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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

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Readers Blog: Burp! Where Food Happens

Never the Same Dish Twice: Caramelized Onion and Poblano Enchiladas

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There's just something about a cheese enchilada.

It's not complicated. Or fancy. If you're honest, you'll probably even admit that it's really not even all that interesting. But, there's something about a deliciously soft tortilla that's filled with cheese and covered in sauce that seems to capture the imagination.

Of course, if you're like me, you're always trying to play with perfection... tweaking a little bit here, adjusting there. Making things better (hopefully)... or at least different. Keeping the spirit of the experimentation alive.

This dish has been a perennial favorite in the Burp! kitchen. In fact, the recipe goes way back -- to the beginnings of the blog.

It was one of our very first blog posts -- published toward the end of June in 2007. At the point it was written, we weren't cognizant that we had an audience. In fact, we were pretty sure that we didn't. You'll notice there's no pretty photo of our meal. No story about where we got the idea for the recipe. In fact, there's not much of anything interesting about the post at all, except maybe the recipe itself (and that's probably somewhat debatable).

The fact of the matter is, the idea stemmed from a recipe for cheese and caramelized onion enchiladas that we found in Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. We loved the concept of using sweet caramelized onions in an enchilada, but I wasn't completely satisfied with the recipe on its own. So, we started tweaking.

Rather than using pickled jalapeno peppers, I decided to sub in slices of roasted poblano chiles. To add a bit of delightful creaminess, we added a few ounces of cream cheese to the filling. We neglected to use Bishop's sauce. And suddenly, we had a brand new dish.

Years later, I'd venture a guess that we've made this dish at least 10-15 times. And it's likely to have been different every go-round. We've used various sauces (a mole, a red chile sauce, and a roasted tomatillo sauce). We've substituted roasted red peppers and fresh jalapenos for the poblanos. We've added goat cheese to the mix, rather than cream cheese. And every time, it's been a completely new kind of fabulous.

But, that's exactly what I love about cooking. And blogging. It's never the same twice. Ingredients change. Trends come and go. We approach the same dishes with different perspectives. And recipes have this miraculous way of morphing into new experiences right before our very eyes.

Every single time we step into the kitchen, we learn something new. And we find something unexpected.

So, go ahead -- tweak that recipe. See what it becomes for you.

And don't forget -- in celebration of our THIRD Burp-Day, we'll be giving away at least THREE (3) Burp! t-shirts during the month of June. Visit Burp! Blog on Facebook to find out how to win! www.facebook.com/burp_blog

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