Chicken Enchiladas

I know what you’re thinking — yum, yum, yum. My mouth is watering.

My cutie friend Ali and I made these enchiladas for Gourmet Club: Mexican Fiesta! They were super easy to make and super tasty.

The best part is putting the filling into the tortillas.

We used PC Blue Menu Chipotle  & Red Pepper Whole Grain Tortillas.

It made the enchiladas healthier and tastier.

We almost used canned enchilada sauce but then we realized it tasted nasty and cheap. So we made the sauce from scratch instead!

Much better idea.

Ali poured the sauce and I took some pictures…

Then Ali added lots of cheddar cheese (light) while I took more pictures.

Serve the enchiladas with sour cream – it helps reduce the face sweats!

You can find the recipe here.

Thanks for the good times Ali 🙂

Gourmet Club: Mexican Fiesta pictures will be up shortly – stay tuned.

Yours edibly,

Elana

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Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Gou!!!

I figured it was about time for me to end my Irish shenanigans and move on to different foods.

Over the summer, my boyfriend and I went to Budapest – an amazing city which we both loooveedddd (maybe more than Dublin?). Anyhow, we had an incredible goulash at this restaurant called Klassz and I basically tried to relive that experience with this recipe.

If you’re sick and tired of your typical beef stew, then you really got to try this. But just keep in mind, good gou needs several hours of simmering and it really is best the day after — I learned this the hard way 😦

I started by browning the bacon and meat – I chose beef, though I was very tempted to try lamb.

After browning, I set aside my meat and started cooking everything else.

Then I added back my meat and let the gou simmer for hours – about 4 in total plus a little extra heating the next day.

After all that waiting, I finally got to eat this…

Was it worth the wait??

You betcha!

By the way, the best wait to tell if the gou is ready is to test a piece of meat with a fork. You don’t have to eat it, just check if the meat tears easily with a fork.

If it does, you know the meat is tender and ready to eat 🙂

Also, sweet paprika may be hard to find, but you need it so find it.

I found the recipe here, but I changed it just a little.

Hungarian Goulash

6 pieces bacon (any kind should work)
4 lbs stewing beef, diced
4 medium onions, diced
2 large garlic cloves, pureed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
3 cups green sweet peppers, diced
5 tbsp sweet paprika
2 cups canned tomatoes diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 cups beef broth
3 cups water
5 cups potatoes, peeled & diced into ½ inch cubes

Salt & pepper to taste

1)  In a large cast iron or thick-bottom pan, fry the bacon over high heat until light golden brown. Some of the fat has been rendered.  Remove the bacon.

2)  In the same pan, fry the diced beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Continue frying until the meat has a light golden brown colour, then remove from the pan.

3)  Turn down the heat, add the onion and garlic, and sauté gently for 4 – 6 minutes.

4)  Next, add the bay leaf, thyme, caraway seeds, green peppers and paprika, followed by the tomato and tomato puree.

5)  Return the beef and bacon to the pan.  Add the beef broth and water, and gently simmer on the stove top for approximately 2 hours or more – depending how close your meat is to being tender.

6)  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the diced potatoes.  Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.  The meat should be tender and moist, and the sauce slightly thickened.

7)  Once cooked, remove from heat and remove the bay leaf.

Serves 8 – 10

Try serving with a dollop of sour cream – delicious!

Let me know how the gou tastes.

Yours edibly,

Elana

More Craic

On a day trip I took to Wicklow and Glendalough, where P.S. I Love You was filmed, our tour bus stopped off at Avoca. This place is unbelievable.  The company is famous for their handwoven scarves, blankets, rugs, and throws, but I loved their beautiful cafe and the amazing selection of food.

AVOCA!

and the Fern House Cafe.

Inside the cafe…

This is the gourmet cafeteria-style eatery!

Sugar Tree Cafe!

Not quite sure what these things are but they look fabulous!

Now for some elegant pastries,

Please take me back.

Where can you get profiteroles like this in Toronto?

Dying…

Drooling…

I can’t take it anymore. Last one.

Thanks AVOCA!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Home Sweet Home (NOT)

That trip just flew by 😦 But not before I could take some grand pictures! I’m going to be using some Irish slang in my post, see below for translations.

