Eating My Way Through

Cinco de Mayo! May 8, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Veggies — Nikki Wegner @ 3:13 pm

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, my love of Mexican food, and my roommates of Margaritas, we decided to throw a little party to celebrate the holiday and bring our friends together!

One of my all time favorite foods is cheese enchiladas. In Milwaukee, where I’m from, the South side has tons of amazing Mexican restaurants, and I have yet to find place in DC whose enchiladas measure up to those at La Perla, so delicious.

So I figured I would attempt them myself. I combed through a lot of recipes for enchilada sauce, and for some reason, decided on one from Martha Stewart Living. Now Martha does not mess around. This had to be one of the most complicated and time-consuming things I’ve ever made, but I am happy to report that it came out tasting pretty good! And it made a ton, so I will have enchilada sauce for the rest of the summer.

The recipe called for a lot of different veggies, spices and flavors. But the most intriguing part to me was how you prepared the tomatoes. I brought a pot of water to a boil, then placed the tomatoes in the water for a few minutes, until the skin started peeling, then remove them from the water and placed them in an ice bath to cool. Then you peel the skins and chop the tomatoes. That was something I had never done before, but was a great way to prepare tomatoes for a sauce.

Tomato Bath

Tomato Bath

The sauce took a few hours from start to finish, so it is definitely a time commitment, but it was worth it.

Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

I made the sauce the night before, so to make the enchiladas for the party, I simply reheated the sauce. To assemble the enchiladas, dip tortillas in the sauce, and place on a baking sheet. Spoon cheese down the center of the tortilla, fold up the sides, and place seam-side down in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Make two rows of 6 tortillas. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.


Ready for baking

Bake the enchiladas at 350° for 30 minutes, or until everything is melty. Now, I try to cook healthy and share healthy recipes, but with enchiladas, I say go for it! Splurge. These are definitely not the best thing for you, but the yummy factor outweighs all other considerations in my book.

For the evenings festivities, I also made my semi-famous among friends and family guacamole and some black beans.

I am not sure when I started making guacamole, or where I even got the recipe, but it has become the dish I usually bring to parties. I also spend my vacation with my extended family every year basically just making guacamole and margs, tough job I know.



And it even has its own special avocado bowl that my grandma gave me! So cute.

Everyone brought great dishes to pass too! There were some amazing salsas and Mexican wedding cookies, yum.

All in all, my first large-scale party was a success! Might have to have more theme nights…

The Spread

The Spread

Cheese Enchiladas (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Enchilada Sauce

5 long fresh red chiles

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups water

4 large tomatoes

1 small poblano pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Vidalia onion, cut into 1/2 in dice

2 scallions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp coarse salt


Cut chiles in half lengthwise and remove seeds and rib, set aside

Bring broth and water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add chiles; simmering for about 15 minutes until chiles are tender, set aside

Fill a large saucepan with water, bring to a boil

Fill a large bowl with ice and water, set aside

Cut an x in the bottom of the tomatoes and add to the boiling water one at a time

Simmer the tomatoes until the skins begin to peel and transfer to the ice bath immediately to cool

When cooled, peel off the skins, chop and set aside

While everything is boiling and cooking, place a poblano pepper on a piece of aluminum foil and put under the broiler

Turn every few minutes until the skin is charred

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for about 15 minutes

Peel off the blackened skin and discard, cut pepper in half, discard seeds and roughly chop, set aside

In a large, high-sided skillet, pour in oil and set on medium heat

Add onion, scallions and garlic, saute for about 10 minutes

Add tomatoes, tomato past, red chiles and broth liquid, poblano, cumin, oregano and salt

Stir to combine

Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes

Remove from heat and cool

Use a blender to puree the sauce until smooth, doing in small batches

Return to pan and heat if assembling enchiladas now, or refrigerate up to 4 days

Yields 4 servings


12 6-inch tortillas

12 ounces cheddar jack cheese

Sour cream


Pre-heat oven to 350°

Heat up enchilada sauce

Dip tortillas in sauce, place on a baking sheet

Spoon in cheese

Fold enchiladas

Place enchiladas in two rows of 6 in a 9 x 13 pan, seam-side down

Top enchiladas with remaining sauce

Bake enchiladas until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes

Serve with salsa and sour cream

Yields 6-8 servings


2 avocados

1 large tomato

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves

1 lemon, juiced

1 lime, juiced

Salt to taste


Peel avocados

Remove seeds, set aside

Put avocado in a large bowl, smash with a potato masher

Dice tomato and red onion, mince garlic

Add to bowl

Juice lemon and lime in bowl

Mix together

Add salt to taste

Yields 2 tbsp per serving

Black Beans (from Eating Well)

2 tsps olive oil

1 Vidalia onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup water

1 tbsp tomato paste


Heat oil in medium sauce pan

Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes

Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly

Add ground chile, cumin and oregano and cook for about 1 minute

Add beans, water and tomato paste, stirring to combine

Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes

Yields 8 servings


2 Responses to “Cinco de Mayo!”

  1. […] just as good! This version is another Martha Stewart recipe, though it is much easier than the enchilada sauce I made before. I added some sautéed summer squash to give it a bit more flavor and add in some […]

  2. […] instead of just chopping up the tomatoes like I usually do, I used the same technique I did for the enchilada sauce on Cinco de Mayo. I boiled a pot of water, cut an x in the bottoms of the tomatoes and tossed them in the hot pot of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s