Mexican

Zucchini Boats

One last zucchini meal.  I really do like the things I have come up with this year.  This one is very tasty and it is an adaptation (very far removed).

Zucchini Boats

  • 2 Hatch green chiles, or 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup cooked Israeli couscous
  • 4 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup packed, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of tomatoes)

Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill, the broiler or over the open flame on your gas stove.   I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!)  Turn them until they are charred on all sides.  Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil.  You want them to steam completely.  They need to be cool enough to handle.  With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile.  Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible.  A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile.  DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe. Dice the chiles into ¼” dice.

Add corn and onion to a non-stick pan and cook for 10 minutes, half way through, stir mixture and then sprinkle with minced garlic. Add corn mixture to chopped chiles; stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and black pepper.

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the inside; set aside.

Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add to corn mixture; toss well.  Add the cheese to the mixture and carefully combine all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spoon corn mixture evenly among each zucchini boat. Place in a baking dish.  Add about ¼ cup water to steam the squash.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler and sprinkle a little cheese on each zucchini. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts/browns. Serve immediately.

Sharing this week with Jam Hands and:
Foodie Friends Friday

Fish Tacos and Steak-Andy Cooks

A perfect post to share with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday’s!

All three of my children cook. They have their specialties and each has their favorites with their own twists.  My son has taken to cooking recently.  Healthy cooking at that!  This is a big change for him.  He was eating out A LOT and it wasn’t healthy.  He’s the baby of the family, but all grown up.  My two girls make delicious things too.  They aren’t too much into baking.  Amy makes great party food and Krista is very creative with herbs and chile.

I think this food blog is rubbing off on him.  He sends me some pictures of what he cooked for dinner and then immediately calls me to describe what it was he made for dinner.  When he calls it is usually around 900PM and I’m not prepared to write down all the ingredients.  He is into fish.  You will notice there are not too many (if any) recipes that use fish from me.  This is new for us all.  He didn’t learn to cook fish from me.

He made fish tacos because someone gave him some homegrown peppers at work.  That spurred him on to combine the peppers, cilantro, onion together in a skillet and sauté them.  He rubbed tilapia with red chile powder, salt, pepper and a seasoning blend and warmed his whole wheat tortillas in a skillet. Then he topped the grilled tilapia with the sautéd pepper mix, added an avocado and some lime juice.  I do believe he has great promise as a home cook.  He didn’t know what kinds of peppers they were, but they were HOT!  They look good.

 

Another evening he made a great steak and sent me that picture.  He uses a George Foreman table top grill that he loves.  I think this steak was marinated in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and a dry steak seasoning blend.  He marinated this overnight because he decided not to cook one night.  So it was well marinated when he cooked it.  He served it with asparagus and mushrooms he sautéed in butter.  Looks pretty good to me.

When he lived at home he made chicken breasts marinated in Italian salad dressing or he fried flautas.  They were a mess and guess who did the dishes?  Now he cooks things that don’t make a mess as he has to clean them up himself.  At least he is thinking healthy and that is way ahead of when I started thinking of eating healthy food.  Good idea for us all!

The Chiles are In!

Chile Lime Ice Cream

I am sharing this week with Teach Me Tuesday’s,The King’s Court IV, Thursday’s Favorite Things and Homestead Simple.  In September, I will be entering these in the Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Dreams, Sweet Heat challenge.

I love the smell of green chiles roasting over an open fire. The scent fills the air with a warm, spicy fragrance. It makes me feel like Fall is just around the corner. Being from the southwest we think everyone knows how to roast, steam and peel New Mexico long green chiles. (some places known as Anaheim chiles.) I had a good lesson in this exercise from Chef Johnny Vee of Las Cosas Cooking School in Santa Fe, NM. He has lots of experience in teaching, catering, and restaurant management.

If you have the chance to visit Santa Fe and take a class with Chef Johnny you should do it. I learned a few new tricks in his class and had a blast cooking with him and my friend Nelda. She and I have both raised families and cooked lots of meals. I thought I knew everything there was about chiles. Not so. Did you know, if your put a small slit near the stem of the raw chile before roasting it that it will prevent the chile from exploding while over the direct flame? Then you can use that same slit to fill the chile for chiles rellenos before you put it in the batter? I never thought of that. I always do things the hardest way first. This makes perfect sense. He introduced all types of recipes in which to use the chiles. I’ll be sharing those with you from time to time as chile season proceeds.

