Saturday, May 08, 2010

GREENlighting Some Easy Weeknight Enchiladas

Each semester at school, we hold an intramural public speaking competition to give our COM 101 students a chance to showcase their best speeches and to put a little "public" back in public speaking. It's always interesting to see what topics the contestants will present, and this time around, one of the finalists did a fun speech about green salsa (salsa verde). The speaker was very enthusiastic and personable, which is, no doubt, why he won third place. And when he was done with his speech, the whole room smelled of garlic and onion and cilantro and lime...on a day when I didn't have time for lunch, damn him! ;-)

Thus, the craving for salsa verde grabbed ahold of me and wouldn't let go! My plan was to buy the fresh ingredients and make something delicious over the weekend, when I had the time. But when I stopped by Hannaford (local grocery chain) to pick up a couple of quick things on a weeknight, I spied this stuff in the Latin food aisle.

It's a two-step green chile stew mix made by Cookwell & Company, a small operation out of Austin, TX, and the label boasted "all natural" ingredients and authentic fire-roasted Hatch chiles. It seemed a bit pricey at six-something a jar, but then I realized that it was the equivalent of two large cans of El Paso or the like, and each of those cans was $2.79, so it was comparable. (I found out later that this stuff can command between $9-12 a jar on the internet!) And I know it's supposed to be used to make stew by adding a favorite meat (I vote for pork posole!), but I wondered if it couldn't be pressed into service for making some quickie chicken enchiladas? As it turns out, it can, and there was even a recipe on the back of the jar. And--quel surprise--this jarred sauce yielded a simply SCRUMPTIOUS batch of enchiladas with great flavor and just a trace of heat!

Now I know this is a semi-homemade cheater recipe, but I had a rough week, okay? First, I bought a big deli roaster from Sam's Club and removed and shredded the meat. I added a cup of the green chile sauce, about 3/4 cup sour cream, a cup of shredded Mexi-cheese, a teaspoon of granulated garlic, salt and pepper.

Then I used these great low-fat/whole grain tortillas that I also get from Sam's and rolled about three tablespoons of the filling into each of ten tortillas, and placed them into a 9x13 baking dish with enough sauce to cover the bottom. Ten enchiladas fit perfectly (8 in a row, 2 along the side).

I poured the rest of the sauce over them, and baked the enchiladas uncovered for 30 minutes at 350. Then I topped them with a couple of cups of the Mexi-cheese, and returned the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese melted and just started to brown at the edges. YUM!

Next time, I'm going to do the same thing, but try pork in the filling. Pork and green chiles are a match made in Latin heaven! But these green chile chicken enchiladas were just the thing for a zesty weeknight quick fix

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