As you may well know, I’m no cook. Baking, yes, fire away – I enjoy the creative process (and the eating part isn’t half bad either!). Cooking though is not my cup of tea and it tends to cause me a lot of stress. Karl and I liking and eating quite different foods to one another also causes additional stress, and, as a veggie, I’m limited as to what I will do with meat if I’m cooking – those ‘season and shake’ bags are a bit of a god-send.
Having said that, I have become a little more confident lately, which I mainly put down to the fact that I can now roast decent potatoes, make soup on the spot, and I’ve successfully made some very pleasing veggie chilli and lentil stew recipes of late. However, I absolutely have to be in a particular frame of mind to cook and that frame of mind is basically ‘I want to eat XYZ now!’.
So, yesterday, at the time of evening I really should have been thinking about whipping something quick up for dinner, I decided I wanted enchiladas and nothing else would do. (Seriously, my cravings are this domineering now; what on earth would I be like if pregnant?!) I had tortillas, cheese and plenty of fillings but I didn’t have any sauce. What would we do without Google, eh?
Of course, I had to scroll through all the pre-requisite American sites first (what is the UK-equivalent of ‘all-purpose flour’ or 1/4 cup?) before landing on this simple, straight-forward option from All Recipes:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 4 tablespoons salsa
- 175g (6 oz) passata
- 350ml (12 fl oz) water
I should mention here that Karl was working on our bathroom refurb at the time I was making this and the cheesecake so the kitchen was an absolute state as the water was off so I couldn’t wash anything to reuse it. Thank goodness for multi-packs of wooden spoon, I say!
Okay, so I had to make some changes – I didn’t have any oregano, basil or parsley so I shoved in some ‘mixed herbs’ for good measure. I guessed at the salt and pepper amounts and used mild chilli powder because I’m not a fan of spicy spicy foods. I did chuck a bit of paprika in because, well, I had some!
Because you have to simmer the potful for 15 minutes I could crack on with the cheesecake so it all fitted rather well. I did add a vegetable stock cube-thingy to the mix about halfway through the simmering time as it didn’t seem to be thickening up enough. I whizzed it up in the blender and took a tentative taste… (I had pizza in the freezer as my back-up plan)
Man! Thank goodness I went with mild chilli powder! (And, thank goodness I had sour cream in the fridge). However, I do have a delicate sense of taste when it comes to spice so it probably wasn’t that hot.
I made chicken enchiladas for Karl and for my own I did a mix of red pepper, tomatoes, kale and courgette – yum! I didn’t photograph it as cooked food never looks that photogenic compared to baked goods but it tasted good!
I was super stoked to have made a sauce rather than rely on one out of a jar. I know there’s loads of sugar and salt in store-bought ones so it was quite satisfying to think I had avoided all of that and still had something tasty to eat. It’s made me quite excited to try making other sauces and bottling them up for use as-and-when.
On a similar vein, I don’t know if you watched ‘Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience’ recently, when he tried his hand as a festival food chef? Well, if you did you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that man’s fearless when it comes to cooking – he just adds a bit of this, a bit of that and hey presto! It kind of made me think I shouldn’t write myself off as a ‘bad cook’; I just needed to know it was okay to fail… as long as there’s a back-up pizza in the freezer! 😉