When picking out your chiles be sure they are as flat and heavy feeling as you can find. This will make it easier to char the skin more evenly. Heavy feeling chiles will be meatier or thicker for stuffing with your favorite cheese. I like Asadero or Mennonite cheese. Very good for melting in those chiles rellenos.

Roasting Chiles:

Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill or over the open flame on your gas stove. You can put them under the broiler too. I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!) Turn them until they are charred on all sides. Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil. You wantthem to steam completely. They need to be cool enough to handle. With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile. Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible. A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile. DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe.

You can slit them open and remove the stems and seeds if they are to be diced or sliced. The seeds are the hottest part. For chiles rellenos leave the seeds in and stems on.

After all of that instruction here is a nice sweet surprise that Chef Johnny shared with us. This is a very creamy and quick ice cream to make. The chiles add a new twist to ice cream I had never thought of. I took the liberty to adjust the chile prep a little. I really wanted the flavor throughout the ice cream. In the class we served the chiles in strips on top in case some didn’t want chile with their lime. I added the zest of ½ of an orange too. Thinking margaritas here! The Chef told us he used the chile syrup from caramelized chiles to make margaritas. Sounds like a good idea. It must be 5 o’clock somewhere!

Lime Ice Cream with Caramelized Green Chiles

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes
  • ¼ cup key lime juice (bottled is fine or about 8 key limes)

Important note: Set up your ice cream maker before you add the lime juices.

Whisk together cream, milk, sugar and zest. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.

Quickly stir in the lime juices (it gets very thick) and quickly pour into the ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This is such a handy little machine. No fuss or bother with ice, salt, etc. And It makes a perfect quantity ice cream – perfect for this recipe.

When the ice cream is finished freezing, add the chiles through the top opening and mix in the chiles and allow to blend for a minute. Pack the ice cream in plastic containers and store in the freezer section of your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Caramelized Green Chiles

  • 6 New Mexico green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and rinsed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Blot the chiles dry with paper towels and cut them in ¼” dice. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and becomes syrupy. About 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain the chiles through a sieve. Scatter the chiles on a lightly oiled plate and freeze. Add to the Lime Ice Cream before storing in the freezer.

Chef Chat with Chef Johnny V “It sounds crazy but these candied chiles end up tasting like candied pineapple, but with a kick. If you are not sure you will love them, serve them as strips on top of the ice cream.”

–His cookbook Cooking with Johnny Vee has this recipe and lots more.

Mexican Fiesta Update

Oops! I forgot to include the recipe for my rice. Here it is.

Mexican Rice

1 cup white or brown rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jalapeño pepper finely diced
½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste

In a medium sauce pan with a lid, add the rice, and vegetable oil. With the flame on medium-high toast the rice stirring constantly. (It will burn quickly when it gets hot.)
Add the jalapeño and onion and cook about 2 minutes. Add the water, salt and tomato paste. Stir well.

Cover and turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Mexican Fiesta

As I have said before I try to eat healthy.  Sometimes nothing will do though but to have a good mexican dinner.  My favorite is enchiladas with all the trimmings.  Here in the West Texas town of El Paso everyone has the best recipe for tacos, rice, salsa, beans, tamales and most importantly enchiladas.  My best are traditional with red sauce. To go to the fancier side, I do Suiza sauce.  Here are the recipes.  I gotta go eat!

Baked Tortilla Chips

  • 6 wheat or white corn tortillas
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray
  • Kosher Salt

Cut the tortillas into quarters or sixths, place on a baking sheet and lightly spray with the non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.  Watch closely so they don’t brown too much.

 

Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Suiza Sauce

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Enchiladas

  • vegetable oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked cubed or bite size chicken meat
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing, if desired
  • 4 ounces Queso Anejo, shredded (substitute Parmesan if unavailable)
  • 1 cup sour cream, for serving, optional
  • Salsa or Pico de Gallo, for serving, optional

Sauce 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, little by little, until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken stock and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper jack and stir until melted. Season with the salt and remove from the heat. Set aside, covered, while you assemble the enchiladas.

Enchiladas

Heat a small skillet over high heat. When hot, add some of the vegetable oil and 1 of the tortillas. Cook until soft, turning midway, about 30 seconds per tortilla. Transfer to a plate to assemble the enchilada.  (You can’t stop to answer the phone now.)

Place some of the chicken down the middle of the tortilla, top with some of the green chiles and grated cheese.  Spoon about a tablespoon of the sauce down the center of the chicken/cheese and roll the tortilla.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350°. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the sauce and cheese are bubbly and light golden brown on top.

Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, Spanish Rice and a spoonful of Grama Jo’s salsa, if desired.

Mid-Week BBQ

I guess I am still hungry for Fourth of July festivals as I woke up this morning craving BBQ.  Good thing that I know just the quick fix to cook all day while I am at work.  I’ll set up my crock pot and let it cook dinner.  Throughout the day I began to elaborate on the Tuesday night party.  Maybe I want some Mexican and something fresh and fruity too.  How am I going to get this all in one dinner?  That is how my kitchen experiments start.  I began to imagine the recipe below.  It was good.  Real good.  I have leftovers in case I need some more this week.

Pulled Pork Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

For the pork:

  • 1 pork tenderloin fat trimmed
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 16 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Corn or Flour tortillas
  • Cheese and/or toppings

In the morning place all the ingredients through the salt and pepper into the crock pot and set to low.  Leave to stew for 6-8 hours.  Before removing from the pot fix the salsa (see below).

When ready to eat remove to pan and finish the shredding.  This should be very easy and almost done for you.  Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa and your favorite cheese.  I used Cotija.

 

 

For the salsa:

  • 2 pineapple rings
  • ½ of a red onion finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 1 cup of tomatoes finely diced  (I take mine as I get them from the garden, today’s crop was cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro finely chopped
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Salt

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium.  Spray with cooking spray and add pineapple rings.  Spray the top side with cooking spray and let cook for three minutes or until deep grill marks appear.  Flip.  Cook 2-3 minutes more to char the other side.  Remove from pan to a plate and put in the refrigerator to chill.  When they are about room temperature, cut into small pieces.

Add all of the fruits and vegetables to a bowl and pour lime juice in and stir.  Salt to taste.  Serve over tacos.

I grilled a few extra pineapple rings for dessert!

Sharing Salsa!

Sharing this week with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

I think a lot of people have wonderful family recipes that they never write down.  It takes a lot of time to explain how to make something you have made forever and make it clear and correct so someone else can make it.  This is one of those recipes.

I have a friend at work who has the most wonderful mother.  She is a dedicated mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She sounds like a lively lady and makes her daughter laugh a lot.  She cooks dinner for Nelda and her boys a lot of days.  I never had the pleasure to come home to a home-cooked meal, unless I got up early and got things started in the crock pot.  That is such a nice thing to do.  I always hear them talking about dinner as the day goes on, so I check out their menu selections.  Sometimes I get a good idea.

One day she shows up at the office with a jar of salsa her mom made.  I immediately had to come up with a meal to serve this with.  So I made enchiladas, rice, tostados and a salad.  I shared some of the salsa with my daughter too.  It was so good, and so much better than the bottled stuff off the shelf.  Very fresh and you know what is in it.

This would be easy and good to make for your party snacks.

Grama Jo’s Salsa 

  • 10 jalapenos
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 –  8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water (maybe a little more)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt

Boil the jalapenos in a pan with a lid until they are soft.  Cut off the stems (leave the seeds in) before you put them in the blender.  Add the onion chunks, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, the water, salt and garlic salt.  If you want to cut back on the salt you can eliminate the 2 teaspoons of salt, but not the garlic salt.  Blend until chunky.  Don’t make it into a puree or you will have a salsa smoothie, Grama Jo says.

Put in clean jars with lids and store in the frig. (It won’t last very long around hungry spicy food lovers.)  It makes a lot.  Everyone is addicted to it.  Enjoy!

Thanks, Jo for sharing your secret recipe with us.

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four

One potato, two potato, three potato,

four.  Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more!

Do you remember this song from when, as children, we sang it to make a choice about what we wanted to choose or who we wanted to pick for our team?  I don’t know what made me think of that when I decided to have a stuffed baked potato for dinner.  But it just popped into my mind.  Whoa!  Whatever!  I decided to see how many different stuffed baked potatoes I could come up with.  These are some of my favorites.

Of course, they are basically the same.  You start with a baked potato Idaho or sweet potato are my choices.  Do you bake yours in the oven or the microwave?  My mother always baked hers in the oven smeared with a little Crisco to make the skins crispy.  A baked potato and meatloaf was my favorite birthday meal.  With 4 children in the family you didn’t get your very own of anything very often, but you got your own baked potato.  I usually cook mine in the microwave.  My husband said he thought the microwave was the most expensive potato baker he’d ever bought.

I just found this on a blog.  I had never thought about a slow cooker for baking potatoes. Why not?

