I’m not going to lie: cooking at home in a real kitchen with ample supplies, tools and an oven whose temperature gauge is spot on was incredible. Not that I don’t love my amazing apartment and roommates here on College Hill, but having a car to drive to the nearest Los Angeles farmers’ market and then bake your own bread is an undeniable pleasure that my current situation does not allow for. As a result, I took full advantage of cooking everything I possibly could from scratch while at home over winter break; from cornbread to salsa to key lime pie to lamb roast and beyond. But, now that I do not have such luxuries as a food processor and several pans of the same size in my possession (goodbye, triple layer Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Cake — you were the best thing to ever happen to me…), I have made it my mission to simplify some of the favorites I made while I was being spoiled by 80 degree Southern California weather.
While taking advantage of my kitchen at home, one of my absolute favorite dishes to make was Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas with Chile Verde. Never having made salsa from scratch before, I decided to take the long route and do the entire dish as the recipe says, though whenever I reuse the recipe here at school, I’m sure I’ll use bottled chile verde due to my lack of food processor. I had made simple enchiladas before, a sort of Mexican-style lasagna with tortillas instead of pasta, red enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce, and cheddar or jack cheese instead of ricotta and mozzarella. This style is a go-to favorite of mine, and I HIGHLY recommend it when cooking for a crowd (the Big Game, anyone?) because you can make a couple different enchilada lasagnas based on people’s meat versus non-meat preferences. That being said, if you want to class things up a bit, these shrimp enchiladas were light and flavorful, and could be made into a quick-prep meal should you decide to buy the bottled green stuff. [Read more →]