Time for a new year …

Grow Your Own 2008 … of food blogging. This one is hosted by Andrea’s Recipes – thanks, Andrea! 🙂 The topic is “Grow Your Own,” as in, make a dish with at least one ingredient from your own garden, or from a friend’s garden if you don’t have your own. Dan and I have planted a veggie garden for most of the 15 years we’ve lived in this house, and I have a fairly large herb garden as well.

Last summer, some neighbors had their annual Porch Party potluck (they have a huge, wraparound porch); I wanted to make something different, and we had planted something different this year, and boy was it prolific. We planted three tomatillo plants and had so many tomatillos I gave bags of them away, mostly to Liz and Walter, who moved here from Colorado a few years ago. I still have some in the freezer. Among other things, we also grew onions and jalapenos this year, so I had those on hand, too.

The round-up of all the entries is here.

Home-grown tomatillos, onions and jalapeno peppers

So I made a few batches of salsa verde (green salsa) from Tyler Florence’s recipe and decided to make sort of an enchilada casserole for the potluck. It was a big hit 🙂

Tyler Florence’s Salsa Verde

12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed
1 onion, quartered
Splash white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 limes, juiced

Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion in a saucepan with the vinegar and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and poach until the tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain. Put the vegetables in a blender, add the cumin, and puree. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt, and pulse to combine.

Making chicken enchilada casserole

Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 bay leaves

3 tbsp. corn oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

About 15 corn tortillas

2 cups salsa verde
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Put chicken breasts in a small saucepan and cover with water; add bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain chicken, discarding bay leaves, and let cool for a few minutes. Using fingers or two forks, shred chicken and set aside.

Heat corn oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds, then add onions and peppers. Cook over medium heat, stirring, till softened, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in oregano, turn off heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut tortillas into half-inch wide strips. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of salsa verde on the bottom of the baking dish; top with half of the tortilla strips, then half the pepper mixture, half of the shredded chicken, and about 3/4 cup of salsa verde. Add the rest of the tortilla strips, pepper mixture, chicken, and salsa, in that order. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Top with cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken enchilada casserole

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3 Responses to “Time for a new year …”

  • Andrea says:

    Hi Kim! (I think you and I have met once!!?? I used to live in Ghent.) I’ve never grown tomatillos, but the salsa sounds so good that I want to try it now! And the enchilada casserole looks very tasty with all the colorful peppers on top. Thanks for joining in on Grow Your Own!

  • De in D.C. says:

    That looks so yummy. Thanks for the offhand warning about the tomatillos! I plan to grow them this year for the first time, so will definitely limit it to 2 plants instead of the 4 I had planned. I like tomatillos, but not that much!

  • KimL says:

    Hey, De. Yeah, the tomatillos were outrageous! Here, they come in packs of three, so we’re going to give one to some friends this year. They sure were good 🙂 Thanks for writing.

    Kim L

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