Friday, August 16, 2013

Easy Delicious Chicken Enchiladas

Every time I make these, my husband mentions that they're better than anything you can get in a restaurant. 

Of course, they are my own combination of ingredients that are probably not even remotely authentic Mexican, but taste really good together. In the interest of full disclosure, I did get some of the ideas used in making these from other recipes, but some things are ALL ME!! 

Enchiladas are relatively easy to make, but do take a little time commitment, so I don't make them on days we have a gazillion activities plus work. That means I don't make them hardly ever. 
Enchilada Sauce in the sprayed pan

Spray an 11x14 baking pan with cooking spray, then drizzle enchilada sauce in the bottom, if you have extra (not necessary). I ended up needing an 9x9 square pan, too. Preheat your oven to 350.

Chicken breasts-- I used 3 for this batch- one large, one medium-sized and one tiny one. (You can also use left over chicken, left over turkey, etc.)

Tortillas- I use the bigger 10-inch kind. I had one bag of fresh-made sold at Winco, and another bag of less-healthy and authentic Don Julio brand. They roll nicely and taste good, so don't judge me.
Enchilada Sauce- We sometimes use red, but I prefer green. I like "medium" heat so you get a little kick
White Rice- About 1 cup uncooked
Cream of Chicken Soup- 1 can
Sour Cream- about 1/4 cup (Optional)
Cheddar cheese-- somewhere between 1/2 to 1 pound, depending on your taste
Sometimes we also use Pepper Jack cheese, but I didn't have any tonight. You can also have extra on hand for sprinkling on top, if you like.
Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Chili Powder

1. Cook your rice. I have a rice cooker, so that's how I roll. I start it, then move on to the rest of the work while it bubbles.
After Mostly Scooped Out
2. Pour some olive oil into your pan and drop in the chicken breasts. Season with a good sprinkling of all spices listed
the above. Cook for a while, until one side is done, then flip and season the other side. When it's done, chop it up!  Alternatively, you can chop the raw chicken and cook it faster. 
3. While the chicken and rice cook, grate your cheese and start dumping all the ingredients except seasonings (and tortillas, obviously) into a big bowl. You only need 1/2 the can of sauce if your can is as large as the one pictured. If you have a smaller can, use the whole thing.
Chicken, Cheese, Soup, Rice
4. When the rice is done, dump it into the bowl of deliciousness. Mix well.
Enchilada Filling w/all ingredients
5. Scoop between 2/3 and 3/4 cup of filling into your tortilla in a line down the center
Scooped and Ready

Fold then Roll
6. Fold up two ends of the line of filling, then roll up the other way and put into the pan. Keep going until the pan is full- you can squish them in tight or not. I like them to be cozy but not smashing each other.

All Tucked In
7. You can leave them bare, drizzle extra sauce on top or sprinkle with cheese (or both!!)

8. Bake until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
Enchilada Party!
I like to eat these with sour cream. My husband eats them with Sriracha sauce (available everywhere), and my kids eat them just as they are. 


Foodie Fancies

Aside from garlic, I think cumin might be the best seasoning ever. (Well, aside from chocolate. If you can call chocolate a seasoning. Which I vote yes for. Everything's better with chocolate.
But cumin? YUM. I didn't even know about it until I had been married a few years and my husband made his amazing scratch chili (which will make you NEVER eat canned chili again. It's that good.) and we had to buy some. Since then, I've used cumin to season refried beans (even from a can, you can season them up and make them tolerable), chicken for everything from quesedillas to shredded pork to enchiladas, tacos, etc. Anything remotely Mexican or southwestern gets a good dash of cumin. It's funny that something I wasn't aware of for most of my life has become a staple in my spice cabinet.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Would Get Kicked Out of Line at Immigration

Today my son traded me for a 2013 quarter that features a dude posing next to a large post. I think it's a monument. It also says the words "Perry's Victory". I don't know anything about it. I don't know who Perry was or in what he was victorious, or why he would be standing in front of his own monument-- aren't they usually built for dead people?

Here's a picture:

I just noticed that it also says "Ohio" on the left. Wohoo! A clue! I feel like Sherlock Holmes! These are my observations: Perry had fabulous hair, a nice face, and pants that were also boots. It looks like he's wearing a cape (Sorry, Edna Mole) and reaching around behind himself for... something. Maybe a rifle. Maybe a victory chocolate.

I would make a terrible immigrant. 

I can say it: I would fail, and they wouldn't let me in. 

They'd be all like, "Woah, woah, woah. If you can't even tell us who "Perry" on the Ohio quarter is, just go to the end of the line!"

And I'd be like: "Wait! Perry the Platypus? Admiral Parry that is mentioned in "Ragtime"? Elder Perry of the Mormons?" 

And they would just shake their heads in disgust.
Like you're probably doing right now...

Really, the designers of these quarters ought to do us all a favor and inscribe the history on the other side. Condensed. 

Or a website to go to for the whole story.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Running and Beer

I realized something today, while discussing running with my children. None of us sees the value of running. For one thing, it's boring, sweaty, difficult, boring and not fun. We were talking about the merits of dancing, parkour (which my son is REALLY into lately), and even most sports as being superior to running. Because running is boring. 

Unless you're The Doctor. In which case, running is awesome

But to be fair, I told my sons that I understand from die-hard runners that if you run enough, eventually you begin to really enjoy it and even love it and crave it. 

Which sounds an awful lot like how people have to acquire a taste for beer.

I've never had beer, but I've smelled it and EW! Why would anyone put that on their tongue??!

What I understand about beer is that you have to drink it a while to get used to the taste and eventually come to a place where you love it and crave it. 

Like running.

So, using a home-grown scientific analysis method, we have deduced that running=beer.

Running requires tolerance for the ickyness at the start.
Beer requires tolerance for the ickyness at the start.
The more you run, the more you begin to like it.
The more beer you drink, the more you begin to like it.
If you keep running, you'll eventually love it.
If you keep drinking beer, you'll eventually love it.
Running is addictive.
Beer is addictive.
Hence running=beer.

It's scientifical. It must be true.