27 November 2006

Turkey of a Week

What a week!

Last Monday I got a nasty cat bite. I was holding Ochosi while Dr. Sarah examined her. Sarah found Ocho's "ouch" spot, and Ocho bit my hand -- hard and deep -- in instinctive protest. An early morning drive to Arcata in torrential rain to see the doctor, a round of antibiotics, and a few days of pain (and hot water hand soaks) and my hand is much better. Still a bit of infection (it got ugly there at first) and some pain when I type or chop firewood, but it's healing. It's healing.

And then Saturday, the day after Anthony's 30th birthday, we were in a car accident. On our way to breakfast when a woman runs a stop sign and drives right into us. Yes, she has insurance. And no one was injured; just shook. Ant's truck is smashed up pretty good and is in the shop for a couple of weeks. The police officer gave us a courtesy ride to the car rental. I rode in back, having never had the pleasure (Ant had more adventurous teenage years, so the back of a cop car was familiar to him.) As the officer was radioing in his location, etc., I heard him say he was giving a courtesy ride to "Mom and Son." Ahem. (That's it. I'm getting my hair colored.)

Somewhere between the cat bite and the car wreck was Thanksgiving. Lots of cooking (with much help from Anthony and my neighbor/tenant, Greg, both of whom were my hands when my own hand was incapacitated). I made pumpkin pie and an apple/cranberry/date tart (all from scratch), cranberry sauce, rolls, turkey, stuffing, gravy, salad. Greg brought candied yams. Bob and Noor brought the nummy baked winter squash dish that they bring every year. The Duprees brought their tofurkey and vegan gravy, and drinks for all. Bill and Helen brought a marinated green bean dish. Anthony made pecan pie and whipped cream. A good time was had by all.

Usually I make Turkey Soup on the Friday after Thanksgiving, feeling a kinship with cooks across the country. This year, though, I gave the carcass to Anthony so that he could make soup. Instead, I'm making turkey enchiladas, a variation of my chicken enchilada recipe.

Enchilada Sauce
Simmer until flavorings have blended:
1 12-oz can of chopped tomatoes
4 decent-size cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like spicy, which I don't)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
(Adjust all seasonings to your preference!)

Enchilada Filling
Diced left-over turkey (or cooked chicken)
1/2 pound (or more) grated jack (or pepper jack) cheese
1 chopped onion
1 can of black olives, chopped (or use sliced olives)
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

Have a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish ready (with a bit of sauce on the bottom of it to keep the enchiladas from sticking), along with the ingredients.

Dip a corn tortilla in the sauce to soften the tortilla, then fill it with a small handful of filling. Roll the tortilla into an enchilada and place it in the Pyrex. Repeat until you've filled the pan (I usually make 12 enchiladas, placing 8 along the length of the pan, and four to the side of those 8. The layout looks kind of like this:

____ ____
____ ____

Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Cover with grated cheese and any remaining filling. Bake at 350 until heated through and cheese is melted.

Confession: I rarely roll the tortillas into enchiladas these days, partly because the dang things fall apart on me before I can get them rolled. Instead, I make an enchilada casserole -- put some sauce on the bottom of the Pyrex, lay out the tortillas, cover them with the filling, cover that with another round of tortillas, pour the sauce over everything, then cover with grated cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and everything's heated through.

Serve with sour cream (and beer)(if you're not taking antibiotics for a cat bite, that is!).

No comments: