Sunday, September 10, 2006

Spa Cuisine

Tonight's meal was selected from my Lake Austin Spa cookbook. The spa is one of the best in the country, due mainly to the talented chef. I selected for the main course Tortilla Stack with Red Chile Sauce and veganized it and adapted it to what I had on hand. It is basically a corn tortilla, a "cheese sauce," a layer of veggies, another tortilla, then the sauce, and a drizzle of "creme." Here's the recipe:

1 c. diced steamed sweet potatoes
1 c. red beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. lima beans (I used edamame)
1/2 c. corn
2 T. diced pimentos
Cheese sauce
Red Chile Sauce
12 corn tortillas

Combine the potatoes, beans, edamame, corn, and pimentos and set aside. (I prepared these a day ahead.) Put six tortillas on a baking sheet and spread with some of the cheese sauce. Put a scoop of the veggie mixture on top of each tortilla. Spread some cheese sauce on the remaining tortillas and place them cheese side down over the veggies. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until hot. Serve with red chile sauce and creme.

For the "cheese" I made the low fat version of "I Can't Believe It's Not Cheese Sauce" from The Saucy Vegetarian.

Whirl together in a blender the following:
3/4 c. water
2 T. tahini
1/4 c. silken tofu
2 T. nutritional yeast
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped onions
2 T. white miso
dash salt

It won't hold the tortillas together, but it worked out beautifully.

The creme also came from The Saucy Vegetarian - "Tarator Cream."

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender:
3/4 c. silken tofu (I used the remainder from the cheese sauce)
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 T. tahini
1/2 t. crushed garlic
1/4 t. dried oregano
a dash each of salt, pepper, paprika

The best part is the Red Chile Sauce. I would recommend using this with any mexican food dish. It is absolutely delicious!

6 dried red chiles
1 small onion, thickly sliced
4 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 t. cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1/4 tomato juice
2 T. flour or masa harina
2 c. vegetable stock
2 - 3 t. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt

Lightly toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, turning often. Remove and discard the stem. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with hot water; set aside for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the onion, tomato, and garlic on the baking sheet and spray them lightly with cooking spray. Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Toast the cumin and oregano in a dry skillet for 30 seconds. Combine the reserved chiles, onion, tomato, cumin, and oregano in a blender or food processor and puree. (I did this much the day before.) Combine the puree, tomato juice, flour, stock, chocolate, cinnamon, and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until thickened and smooth, stirring often (about 15 minutes). Strain and keep warm. (I did not strain my sauce.)

I served this with a cabbage slaw dressed with 2 T. red wine vinegar, 1 T. lime juice, 1 t. salt, and 1 t. sugar. It's not very much dressing, but it keeps the slaw crisp, which pairs nicely with the tortilla stacks.

I also served green onion and cilantro rice, and a strawberry pie. I'll share those with you tomorrow.

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