Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cooking For One

With Katie out of town all week, I have been... well, mainly pouring myself into our treasure trove of restaurant leftovers, but even paradise has its expiration date.
I am also working on cleaning out the 'fridge, something that gets done far too infrequently.
(Because, honestly, who wants to confront the the answer to the question of whether or not the mold cultures in that 1/2-gallon tub of spoiled [but chilled] meat and veggies have yet developed slavery and cuneiform? No, thanks.)

StillTasty: The Ultimate Shelf Life Guide

I am always saying that grocery sizes are too arbitrary.
Now, if I were cooking for a family of four to six, which is what all portions are exactly measured to accommodate, then grocery packaging would fit my needs and waste might not be such a problem.

Cooking for two is fine--if you accept that just because you wanted spinach three weeks ago does not mean that you wanted spinach every. single. meal. for the rest of the time that it would take for two to finish off that circus tent sized bag before the spinach in it turns funky.

One is even worse.

Luckily there are a few things that I keep on hand at all times that virtually don't go bad:
tortillas, cans of beans, and salsa.
Violà. We also have these adorable little single-serving baking dishes that I'm always daydreaming about making individual lasagnas in. And, well, enchiladas are like the lasagna of Mexican. ...right?
And now, I bring you:

Totally Unauthentic but Totally Cheap and Good Enchiladas for One

The Sauce:
I browned some garlic and onion in a pan. (don't all recipes start out that way?!) Stirred in a few tablespoons chicken stock and some canned salsa verde. Unfortunately I didn't have any chilies, but I spiced it up with: ground chipotle, chili powder, cumin, and a dash of oregano. Chopped in some cilantro and stirred it around with extra hot sauce and salt.

bambambambam. In the oven for 20 minutes.

Seriously, what is it about beans and cheese? They just mingle together so naturally and wholesomely. I remember when I was a kid and on a special night when my dad was making dinner we would have "Cheesy Bean Things." It was basically just a tortilla with refried beans and cheese, folded in half and deep-fried in tons of oil until the whole thing practically fused into one grease-mass of dripping, cheesy deliciousness. Looking back on it I think he probably salted them, too. Best vegetarian kids' dinner ever.

There. 20 minutes. Melty, gooey mass of flavors that looks like vomit but actually tastes like a black bean enchilada.
Oh, and NO amount of jalapeno death sauce is too much on anything, period.
I don't know, though, I think the way the onions in the sauce caramelized in the oven may have made them the star of the show over beans in this one.

"Onions might have crossed from being just a veggie MVP into being an over all food MVP, but it keeps getting nudged out by cheese"
--as so eloquently Tweeted by Amber Davis

No comments:

Post a Comment