3.4.15 Charred Citrus Salsa

First off, let me apologize. I’m sorry that I could no longer handle the winter cold and had to get away for a couple of weeks. I apologize for the fact that as you read this, there’s a good chance it’s snowing outside, and an even better chance that I’m sitting on a beach working on my tan and reading trashy beach novels. I’m sorry, but it had to be done. Every year, we mean to book a vacation in the dead of winter, and we never get around to it. By the time February rolls around, we look at each other and curse our inability to plan ahead. Not this year.

This year, we’re spending some quality time in Puerto Rico. But don’t worry, thanks to some foresight and the technology to schedule posts ahead of time, I’m still able to bring you this bright flavorful salsa recipe I made last week. Which is important because it’s really delicious. And serious deliciousness like this can’t wait.

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I’ve always found that in the middle of winter, one of the best things you can do is liven up your cooking with some bright sunny citrus and fresh herbs. Now, citrus is all well and good on its own. Trust me, we’ve been eating a lot of it this winter. But when you throw said citrus in a hot pan and get a nice char on it, it’s even better. What you get is a deeper, almost smoky flavor; perfect for salsa. This salsa comes together very quickly - simply char some citrus, throw some ingredients in the food processor, and 30 seconds later, you’ve got a bowl of salsa. It’s the perfect thing to top roasted chicken or fish, it’s wonderful on tacos, and it’s the perfect way to take your standard chips and salsa to the next level. Most importantly, it feels like a refreshing ray of sunshine in an otherwise cold and snowy winter, and that’s good enough for me.

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Charred Citrus Salsa

makes about 1 ½ cups

  • 2 navel oranges (I used Cara Cara)
  • ½ lime (cut in half crosswise)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, seeded if less heat is desired
  • ½ tsp salt

1. Heat a cast iron pan or grill pan over medium high heat. Cut the oranges in half lengthwise, then in half again to make quarters. Once pan is hot, place the orange quarters, and the half of the lime in the pan, cut sides down. Cook until the flesh begins to char, about 2-3 minutes, then remove the lime and flip oranges to char the other cut side. Once all citrus is charred, remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes to cool.

2. Peel the rind off of the charred orange slices, then place them into a food processor. Squeeze the juice from the charred lime half into the food processor. Add the cilantro, mint, onion, garlic, chiles, and salt. Pulse until a finely chopped consistency is achieved about 20-30 seconds. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator.

2.24.15 Quick Pasta Carbonara with Kale

One thing I will say about winter is it greatly increases the number of days I’m really thankful to have a well-stocked pantry. You know, for those times where I know I need to make dinner, only to find that anything I want to make is going to require a trip to the store. In spring or summer, it seems like no big deal. This time of year, when it’s freezing cold and dark before 6 pm, going on a store run sounds like the last thing I want to do. On days like this, I make carbonara.

If you can always remember to have dry pasta, bacon, eggs, and parmesan cheese on hand, you’re all set to make carbonara. In our house, this is not a problem. I guess that’s why I make it so much. If you’re new to carbonara, here’s all you need to know. It’s like a grown-up version of mac and cheese. Also, way easier to make then mac and cheese, and it includes bacon. Are you sold? Good.

The basic steps are as follows: Boil some water, and cook your pasta. Cut up some bacon and fry until crisp. Cook other flavorizers and veggies (a.k.a. what you can find in your vegetable drawer) in the bacon grease until soft. In my case, this happened to be some shallots and baby kale. Add your cooked pasta to the delicious bacony goodness, and whisk together some eggs and parmesan cheese. Now here’s where the magic happens. On low heat, stir the egg mixture into the pasta with a touch of pasta water. It sounds like a disaster, but just trust me. Stir, stir, stir, and before you know it, the eggs and cheese will have formed the most lovely, silky smooth sauce imaginable. Like I said, mac and cheese, but fancy. Also, you have dinner, and you didn’t even have to make a store run. You’re welcome.

