When was the last time you made enchiladas?

This past week was fairly quiet…no meetings, just a normal week for me. The main thing I did was some baking. One of the groups at the hospital sponsored a bake sale and since the employees always support our Auxiliary, I made a couple of cakes for them. The one I called “Almost Red Velvet” came out fine; however, the Cherry Angel Food was a total flop. The only thing I can think of that I did was over beat it. I later cut it into cubes and made individual dishes of trifle for some of my friends for Valentine’s Day. Then I made two types of spicy crackers for their sale. The crackers were a hit, as one person bought all eight of the oyster crackers and the saltines sold out also. We also put out some of the merchandise from the gift shop that had a valentine motif and sales were great. Of course this was the day before Valentine’s and everyone was looking for gifts, for their loved ones.
On Sunday our local VFD was having their annual fundraiser; so, it was back to the mixer and mixing bowls for another bout of cake baking. This time around, both of my cakes were a success. The Dump Cake went to the cake wheel and the Carrot Cake was put into the auction. I left before it came up for auction, so have no idea how much it brought in. The food was delicious, as they had BBQ brisket, (which is totally unusual down here), with seasoned potatoes and pinto beans. There was a really good crowd and lots of the folks stayed for the auction, so I hope they made their goal, which was to replace one of their vehicles.
Now, before we go into the Lenten season with its meatless meals, I thought maybe y’all would like some enchilada recipes. In the first recipe, they tell you to spray each tortilla with non-stick spray and then heat in a skillet over medium-high heat…I have never done this, but it sounds like a really good idea. It is no fun making enchiladas for one person, so I no longer make them unless I have company.
When I’ve made them in the past, I’ve either heated the tortillas briefly in hot oil or have dipped them into the chili gravy before rolling them. That is how I was taught and I haven’t changed. The other way to do enchiladas is to make it into a casserole dish by placing some of the chili gravy in the bottom of your casserole, top this with a layer of tortillas, next with a layer of meat and cheese and repeat until you have as much as you need for your family or guests. I’ve done this in a small round casserole dish, using only three or four tortillas and have also done it in a 9×13 dish for a crowd. This is much quicker than rolling twenty or thirty enchiladas!
Enchiladas Verdes – Green Enchiladas
No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 jar (16.75 oz) Medium Salsa Verde, divided (your favorite brand)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
12 corn tortillas (6-inch)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread ¼ cup of the salsa over the bottom of the dish and set aside.
Combine chicken, ½ cup of the salsa and 1/2 cup of the cheese in a medium bowl; mix well and set aside
Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Heat one at a time in a skillet over medium-high heat on both sides until slightly puffy and softened.
Top each tortilla evenly with about ¼ cup chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam-side down in prepared baking dish. Cover with the remaining salsa; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly.
Chicken Enchiladas
1 to 1½ pounds, cut-up cooked chicken
1 large can diced green chilies
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package (2 cups) Mexican blend cheese
20 corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine soups, water and green chilies*, stir well and set aside. Heat tortillas by wrapping them in a dampened paper towel until they are softened. Remove paper towel and wrap in a clean cup towel to keep warm. Place a small amount of the chicken and some cheese on a tortilla and roll up. Place rolls seam side down in a sprayed 13×9-inch baking dish. When all are rolled, spread soup mixture over enchiladas and then top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.
This mixture is rather thick and I feel the addition of about ½ can of water or chicken broth would make it easier to spread. Also, when I make them again, I will spread about ¼ cup of the mixture in the bottom of the pan after it is sprayed.
Jo’s Unforgettable Chicken Enchiladas
3 to 4 chicken breasts
1 cup sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can water
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 small cans green chilies
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or use Mexican blend)
1 cup chopped green onions
12 corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350º.
Cook chicken in water to cover, or cook in microwave if desired. Remove from bones and cube. Reserve broth. Heat together soup, water, bouillon cube and green chilies, stir in sour cream, (do not boil). Place enough of this sauce to cover the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 baking pan. Set aside. Mix together cheese and green onions. Slightly heat chicken broth and dip tortillas in broth to soften. Put some chicken, some sauce and 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on each tortilla and roll up. Place in prepared pan, seam side down. When all are rolled and in pan, top with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake at 350ºF for about 40 to 50 minutes.
For a large crowd, double the recipe, using 6 chicken breasts (watch for them on sale at $1 per pound at larger grocery stores) or use a whole cut up chicken cooked, deboned and cubed or a combination of leg/thigh quarters and breasts. You could probably even use canned chicken if desired. When cooking chicken in water, add a rib or two of celery, cut into about 2-inch pieces, and about half of a medium onion cut into quarters. (I love this recipe because it doesn’t have too much sour cream in it).
4 dried Ancho chilies
3 pounds ground meat or chili meat
2 to 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder (Gebhardts)
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can diced green chilies
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste
½ cup masa harina for making corn tortillas (for thickening)
To prepare Ancho chilies: Break off stems, break open chilies, dump out the seeds. Place in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to completely rehydrate. This can also be done by putting them in a quart jar with water and leaving them in the fridge for a couple of days. To use them, pour the chilies and the water they are in into a blender and pulverize. Now, pour them into a large strainer and using the back of a spoon, rub them thru the strainer. You can use some of the liquid to help, as they get dryer. When you have this pulp/liquid combination, dump the leftover skins in the trash. The skins from these peppers are what will cause indigestion. Brown the meat well, stir in the onions and garlic and cook until they wilt. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir in well. Add the pepper puree and amount of water necessary to cover the meat. Add the diced green chilies, cover and cook for two to three hours. Add the salt and black pepper if used. Stir the masa harina into some water and gradually add to the chili, stirring until it is as thick as you desire it to be. Cook about 10 or 15 minutes more. Serve with corn bread or tortillas, or use it to make enchiladas.
9×13 baking dish (This dish will hold about 15 or 16 rolled enchiladas)
Corn tortillas, Cheese, Onions
Dip the tortillas, one at a time into the chili gravy to soften, place a spoonful of the cooked chili onto the tortilla, add cheese and onion (if desired), roll up and place into a baking dish you have sprayed with non-stick spray. (I usually place about ¼ cup or a little more of the chili gravy in the pan also). Top with additional chili gravy and shredded cheese. Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
You can also use sautéed ground meat, seasoned with salt and pepper rather than the cooked chili. Place the meat on the tortilla, top with some of the chili gravy, then the cheese and onions if used, roll up and place in the pan top with the gravy and additional cheese. Bake as above.