Bryan’s Mom’s Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Woops! It’s been a little more than a month since I last posted. How time flies! We’ve been super busy around here. Most of my time has been occupied by studying for a big exam that’s coming up in December. I’m loving being a teaching assistant — I look forward every week to my two hour lecture.  I’m also taking a professionalization course and learning so many things about academia that I was unaware of before. And so much more! (I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I had any free time!)

One of the recent highlights was a potluck with Bryan’s colleagues. I love potlucks because they’re a good time to showcase your best recipes. I also like when to see a large diversity of foods from other cultures. We had just the right recipe to fit the bill: Bryan’s Mom’s Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole! It was perfect because I was able to find fresh Anaheim chile peppers at the grocery store that week, it’s difficult to find Mexican or Southwestern food here, it’s one of our favourite meals, and I was sure it was something that no one else would contribute to the potluck. (We also made Green Chile Pepper and Tomato Soup for ourselves while I was roasting all those chile peppers).

We had a fantastic evening full of good food and fantastic company! I hope we get an invitation to the next potluck despite that Bryan has now graduated.

I’m happy to report that the dish was well-received! We took one enchilada casserole with us to the potluck and kept one at home. Good thing I made extras, because there weren’t any leftovers to bring home.

Bryan’s Mom’s Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Changes from the original recipe:

  • The original recipe calls fora package of frozen “Bueno Hot Autumn Roast green chile.”  These chiles aren’t available here and the closet thing I can get is fresh Anaheim peppers.
  • The original recipe calls for wrapping some cheese and chicken in each of the (large size) tortillas. I could only find the small corn tortillas and opted for the casserole style used in Bryan’s Step-Father’s Red Chile and Enchilada Casserole. Thus, all the cheese went into the sauce instead of reserving some to fill the tortillas.
  • The original recipe calls for a Mexican cheese blend. The blends that I found either have chili or jalapeño peppers in them, which I didn’t want because this dish is spicy enough as is… so I opted to make my own blend using Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
  • I doubled the quantities because we wanted lots of leftovers for lunch!

Green Chile and Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter– approximate cost $0.50
  • 4 (slightly rounded) tablespoons flour– approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt– approximate cost $0.05
  • 4 cups whole milk– approximate cost $3.00
  • 7 cups cheese (a blend of medium Cheddar and Monterrey Jack), shredded – approximate cost $9.00
  • 1 onion, chopping– approximate cost $0.75
  • 2.2 kilograms (4.85 pounds) fresh Anaheim (Green) chile peppers – approximate cost $20.00

Method

  1. Preheat your oven’s broiler.
  2. Roast the Anaheim chile peppers.
    1. Arrange the chiles in a roasting pan.
    2. Roast under the broiler for 5 minutes.
    3. Turn the chiles.
    4. Roast for an additional 5 minutes.
    5. Turn the chiles.
    6. Roast for an additional 5 minutes.
    7. Turn the chiles.
    8. Roast for an additional 5 minutes.
    9. Note: The chiles should be blackened on all sides at this point.
    10. Allow the chiles to cool.
  3. Peel the blackened skin off of the chiles.
  4. De-seed the chiles as necessary (more seeds = more heat).
  5. Chop the chiles into 1/4″ pieces and set aside.
  6. Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted.
  7. Turn down the heat.
  8. Stir flour and sea salt into the butter.
  9. Stir constantly until the flour dissolves.
  10. Add milk.
  11. Stir until hot, but not boiling (the sauce should be quite thick)!
  12. Add cheese blend.
  13. Stir frequently until melted.
  14. Add the roasted chile pieces.
  15. Remove from heat.

Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts – approximate cost $24.00
  • 48 small corn tortillas – approximate cost $1.80
  • Green chile and cheese sauce
  • Cooking oil– approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the chicken.
    1. Bake the chicken breasts until cooked through (about 15 minutes)
    2. Allow the chicken to cool until you can handle it.
    3. Chop the chicken into small, approximately 1/4″ pieces.
    4. Set chicken aside.
  3. Prepare the corn tortillas.
    1. Heat 1/4″ oil in a frying pan.
    2. Very lightly fry the corn tortillas.
    3. Place on paper towels as they come our of the frying pan to remove some of the oil.
  4. Assemble the casserole!
    1. Distribute half the fried tortillas into an even layer in the bottom of 2 9×13 baking dishes (it’s ok if they overlap).
    2. Top with half of the chicken.
    3. Smother with 1/2 of the green chile and cheese sauce.
    4. Distribute the second half the fried tortillas into an even layer in the baking dishes.
    5. Top with remaining chicken.
    6. Cover with remaining green chile and cheese sauce.
      1. Note: Once assembled, you can refrigerate the casserole and bake it at another time.
  5. Bake about 30-45 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. Let stand on the counter for a few minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy! (Optional: Serve with beans, rice, and flour tortillas)

Makes about 24 servings, or 2 9×13 casseroles (approximate cost: $2.51 per serving).

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From my cookbook collection: Chicken Jalfrezi

Happy Birthday Bryan (The Official Taste Tester here at The Cook’s Sister)! Today, I’m going to celebrate his birthday by sharing links back to some of his favourite foods that I’ve blogged about and share a new recipe that he was very fond of. Check out some of Bryan’s favourites:

As you can probably tell, he really likes Southwest inspired foods and flavours. But… today I’m going to share a recipe from an Indian food cook book that I received as a birthday gift from my best friend a few years ago.

The book is Cooking School: Indian (ISBN 978-1-4075-6263-6 from Parragon Books). Why do I love this book? All of the recipes are formatted to fit on one page. There are beautiful pictures of the dish on the 2-page fold. The directions are broken down to be simple and clear. And best of all, everything I’ve made from this book has bee delicious, tasting just as good as the Indian food at our local restaurants (sometimes the recipes are a variation of what we’re used to, but always fantastic). I’ve made the Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and now, the chicken jalfrezi.

This book has sat on my shelf for a while. I’ve read through and bookmarked recipes of my favourite dishes at restaurants when I first got it. I’ve thought about giving a few things a try, always dismissing it for one reason or another. It looks too time consuming, I don’t have time to marinate the meat, or I don’t want the apartment to smell like curry for a week were a few of my excuses. So, about a month ago, I finally cracked the cookbook, leafed through the recipes I had bookmarked, and decided on one that I would make.

Afterwards, I contacted the publisher to see if I could share the recipe with you (and, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, they said yes!). And so the cooking began. I’m not very familiar with cooking Indian food, so I made a  trip to the grocery store and stuck mostly to the original recipe. I added some yellow pepper for colour and used fresh grape tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. The result? A yummy chicken jalfrezi!

This recipe is about a medium-spicy dish. If you want to turn up the heat,  add more tumeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and garam masala. Similarly, use less of these ingredients if you want the dish to be more mild.

Do you stick to a recipe when making new dishes? Or do you feel comfortable making substitutions?

Chicken Jalfrezi

Recipe from Cooking School: Indian (ISBN 978-1-4075-6263-6, http://www.parragon.com), posted with permission from the publisher

Ingredients

  • 1 pound /9 ounces /500 grams skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or breasts) – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder – approximate cost $0.10
  • 5 1/2 ounces / 150 grams canned chopped tomatoes – approximate cost $1.10
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch / 2.5 centimeter pieces – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch / 2.5 centimeter pieces – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala – approximate cost $0.10
  • Indian (naan) bread or cooked basmati rice to serve – approximate cost $0.50

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into  1-inch / 2.5 centimeter cubes and put in a nonmetallic bowl. Add the lemon juice and half the salt and rub well into the chicken. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-9 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the tumeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oil seperates from the spice paste.
  3. Add the marinated chicken, increase the heat slightly, and cook, stirring, until it changes colour. Add the warm water and bring to a boil, Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan or skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Add the bell peppers, increase the heat to medium, and stir-fry for 2 minutes, the, stir in the garam masala. Fold the bell pepper mixture into the curry. Remove from the heat, and serve immediately with Indian bread or cooked basmati rice.

Makes about 4 servings (approximate cost: $2.80 per serving).

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Chicken Burgers with Smoked Paprika and Rosemary

One of my blogging goals I set for myself is to post three times per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), except on those really busy weeks when I can’t meet those goals. To help me continue motivating myself and working towards my blogging goals, I’ve decided to start participating in Mangia Mondays – a weekly blog hop/link party hosted by Delightfully Dowling & Shine Your Light. I’m excited to be participating!


June is a busy month for occasions in my family with both mom and dad’s birthdays and father’s day (not to mention it can be a bit expensive). Yes, yes, I know July is mostly over, but I want to share the chicken burgers that we made for mom’s birthday a few weeks back and I’m just now getting around to sharing the recipe.

This year, my brother and I set out to celebrate on a budget. For each occasion, we made a home-cooked meal (instead of eating out) and took care of the clean-up. This way, we treated out parents to a delicious, healthy meal and they didn’t have to do any work. We’re pretty sure they appreciated it as well as enjoyed the visit.

I didn’t get any photos from dad’s dinner, there were no leftovers for me to bring home and share with you, so I will only be posting about mom’s dinner.

When I shared the recipe for Chicken Roasted with Rosemary and Smoked Paprika, I mentioned that I might have been adding smoked paprika to just about everything I’m cooking. When coming up with the seasoning for these burgers, I insisted on using smoked paprika and consulted with my brother about what else we might use, what toppings we should buy, and what condiments would go best with the burger.

I topped my burger with mayo, lettuce, and a slice of tomato. The one in the photo is one of two that were leftover at the end of the meal, and it was surprisingly delicious the next day (I was worried it would be dry).

What do you cook for your parents on their birthday?

Chicken Burgers with Smoked Paprika and Rosemary

Recipe co-created by me and my brother

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chicken – approximate cost $10.00
  • 1 egg – approximate cost $0.35
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 8 hamburger buns – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Combine the ground chicken, egg, smoked paprika, rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly using your hands (but be careful not to over-work the meat, that will make it tough).
  3. Divide the chicken mixture into 8 portions.
  4. Shape each portion into a burger patty.
  5. Cook the chicken burger patties any way you like!
    1. Barbecue the burgers until cooked through and slightly toast the buns.
    2. Fry the burgers over medium-high heat.
    3. Grill the burgers on a counter-top grill.
    4. Broil the burgers in the oven, turning once to cook both sides.
  6. Serve on hamburger buns with your favourite toppings!

Serving Suggestions

Serve with slices of your favourite vegetables and condiments.

Vegetables

  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado

Condiments

  • Mayo
  • Avocado mayo
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish

Makes 8 servings (approximate cost: $1.66 per serving + toppings and condiments).

Check out the other posts for Mangia Monday!

Also linking to Makin’ You Crave Monday and Made by you Monday!

Red, White, and Blue Chicken Enchiladas

It’s Wednesday and I’m still reminiscing about last weekend. What made last weekend so special? I had a visit with my childhood best friend. The visit was much too short, but I’m still so glad we got to see each other. We hadn’t seen each other for two years. However, we frequently keep in contact through Facebook and blogging (check out Rhi’s blog, she has a super funky post about how to create vibrant and colourful hair). I love how even after so much time apart, conversation comes naturally. We catch up on every day things as if we’ve never been apart. We realize coincidences that, despite being so far apart, we have come to have so many similarities in our lives (from music to pastimes and more). I feel very fortunate that, even after all these years, we remain close friends.

Rhi and Me at her wedding (back in 2007)

The dish I’m featuring today reminds me of Rhi. Not because of any childhood memories, but because of the theme (red-white-and-blue). I made this dish to Celebrate the 4th of July with Bryan. Rhi is living in the United States.

So, what are the red-white-and blue ingredients?

  • Red: Tomatoes, Red enchilada sauce, red peppers
  • White: Chicken, tortillas, mushrooms, cheese
  • Blue: Blue corn tortilla chips

Did you make red-white-and-blue themed treats to celebrate the 4th of July? Please link me to your recipes, I need ideas for next year!

Red, White, and Blue Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 8 white tortillas – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3 small boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 700 grams) – approximate cost $7.00
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 can tomato sauce – approximate cost $1.25
  • 2 red peppers, diced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 500 grams crimini mushrooms, diced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Spices – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
  • 300 grams Monterey Jack cheese, shredded – approximate cost $4.00
  • 300 grams Old Cheddar cheese, shredded – approximate cost $4.00
  • 100 grams (about 1 1/2 cups) blue corn tortilla chips, crushed – approximate cost $1.50

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Bake the chicken until cooked through.
  3. Shred the chicken.
  4. In a large pot, sautée the onion in olive oil until softened.
  5. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, crimini mushrooms to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes (the liquid should reduce and the sauce should become sort of thick).
  8. Add the red peppers, Italian spice, dried cilantro and chili powder.
  9. Remove sauce from heat.
  10. Fill each tortilla with a portion of the chicken and sauce (you want to have some sauce left over).
  11. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in a 9×13 baking pan.
  12. Sprinkle with the shredded cheeses.
  13. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes (the cheese should be melted).
  15. Remove from over and sprinkle with blue corn tortilla pieces.
  16. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Makes about 8 servings (approximate cost: $3.36 per serving).

Chicken Roasted with Rosemary and Smoked Paprika

I’ve been working in a butcher shop this summer. It’s a big change from the last few years, I’ve mostly worked office type jobs. It’s been a long time since I worked in customer service. Yet, I can’t complain at all about being back in that line of work! The hours are irregular, but they work around my academic schedule. The people I work with are all fantastic! The customers are pleasant. Some of them like to talk to me about cooking and even ask me for cooking advice. And, I get a discount on meat.

Each week since I’ve started, I’ve brought home something different. So I can try it and give an honest opinion to the customers. I also just want to have good food (all the product is local, free range, hormone free and antibiotic free). Last week I brought home a whole chicken. Despite my ambition to keep the apartment cool by not turning on the oven… I broke down and roasted a lovely whole chicken.

I can’t get enough of this chicken! It’s so delicious. I’m also a bit obsessed with smoked paprika at the moment (I just bought my very first bottle of it this month). I love paprika to begin with, but smoked tastes and smells delicious! I may be going a bit overboard with the ingredient at the moment… I’ve been adding smoked paprika to just about everything!

After picking apart the chicken over a few meals, I used the bones and bits of leftover meat to make chicken stock. Actually, I’ve learned more about making soup stocks recently. One of my co-workers and I were discussing it the other week. Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong the last few years since I started cooking for myself. Apparently you should never let the stock boil, only simmer. A slow cooker will bring it to a boil, so you should always make stock on the stove-top. If it boils, the stock will become cloudy. I kept this in mind while making chicken stock the other day.

What are your favourite spices to use when roasting a chicken?

Chicken Roasted with Rosemary and Smoked Paprika

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken – approximate cost $15.00
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika – approximate cost $0.75
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, dried rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper and mix well.
  3. Add olive oil to the spices and stir well.
  4. Gently loosen the skin from the chicken (breast, legs, back), being careful not to tear it.
  5. Place the chicken in a roasting pan.
  6. Rub the spice mix under the chicken’s skin.
  7. If you have extra spice mixture, pour it over top of the chicken.
  8. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  9. Roast the chicken, covered, until cooked through.
  10. Remove cover (lid, aluminum foil).
  11. Turn the oven to broil.
  12. Continue to cook until the skin becomes crispy.
  13. Remove from oven.
  14. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  15. Serve with your favourite side dished and enjoy!

Makes about 6 servings + stock (approximate cost: $2.70 per serving).

Chicken Hearts, Gizzards, and Liver Stir-fry

The weather has been so gorgeous here lately, that I’ve been taking the opportunity to walk more often rather than driving or taking the bus. I decided to take a detour through the park on my way from school to UpTown the other day, expecting to make a short stop by the petting zoo and continue on my way. Somehow, I’d forgotten that there would be baby ducks and geese everywhere, and stopped to take a few photos of the fuzzy ducklings and goslings. So cute!

I think the ducks thought I would feed them, which worked out well for a close-up photo!

The geese, as you could imagine, weren’t as welcoming. The adult goose was hissing at me while I snapped this photo. They are very protective of their goslings. I managed to get this photo and get away safely. The babies are just so adorable, I had to stop! Seeing all the animals return after winter, and the cute little ones is one of my favourite things about spring!


While I was out taking pictures, dinner was marinating in the fridge at home. I’m quite excited to share this recipe with you. It looks like a giant mess of a stir-fry, but it was really tasty. Bryan thought so too, but he rarely complains about anything I serve him, he’s such a good sport when I try out new recipes!

Normally, I avoid cooking liver. It’s cheap, yes, but it’s not always my favourite. It tends to have a weird texture and a strong flavour. It’s one of Bryan’s favourites, so I make try to buy it every month or two and eat it for one meal, leaving Bryan to finish off any leftovers. However… this adapted stir-fry recipe is a hit. I enjoyed it and didn’t really notice the things I normally dislike about liver. I will be making this again. In fact, I will probably make this often. On top of being delicious, it was very affordable!

How do you usually prepare liver? Any tips for having it turn out delicious every time? Please link to recipes if you can!

Chicken Hearts, Gizzards, and Liver Stir-fry

Recipe adapted from Simple Chicken Liver And Gizzard and How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine, both recipes from Caribbean Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken livers – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/2 pound chicken hearts – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 pound chicken gizzards – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved – approximate cost $3.00
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.45
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and minced – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 lime, juiced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 cups of uncooked Basmati rice – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Cut the chicken hearts, gizzards, and livers into bite-sized chunks.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken hearts and gizzards (set the liver pieces aside for now), lime juice, salt, pepper, tomato pieces, garlic, jalapeño pepper pieces, thyme, cilantro.
  3. Mix well and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours (or longer).
  4. Cook Basmati rice according to directions.
  5. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken and marinade to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, the chicken pieces should brown a bit.
  8. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cover the pot with a lid and allow mixture to cook for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally and adding water if liquid begins to boil away).
  10. Turn heat up to medium.
  11. Add liver pieces.
  12. Remove lid from pot and cook for 5-10 minutes (until the liver is cooked through, watch it closely at this point, because liver cooks quickly).
  13. Serve over Basmati rice and enjoy!

Makes 5 servings (approximate cost: $2.13 per serving).

Spicy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a staple in our home. I find this a bit weird, because I didn’t eat enchiladas growing up. My community had a large German influence, so the only Mexican food I had eaten (until I was about 18) was ground beef tacos. Even now there are very few Mexican restaurants in the area.

With Bryan having grown up in the Southwest US, and my love for the food he introduced me to there, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn to cook a few of the traditional dishes from that region. This isn’t always easy, mostly because finding the ingredients can be difficult.

In particular, New Mexico green chiles (our favourite), are especially hard to find. Chile is a staple in New Mexico. In fact, I tried to order a pizza in New Mexico once with my favourite topping: green olives. They don’t carry green olives and offered me green chiles as a substitute. That same trip, I stopped for a sub on my way to the airport and was surprised to find green chiles as a topping. For now, I make substitutions. It’s never quite the same, but always very tasty.

Usually I will make an enchilada casserole (that is a nice way of saying I cut everything into bite-sized pieces and mix it all together before baking it). Recently, I decided to make the rolled enchiladas. I added a few ingredients to my usual recipe as well (mushrooms and onion). I should do this more often. There is a better ratio of tortillas to filling. And the tortillas come out a bit crispy-er.

Spicy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 6 tortillas – approximate cost $1.50
  • 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts – approximate cost $6.50
  • 2 jars of Salsa Verde (green salsa) – approximate cost $4.50
  • 2 cups Mexican-cheese blend (Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack cheeses), shredded – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 portabella mushrooms – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 Videlia onion – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bake the chicken breasts until cooked through (about 20-30 minutes).
  3. Allow the chicken to cook until you can handle it easily (or refrigerate and save until you’re ready to make the enchiladas).
  4. Grate 2 cups of the various cheeses (or buy already shredded cheese).
  5. Chop the chicken, mushrooms, and onion into small pieces (about 1/4-1/2 inch cubes)
  6. Arrange some of the chicken, onion, mushroom, and cheese in the center of each tortilla (reserving about 1 cup of cheese).
  7. Spread the vegetable oil over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  8. Roll each of the filled tortillas and place seam down in the baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the rolled tortillas.
  10. Pour the Salsa Verde over the tortillas.
  11. Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes (cheese should be completely melted and tortillas should be starting to get slightly crispy at the edges).
  12. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings (approximate cost: $2.10 per serving).

Pad Thai from Relish Cooking Studio

When you think of Thai food, Pad Thai is probably the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, when I mentioned that I had attended a Thai cooking class many of the responses were “Did you learn how to make Pad Thai?!” Yes, I did learn.

Will I be making it at home? I’m not sure. Maybe if I have a Thai-themed dinner at some point I will attempt this at home. I’m not very good at stir-frying in large quantities, so maybe I’ll make half the recipe the first time I try to make it myself.

A few things I took away from the course are that Thai food doesn’t take a long time to cook, but takes a very long time to prep. And the noodles can be a bit finicky (the water needs to be boiled first, tap water isn’t hot enough for soaking the noodles).

If you’re adventuresome enough to make Pad Thai at home, this recipe was delicious!

