Tag Archives: food

Chicken and spinach enchiladas

If there was ever a point in my life where I was forced to eat only one ethnic group’s food for the rest of my life, I’d probably pick Mexican food. All the pungent flavors, bright colors, and different textures just sing to me when I eat it. It’s beautiful! Red tomatoes, green peppers, yellow rice, brown beans, and slowly-cooked meats marinated in deliciously spicy (or sometimes sweet-savory) sauces…how can you go wrong?

When M and I first moved into our current apartment, I was unsure of my cooking skills as chef, even if I had been cooking for over a decade. So, when we began planning out the meals we’d eat, M decided she wanted enchiladas, and I readily agreed. Simply to make and easy to eat, enchiladas are a great meal to make, whether cooking for a crowd or just two people. M and I always make four enchiladas, and eat two apiece. This night was an anomaly, but I chalk it up to the veggies in the enchiladas…they’re great filling!

I mixed up a canned enchilada sauce with chipotle peppers, roasted garlic and spices to make it taste better than ever, and add some to the filling to make the flavors pop. You can use any kind of shredded cheese you like, although I always reach for Tillamook. When wrapping, it’s easiest to roll with the flap on top so that you don’t get filling all over everywhere.

Cheesy chicken and spinach enchiladas

3 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

4 flour tortillas (we used medium ones, as large is too big)

2/3 c shredded cheese

3 c spinach, wilted and chopped

2/3 c refried beans

3/4 c canned enchilada sauce (we use Rosarita brand)

1 tbsp chipotle pepper puree (or adobo sauce, if you prefer)

1/2 tbsp roasted garlic, mashed into a paste

cumin, cayenne, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C.) Line an 8×8 inch cake or brownie pan with foil.

In a pan, heat the refried beans and season with some cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and pepper. Mix and cook until heated through, then set aside. While it’s cooking, use a small bowl to mix the enchilada sauce, roasted garlic, pepper and chipotle puree. Taste and adjust for spice.

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, chopped spinach, and about a 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese, as well as 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce. Spread two tablespoons’ worth of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Place a tortilla inside the pan and spread 1/4 of the beans across the tortilla. Fill it with the chicken and spinach mixture, then fold it and flip it over. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas.

Once all your tortillas are folded, spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, making sure to spread it around evenly. Top with the remaining cheese, and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is entirely melted. If you like, place them under the broiler for a few minutes for color, but keep an eye out to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.

Once you’ve taken the enchiladas out, serve them up with beans, chips, pico de gallo and whatever else you like! 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ethnic

Traditional lamb stew

This is what dreams are made of.

I love lamb. Period. A lot of people don’t like the gamey flavor or the fatty nature of lamb, but I think it’s an absolutely beautiful meat. It’s tender, rich, and oh, so filling. There’s really nothing you can’t do with a few chunks of lamb shoulder and some low, slow cooking.

With that in mind, M gleefully threw a package of mysterious lamb meat into the basket while we were at Ranch 99 the other day. After stashing it in the freezer and mulling the options over for a bit, I looked outside, and we decided that lamb stew would be the best thing for our approaching winter season.

Seriously, pheasants, it’s been hailing like Mother Nature is trying her best to unload all her hail supply before the snow comes in for the season. It’s madness. Pouring rain, driving winds, and snow is predicted for tomorrow…snow. In November. We never get snow in November!

So, tonight, we’re hunkering down with a crackling fire and some piping hot apple cider to enjoy our evening, while this delicious, beautiful stew bubbles away. The best part? This is a crock pot recipe. Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Rainy Day Lamb Stew

1 to 1 1/2 lbs lamb (bone-in, trimmed of fat {which you reserved, yes?})

2 russet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 red onion, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

4 Crimini mushrooms, quartered

2 carrots, cut into chunks

1 tbsp pepper, divided

1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

3 sprigs rosemary, minced

1/4 c flour

3/4 c water

1/3 c port wine

In a medium frying pan, place two to three larger chunks of lamb fat on medium.

Place the flour in a small bowl, then mix it with salt and 1/3 tablespoon of pepper. Dredge the lamb in the flour, and, when the fat has adequately melted, crank up the heat to medium-high and sear the chunks, turning them periodically to sear all sides. Transfer the seared pieces directly into your crock pot. While the lamb pieces are searing, add the potatoes, carrots, garlic and mushrooms to the crock pot, using a ladle to mix everything up fairly well.

Once all the lamb is seared and transferred, turn down the heat to medium and place the onions in the pan. Brown them, making sure to get all the pieces well. Once they’re done, pour in the port and deglaze the pan. Add the rosemary and remaining pepper, then cook the wine down until it’s about reduced to half, then add the water, bring to a boil, and pour the onion-wine-water mix into the crock pot. Set it to low and let it go for 8 to 10 hours.

Before serving, skim off any excess fat from the stew.

Serving this with some hearty, crusty bread is good to soak up all the delicious, rich juices. This is definitely a hot, delightful dish for the winter season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Red meat, Seasonal, Winter