baked chilaquiles for two 

november 20th, 2015

homesweet_chilaquiles

Thankful. 

Last weekend felt heavy. I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around it's events, around the stories of survival and heartbreak. It's all so senseless, and I just feel indescribably sad for our world and our people. 

Last weekend I surrounded myself with the people I love, cozied up with a good book, cooked up some comforting food, and enjoyed a long drawn out brunch with my good friend, Alice. We talked about work, love, city life, goals, reminisced on our time in Vermont together, felt all kinds of nostalgic, and managed to eat a basket of pastries while we chit chatted. Slow Sundays like this feel luxurious, and they're my absolute favorite. 

Long, lazy meals are a treat on weekends, but they don't have to take hours of prep and long lists of ingredients. I'm all about simple, tasty, and colorful meals, and chilaquiles checks all the above. Not only is it a snap to whip up, it's also a great "this is what I have in my fridge and pantry and I need to use it before it goes bad," sorta dish. This batch of chilaquiles brightened my day, felt nourishing and comforting, and was fun to throw together. It will definitely be a staple and pick me up through the winter months to come.

 Thankful. For all of the family and friends I'm lucky enough to call my own. And for these tasty lookin' chilaquiles I'm about to tuck into. 

baked chilaquiles - 

generously serves 2

ingredients - 

  • eight 6" corn tortillas, cut into sixths 
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • red enchilada sauce, 4 oz or so 
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced 
  • 2 handfuls of lacinato/dinosaur kale, ripped up, stems removed
  • 3 - 4 eggs
  • 8 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese, I used a raw sharp cheddar 
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • cortija cheese for crumbling
  • cilantro 
  • plain greek yogurt , if desired
  • 1/2 lime, if desired
  • hot sauce of choice, cholula forever :)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Cut tortillas into sixths, spread evenly on a baking sheet (use two if necessary!) and drizzle with olive oil. Remember, a little goes a long way with the oil. Flip the tortillas pieces over, being sure both sides are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt to taste and dust with cayenne pepper for a kick. Place in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, watching to be sure they do not burn.. (speaking from experience over here.)

While your chips are crisping, heat a pan over medium heat. Add a dollop of olive oil, heat, and toss in your diced garlic. Let garlic cook for a minute or two before adding the kale. Stir with a wooden spoon to evenly coat kale and allow it to cook for a few more minutes until it has cooked down significantly. *Note, you don't want to crisp the kale as it will be going in the oven soon.

Remove your tortilla chips from the oven. They should be crisp but not yet browned. Place in a bowl and toss with ~4 oz red enchilada sauce, evenly coating the chips. Place chips in an 8 inch cast iron or oven safe pan, then adding the black beans and sautéed kale and garlic. Sprinkle some of your shredded cheese on top of your chips. Now, with a wooden spoon or your fingers, gently create shallow divots throughout the mixture to accommodate your eggs. Gently crack eggs into each space, sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top, and place in the oven for roughly 10 minutes or until the eggs are just set and the cheese has melted completely.

Top with cilantro, avocado slices, cortija cheese crumbles, a dollop of greek yogurt, a dash of hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime.

Dig in and enjoy while it's hot with your brunch buddy.

rustic rancheros at the hacienda

september 1st, 2015

homesweet-rancheros

I feel like the most authentic version of myself when I’m outside and a bit disconnected from the busyness of the day to day. When I made my move to Vermont some years ago, I found myself falling fast for the surrounding mountains and lake. Weekends were full of belly laughs, hearty food, cheap beer, and outdoor adventures. Living in a city has made me appreciate these experiences even more, and I take every opportunity I get to return to the mountains and get off the grid. 

This past weekend I retreated to The Hacienda, a tiny mountain cabin in New Hampshire off the beaten trail. We were invited by my good friend Emily, a travel blogger, fellow UVMer, total foodie, and wonderful adventurous spirit. Catching up with Em is always comforting, motivating, and inspiring. We went for a long walk and talked about our crazy dreams, float n’ soaked in the pond, cooked great food, and shared lots of good laughs around the table with the best people.