Pad Thai

Recipe by Akeela Rabley from Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package of Thai rice stick noodles – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/3 cup boneless, skinless chicken pieces (or super firm tofu if you’d like to make this dish vegetarian-friendly), cut into strips – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1 1/2 cups Chinese chives, chopped into 1 inch pieces (optional) – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 1/3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed well (optional) – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 egg – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (optional) – approximate cost $5.00
  • 1 shallot, minced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.30
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or palm sugar) – approximate cost $0.10
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper, dried and ground – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges – approximate cost $0.25
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanut pieces (optional) – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 bunch of Thai basil – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Boil water in a large pot.
  2. Remove from heat and add dried noodles to the water (noodles should be flexible and still fairly solid after soaking, if the noodles are over soaked, they will become soft and mushy).
  3. In a wok (or large pot), heat the vegetable oil on high heat.
  4. Add the shallot, garlic, and chicken (or tofu) and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
  5. Drain the noodles and add to the wok (stirring frequently so nothing sticks).
  6. Add the tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce, and chili pepper and continue stirring. (Note: If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the wok, it’s not hot enough and turn the heat up!)
  7. In a separate frying pan, scramble the egg and remove from heat.
  8. Fold the scrambled egg into the noodles.
  9. Test the noodles (if the noodles are chewy, they’re done! If the noodles are crunchy, add a bit of water to cook them).
  10. Add the shrimp and stir.
  11. Add white pepper, bean sprouts, and chives and continue stirring for anther another minute or so (the noodles should be soft, dry, and very tangled).
  12. Pour generous amounts onto serving plates and garnish with peanuts and black pepper.
  13. Serve hot with a lime wedge and Thai basil on the side (Optional: have additional raw bean sprouts and Chinese chives available as garnish).

Makes about 4 servings  (approximate cost: $4.15 per serving).

Chicken Pot Pie

As much as I love cooking, going home for dinner is always a treat. It’s nice to let someone else cook and visit with my family. When I stopped by for dinner a few weeks ago, my stepmother was preparing chicken pot pie. It smelled divine. And, it was very very very tasty. So much, that I asked if I could take a serving of leftovers home with me (Sorry B, I wasn’t intending to share the leftovers either!). I was so disappointed when I got home and realized I forgot to grab my leftovers.

I was probably too busy saying goodbye to these two cuties:

Rebel (4 year old Austrian shepherd)

Rascal (1 year old yellow lab and white German shepherd cross)

So, I texted my stepmother to ask how she made the chicken pot pie, so I could make one myself. And you know, it didn’t sound as difficult as it looked. Of course, I took a few shortcuts to make it easier to prepare as a weeknight dinner.

I bought prepared pie crust.

I baked and shredded the chicken the night before.

I bought a gravy mix.

I’m not sure my version of the chicken pot pie was as tasty, but it was nice to be able to share it with B and have leftovers for the next few days.

Chicken pot pie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 prepared pie crusts – approximate cost $4.00

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces – approximate cost $4.00
  • 1 cup of green peas – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped into small pieces – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 onion, chopped into small pieces – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup chicken gravy – approximate cost $1.15
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.25

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Arrange the first pie crust in the pie pan.
  4. Cook the onion pieces until softened.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken pieces, peas, carrots, onions, rosemary, and black pepper.
  6. Pour the chicken and vegetable mixture into the prepared pie pan.
  7. Pour the gravy over the chicken and vegetable mixture.
  8. Cover the pie with the remaining pie crust.
  9. Pinch the edge where the crusts meet.
  10. Trim the excess crust from around the edges of the pie pan.
  11. Brush the top crust with the remaining olive oil.
  12. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until cooked through and the crust begins to turn golden-brown.
  13. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 6 servings (approximate cost: $2.01 per serving).

Yakitoki-Style Chicken Hearts

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Savory chicken hearts. We enjoy chicken hearts frequently because they’re reasonably priced, versatile, and tasty.  Quite often, I will find a recipe that calls for a more typical cut of chicken and substitute chicken hearts. More often than not, this approach works well. My most recent ‘experiment’ was to cook chicken hearts with a yakitori sauce.

I learned to cook yakitori (Japanese translation is approximately ‘grilled bird’) as a high school student. I was lucky enough to attend a school that taught a Japanese language course and the teacher, who had spent a significant amount of time teaching in Japan, also offered us culture classes from time to time. Learning to cook yakitori was one such class.

Since then I have modified the recipe to use more cost-effective ingredients. This sauce is simple to make and very tasty. I recommend trying it the next time you are cooking chicken!

Yakitoki-Style Chicken Hearts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken hearts (or other cut of chicken) – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1/3 cup white or red wine, whatever you have on hand (the original recipe calls for mirin) – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (the original recipe calls for a Japanese soya sauce such as Kikkoman) – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/3 cup water

Method

  1. Combine wine, soya sauce, and water in a small pot. Cook at medium heat with the lid off so the liquid reduces. Stir frequently!
  2. When the liquid has reduced to a sauce-like consistency, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a separate frying pan, cook chicken hearts and half of the sauce over medium-high heat until meat is cooked all the way through. Reserve the remaining sauce to serve at the table.

Suggestion: Serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables.

Makes about 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.25 per serving)

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