Friday, March 21, 2008

Picante Shrimp and Black Bean Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce

Yesterday, on the New York Times website, Mark Bittman started a discussion about favorite cookbooks. Commentary was flying on his great food blog, BITTEN, as readers were invited to list their favorites. An extra added fillip was Bittman saying that the most erudite or funny people would be invited to review cookbooks with him on the blog.

There were the expected replies…

“Oh, Mark, I can’t make a move in the kitchen without Julia Child.’

“Oh, Mark, your cookbooks have replaced the Joy of Cooking on my bookshelf.”

I’m sure these comments were made without regard to the fact that you possibly could end up “working” with Bittman. Writing wise.

After reading about 215 entries (I was fascinated to see what people consider their “have to haves“), I was thrilled to see Heidi Swanson of 101 cookbooks fame listed as a go to source for vegetarians. Patricia Wells had several nods. Of course Julia, Jacques, Suzanne Goins with her Sunday Supper at Lucques(one I hope to get for my birthday, hint.. hint) were listed.
However, one of the greats was missing.

I’m talking about Martha Rose Shulman.
She of The Vegetarian Feast fame which won a Tastemaker Award in 1979. She who keeps health at the forefront of her cookbooks, most especially Mediterranean Light, Entertaining Light, Provencal Light (which won a Julia Child Award for Best Health and Diet Book in 1994) and Mexican Light. Martha knows food. Knows combinations of foods and knows how to make them interesting, delicious and healthy all at the same time. Recently I stumbled upon her website, and found recipes, interesting tidbits about her new book, Mediterranean Harvest……. and a contact email.

So, a glass of wine later, I wrote her. And told her how much her food meant to me over the past 20 years and how much I enjoy the way she cooks and the way she writes.

She wrote me back.

Moment of silence.

Last night’s meal is an adaptation of one of her best. Picante Shrimp Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce. From Mexican Light.

It’s vintage Martha…spicy, self assured, healthy, and invites your creativity to join in the fun.

From a cook who will stand the test of time.

Picante Shrimp and Black Bean Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce
Adapted from Mexican Light by Martha Rose Shulman

4 large plum tomatoes, roasted under broiler for five minutes a side til blackened
½ small can (about 6 chipotles en adobo with their sauce)
½ large head garlic, peeled
Coarse salt to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, cooked til pink (you can saute or boil for 2-3 minutes til turn pink) cut in small pieces
A good swirl extra virgin olive oil
Good pinch sugar
¼ ounce Ibarra Mexican chocolate
1-½ cup homemade chicken stock
10 corn tortillas, heated
½ small white onion, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled about 1/3 cup
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350.

Put tomatoes in a blender with any liquid that has accumulated and add chipotles and blend until smooth.

Pound peeled garlic in mortar and pestle. Should have about 2 tbsp garlic puree.

Heat a couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil in heavy saucepan and add the garlic paste. Cook stirring for about three to five minutes, until the garlic paste colors and smells fragrant. Add the tomato chipotle mix, sugar and salt to taste.
Cook stirring for about five to ten minutes until it thickens and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and bring to simmer. Simmer for ten minutes, stirring from time to time and when the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Taste and add salt and a bit more sugar if needed.

Take a ½ cup of sauce from the pan and add to the shrimp and black beans. Add ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro and combine .

Heat tortillas wrapped in a damp hand towel, four at a time, in the microwave on high for one minute.

Have a pan ready for enchiladas.

Dip tortillas into sauce, put about two tablespoons shrimp mix and roll and place in baking pan. Continue with all the tortillas and use up the filing. Put rest of sauce over top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the onion. Sprinkle with the queso fresco.

Heat until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serve with sour cream, avocado and fresh lime wedges.

Serves 4-5.



Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

This looks great! I love the Mexican style food, especially with shrimp!

cook eat FRET said...

i saw the bitten post but didn't chime in on that one. too many opinions, too many great books!

this looks GREAT. i would like some right now on a plate.