On Saturday morning we made a big breakfast of 'rustic rancheros,' a hearty mix of black beans, spicy sausage, eggs, and vibrant veggies. We cooked outside surrounded by pine trees and blue sky, blistering cherry tomatoes, grilling sausages, and charring corn tortillas over the fire. We diced, dashed, and grilled, sipping on bloody mary's all the while. This meal is simple, satisfying, and imperfect. It was a hit with the cabin crew, winning over the very hungry men who patiently watched us take pictures of their breakfast. It's definitely a repeat meal that I'm already looking forward to making again. Eat up, and enjoy the outdoors these last few weeks of summer :).

rustic rancheros -

serves ~ 5

  • 5 corn tortillas, blackened
  • 1  15 oz. can black beans - no salt added, rinsed & drained
  • 4 links spicy chicken sausage or chorizo, grilled & diced 
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt 
  • 3 large handfuls of sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large avocados, halved and sliced
  • small bowl of mixed greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved & blistered
  • 5 eggs, over easy
  • plain greek yogurt, to taste 
  • hot sauce of choice, Cholula is my go to 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, more if you like spice 
  • salt & fresh ground pepper to taste 

*We had a wood fire with a grill top going, but these could just as easily be thrown together using a traditional grill or your stove top. 

Once your heat source is hot and ready, place the olive oil and diced onion in a pot. Heat until onion is soft and translucent. Add black beans to pot and stir. Add cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup greek yogurt, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. While the beans are cooking, place chicken sausages on the grill top as well. Rotate periodically to cook evenly. Remove the beans from heat once they have heated through entirely to avoid any burning. Cover with foil or lid to keep warm. 

Throw your halved cherry tomatoes in a cast iron skillet and cook until charred and blistered. While your tomatoes are cooking, fry eggs in a skillet, watching closely to be sure you remove before the yolks cook through. *I love runny yolks, but cook longer if desired. Remove the sausages from heat, dice, and set aside. Remove tomatoes from heat when blistered. Meanwhile, throw the corn tortillas on the grill top and char desired amount, flipping to heat both sides. 

Assemble rancheros by piling your tortillas high with beans, sausage, cheese, tomatoes, greens, an egg and avocado slices. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. 

¡Salud!

homesweet-blog

roasted rainbow carrot quinoa bowl + cilantro lemon yogurt sauce

march 22, 2015

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As I'm sure you all have heard or experienced, we've had a doozy of a winter on the east coast this year. Many days brought cold and grey and at one point I thought the snow would never stop. Today, it is 35° and sunny and I'm practically jumping for joy in my little Beacon Hill apartment. The sunshine and "springtime" vibes had me craving something colorful and bright and comforting as well, as it isn't exactly warm outside yet. 

I found myself daydreaming of home and all of the tasty and fresh meals my family and I used to whip up daily. Growing up in southern California had it's many perks, one being access to beautiful fruits and veggies no matter the season. Living so close to Mexico, many of our meals shared were variations of taco plates and salads, always vibrant and satisfying. For this recipe, I drew inspiration from the mornings spent weaving through the La Jolla farmer's market with my mom, from the hours spent in our kitchen together with the windows open, and from the chit chat and laughs that follow a satisfying meal on the patio with family and friends. I drew from the warmth and comfort of home, and this hearty quinoa bowl nearly had me believing it was 70° and sunny outside my frosty window. 

quinoa bowl -

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 large rainbow carrots, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 2 generous handfuls curly kale, torn into bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil
  • salt to taste

cilantro lemon yogurt sauce (makes a generous amount) - 

  • 1 small bushel cilantro, de-stemmed 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spice)

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and chop rainbow carrots length wise and then width wise so you end up with rather large pieces. Place in a medium mixing bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Spread the oil-coated carrots out on your lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the 2 cups of water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed, roughly 15 - 20 minutes. As your quinoa is cooking, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place your halved cherry tomatoes round side down, and allow skin to char. This gives them a nice, smoky kind of flavor and will only take a few minutes. Once charred, scoop the tomatoes into a bowl and set aside. Pour 1 Tbsp olive oil into the heated skillet and distribute evenly, coating the base. Add your minced garlic, mix around a bit, and then throw in your kale. Push the kale around to coat evenly with olive oil and garlic and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until tender, roughly 5 minutes.

While your greens are cooking, throw all of the cilantro sauce ingredients, save the olive oil, in a blender or food processor. Pulse until completely blended, gradually adding the olive oil. 

Finally, dice the avocado and prepare to assemble your quinoa bowl. Place a portion of the cooked quinoa into a bowl, and pile high with kale, tomatoes, avocado, and roasted carrots. Drizzle some cilantro sauce on top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you want an extra kick. Enjoy!