Rainy outside? Brighten your day!

January 31, 2011

Hey, everybody, it’s Alfredo!

Don’t you just love rainy weather? Maybe I’m crazy, but I do. There’s nothing better than curling up under a warm blanket and listening to raindrops pitter-patter on the roof. I would have been doing just that last Wednesday if school weren’t in session. Instead, my Humane Society umbrella and I were braving the sidewalks from building to building. I was freezing, and I was wet, and all I could think was, “I should still be sleeping right now.” Clearly, the Lodge was sleeping as Piña Colada and I walked in at 8:15 am. Aside from the lights that turned on with our entrance, the entire building was still and dark. As we methodically took the stools from the countertop, Ms. Ruble waltzed in, cheerful as ever. “Are ya’ll ready to make some enchiladas?” she asked us. That was exactly what I needed to hear. Nothing like some good eats to take your mind off how tired you are!

Pretty soon, Oreo and I were off shredding the roasted chicken from the day before. And let me tell you, this takes a lot more muscles than you’d think. By the time I was halfway done with my first breast, Oreo was already on to her second.

Oreo and me shredding.

Meanwhile, the others in the class either chopped onions or measured out the other various ingredients (and there were many!). As I was finishing up my shredding, a nice, creamy scent filled my nose: the sauce. A flicker of aromatic hope in my dreary day!

The sauce.

As soon as the sauce cooled, we set up our assembly line (and if you ever make this for a group of people, I would highly recommend using their help). Teamwork makes time fly. After placing the enchilada-filled dish into the oven, I was off to Pre-Calculus. Thanks to cooking class, my spirits were lifted knowing that a tortilla-full of goodness awaited me at lunch. So, moral of the story: if you’re ever feeling kinda dreary, cook!

The assembly line.

Interested in making your own rainy day enchiladas? Here’s the recipe:

Source: Dinners for a Year and Beyond

Yields: about 12 enchiladas (although only 9 for us)

Ingredients:

4 bone-in chicken breasts or purchased already cooked rotisserie chicken (we roasted 3)

olive oil

salt

pepper

1 medium onion, thinly sliced (we used half of one)

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1/3 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup salsa verde

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

12 6-in corn tortillas (we used 9 corn tortillas)

3 cups shredded light Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces (the hard part!) and place in a bowl. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan to medium high and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Saute for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Stir in the flour until blended and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil (this mixture is called a roux). Add the salsa verde, sour cream, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season the creamy green chile sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Add about 1 cup of the sauce to the shredded chicken and stir to combine. To assemble enchiladas get a large baking dish and spray with cooking spray. Dip a tortilla into the creamy green chile sauce and put it on a cutting board (we put it on a plate, although this was a bit messier). (You can also put tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to make them easier to work with–we didn’t). Put a big scoop of the chicken mixture in the center (less than you think you need), sprinkle with a little of the cheese, and roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling. Place the enchilada in the baking dish (preferably with the “seam” of the enchilada down).  Continue to fill all of the tortillas and put them in the baking dish. Pour the remaining creamy green chile sauce over the top and sprinkle the remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve hot with sour cream (we did not eat it with sour cream, but it was absolutely delicious).

The finished product! (pre-baking)

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