Monday, February 18, 2008

Easy Enchiladas by guest blogger Library Lady

I like Mexican food. Really, I do. But you would never know it by how rarely I eat at Mexican restaurants. And the reason for that is that I often find the food way too heavy. I always need to have veggies or something healthy with my meals, and most Mexican restaurants don't offer much more than a little bit of iceberg lettuce on a taco. (And iceberg lettuce is basically water...) So therefore, when I don't feel like going to a Mexican restaurant, and I want to please my Mexican food loving husband, I make it at home!

I generally like to use fresh, "from scratch" ingredients when I can, but when I have the opportunity to use something that's packaged and it tastes good, then I will. I highly recommend Trader Joe's various sauces, by the way. They are often fantastic and not as full of nasty, bad for you junk that so many other prepared sauces contain. And now the recipe:


Ingredients

1 lb chicken, cut up into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon EACH of cumin, chili powder, and minced garlic (You can use 1 clove of fresh chopped garlic if you wish-- I had some minced garlic to get rid of.)
1/8 teaspoon (or just a few shakes) of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup salsa
1 jar of Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce
4-6 flour tortillas, fajita size
1-2 cups shredded cheese, depending on how cheesy you like it (Cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend)
1 tablespoon oil-- vegetable or light olive oil

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull out a 9X13 baking pan, glass is probably best
2. Coat a large skillet with the oil
3. Saute the chicken, spices, and onion until chicken is cooked thoroughly
4. Heat up the tortillas in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds until they are soft and pliable
5. Fill each tortilla up with the chicken mixture, top with a few spoonfuls of salsa and some cheese and roll them up, placing them an equi-distance apart in the baking dish so that they all fit
6. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and then sprinkle remaining cheese
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve with veggies or any condiments you desire.


Cook's Thoughts:

1. I only had four tortillas, so that made the sauce a little runny as there wasn't as much food to soak it up. I would definitely use 6 tortillas and make them a little smaller so as to soak up the sauce.
2. Sauteing the chicken with the spices was a spur-of-the-moment invention of mine and I love it! It really adds flavor to the meat.
3. My husband and I like spicy food, and this was just the right amount of spicy. I used Paul Newman's Medium Chunky Salsa and that added another nice little kick.
4. I imagine you could use chopped green chiles in the filling as well. I may try that next time...

Enjoy!

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