Thursday, June 3, 2010

Comfort, Mexican Style (White Enchiladas)

I don't know about you, but I don't really like very many red sauces. I love spaghetti, but often I'm attracted to Alfredo or anything that has the word "creamy" in it at Olive Garden. And I would infinitely prefer browned butter with mizithra cheese to marinara at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I love tomatoes, I really do! But I just have a weakness for pasta with white sauce (unfortunately, I think they are usually more fattening...).
But it's not just Italian creamy foods that draw me! I love soups and chowders containing milk or cream as well. So it follows that when I make enchiladas, I go the creamy route. Now they may not be authentically Mexican, but they ARE yummy! I can't even remember where I got the recipe to start with, but I remember the white creaminess drew me. And I have tweaked it so much over the years, I'm not even sure what it looked like to begin with! But I think I have finally hit on a recipe that is not only easy, but delicious and infinitely modifiable!
Again I am standing in a kitchen that reminds me of Mother Hubbard's, so my challenge was to come up with one last dinner using what we've got left in the freezer/cupboards before we go shopping later tonight. About 10 o'clock last night it came to me in the form of my creamy, comforting enchiladas. Miracle of miracles, we have all the ingredients! So here's what I did!
This recipe starts with what many delicious recipes begin with: the lovely aroma of onions sauteing in a little bit of butter. Then add diced chicken (thigh or breast portions will do) and cook it until it is just done. While the chicken is cooking, add the spices! Really you can tweak this anyway you like to satisfy your particular taste buds, but mine require a bit each of taco seasoning, chili powder and cumin. A shake of pepper is also a good addition.
Meanwhile, mix together softened cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, mozzarella cheese (a Mexican blend also works very well!) and sour cream till fairly smooth. To get some of the cream cheese lumps out, it helps to stick the whole mixture in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Mix cooked chicken/onion mixture with sauce. Drop chicken mixture down the middle of soft tortillas (I use the soft taco size- I think about 8 in.)...about 4-5 TB or whatever looks good to you! :) Roll up (leaving ends open) and place side by side in a greased pan. If you use the soft taco size tortillas, an 11x7 pan works well. If you use larger tortillas, a 9x9 or 9x13 would probably work better. Top with remaining sauce mixture, making sure to cover completely with a thin layer. This ensures that the enchiladas don't dry out in the oven. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake! Yummy smells will begin to emanate from your oven in no time.
I like to serve this comfort dinner with rice and beans or a nice green salad. If you're like me, the first bite to your lips will make you smile. :)

Jenn's Creamy "White" Enchiladas
(printable version)
a KitchenJoy Original Recipe

1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4-1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced chicken
2 cups mozzarella cheese (or Mexican blend)- reserve 1/2 c. for top
approx. 4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp taco seasoning
1/4 cup diced onions
5-8 soft flour tortillas

Bake in a 350 oven for approx 30 min.
Makes about 6 enchiladas, which feeds about 3, depending on how hungry you are! :)
Sometimes I double this and freeze one batch. They freeze really well before baking, and it makes a nice easy dinner to just defrost the night before and stick in the oven! Be sure to add at least an extra half hour of cooking time for cold or frozen enchiladas.

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