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Quick Pasta Carbonara with Kale

serves 2

  • 4 oz dry pasta (I used campanelle)
  • 3 pieces bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 oz baby kale, any long stems removed
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta until just slightly al dente. Once cooked, drain, but reserve ¼ cup pasta water.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat and add the bacon pieces. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is just beginning to crisp. Add the shallot and crushed red pepper and continue to cook until shallot is soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to low and add the baby kale, cooking until it is just starting to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta and toss to mix well.

4. Quickly whisk together the eggs, parmesan cheese, and black pepper. With the pan still on low heat, add 2 Tbsp of the reserved pasta water to the pasta. Slowly pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly to coat pasta. After a minute or so of stirring, the egg mixture should have coated the pasta to form a smooth, silky sauce. If sauce is too thick, stir in some more of the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Serve pasta immediately topped with more parmesan cheese.

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2.19.15 Blood Orange Cornmeal Upside Down Cake and a Big Thank You

As a food blogger, I’m always on the lookout for ways to grow and improve my little blog into a means of inspiring our community. Luckily, I’m not alone in this endeavor. Madison is a city of great food bloggers, and last year, I was fortunate enough to meet a couple of them. Since then, every few weeks, Bowen of Bowen Appetit, Vicky of Things I Made Today, and I have been getting together to discuss our blogs, our lives, and of course, food.

In the beginning, we met mostly as a fun way to discuss the ins and outs of food bloggery, and help support each other’s culinary efforts. As our meetings continued, we found that there were a lot of benefits to helping each other. We could pool our resources, cross-promote, and even collaborate on future projects. And so, we’ve joined forces to create Wisconsin Whisk, a food blogger collective focused on sharing our love of cooking with our community. Our aim is to share our love of cooking with others by providing a variety of delicious recipes, cooking tips, and culinary insight to help inspire home cooks.

This week, you may have noticed that Madison Magazine has released it’s annual Best of Madison list. And as luck would have it (and by luck, we of course mean the tireless voting efforts of you, our wonderful readers), our three blogs have all been recognized this year as Best of Madison best local food blogs for 2015! We’re so happy to have such great readers - we couldn’t have done it without you! And to celebrate, we’ve got an extra special blog post for you. Instead of just one recipe, we’ve teamed up to bring you a whole three course menu! Each of us has contributed a delicious recipe to create one fabulous meal, once again proving that collaboration is definitely a good thing.

First Course

The first course is a beautiful Creamy Sundried Tomato Soup from Things I Made Today. A rich, deeply flavored soup made with sundried tomatoes, cream, and fresh herbs, it’s a perfect starter. Click the photo below for the full recipe on Things I Made Today.  

Second Course

For the second course, Bowen Appetit brings us this cozy dish of Roasted Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Mushrooms with Chipotle Quinoa. Click the photo below for the full recipe on Bowen Appetit 

Third Course

Hopefully, you’ve saved room for dessert, because I’m sharing this delicious Blood Orange Cornmeal Upside Down Cake. This is probably one of the most beautiful desserts I’ve ever baked, and on top of that, it's downright delicious. This recipe is the result of once again finding myself with way more citrus than I know what to do with, which tends to happen this time of year. Not that I’m complaining.

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I especially love blood oranges, and am always on the lookout for any excuse to eat them. So when I was headed over to a friend’s house for dinner recently and needed to bring a dessert, I took one look at the bowl of blood oranges on my counter and knew what needed to be done. Blood oranges are delicious - that’s a fact. But they’re also incredibly beautiful, and I knew I had to showcase this in my dessert. So upside down cake it was. But not just any upside down cake. I swapped out the butter in the cake for olive oil, whose fruitiness I felt sure would compliment the oranges. I added some coarse ground cornmeal to the cake batter for texture and a more rustic feel. I whipped up some honey mascarpone cream to use as a topping. This wasn’t going to be your everyday cake, that’s for sure.

