Friday, November 21, 2008

November Cook Book Club- James Beard

We have had over a year of Cook Book Club and I am so proud. Covering everything from Southern to Thai food, we have done brunch and dinner and next year there will be a guys night. The theme for this one was mid-century standard American fare a la James Beard. On the menu: baked clams with bacon, garlic soup,beef stroganoff, stuffed bell peppers, and chocolate souffle.
Foundation of the garlic soup - vampire insurance.
We have so many James Beard cookbooks. YOINK! Robby here. Cook Book Club is good when there's leftovers for the menfolk. I'll finish this post up right.
Baked clams with bacon. Coralie made these I think, and they were really good. Duh, there's bacon on it.
The ladies of Cook Book Club. They look sweet in this picture, but they are a rowdy bunch. Don't be fooled by the optic trickery. I was upstairs watching the kid and the ladies were shrieking, laughing and dropping the F-bomb. Sounded like fun, but you know, I tried to remain in the background.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Upper Fells Point Tortilleria & Wild Mushroom Enchiladas with Ancho Chili-Cream Sauce

I am very lucky to live where I do. I am only blocks from the harbor and downtown but I live in a quiet part of the city right near Patterson Park. I love to walk to restaurants, Whole Foods, and the Farmer's Market. One thing that is very special to me and my family is the Tortilleria on Eastern Ave in Upper Fells Point. Every Day they make a massive amount of fresh corn tortillas mostly for the large Hispanic population who lives in the neighborhood, but also for us lucky neighbors who have discovered the irreplaceable freshness and authenticity of their tortillas and chips.

They come wrapped in paper and are weighed by the kilo with one kilo costing about $2.00. I use them for everything including just a snack. Most recently I made a unique memorable enchilada dish from Epicurious. It sounds a little unconventional, which it is, but after you make it you will see that is easy and will soon become a staple in you repertoire. Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Enchiladas with Ancho Chili-Cream Sauce

Bon Appétit | June 1997

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 12 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (such as oyster and/or stemmed and sliced shiitake and portobello)
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas


Bring 2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat, add chilies and soak 30 minutes. Drain chilies, reserving 6 tablespoons soaking liquid. Cut stems off chilies. Cut chilies open. Scrape out seeds and discard. Combine chilies, 6 tablespoons reserved soaking liquid and garlic in blender and puree until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cream and chili puree in heavy large skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Whisk in lime juice. Season with salt. Strain sauce; return to skillet. (Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Melt butter in another heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until onion is translucent and mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add cheese, cilantro, tomatoes and 3 tablespoons cream sauce. Simmer until just heated through, about 4 minutes. Stir in avocado. Season filling with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Bring remaining cream sauce to simmer over low heat. Cook 1 tortilla in cream mixture until softened, turning to coat, about 15 seconds. Carefully transfer tortilla to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Cover remaining sauce and keep warm. Spoon generous 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas, enclosing filling completely. Arrange seam side down on same baking sheet. Cover enchiladas with foil.

Bake enchiladas until heated through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plates. Spoon some sauce atop each. Serve, passing any remaining sauce separately.