Friday, September 10, 2010

Enchilada Success!

So Mike has been asking for chicken enchiladas for awhile now. Despite telling him that I am not a super great cook (and have even been known to start small kitchen fires), he thinks that because I am half Hispanic I should know how to do these things. Eh- maybe I should. The Polish half of me says it's ok that I don't haha. I'm not a complete dunce in the kitchen...let's just say it's not one of my strong points- something I can definitely work on. Part of it is that it's hard/no fun to cook for one person; I definitely enjoy it more when I am cooking for other people. And of course, Mike is all too willing to be someone I cook for :)

So I set out to make chicken enchiladas...and it was a success! There are definitely some things I would tweak about the recipe (like making more sauce), but overall they turned out great and were really yummy! It's not a quick recipe- no truly great Mexican dish is- but it's not difficult. It is a little time intensive, but I can already recognize some ways to save time. It's also not super healthy (again- no truly great Mexican dish is haha).

Anway, it was fun to cook for him, and I am really excited that they turned out pretty good! Maybe there's hope for me after all ;)

Photo/flowers courtesy of Mike :)

Here are the recipes- enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence (+ a couple of my own tweaks)
Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:
1 lb. tomatillos, husked
1 white onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos
2 serrano peppers (if you want to make it spicy!)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced

~Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
chopped cilantro leaves
1 deli roasted chicken, boned, meat shredded*
10 large flour tortillas
1/2 lb. monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream
~chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish

*Deli Roasted Chicken: Place 3 balls of foil at the bottom of a crockpot. Rub full chicken with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, then place in crockpot and cook on low for 10 hours. The chicken is really flavorful and practically shreds on its own after being in the crockpot all day!

For the Salsa:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and serrano peppers for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulst mixture until well combined but still chunky.

Meanwhile, heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized- this should take 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for another minute. Sprinkle the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then graduatlly add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish with cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Spicy Black Beans
1 cup dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf

In a large pot, soak beans overnight covered in water by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tbsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

A few thoughts to save time...
1. The night before: soak the black beans; you can also do your chopping/dicing if you want to save time when you are ready to make the meal
2. The morning of: season and place chicken in crock pot to cook all day
3. When you're ready to make the meal: make the black beans first, as they have the longest cook time, then the enchiladas, and then the rice

No comments:

Post a Comment