It’s always a risk to try out an experimental cake recipe on a friend who’s nice enough to have you over for dinner. Luckily, this cake did not disappoint. It came out of the oven a lovely golden brown, and soon after, I flipped it out to reveal the gorgeous crimson red orange slices baked into the top. The cake itself was wonderfully moist and flavorful, with a hint of orange and cinnamon from the caramel topping. It was perfect. I can only hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Blood Orange Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

serves 8

Leaving the rind on the orange slices helps them keep their shape during cooking and also adds a slightly bitter note that compliments the sweetness of the caramel topping.

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal (preferably coarse ground)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large blood orange, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup mascarpone, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a larger bowl, mix together the olive oil, sugar, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla.

4. Add half the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture, followed by the milk, and the rest of the flour mixture, stirring just to blend after each addition.

5. To make the topping, heat a 9-inch cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the brown sugar and cinnamon stirring to mix well. Cook 1-2 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove from heat and arrange sliced blood orange rounds in an even layer on top of the caramel. Pour the cake batter over and spread evenly over top.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 -35 minutes - cake should be golden and a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

7. Immediately after removing from the oven, place a plate over the pan, and carefully invert cake out of the pan and onto the plate (make sure to wear oven mitts - the pan will be very hot!)

9. To make the mascarpone cream, whip the heavy cream with a whisk or mixer until peaks form. Beat in the mascarpone and honey until smooth. Serve cake warm with a dollop of mascarpone cream.

2.17.15 Winter Minestrone

Minestrone has, for a long time, been one of my favorite types of soup. Maybe because it’s seems so simple, yet has such a surprisingly complex flavor. Maybe because it’s infinitely customizable. Maybe it’s because I can often use it as a way to clean out any stray vegetables hanging around the fridge. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because you can (and are actually encouraged) to top it with copious amounts of parmesan cheese.

Whatever the reason (okay, it’s the cheese), I’m always down for making a big pot of the stuff. I base my recipe on what sorts of veggies and other add-ins I can find readily available in the current season. This time of year, I find myself making a very veggie-heavy version (and after all the hot cocoa I’ve been drinking, this is probably a good thing), chock full of beans, root vegetables and hearty greens. I round out the flavor with some tomatoes, a healthy dose of garlic, some rosemary, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. And of course, most importantly, no bowl of minestrone is complete without a generous pile of parmesan cheese on top. Once stirred, the cheese will melt into the soup, leaving you with a little bit of cheesy goodness in every bite. This is vegetable soup at its finest.

Winter Minestrone

serves about 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • grated parmesan for serving

1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, leek, carrot, fennel, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook stirring often, until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to coat vegetables with the tomato paste. Add the canned tomatoes, broth, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Add the beans, chard, and kale, and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium, cover pot, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until greens are tender. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve soup topped with grated parmesan cheese.

2.13.15 Spiked Cinnamon Orange Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa is one of the best parts of winter. Yeah it’s cold and snowy outside, but let’s be honest, would you really want to be drinking a hot, delicious cup of cocoa in any other circumstances? At least for me, the answer is no. If it’s winter, it’s cocoa weather. It’s what I’m craving after going skiing or skating on a cold day, or while I’m curled up by the fire on a winter evening. I’ll drink it for breakfast with a simple side of buttered toast, or sip it while lounging around the living room on a snowy afternoon. Like I said, it’s some tasty stuff.

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Now here’s the trick. There are a lot of ways to make hot cocoa. You can go with a pre-made mix, or make your own mix, or use those chocolate tablets á la abuelita. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the tablets, mainly because, until recently, I never tried making my own hot cocoa. Which is silly really, especially once you see how incredibly easy it is. I got to work mixing up my own cocoa mix, with cocoa powder, some sugar for sweetness, and some cinnamon and a hint of chile for some spice. It was perfect.

Of course, when all is said and done, a good cup of hot cocoa can always be made just a little better by spiking it with some sort of delicious alcoholic additive. The possibilities are endless here, but in the end, I opted for some Grand Marnier, mainly because chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven. Top with a dab (okay, more like a scoop) of freshly whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a twist of orange peel, and you’ve got quite possibly the best cup of hot cocoa imaginable. Which is good, because this weekend’s gonna be a cold one, and we’re gonna need a lot of hot cocoa.
 

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Spiked Cinnamon Orange Hot Cocoa

serves 2

In my opinion, the spiciness of chile is a natural complement to cocoa’s richness. I love adding a touch of chile powder to my hot cocoa, but if spicy cocoa’s not your thing, feel free to omit it.

  • ¼ c cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp chile powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups milk, preferably whole milk
  • 2 oz Grand Marnier
  • whipped cream, orange peel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for serving

1. Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, chile (if using) and salt.

2. Heat milk in a small saucepan on the stove until steaming. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mixture until a smooth consistency is achieved.

3. Allow cocoa to cool for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Grand Marnier, and divide cocoa between two mugs. Top with whipped cream, and garnish with a twist of orange peel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

2.10.15. Shrimp Étouffée

With Mardi Gras right around the corner (a week from today in fact!) I’ve had cajun food on the brain. In fact, in preparation for Fat Tuesday, a group of our friends who enjoy cooking got together for a big Mardi Gras themed feast, complete with hurricanes, jambalaya, muffaletta, red beans and rice, beignets, and king cake ice cream. You’d think after all that, I’d be over it. Think again. I still needed to get my étouffée fix.

If you’re not familiar with the gloriousness that is étouffée, fear not. Behind its complicated looking name (pronounced ay-too-fay), it’s nothing more than a deliciously thick, spicy seafood sauce served atop rice. In true cajun form, it starts with a mix of flour and oil, cooked down to into a beautiful toasty brown roux. Then we throw in the holy trinity of cajun cooking - celery, green bell pepper, and onion. Plus some garlic of course for good measure. Add some stock, and spices, throw in some shrimp, and cook it down until it thickens. That’s about it. You can see why I’ve been craving the stuff.

I learned how to make étouffée when I was in high school after my mum went on a trip to New Orleans and learned how to make it there. It soon became a regular dinner in our house, which was just fine by me because it’s so delicious. My mum also taught me to make a mean jambalaya, but we’ll save that for another time. We always ate our étouffée with cornbread twists and lots of Tabasco sauce. These days, I’m making some slightly fancier cornbread twists, and I’ve branched out to Crystal sauce, but the étouffée remains pretty much the same. I like it that way.

Shrimp Étouffée

serves 4

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce such as Tabasco or Crystal
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups shrimp or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning (I love the one from Penzeys)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • white rice and additional hot sauce for serving

1. Cut shrimp into approximately ½” pieces and toss with the lemon juice, hot sauce, and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside to marinate while you make the sauce.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the flour, and mix. Cook the flour/oil mixture (the roux), stirring constantly, until the mixture takes on a toasty aroma and darkens to the color of peanut butter, about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly to prevent your roux from burning.

3. Once the roux has darkened sufficiently, add the chopped celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic, and stir to coat vegetables with the roux.

4. Add the stock, bay leaf, cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and continue to cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender and liquid has thickened into a sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt if needed.

5. Add the shrimp and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Serve étouffée atop white rice with a liberal amount of hot sauce.

2.6.15 Tart Cherry Buckwheat Scones

While winter may not always be my favorite time of the year, one thing I will say is that it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy drinking tea. In the warmer months, hot beverages often seem out of place, but on a cold wintery February day (or morning, or evening, or anytime really), a hot cup of tea is really the perfect thing. I myself am quite the tea connoisseur, having something like 8 varieties on hand at any given time. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds. But really, with so many types and varieties, it’s good to have options. I have everything from rooibos, yerba mate, and herbal ginger, to Taiwanese oolong and assam from India.

Of course, besides being deliciously warm and soothing, having a cup of tea is also a great excuse for some teatime snacks as well. And when thinking of all the delicious edibles one may choose to accompany their hot cuppa, scones for some reason seem the most appropriate. At least that’s the reason I gave myself for whipping up a batch of these beauties.

