Starting off in Mexico! We were so excited because Adam’s brother came to visit us this past weekend and it also happened to be his birthday! So we welcomed him the best way we know how…with an amazing home-cooked birthday dinner feast! Starting off with a cheese plate:
The boucheron was definitely the favorite on this plate…and with the fig jam on Mary’s Crackers…quite a good combo! The main course recipe came courtesy of my good friend, running coach, and physiotherapist, Jody…Butternut Squash Enchiladas. These ARE as good as they sound. So easy, filling, and vegetarian to boot!
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
1 Butternut squash, cut in half, seeds removed
2 green onions, minced
1-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp cream cheese or sour cream
1 chipotle chile in adobo, seeded and minced
1/2-1 tsp adobo sauce (from the can of chiles)
2 cans enchilada sauce
corn tortilla’s (enough to fill a 9 x 13 pan)
mozzarella, cheddar, or Monterey jack cheese (or a combo), shredded, enough to cover the pan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place squash face down on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook until soft, about 40 minutes. Remove and let cool. Scrape out flesh of squash into a bowl and mash. Add green onions, cilantro, cream cheese, chili, adobo sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. (The amount of chili and sauce depends on how spicy you like your food). Spray a 9 x 13 dish with cooking spray and fill corn tortillas with about 2 spoonfuls of filling, roll to close, and place seem side down in pan. Cover tortilla’s with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and melted.
Adam’s brother loved these so much he ate them for breakfast the next morning topped with some Greek yogurt. I also tried to re-create the guacamole we enjoyed so much at Yerba Buena…I think I did it too!
Just mash 1 avocado and mix with 1 diced tomato, half diced shallot, handful of cilantro, lots of salt, and a spoonful of adobo sauce. Love that smokey flavor!
The next morning we braved the snow storm and headed to the LES…nothing will stand in our way of good food! After a wonderful tour at the Tenement Museum (I highly recommend you visit this place if you haven’t yet), we went to Caracas Arepas for lunch, our Venezuelan stop on our global food tour. Now, I normally have a rule of never going back to the same restaurant twice, so obviously I loved these fantastic corn cake sandwiches. Also, it was lunch, not dinner so going for a different meal doesn’t count as going back twice, right? And I did enjoy something different than last time. We all went with the soup and arepa combo.
The butternut squash soup was amazing and that salty fried cheese…I will definitely be trying to recreate this. The beef in the arepa was so tender…perfect soup and sandwich lunch on a cold and stormy day!
Plans for dinner were originally to eat in the city…now being Canadian you probably think a little snow storm wouldn’t scare us…well, it did! We stayed in Brooklyn for dinner and went to a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try for a while. And this is where we go to Italy on our eating trip around the globe. Franny’s focuses on local and organic produce and is always packed! Even the snow storm couldn’t keep people away and there was an hour wait when we arrived. Luckily, there were three seats at the bar and being eager to get out of the cold and quite hungry, we happily took them!
We shared three appetizers to start. The beans were definitely our favorite and the simplest. That olive oil was amazing! The swordfish was also so rich and comforting but a tad salty and the salad simple and delicious. For mains, we went with two pizzas as the pastas didn’t really jump out at us.
So the crust was perfectly chewy and burnt and the right thickness. The pizza as a whole was very good but not mind blowingly good, you know what I mean? Our favorite was the anchovy pie…if you’re afraid of anchovies definitely give them another try. The saltiness they added was perfection! Overall, I really enjoyed Franny’s and would definitely be back, but would next time order more appetizers/small plates over pizza.
I was totally up for trekking to get some good ice cream but sadly, Adam and his brother were ready for the warmth of home! Ciao Bella’s blackberry cabernet sorbet I bought the other week was a good substitute. A great weekend with a great brother-in-law!