- HOME PAGE AND TIMELINE
- RESTAURANT REVIEWS
- SPECIALTY MARKETS - CULINARY ARTICLES - INFORMATION
- COMPETITIONS - EVENTS - SHOWS - TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
- APPETIZERS - EVENT PLATTERS
- SALADS - ASPIC - CHAUD FROID - COLLEE
- SOUPS - STEWS
- SANDWICHES - BURGERS - HOT DOGS
- VEGETABLES - THE DAILY BEANS
- ASIAN NOODLES - GOURMET RAMEN - KOMEX CUISINE
- PASTA - EGG NOODLES - PIZZA - CALZONE - STROMBOLI
- BEEF - STEAKS
- SEAFOOD - FRESHWATER FISH
- CHICKEN - GAME HEN - TURKEY
- PORK - HAM
- VEAL - LAMB
- BBQ - CHILI - SOUL FOOD
- WILD GAME - RABBIT - DUCK - GAME BIRDS
- SAUSAGE - OFFALS - LIVER - Pâté
Friday, May 4, 2012
Pesto Mexicana Lenguado con Queso Enchiladas
Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Cilantro Pesto Sauteed Flounder Filets on Five Small Cheese Enchiladas!
I have posted some nice Mexican recipes during the last few weeks and most of the entrees have been modern and creative. Tonights recipe is no exception. The sauce for the flounder is a Mexican flavored cilantro pesto that is made with traditional Italian techniques. Cilantro pesto tastes great on fish!
Five tiny cheese enchiladas are the bed for the cilantro pesto flounder. The chile colorado sauce is a nice rich blend of Mexican chile pepper powders. Tomato is an optional ingredient for chile colorado, when the sauce is used for enchiladas. I added the tomato to the chile colorado, because it complimented the flavor of the cilantro and fish.
The cilantro pesto is not ground fine enough to be called a mole sauce, so it is better off being called a pesto. There is no cream in any pesto sauce that I make. Adding cream to pesto is a second rate technique. A good pesto has a tiny amount of hard aged cheese, like parmesan, for flavor. By adding a splash of water to this pesto when heating it, the cheese makes the sauce look creamy. This is an old authentic Italian way of preparing pesto for being used as a sauce.
This Pesto Mexicana Lenguado con Queso Enchiladas has a very nice modern combination of flavors with a good looking modern presentation. This modern Mexican entree is fitting for tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo celebration!
Pesto Mexicana Recipe:
This recipe makes enough pesto for 2 medium size portions or one large portion!
Note: It is best to make the pesto first and then refrigerate the pesto for 1 hour, so the flavors meld. The pesto sauce should be started at the same time that the gnocchi are dropped into the boiling water. The pesto sauce only takes a couple of minutes to make. The pesto is turned into a sauce by using a good traditional simple Italian technique. This is how it is done in Genoa Italy. Keep in mind, Italian cooking is perfection cooking. Do not be tempted to add more items to the sauce, such as cream, like amateur second rate cooks do!
Genovese pestos do not only contain herbs or basil. A leafy green vegetable is added to buffer the very strong flavors of the pesto. If a pesto bites back when you taste it, then the chef did not know to add a leafy vegetable or the chef prefers a sharp strong flavor. Even the most seasoned Italian diner will back down from a pesto that is unpleasantly strong.
Pine nuts are part of Pesto Genovese. For this Pesto Mexicana, sesame paste (tahini) and pepitas take the place of pine nuts. Pepitas are toasted hulled calabaza seeds. Mexican mole pastes are usually made with sesame seed and calabaza seed, so the choice of using those two seeds in place of pine nuts gives this cilantro pesto an authentic Mexican flavor!
A large heavy mortar and pestle or a food processor is needed to make this pesto. If you use a food processor to make a large batch of pesto, then allow the ingredients to sit and cool occasionally. Food processors will build up heat in the ingredients from the friction of the blade!
Place 1 large handful of cilantro leaves into a large mortar and pestle or food processor.
Pull the leaf off of the stem and veins 2 to 3 small Swiss Chard leaves. 1 medium size handful of deveined Swiss Chard leaves are needed.
Add the deveined Swiss Chard leaves.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced seeded green jalapeno pepper.
Add 2 pinches of epazote.
