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  1. Enchiladas Verdes

    August 31, 2014 by Lisa

    This dish was a slight revelation for me as I’d neither made it, nor indeed, eaten it, so was dependent on my own tastes and a variety of recipes, both online and in my various cookbooks.

    Salsa Verde is made with tomatillos, a small green fruit that looks a bit like a small, green tomato and a bit like a large gooseberry. Interestingly, whilst a member of the nightshade family, like tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant/aubergine, it is more closely related to the Cape Gooseberry than the tomato. And whilst the tartness reminds me of a gooseberry, it’s apparently not related to it at all. Moving on…

    This is a recipe for chicken enchiladas verdes, and is as easy as enchiladas get. You will need a couple of things not generally available in the UK: a large (24 oz) can of tomatillos and white corn tortillas.. Both can be found at Queso de Chihuahua is also recommended, but a mild Chedder would also do well enough. Makes enough for four.

    5 or 6 chicken thighs in an oven-proof container, sprinkled liberally with
    Ancho chili powder (or similar)
    And a splash of olive oil

    Salsa verde:
    24 oz can tomatillos in their liquid
    2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped finely
    Half an onion, chopped
    6 or 7 pieces of jalapeño, to taste and chopped
    Chicken broth cube

    Queso de chihuahua, grated, for the top

    Place the chicken thighs and herbs in the oven proof dish and sprinkle with a bit of olive oil. Place in a 200 degree oven and cook until done – about 25 minutes – turning once or twice.

    Fry the onions and garlic in a little oil until soft and place in a saucepan with the jalapeños, tomatillos and their liquid. Crush the stock cube into the pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and let cool. Put the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Make a roux with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of flour and slowly add the blended tomatillo mixture in until thickened. Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with the sauce.

    Drain the chicken. The chickens grease can be added to the tomatillo sauce if you like. Shred the chicken.

    Place 10 corn tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute to soften them (healthier than frying them in oil). Roll some chicken and a tablespoon of salsa verde into each tortilla and place side by side in the casserole dish. Cover with more salsa verde (you’ll have quite a lot left over) and sprinkle liberally with the grated cheese. Heat in a 200 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Top with sour cream, or creme fraiche and chopped coriander (cilantro) and serve with Mexican rice.

  2. Eating differently

    February 10, 2014 by Lisa

    I’ve been experimenting with diets lately. Not the weight loss type, though the successful one brought me down 10 pounds in a couple weeks. No, I’ve been trying to feel better and to feel better about the food I’m eating. A friend and I did a detox over January and it has radically changed the way I eat going forward.

    The detox meant no meat, added sugar, salt, wheat, dairy, alcohol or caffeine and since it ended, I’ve entirely lost my will to eat wheat or sugar, meat might feature once or twice a month and dairy is now mostly milk in a single coffee a day, some butter or Parmesan and a lot of goats cheese.

    Importantly, I feel so much better and I’ve learned to love a lot of interesting, tasty new foods.

  3. Homemade “Rice-a-Roni”

    March 10, 2012 by Lisa

    Rice-A-Roni was one of those favourite packaged foods I grew up with.

    There are a lot of Rice-A-Roni recipes out there – most of them identical, but none has really captured that Rice-A-Roni taste for me.  This one is the closest I’ve managed to get.

    The original uses vermicelli, but that’s hard to find and spaghetti is a poor substitute. The important ingredient here is the orzo – a rice-shaped pasta. This seemed to make all the difference.


    • 1 cup long grain rice
    • 1/2 cup orzo
    • 1/4 cup of butter
    • 1/2 a small onion
    • 1-2 cloves garlic
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 3 chicken stock cubes
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Disolve the stock cubes in 2 1/2 cups of boiling water. Saute the onion in the butter in a skillet and when softened, add the rice and pasta and cook until the rice is semi-transparent (ish). Crush the garlic into the mixture and add the stock. Cover and simmer over a low heat until the rice is tender (15-20 minutes).


    Disappointingly, I can’t find an original ad as the jingle is inexorably linked with this side dish for me, but here’s the jingle with someone’s vacation photos: