Green Chile Cheese Enchiladas

When I was a little girl I read all the time, and I mean that literally: I read while eating, on the bus to and from school every day, and even while walking down the street (some minor collisions were involved). One summer, I read the entirety of The Mists Of Avalon while seated on the back of my mom’s Yamaha on a ride to Canada and back; I can’t even imagine what the people who passed us on the highway thought (probably that my parents shouldn’t let me read on the back of a motorcycle).

Anyway, I was a big reader. And some of my all-time favorite books during my formative years were – of course – the Judy Blume books (Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself remains my personal favorite). It’s always fun to revisit the stories that shaped our childhoods, and in just a few days Tiger Eyesthe story of a young girl attempting to cope with the murder of her father – will be released on film.

In celebration of the release Lawrence Blume, the director of the film and Judy’s son (and my friend), sent me this recipe straight from the Blume kitchen to try out for myself.

Lawrence grew up in New Mexico eating green chile peppers from the Rio Grande Valley – they’re earthy and spectacularly delicious even to me, and I’m not usually big on chiles – and insists that you get the good ones for this dish. He sent me a bunch that he ordered from Superbly – they’re pictured above with my co-chef Ella – and suggests ordering a mix of mild and hot, as they can be very spicy.

Lawrence’s Green Chile Cheese Enchiladas (Judy loves them too!) 

Makes 6 servings

What You Need:

2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
½ tsp coriander
3 tbsp  vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken if you prefer)
1 cup water
¾  cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
½ cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 head shredded iceberg lettuce.
2 15.5-oz cans Goya black beans (or make fresh if you have time)
2 cups roasted, peeled, deseeded, and chopped Hatch green chile peppers
12 small corn tortillas.

What You Do: 

1. Set a cast iron pot or a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat a little oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for three minutes (until onions are just becoming translucent).

2. Add a few pinches of cumin and coriander and stir until onions are well coated.

3. Add garlic and cook for another few minutes (don’t let the garlic burn!).

4. Add salt and give a quick stir, then add stock and cook for a minute.

5. Add chile peppers, ½ of the tomato, water, remaining cumin, coriander, and oregano, and stir until everything is well mixed.

6. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

8. While oven is preheating, place tortillas, one at a time, on open stove burner (low heat) for 45 seconds each. Flip and warm the other side (the edges should get slightly burned).

9. Put black beans in a small pot, add a dollop of simmering chile, stir,  and heat until just boiling.

10. Place two tortillas on an oven-safe plate, spooning chile over them generously.  Cover with cheese and place in oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is completely melted.  Repeat with each plate.

11. Serve by placing a handful of shredded lettuce on the edge of each plate and sprinkling it with the remaining chopped tomatoes. Spoon some heated black beans and Spanish rice on the other edge.

(I tried to mock up a kid-friendly bean and cheese enchilada for Indy, but in testament to the deliciousness of these chiles…he went for my plate instead. And ate the whole thing.)

Wine Pairing: A semi-sweet Xarel·lo or Riesling.

Tiger Eyes (you can view the trailer above) is available June 7 at select theaters and in every living room in America through Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV, iTunes, and most other cable/Satellite systems that have a Video On Demand section.

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