So I have been wanting to make enchiladas for some time now. My hubby works long hours during tax season & I am always on the lookout for something that makes extras and either keeps or freezes well. Hubby pillages the fridge for his lunch & dinner away from home, and the cycle continues.
I went searching for a chicken enchilada recipe with a few criteria:
1. I have all the ingredients. I live 50 minutes away from the nearest grocery store, so I wasn’t planning on going shopping.
2. It not be spicy. My mother never spiced anything due to my father’s food preferences, so I was unable to even handle black pepper before meeting my husband. Shocking, I know. He has been slowly introducing me to new flavors and spices. I have especially developed a taste for Old Bay seasoning on my fries and Indian food. Keep in mind, I’m still on the mild setting but I am working my way up! Kudos to Mary here for giving me straight wasabi to try. I’m pretty sure I lost about 1/3 of my taste buds that day. Glad it was entertaining.
I found a recipe that I liked and it didn’t use enchiladas sauce (gasp!) because I didn’t have any!
I decided to ignore my instincts and follow the recipe. I know, when you start cooking, they tell you to follow everything. Well, I’ve never done that, & I’m told my stuff usually comes out better if I do what I think should be done to enhance a dish. All in all, I really liked this recipe. I got that lovely authentic flavor without having to buy the more enchilada specific ingredients. Best of all, my husband adored it! I got a special email message that day telling me he really liked the dish and that I should keep the recipe for later.
What happened to the original recipe? Did she follow it exactly? Tune in after commercials to find out!
So I am following the recipe until I get to the part about the water. At this point, with the addition of the tomato sauce, I’ve got a really loose sauce. I was already wondering why we were using tomato sauce instead of salsa. I believe salsa would add the required tomato flavor and help tighten. However, I went ahead and added the water. I ended up with chicken soup. I brought it up to a boil to try and reduce some of the water. In the end, I had to use a slotted spoon to scoop my chicken mixture into my taco shells and I had lots leftover.
However, there was a bright spot the leftover sauce was really yummy and it tightened as it cooled due to the sour cream. I served it over the rice side (in reality, chicken Rice-a-Roni) and it turned out as that extra thing the rice needed to fit in.
Now, onto the changes!
What would I do differently next time?
(1) I would perhaps substitute half of the tomato sauce for salsa, if not omit it entirely.
(2) I used fat-free sour cream, because I try to make things healthier anyway I can without sacrificing taste.
(3) I didn’t have chili powder! I know, this might seem a sin to some, but my husband uses it so much that we were out, and I hadn’t had a chance to run to the Amish store to buy my spices in bulk. So I ended up adding a bunch of taco seasoning! Worked out great! I think I got a better flavor.
(4) I ended up adding about 1/4 cup salsa to the chicken tomato sauce mixture because I wanted that flavor in there.
Side Note: I have a pet peeve involving spices bought at supermarkets. They are so expensive! So, I happen to be fortunate to live in an area with a large Amish population, and have an Amish store not even a mile from where I live. Many Amish populations tend to result in fruit stands and random stores selling treasures to behold! I can’t buy fresh groceries much unless it is summer, but I can buy baking staples and spices for a really good price. This is where I buy, for example, 2 pounds of Red Star Yeast for $6.50, 1 oz. of Bay Leaves for 35 cents, 4 oz of ginger for 1.95. etc. You get the idea. Some is not that good in price, but most of it seems to be good comparatively. And 1 oz of Bay Leaves might not sound like much, but think something liked >30 dried leaves per container.
Funny Note: One day, I was muttering about the prices while at the store, and this little old lady asked me if I knew of a cheaper place. I told her I tend to get mine cheaper at the Amish store, and she asked me if that was a chain. Okay, end of rant!
(5) I also used a cheddar cheese mixture, all of which was low-fat. I also used an a larger amount of cheese on top of the enchiladas than 3/4 cup. Just seemed like it needed more. Ended up being more like 1.5 cups of cheese.
In the end, do what you think tastes good!
The original recipe I found is as follows:
Chicken Enchiladas from AllRecipes