Add 1 pinch of Mexican oregano.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 2 pinches of herba buena. (Mint)
Add 7 cloves of garlic.
Add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.
Add 3 tablespoons of tahini. (Sesame paste)
Add 1 tiny handful of pepitas. (Toasted hulled calabaza seeds.)
Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
Puree or mash the mixture, till a smooth paste is formed. The paste should look like a thick heavy smooth puree that can easily stand up in a spoon.
Refrigerate the pesto, so the flavors meld.
Chile Colorado Recipe:
There are a few different combinations of chile powders in my chile colorado recipes. Cascabel chile powder is probably the most often used for enchilada sauces in Mexico. A good chef will blend chile powders to create the best chile colorado flavor for the recipe that it is used in. This is a nice robust tasting chile colorado sauce that has a long lasting mild spicy flavor. The key chile flavors in this chile colorado are chile pequin and New Mexico chile peppers.
Heat a small sauce pot over medium low.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of blended olive oil.
Add 3 tablespoons of tomato puree.
Add 1 cup of water.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of chile pequin powder.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of New Mexico chile powder.
Add 2 teaspoons of ancho chile powder.
Add 1 teaspoon of pasilla chile powder.
Stur the sauce as it starts to simmer.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin chile sauce consistency.
Keep the sauce warm over very low heat and add water if the sauce becomes to thick.
Queso Enchiladas Recipe:
Enchiladas can be made with any size corn tortilla. This recipe requires 5 small cheese enchiladas. The original Aztec enchiladas were simply tortillas that were dipped in chile pepper sauce. Keep that in mind when stuffing these enchiladas! Only a tiny sprinkle of cheese is needed for each tortilla in this recipe. The cheese is just used for flavor.
The tortillas must be pan fried in oil for any enchilada recipe. The tortillas are only fried for a few seconds on each side and the tortillas must be soft and flexible after frying. Do not fry the tortillas till they are crisp, when making enchiladas!
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
Fry the tortillas one at a time for about 10 seconds each on sides, but only fry the tortillas so they are still soft and flexible.
Set the soft fried tortillas on a counter top.
Sprinkle about 2 to 3 pinches of grated Monterey Jack cheese across one third of each tortilla.
Roll each tortilla into a thin tube shape and place them side by side in a small casserole dish.
Spoon half of the chile colorado sauce over the rolled tortillas.
Sprinkle a few pinches of grated Monterey jack cheese over enchiladas.
Bake the enchiladas in a 350 degree oven, till the cheese melts. (Do not brown the cheese!)
Keep the queso enchiladas warm on a stove top.
The pesto Mexicana flounder can be started while the enchiladas are baking.
Pesto Mexicana Lenguado Recipe:
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1 splash of blended olive oil.
Dredge 2 flounder filets that weigh 3 to 4 ounces apiece in flour.
Place the floured flounder filets in the hot pan.
Season with seas salt and black pepper.
Saute the flounder on both sides and only flip the filets once.
Cook each side of the flounder filets, till it becomes a light golden color and till the fish is fully cooked.
Keep the sauteed flounder filets warm on a stove top.
Heat a saute pan over medium low heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add about 3 1/2 ounces of the Pesto Mexicana.
Stir the pesto, till it starts to cook in the hot oil.
Add 3/4 cup of water.
Stir the sauce as it simmers and reduces, till it becomes a creamy green pesto color and till the sauce becomes smooth.
The Pesto Mexicana sauce should reduce to become a medium sauce consistency.
Pesto Mexicana Lenguado con Queso Enchiladas:
Use a spatula the move the 5 cheese enchiladas from the casserole dish onto a plate.
Line the enchiladas up, so the form a bed for the fish.
Spoon the remaining chile colorado sauce over the enchiladas and spoon the sauce decoratively on the plate.
Set the 2 sauteed flounder filets on top of the bed of enchiladas.
Generously spoon the Pesto Mexicana sauce over the sauteed flounder filets.
Sprinkle a little bit of thin sliced green onion top over the pesto.
Garnish with a decoratively sliced lime and cilantro leaves.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream on the side.
The flavors of this Pesto Mexicana Lenguado con Queso Enchiladas entree are delicious! This recipe takes a little bit of time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. Have a great Cinco de Mayo celebration! Yum! ... Shawna