 to 6

2 T coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T ground cumin
2 dried chipotle chilies, seeded and torn into pieces
1- 28 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 tsp sea salt
2 T molasses

Enchilada stuffing:
1 T coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 pound deer meat
2 tsp chili powder
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, diced
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 to 2 cups cooked white beans

10 to 12 organic corn tortillas
*1/2 cup grated organic mozzarella cheese (optional)

  1. To make the sauce, heat a 3-quart pot over medium heat.  Heat oil in the pot, add onion and sauté for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and sauté a few minutes more.  Next add the remaining ingredients (chilies, tomatoes, water, salt, molasses).  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes (or until you’re done with the rest of the meal).  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. This is another great use for an inversion blender.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. To make the enchilada stuffing, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil.  Add onion and sauté until soft.  Add garlic, cumin, and salt, sauté a minute more.
  4. Add ground meat, and cook until brown.  Drain any excess fat.
  5. Add chili powder, red peppers, and spinach.  Saute until the spinach wilts.  Turn off the heat, add the cooked beans, mix well.
  6. To assemble the enchiladas, hold a tortilla in your hand, and scoop about ½ cup of filling in the center.  Tightly roll the tortilla; place in a the 9 x 13 glass baking dish, seam down.  Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Top the enchiladas with the sauce.  Sprinkle the top with cheese.  Cover the dish and bake about 40 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve hot!

Molasses is a great sweetener, especially compared to it's counterpart, white sugar, which has been stripped of nutrients.  Molasses is one of the few sweeteners that provides any nutritional benefit.  The nutrients it provides are particularly important during pregnancy, and could potentially help to alleviate some of my ailments.  It's high in iron, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals like potassium, copper and manganese.  Captain is 10 1/2 inches long, and laying down bone faster than she ever will.  These minerals are imperative for building bone.  If my diet or blood stream doesn't have enough, he'll happily take it from my stores (muscles and bone) - hence the achiness and muscle cramps.  Maybe this meal will even help Ammen lay some new bone in his broken leg, he is on his 3rd helping.  Do you have any good molasses recipes to share?