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
technique adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

Wash, scrub, and dry any number of potatoes that you need (or as many that will fit in your slow cooker). Prick each potato with a fork a few times. Place into slow cooker and cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 6 hours or until desired tenderness.

Then you cut it open and fluff the potato and little before you stuff it with all sorts of things.  Cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon are the typical stuffing ingredients.  But why not mix it up and make the baked potato the entire meal?  Works for me.

My favorite is steamed broccoli, cheese and a little butter.  I stuff this in a good old Idaho baker. (4-6 ounces)

Next, would be a sweet potato.  I like the broccoli in this one too, but no cheese please.  My favorite stuffing in a sweet potato is one slice of the pre-cooked bacon made extra crispy in the microwave for 1 minute with 1 teaspoon of Splenda Brown Sugar and a little cinnamon.  This reminds me of the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole a little.

A baked potato with sliced chicken (rotisserie from the deli) stuffed in it with a dollop of sour cream is good.

 

Chili con carne (your style) ladled into the baked potato and topped with your favorite chile toppings is a warm and very hearty meal. I like green onions and cheddar cheese. I get a cup of chili from the deli and use this for my potato.  A little sour cream would be good if you like it.

 

And last, a taco stuffed baked potato.  I add sliced chicken breast meat for a chicken taco touch, fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and a little lime juice, grated jack cheese, cilantro and a wedge of avocado and tomato on the side with a few tostado chips. It makes it taste like a (chicken) taco.

Wait….one more idea.  St. Patricks Day is coming.  How better to honor the Irish than with the potato.

Twice Baked Potatoes – Lightened up

  • 4 medium russet potatoes ( 2 1/4″ – 3 1/4″ diameter ) , scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 wedges of Light Creamy Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Bits
  • 2 green onions (whites and greens), chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fat free half and half, if needed to thin out potato mixture (optional)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheese (Swiss, cheddar, colby…your choice),
  •  and a sprinkle of Hungarian Sweet Paprika from the Savory Spice Shop is good.

Allow potatoes too cool enough to handle. Unwrap a potato and slice down middle long ways. With spoon, scoop out insides leaving about a 1/8″ potato in skin all around.

Place scooped out potato in large bowl. Set “potato shell” on baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with all potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside.

To the scooped out potato in the bowl, add the Greek yogurt and Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges. With electric mixer, whip until fluffy. You might need to add a bit of fat free half and half or skim milk at this point to thin them out enough to fluff…maybe not. Depends on the potato. Stir in the turkey bacon bits, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture evenly into the 8 potato shell halves. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

At this point you can cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them or you can bake them right away. Set oven at 350°. Place potatoes uncovered in oven and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 min for refrigerated potatoes and about 15 minutes for unrefrigerated ones.

No Syrup for My Pancakes

Traditionally, in Anglican churches, pancake dinners are served on Shrove Tuesday (the last day of Mardi Gras) before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  St. Francis church made Mexican pancakes and had an enchilada dinner.  So, this time of year, I always think about making enchiladas before Lent begins.  I have people who work with me who have grown up in El Paso and take for granted that everybody knows how to make the red sauce to flavor their enchiladas.  I have asked lots of questions and finally have a recipe.  This is probably not written down in traditional Mexican homes, where you learn by watching your mother or grandmother make it.  I started with the basics to find the definition of molidoMolido means ground or pulverized in Spanish.  Thus, ground red chilis = molido.

RistraIn September, you can drive through the Rio Grande valley here in El Paso and suddenly see a bright red roof.  You look closer and what you see is long red chilis placed on a tin roof drying in the sun.  That fascinated me when I first saw these.  I would suggest to my husband we take a ride on Sundays in the valley just to see the red chilis.  It was then that I bought my first ristra.  Little did I know you were to use those chilis to make a sauce.  I thought they were beautiful and kept evil spirits from your door.  I think red is my favorite color and the shades of a ristra are beautiful to look at. Don’t touch your eyes after touching the chilis. Andy, my son, didn’t listen, of course, and learned that one the hard way.

This molido sauce is used to flavor all sorts of Tex-Mex dishes from tamales, chili con carne, and beans, to enchiladas.  I think enchiladas are my favorite — rolled or stacked.  Just the combination of the corn tortilla, onions, cheese and red sauce are a taste sensation like no other flavor combination.  It is probably purely Tex-Mex food and certainly not healthful.  But, making the sauce yourself is a true labor of love.  Mexican mamas in El Paso make their own tortillas too — not me.  That goes beyond my limitations!  I’m a gringa.

Georganne, a dear friend and excellent cook, finally took the time to write down how she makes her red molido sauce, and I am going to share it with you just like she gave it to me.  I will treasure this one forever.  Here’s what she says.

My molido sauce is easy.  I wash the dust off the dried chilis and put them in a big pot of water and bring it all to a boil.  I don’t tear the tops off or remove the seeds.  Once the chilis are “workable,” (and the time varies depending on how many are in the pot), I remove them and pull the tops/stems off and throw them away.  At this point, I also get rid of most of the seeds, depending on the heat I want.  The seeds puree up right along with the chilis in the blender.  I put the chilis in a blender with a bit of the water I have just boiled them in and start pureeing.  I like my molida thick, so I just add water until I get it “right.”  That’s all I do.  It freezes up beautifully and if I don’t freeze it, it refrigerates for about a week before it gets too old.  Gary and I tried adding garlic and oregano to the molido, and one time we used beer.  But the chili just didn’t cook up as good or with as pretty a color as when we used only the chilis and chili water.

When I make a pot of Chili Colorado, this molido gets added close to the end of cooking time.  The spices are already in the pot and after I add the molido and let it cook in for maybe 10 minutes, I re-season to taste.Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado, which is a thicker stew-like concoction than chili is made when you process and cook up the chilis, onions and garlic.  I love to make the roux with bacon drippings, but oil is healthier!  After the sauce gets hot and right, I add pork or beef round.  I haven’t made Chili Colorado in a looooong time.  This is the “sauce” that most people use to make tamale fillings, too.  Dang, I’m hungry now!

Me too.  Bring on some flour tortillas and we’ll make some Chili Colorado burritos to have with a margarita or two!”

Thanks, Georganne.  But I still want to watch you make your chili someday.

Enchiladas

Red Enchiladas

  • 3-4 cups molido sauce
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • cheddar cheese, grated (or any melty cheese)
  • corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil

 

This is an assembly line set up. Grate the cheese, chop the onion and put these into separate bowls along with a small flat plate to fill and roll the enchiladas on.

Put the molido sauce in a wide, shallow skillet and begin to warm it.  Don’t boil it.  Put oil in a shallow skillet to soften the corn tortillas and keep it on medium.  Prepare the baking dish you want to put the enchiladas in by spraying it with non-stick spray.

Don’t answer the phone or step away from the stove:

Dip a tortilla in the oil and let it soften (about 10 seconds).  Dip it in the molido sauce to coat both sides using kitchen tongs. (Don’t let it soak.)

Place the tortilla on the plate and fill with onion and lots of cheese down the center.  Roll tightly and place seam-side down in the baking dish.  Continue until you have used up all the onion and cheese. Place them in rows side-by-side.  If you are making a double batch you can stack them on top of each other. Pour the remaining molido over the rolled enchiladas when ready to put in the oven and then add cheese to the top.  Cover with foil and bake at 350° until bubbly (about 20 minutes) and heated all the way through.  Do not overcook.

A Southwest Chicken Treat

I love the flavors in enchiladas, but sometimes rolling each enchilada seems too time-consuming! This recipe has all the flavor and ingredients of healthy enchiladas, but without all the hard work and mess. You just layer all the ingredients, throw it in the oven, and dinner is done!  This recipe is flavorful and full of vegetables, and it is a great leftover meal too.

Chicken Veggie Enchilada Casserole

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced
  • 8 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped/shredded
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken (or any other leftover chicken)
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of your favorite salsa
  • 1 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 4 cups mild green enchilada sauce (I used two cans of Old El Paso green)
  • 16 whole corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch strips
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used Monterrey Jack, but cheddar is good too! Just use what you have)
  • Toppings: sour cream, tomatoes, avocados, etc.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, onions and green peppers and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives, spinach, cumin, salt and pepper until spinach starts to wilt. Once spinach is all wilted, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in chicken, salsa and cilantro. This is the filling for the casserole. Set aside.

Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the dish and place 1 layer of corn tortilla strips over top. Sprinkle some cheese and put half of the chicken and veggie filling over the tortillas and cheese. Top with more cheese, more tortilla strips and 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce. Continue layering the casserole with more cheese, the last 1/2 of the filling, more cheese, the remaining tortilla strips, 2 cups of enchilada sauce and the last of the cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes until bubbly and delicious. Remove from oven and let this cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve with lettuce topped with avocados, sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, and a little more cheese (if you please).