Enchiladas revisited

its one of my favorite times of the year.  We’re getting the garden ready.  I’ve got plants sprouting in my sunroom, ready to be relocated, and the thunderstorms bring all that wonderful rain.  I just finished assembling a modified enchilada dish, and I’m sitting in my sunroom with my windows open, listening to the birds In the forest, and smelling the rain.  I just heard a frog a little while ago, and that is such a wonderful feeling, that I was grinning the whole time he was calling.  

When it rains, I get contemplative, and it never hurts to sit for a bit and not do anything.  Of course, my cat, Chester, views this as a monumental waste of time, when I could be doing important things, like petting him.

  
Between being told I have Carpal Tunnel by my doctor and having a bad situation happening in my husbands family, it has just been a little crazy here lately.  

Tax season has ended, and the husband is now home for dinner, so I’ve started trying the stuff I either haven’t made in a while, or wanted to fiddle with.

We had grilled chicken breasts earlier this week, keeping in mind we’d be using them for dinner later on.

I followed the guidelines from a recipe I linked to a while ago, that’s in my archives.  It was a good base, but I decided to just use what I had in the fridge and go from there.

I cubed the chicken after taking it of the bone.  I had one large chicken breast.  

I chopped about 1/2 a green pepper and about 1/4 cup of Vidalia onion and threw them all into a nonstick pot with olive oil.  After everything was warm, I sprinkled about 1 teaspoon each of chili powder and taco seasoning over the mixture.  

I stirred that for a minute and added about 1/2 cup of medium peach salsa, and about 1/3 cup of taco sauce, along with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and  a sizeabe dollop of cheesy quest sauce.   Stir like made when everything starts melting, and I ended up with this lovely smelling mess.

I also threw I. Some random sweet corn my husband had cooked with some Mexican spices and sliced garlic for an earlier meal.

 
Spray a sizable glass baking dish (9×13?), and spooned this mixture into tortillas, rolling and placing seam side down as I went.  Ended up with 6 fitting in there.  Drizzled with taco sauce, covered with more peach salsa, and then spooned some homemade jalapeño salsa on for my husband.  I threw on some leftover Asiago cheese, and then covered the whole mess with about 1/2 a lb of shredded cheddar and sprinkled with taco seasoning.

  
Bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes, until cheese is golden.  I like mine with crunchy bits but husband likes it more stringy.

 

Sweet, tangy, a little spicy, and really good! 

Advertisements

Chicken Enchiladas Remade!

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.

Moving on!

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