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Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

So, I’m assuming you have all made your homemade batch of enchilada sauce from my post a couple days ago, right?  Now, what are you going to do with that bowl of deliciousness?  You could use it for regular ol’ enchiladas, but why not try something different– like this enchilada bake? An enchilada bake is kind of like an Italian lasagna but with a Mexican twist.  It’s a lot of layering of ingredients of your choosing separated by tortillas, cheese, and sauce.  And it’s wonderful.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Of course, you can use any sort of filling that you want, but I chose to go with butternut squash because it’s in-season right now.   Shredded chicken probably isn’t necessary as the black beans give this dish protein and a nice Mexican vibe.  With that said, the chicken was perfect in this dish– and my husband probably would have rioted without it.  Plus, I had some in my refrigerator from making broth the other day.  I love the combination of the squash, black beans, and chicken– they compliment each other so well.  And the enchilada sauce ties everything together.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

If you’re not entirely sure how to cut into that butternut squash, I took a few photos that should help you out.  It’s quite easy to dice.  And if you have extra squash, roast it and freeze it for later.  I love doing that this time of year, since they are so plentiful and inexpensive at the farmers markets.  Something to think about if you’re like me and stocking your freezer full of summer goodness to get you through the winter.  Be well, my friends.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

The Recipe: Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken

(makes an 11 x 8 casserole)

1 butternut squash, cubed into small pieces (you’ll only use about 1 1/2 cups of it)

1 cup cooked black beans

1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

about 12 corn or flour tortillas, or more depending upon your pan size

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken ( *see note)

2 cups homemade enchilada sauce, plus more for serving

olive oil

salt and pepper

green onions, sour cream, and jalapeños, for garnish

*Note: If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, you can easily roast some.  You’ll need about 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.  Place on a small baking sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches between 165-170°F when inserted with a thermometer. You can bake the chicken and squash at the same time, the chicken will just need to bake a bit longer.  Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before shredding it

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the cubed squash on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.  You will not use all of the squash.  Store remaining squash in the refrigerator to use throughout the week, or freeze.

Next, begin layering the enchilada bake.  The amounts I listed were for a casserole dish that measures 11 x 8.  Use whatever dish you have, but just know that you may need to make adjustments to the amounts.  Start by putting 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom, followed by about 1 cup of roasted squash.  Then place about 4 tortillas on top of that, followed by 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. The next layer will be 4 more tortillas, 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup of roasted squash.  Then, the final layer is 4 tortillas, 1 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce topped with about 1 cup of monterey jack cheese. Slightly push down on the layers, as you go.

Bake uncovered at 375°F for about 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve with extra enchilada sauce, sour cream, chopped green onions, and jalapeños.  Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and are wonderful when served with a little extra enchilada sauce.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

 

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Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

It’s that time of the year when we start to have people over for light spur-of-the-moment gatherings again.  Here in Minnesota, we slough-off the heavy jackets, start working in our yards, and finally get an opportuntity to visit with our neighbors after the long winter.  Yes, I’ve been banging the drum about how much I enjoy the colder months, but I also get excited to invite guests over to our backyard for drinks and appetizers once the weather warms.  Today’s recipe is a tasty combination of marinated cheeses and fougasse.  It’s perfect to serve with a cocktail or two while you’re visiting with friends.

Spice-Marinated Feta and Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

It may look a little fussy to make, but I assure you, it’s simple.  All it takes is combining cheeses and marinating them in olive oil with some spices.  The result is a beautifully flavored cheese that is wonderful when paired with some bread and olives.  The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it becomes.  I pressed mine into a glass square food storage container, since I wanted square bites.  But when chilling the cheese initially, you can also roll it into a log form and then cut it into pieces right before marinating.  It can last in your refrigerator for about two weeks.  I chose feta, but if feta isn’t your deal, try goat cheese, ricotta salata, or even a sharp blue cheese.  If you choose to use something a bit softer, such as goat, you can omit the cream cheese and just increase the total amount to 12 ounces.  You get the idea.  You have a fair amount of leeway with the spices.  If you prefer the flavor of other combinations, give them a try.

Simple Fougasse via Relishing it

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

The bread is called fougasse.  This one is simple and may be a bit more crispy than traditional fougasse– which is fine with me.  I used the recipe from my favorite pizza crust (genius, right?), because I often have a bit leftover.  I’ve found that the longer the dough stays in the fridge, the more developed the flavor becomes.  I usually try to use it within two weeks, which timing-wise works out perfectly with the cheese.  Sit in the sunshine with your friends and neighbors and enjoy these fantastic nibbles.  Cheers!

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Spice-Marinated Feta and Simple Fougasse

Spice -Marinated Feta:

7-8 ounces feta cheese (see note)

4 ounces cream cheese

zest of a medium organic lemon

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (California Olive Ranch is my go-to olive oil)

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

Simple Fougasse:

This pizza crust recipe, or use your favorite

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon coriander

(Note:  As I mentioned previously, you can choose to substitute a different cheese for the feta.  Ricotta salata, blue, or goat are good choices.  If using something soft already, such as goat, omit the cream cheese and increase the total amount of cheese to 12 ounces.)

To make the cheese:  Using a food processor, (or a bowl and wooden spoon) combine the feta and cream cheese until somewhat smooth.  It’s ok to have some chunks of feta.  Line a container that will hold the amount of cheese you have with plastic wrap.  I used a square food storage container (or place it on parchment paper and roll it into a tight log).  Fold the plastic wrap over the cheese so that it is entirely covered and gently push down– you want the cheese to become firm.  Find something to weight it down a bit (I actually ended up using some of my kids’ building blocks– they fit perfectly).  Then place a plate on top of that.  The goal is to compress the cheese as much as possible.  Place everything into the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm it up.

Remove the cheese from the container by gently lifting out the plastic wrap.  Cut it into bit-sized squares.  Place the cheese into a glass jar and top with the lemon zest, garlic, spices, herbs, and finally the olive oil.  Gently swirl the mixture around to make sure everything get coated.  If all of your cheese isn’t fully covered, add a bit more olive oil.  Cover and place into the refrigerator and let marinate for about three days and up to two weeks.

To make the Simple Fougasse:  Pre-heat your oven to 500°F.  Place a baking stone in it and let it heat for about 1/2 hour.  Sprinkle a work surface with semolina or all-purpose flour (semolina will not stick to the bread as much when baked).  Roll out a piece of the dough so that the size can fit on your stone.  Cut about 4 slits on each side into it with a sharp knife (see photo).  You may need to tug at the slits a bit, so they become a bit larger and more oval.   Sprinkle more flour on the back of a baking sheet or a pizza wheel.  Gently pick up the dough and place it on the sheet.  Make sure you are able to move it around freely, if not, add more flour underneath it– you want the dough to easily glide off the pan and onto the stone.  Brush olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle with the spices.  Starting in the back of the stone, quickly and confidently glide the dough onto the stone from the pan.  Bake for just a few minutes (maybe 10, but it really depends on your oven– so keep a watchful eye) or until the bread looks to be a deep golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Enjoy with the spice-marinated feta cheese and some delicious olives!

Source:  Spice-Marinated Feta adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Thanks so much for stopping by today– have a wonderful weekend!  xo

Laurie

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