I had some good craic in Dublin.* But Irish food isn’t much to get excited about. To be honest with you, the only places you can really get some real Irish grub is in the pubs — but Dublin has 900 pubs!! So ya, I guess you can get Irish grub on every street corner, but I’m more of  restaurant gal and so I ate much more than Irish grub during my time in Dublin.

At one of the Irish pubs/restaurants I visited, I decided to be adventurous and order Clonakilty black pudding. For those of you who don’t know what black pudding is, it’s not at all what you think.

Those big round black things are made from dried pig’s blood! Definitely, one of the craziest things I’ve eaten – but quite tasty 🙂

I also ordered Irish stew, made with none other than Guinness beer. This dish was good, but I have to admit, I didn’t think it was that grand.

All our dishes were served with Irish soda bread. This bread is very, very dense — it is made with buttermilk and baking soda.

Dublin is so brill! The city’s average age is only 25 years old, mainly because Dub is home to the country’s three largest universities.

Contrary to what you may think, or at least what I originally thought, Irish people aren’t wellied all the time. Irish people are extremely polite and very proper. They would never shout obscenities at women, as drunk Torontonians often do, and they are so friendly!

Now for some non-Irish grub.

This dish here is just an app — pan seared gambas (prawns), with sweet chili dressing, char-grilled courgette, tomato chutney, &  basil aioli. This is from a grand restaurant in Monkstown, just outside of Dublin, called Seapoint.

Mmmm, isn’t the presentation beautiful? This is the pan-roasted salmon, fennel fondue, crispy pancetta, tangy saffron mash, and sweet red pepper jus. My mouth is watering…

Especially over this next one…

This is the grilled sea bream, with saute leeks, tapenade mash, tomatoes, capers, and dill beurre blanc.

Finally, whoever said chicken was boring?

Corn-fed chicken, smoked bacon and lemon thyme risotto, buttered spinach, chili, coriander, and ginger jus.

Now I had to ask, why is this restaurant advertising that they use corn-fed chicken?

The chef informed me that they choose to use corn-fed chicken because it produces a juicier, meatier product, which yes, is very true.

After seeing Food Inc. though, I think most of us now know that when farm animals (cows, chicken, etc.) are fed corn, they become much fatter, therefore, producing more meat. However, these animals don’t enjoy eating corn. In fact, they hate it!

They prefer grass – which is why most people are opting to buy grass-fed meats. This is the sustainable option.

I guess Dublin chefs have a lot to learn about the food industry…

  • Brill (Brilliant) – Cool
  • Craic – Fun
  • Grand – Great
  • Wellied – Drunk
  • *I had some good craic (pronounced crack): I had a jolly good time!

That’s all for now, more pictures to come.

Cheers!

Elana

Fresh Rolls (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

My friend recently started a Gourmet Club, where once a month a group of us meet up at someone’s house and have a potluck style dinner party always with a new theme.

Our first dinner was this past Sunday and the theme was Taste of Thai (pictures to come). I decided to make these delicious fresh rolls, or vietnamese spring rolls, and a mango sorbet for dessert!

Fresh rolls are easy and fun to make, but slightly time-consuming. I’m a very meticulous person so it took me a good two hours just to roll these wraps, but the final product made up for all the hard work. Here is my recipe for these wraps:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 mango
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1 package rice vermicelli noodles
  • about 24 rice paper wraps

Method:

  1. Juliennethe cucumber, mango, carrots, and avocado so they are all about an even length (2-3 inches long)
  2. Finely chop cilantro
  3. Prepare rice vermicelli noodles as per package instructions, or place noodles in hot water (180°F) for about 5-6 minutes then quickly drain water and place noodles under cold running water until completely cooled
  4. Set up your rolling station with all your veggies, herbs, noodles, wraps, and a cutting board, shallow wide bowl with hot water and towel
  5. Soak one wrapper at a time in hot water until flexible, dry off on towel, and place on cutting board
  6. Add all ingredients set off to one side, roll one side of wrapper over ingredients, then fold in both sides, then continue rolling (see pictures for this step)
  7. Let wraps sit under damp towel to prevent from drying out
  8. Makes about 24 wraps
  9. Eat and enjoy!

Place all ingredients in wrap, set off to one side

Fold over one end of wrap so it is just covering ingredients

Fold each side of the wrap over the centre

Continue rolling from first end and voila!

Yours edibly,

Elana