And these are not just any scones. Sure, like many scones, they’re tender and delicious, but unlike most scones, these are made with buckwheat flour for a delightfully different flavor. I’ve always been a fan of the robust, earthy flavor of buckwheat, and usually have some buckwheat flour on hand for crepes or other baked goods. Especially in winter, the heartiness of buckwheat flour makes these scones a more substantial teatime treat. Throw in some wonderfully sweet and sour dried cherries, and you’ve got the perfect scone.

Tart Cherry Buckwheat Scones

makes 8 large scones

  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (I used Lonesome Stone)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled
  • ¾ cup heavy cream + more for brushing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • turbinado sugar for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

3. Cut the butter into very small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, or a pastry cutter, mix butter pieces into the flour, breaking apart until dough resembles coarse meal.

4. Whisk together the cream and egg, then add to the flour mixture, stirring to incorporate until a cohesive ball of dough is formed. Mix in the dried cherries until evenly distributed in the dough.

5. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, shape dough into a square approximately 8” x 8”. Cut dough into 4 equal squares, and then cut each square across diagonally to form 8 large triangular scones.

6. Transfer scones to parchment lined baking sheet, brush the top of each with a little cream and sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar. Bake scones at 400 degrees until bottoms are a nice golden brown and tops are just beginning to brown, about 18-20 minutes. Cool slightly, then enjoy with a hot cup of tea.

2.3.15 Chicken Red Chile Enchiladas

Yesterday was one of those cold winter evenings where it seems like the only thing to do is to hunker down with a cold beer, a big plate of homemade enchiladas, and some trashy television. I’d been spending a fair amount of quality time with my snow shovel after Sunday’s snowfall, and after all that, this seemed like the only reasonable solution. I quickly got to work. Beer and trashy TV are easy, but those enchiladas weren’t going to make themselves. Luckily, having made enchiladas a few times before, I was off to a good start; cooking down chicken thighs, onions, and spices, simmering them in beer, then shredding them into delicious spicy goodness. My enchiladas were shaping up nicely when I hit a snag - the sauce.

In the past, I’ve found myself mostly making enchiladas verdes, whipping up a quick green sauce of roasted tomatillos, green chiles, and a little chicken stock. But this time around, I was looking to make some red chile sauce, and found myself slightly at a loss. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I was slightly discouraged, thinking my enchiladas were bound to be a bust. And then it hit me. The perfect base for my sauce had been there all along. That flavorful, spicy, liquid the chicken had been cooking in was just the thing. Needing a way to thicken it, I used the beurre manie technique, blending soft butter and flour and whisking it in. It's probably not the most authentic way to make enchilada sauce, but who cares. The result was a beautifully smooth, spicy, deep red sauce, full of flavor - what more could you want? All that was left was to pour it atop my enchiladas, cover them with a generous amount of melty cheese, and bake them. 

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Chicken Red Chile Enchiladas

serves 4

I served these with a cold beer and a simple salad of chopped avocado, red onion, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. It was perfection.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 12 oz can light beer (I used Grain Belt of course)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used monterey jack)
  • fresh cilantro for serving

1. Heat oil in a 2 quart pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, onion, garlic, chile powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and cayenne. Give everything a good stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the apple cider vinegar and the beer. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove chicken thighs from the pot, and use two forks to shred the meat. Return shredded meat to the liquid in the pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove shredded chicken and onions from the pot and transfer to a bowl. Keep the remaining liquid in the pot at low heat.

5. In a small bowl, combine the butter and flour, mixing with the back of a spoon until a paste is formed. Add the butter/flour mixture to the liquid in the pot, whisking to incorporate it. Continue to whisk until liquid has thickened into a sauce, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Divide shredded chicken mixture evenly between 8 warm corn tortillas. Roll each tortilla around the filling, and place, seam side down, in an 11 x 7 baking dish. Place rolled tortillas close together so they fit snugly. You should be able to fit all 8 into the pan with little extra room to spare.

8. Pour reserved sauce evenly over the rolled tortillas. Top enchiladas evenly with shredded cheese. Bake enchiladas at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and serve immediately.