I'm back from the land of citrus and warm winters, and I'm dying for some home-cooked food!
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to eat out at any wonderful restaurants while I was in Orlando - I ended up having dinners with collaborators at mostly chain restaurants or Disneyworld favorites and breakfast and lunch were spent trying to find something cheap and fast. Thanks to the suggestion from Faith in Orlando, who commented on my site before I left, I was able to try some southern Indian cuisine because I suggested it to a friend who tried it and brought back the extras (delicious!). I suppose I should have guessed this would be the case with no car, an extremely modest budget, and being at the mercy of my own desire to follow around and socialize with distinguished scientists in my field who didn't have the world of fine-dining in mind while at the conference. Not to say that many scientists don't like food as much as myself (they do!) but they either had different tastes - "anything but Indian food" (Damn!) or "let's just eat next door at Chilis because the line at this place is so long and I have to work on my talk" (noooooo!!!!). Ah, such is life.
I did, however, get my hands on some lovely, freshly picked, bright yellow home-grown grapefruits to bring back some sunshine to my very wet and very flooded Eugene, courtesy of a University of Florida faculty member up in Gainesville. I felt like my prayers had been answered! In the airport in Phoenix, I also picked up some heirloom popcorn and some prickly pear cactus jellies. So, all was not lost!
So, in an effort to re-gain my feeling of being home, I want to share with you one of Loving Boyfriend and my own favorite recipes: Lentil Enchiladas. This is one of those recipes I've been cooking for ages and have cooked over and over. It's perfect for a dinner at home for two (even the leftovers are great), or nice enough to make for guests. It's also a vegetarian dish that even a carnivore could love. And even better? It's also healthy, one of my goals for how I'd like to see my cooking evolve this year (Inspired by recent posts by Vickie at the Moveable Feast Food Blog and Ilva at Lucullian Delights). I'm not even sure where it came from, but it's been good enough to have stood the test of time...and in a kitchen like mine, where I cook something new nearly every night, that's saying a lot!
1/2 cup lentils (I use the brown variety usually)
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup avocado
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 limes, quartered (for garnish)
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup corn kernels
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 - 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno
salt and pepper to taste
Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer the lentils until all the liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes). While this is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the salsa. When the lentils are finished, remove from heat and add red onion, red wine vinegar, cumin, and salt and pepper and mix together. Fold in the avocado.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or rub it with a bit of olive oil. Warm the tortillas in the oven (wrapped in foil) or microwave (NOT wrapped in foil, try paper towels), then fill each with 1/2 cup of the lentil mixture and roll them up, placing them in the baking dish seam side down. Sprinkle with tops with cheese and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts and becomes bubbly. Serve topped with salsa and lime wedges.