Sunday, March 11, 2012

Laptop Lunches #65

This is from over the weekend. Grad school is not exactly a Monday-Friday gig (though you've probably figured that out by now). But no matter what day it is one is involved in it, school lunch is school lunch.

Sweet-and-spicy pickled onions, a packet of airline peanuts, the last peanut butter chubby, Spanish rice, my absolute favorite sour cream chicken enchiladas garnished with grape tomatoes and cilantro leaves, and a mixture of apple, orange, and pineapple chunks.

I love the Homesick Texan's sour cream enchiladas for a few reasons.

1. It reminds me of home, where people eat things they do not eat here. Mexican food in the northeast may well be Mexican--but it is missing something that, for me, this supplies.

2. It's a fantastic way to hide veggies, if you are so inclined. Seriously, nobody will ever really notice the tomatillos and peppers in the sauce. (Incidentally, feel free to substitute any hot green chile pepper for the serrano--I can only find jalapenos a lot of the time and that's just fine for me. If you don't want so much spice, just discard the seeds.)

3. It makes way more than the recipe says. I halved it, and I still ended up with a very generous square casserole pan full, which I was eating all weekend. (Edited to explain: When I make this, I don't go by her instructions regarding tortillas and cheese--I just keep rolling them until I run out of room in the pan. So halving the recipe yeilded me about 8 enchiladas, but I still had enough sauce, had I wanted to, that I could have made even more! I once used her recipe, not halved, to make a full 9x12 and 8x8 casserole pan of enchiladas for a party.)

The pickled onions (which are from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2010) were a new one for me, but they turned out quite well. I wanted something that would go as well with the Tex-Mex (or Okie-Mex, perhaps?) meal you see here as with Asian dishes you may see later in the week. It's a keeper. Very easy and a pretty unusual color. You don't really "pickle" anything. It's more like red onion salad, made all the more vibrant by the use of red wine vinegar. And the jalapenos add a really nice kick, but not too much.

The Spanish rice, from the Joy of Cooking, is tried and true and much beloved, at least by me. And with all the tomatoes and peppers and onions in it, it's another good way of sneaking in more veggies.

I found the metal condiment cup at a discount store (Ross, I think). They had a set, with lids, and I snapped them right up. They fit perfectly in the Laptop Lunches box, and I believe this will expand the possibilities quite a lot!

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