The Middle Child and a Friday Feast

When there are only three children, it’s obvious which would be the middle child. When there are three girls and one boy, again obvious. But what about four boys? Or two girls and two boys? Would the two in the middle be equally the middle child?

Why all the questions? Because today is National Middle Child Day. Many believe birth order plays a pivotal role in the personalities of children. For example, the Middle Child Syndrome describes the firstborn as the leader and the role-player. The youngest child earns the title of the baby family. Therefore, the middle child’s role remains undefined. Middle Child Syndrome – sounds like an excuse to me. But I’m no physiologist, so what do I know? Every thing I’ve read on the middle child does not apply to my middle sister. The Middle Child is the Peace Keeper sandwiched between two feuding siblings, and that makes sense. However; my middle sister liked to stir things up, then sit back and watch the fireworks. Even tempered? Of the three of us, she had one of the shortest fuses, although she has mellowed with age. Creative? Yeah, but we all are in our own right. Children should not be defined by their birth order. Each child is their own independent person.

One thing certain about my middle sister – she is a big fan of Mexican Food and Margaritas. So on National Middle Child Day I give you one amazing Mexican Feast that is equally appropriate for a Fabulous Catholic Friday. Enjoy!

Middle Child Friday Mexican Feast
Seared Seas Scallops in Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Three-Cheese Enchiladas in a Red Sauce
Mexican Rice Cups
Frijoles Negros Refritos (Refried Black Beans)

Seared Sea Scallops in Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
10 Tomatillos
1 Large Poblano Pepper
1/2 White Onion
8 sprigs Cilantro
Cilantro for garnish
2 Serrano Chilies
Salt to taste
1 lb Sea Scallops
3 tablespoons Coriander Seasoning
2 tablespoons Coarse Black Pepper

Heat oven to 450-degrees.

Leave tomatillos whole, in their skins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the tomatillos in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cook on a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters. Set aside.

Meanwhile, light a gas grill for an open flame. Roast the poblano pepper over the open flame turning until charred on all sides. Place the poblano in a paper bag to sweat for 20 minutes, Remove charred skin. Stem, split open and remove some or all of the seeds. Chop and set aside.

Cut onion in half from tip to root. Reserve half for another use. Peel remaining half, chop and set aside. Chop cilantro springs, including stems, set aside. Set aside a few cilantro leaves for a garnish. Stem and chop serranos, set aside.

Place the tomatillo quarters, poblano, onion, cilantro sprigs, and serranos in a blender. Blend to coarsely puree. Transfer the puree to a serving dish. Thin to a sauce-consistency with water, about a tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt. Set sauce aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a little oil to the pan, swirl to coat. Let skillet heat until almost smoking. Reduce heat to medium-high to maintain sizzle.

Spread ground coriander out in a small plate. In another small plate, spread out the black pepper. Roll sea scallops in the coriander, then the cracked Place seasoned scallops in the hot skillet, let blacken 2 or 3 minutes undisturbed. Turn scallops once, let cook about 1 minute longer.

Spread sauce out on individual plates. Divide scallops between the plates, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Three-Cheese Enchiladas in a Red Sauce

1/4 White Onion
2 Celery Ribs
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese
1-1/2 cups Quesco Fresco Cheese
1 cup Mild Cheddar Cheese

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

Finely chop onions and celery, set aside until ready to use.

In a small saucepan, heat oil. Sauté onions and celery until tender and translucent. Place in a large bowl. Add cheeses, combine to incorporate cheeses with vegetables. Set aside.

Pour enough Enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish to coat, set aside.

2-1/2 cups Red Enchilada Sauce
16 Corn Tortillas
Cooking Spray

Heat a griddle sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Place tortilla on griddle, brush with Enchilada sauce. Lightly fry tortilla to soften, flip and brush lightly with Enchilada sauce. Place on a plate, repeat with remaining tortillas until all have been softened, coated with Enchilada sauce.

Place tortilla on a flat work surface, spoon or sprinkle about 1/4-cup of cheese mixture down center of tortilla and fold/roll tortilla around cheese. Place, seam-side down, in casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas until all the tortillas and cheese have been used. Nestle Enchiladas close together in the casserole dish to help them hold their shape.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.

Finishing Touches
1 cup Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Sour Cream

Mix cheeses together. Sprinkle a heavy layer of cheese mixture over tops of the enchiladas. Place casserole dish in the oven and bake until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

While the enchiladas bake, trim roots from the green onions. Slice remaining onion, tossing white parts with the green to blend.

Remove enchiladas from oven, garnish with chopped green onions. If desired, dollop with some sour cream.

Mexican Rice Cups
1-1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with Chile
Taco Seasoning to taste
1-1/2 cups Minute Rice
1/2 cup Mexican Cheese Blend
Sour Cream for garnish
Cilantro Leaves for garnish

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, tomatoes and taco seasoning to a boil.

Stir rice into the pot, cover and remove from heat. Let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and mix well.

Using a small bowl or cup, mold rice into individual servings. Invert bowl or cup on a platter to form attractive individual servings.

Just before serving garnish rice “cups” as desired.

Frijoles Negros Refritos (Refried Black Beans)
2 Cans Whole Black Beans (Bush’s is good)
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon Bacon Drippings

Drain most of the liquid from the black beans and empty cans into your blender. Season with cumin and cayenne pepper. Blend on puree setting until most of the beans are smashed. Some lumps are a good thing for a little texture. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Melt bacon drippings in a skillet. Stir in seasoned beans. Fry over medium heat until bubbly.

Place beans in a serving dish. If desired, garnish with a little cilantro and Mexican Cheese such as Cotija or enjoy “naked”.

Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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