The flooding finally went down in our town (although I think there is still some flooding in other areas) but many people are still not back in their homes. Last night after soccer practice we drove around a little. The street behind us is lined with items (including cinder blocks and tons of drywall) that people have pulled out of their houses. The town still has the street blocked off. The apartment complex just north of us sat under water the longest. We knew that the basement apartments would be destroyed but it looks like there was even more damage. The town has not yet turned on the electricity and gas over there so when we drove through, we saw a lot of people throwing everything from their apartments into big piles in the parking lot. It is really heartbreaking.
On to food! Friday I got a new cookbook (just what I need!) called Alternative Vegan. I was excited about this book because it focuses on produce instead of meat replacements. I picked several recipes to try this week. Last night Kay's friend Starr was over for dinner and we all loved these flautas. I'm going to reserve my opinion of the overall cookbook for now though, because the two things we tried tonight were not good at all!
We served these along with a choice of salsa, green salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes. I noticed Starr unrolled hers to put the toppings inside. I picked mine up with my fingers and dipped it into the toppings. I made a few changes to the recipe, mostly just to make the steps easier. I also changed some of the amounts because I don't like using partial cans.
This is a little blurry but here is my plate.
2 medium red potatoes, cut in large cubes
3 cups water
1 cup red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can corn, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
12 tablespoons vegetable shortening
12 corn tortillas
In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender (approximately 30 minutes).
Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in a 175 degree oven.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper until soften but not browned. Add the chili powder and stir to coat. Add the corn and the black beans, stirring to coat. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water and lightly mash the potatoes (they should still be chunky). Add to the corn and bean mixture and stir well to combine. Use a potato masher to slightly blend all ingredients together. (You want the mixture to all be mushed together - not separate pieces that can fall out of the tortillas.)
Remove the tortillas from the oven. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the bean mixture into the center of each tortilla, roll them, secure with a toothpick if necessary, and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat for all tortillas.
In a large, high-sided skillet, heat half the shortening over medium heat. Once it melts, place 6 of the filled tortillas into the pan, seam side down. Do not move them for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn with a spatula or tongs and cook other side for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the flautas from the pan and place them on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Place them in the warm oven. Add the remaining shortening to the pan and repeat with the remaining flautas.
Allow all fried flautas to sit in the warm oven to drain for 30 minutes before eating.
This served two adults and two 11-year-olds with one left over (although Bill probably would have eaten it had he realized it was still there!).
Kay: The flautas were ok. There was a strange taste that I couldn't figure out what it was. I think it was just all the ingredients mixing together. It was kind of greasy too. I didn't have anything with mine but my friend, Starr, used salsa. She thought they were really good and went back for seconds. She said she would have had thirds if she wasn't so full.
Mom(Dana): These were very good (as in Mexican restaurant kind of good). I don't usually fry our food but this was nice for an occasional treat. Bill really liked them but said they could use a little more chili powder next time. I had leftover filling that will make probably about 5 more later in the week for a snack.