Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween & A treat of a Dinner!

Much to our disappointment because of where we live we get very little trick or treat traffic. Our street is dark and dangerous and with lighted streets and sidewalks right around the corner we stand little chance of enjoying the parade of little ghost, goblins, and fairies at our door begging for treats. We do everything we can think of short of stopping traffic to invite trick or treaters. We decorate with the help of our granddaughter and on Halloween night we light up the yard as bright as we do on Christmas eve.

It makes no difference however because we still get only a few children at our door. My sweet husband never gives up hope. Each year he buys enough candy for an army and stands ever expectant at the door  candy laden bowl in his arms ready for that bus load of children to finally appear. Me I gave up hope long ago and if Madeline isn't here trick or treating or I am not at her house trick or treating then I prefer to spend my time in the kitchen cooking up a real treat for dinner. 
 This year was no different the hubby traded places between pacing and standing guard at the front door with intermittent bulletins of important information like "I see flash lights". Flash lights that never materialized but gave the man hope. Me I went to the kitchen where a package of ground meat was waiting for me, meat that I had no idea what to do with. I was thinking meatloaf but we had that not too long ago, stuffed peppers the same thing we just had that, just about everything I thought of we had just had. I looked in the fridge for inspiration and found some, then into the pantry I dived and came out with a hand full of items. I set it all on the counter looked at it for a few minutes closed my eyes and..... Nothing. Hubby pops in for one of his ever informative bulletins and sees the ingredients on the counter and says "Aren't you going to get out your enchilada sauce?"He was thinking stuffed peppers, but we already know I am not thinking stuffed peppers. A closer look at what is on the counter and the enchilada sauce gave me an idea. I pull out the sauce and some salsa verde from  the freezer and into a bowl of hot water they go. Then I stand back take a breath think about how to build our dinner and where should I start first. Once I had a plan in my head I got to work. I started out browning the meat with onion and garlic, but first I turned on the oven to 400 and put 3 medium poblano pepper's directly on the bottom oven rack.  Okay back to the meat once the meat was browned and the veggies tender I added my spices (and I used the measuring spoon this time) I added my liquid and set it to simmer. Then I moved on to the beans, after preparing them I sliced my tomato and toasted up the tortillas. By the time I had all that done the peppers, enchilada sauce, and salsa verde were ready.I built dinner layer by flavorful layer blending sweet and heat to make a true Halloween treat.  I haven't  decided yet what to call this creation, I am leaning towards Mexican Lasagna but somehow feel that is just not the right title.

 No Name Delicious
 3 medium poblano peppers 
 3/4 to a 1 pound ground meat( I used a mixture of veal, pork, & beef)
 1 small onion chopped
 5 cloves of garlic minced ( remember my family loves garlic, if yours doesn't back off a little)
1/4 + white wine
 2 tablespoons chili powder
 1 tablespoon ground cumin
 1 teaspoon black pepper
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
 2/3 cup beef stock
 1 can white beans drained & rinsed 
 1/4 cup white wine
 2 cups salsa verde
 1 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
 2 tomatoes sliced
 6 slices of provolone cheese
 4 flour tortillas
lots and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.
 Turn on the oven to 400 and put the peppers directly on the bottom rack. Turn every five minutes.
 In a heavy skillet add enough cooking oil to cover the bottom heat on medium. Add the onion cooking until tender, add the garlic and cook a minute more. pour in the 1/4 cup of wine add a little more if it doesn't cover the bottom of the pan at least a 1/2 inch. Let simmer until almost all the liquid is gone. add the ground meat to the pan and brown crumbling as it cooks. Once the meat is brown add the seasoning and mix well with the meat.

 Pour in the beef stock stir everything all together and let simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir often to prevent sticking and burning.

 In a medium bowl place the beans and mash with a potato masher. How ever chunky or smooth you want them. Add the 1/4 cup of wine a little at a time until you have a mashed potato creamy kind of texture. 
 slice the tomatoes. I used what is called a cocktail tomato. It is smaller and sweeter then the larger tomatoes. I needed 8 of those little tomatoes, you may need more or less on the tomatoes depending on tomato size and how you slice them. 
 In a small skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of oil. In the hot oil one at time place the tortillas allowing them to brown slightly on each side.
 Once the peppers are lightly charred on all sides remove the from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle slice the pepper open and remove the stem and seeds.

 Chop the peppers into pieces.
 Using a greased pie pan start the layers with a healthy spoonful of enchilada sauce spread over the bottom of the pan, place a tortilla shell on the sauce,add a spoonful of the meat, then spread a small spoonful of beans on the meat. Spoon some salsa verde over the beans and put tomato slices and pepper pieces on top of the salsa. two slices of provolone ends the layer.

 Repeat starting with the tortilla shell and adding the enchilada sauce on top of that. Top the final shell with enchilada sauce tomato and pepper then a lot of shredded cheddar. As to the measurements for the layer ingredients you will be dividing the meat, beans, and salsa verde into 3 layers and the tomato, enchilada sauce and pepper into 4 layers. Keep in mind it is a guess on my part about the amount of salsa verde I used as well as the enchilada sauce. I defrosted what appeared to be a 1 quart bag of sauce and used about half so that is 2 cups right. The salsa was less then a 1/2 quart and I used the entire bag.

 Once you have built your layers place it all in the oven and bake until it is hot all the way through and the cheese is melting down the sides. 20 to 30 minutes.

 You don't need to wait until next Halloween to enjoy this wonderful meal it will be a real treat any day of the week.

 Have a great weekend! Thank you for stopping by.     

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