Tag Archives: sauce

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! 

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Hollandaise and happiness

Hollandaise never lasts long in our household. Honestly, it takes about ten minutes to make, and half that amount of time had (barely) passed by the time we’d licked up the last stray flecks of this creamy, golden, buttery sauce.

I’d never actually had hollandaise until long after I’d met M…I tried it for the first time and could barely keep myself from making a second batch, and a third. If you’ve never had this sauce, it’s a creamy, buttery, smooth sauce with rich hints of egg, lemon and cayenne. The perfect hollandaise, in my opinion, strikes a balance where the acid of the lemon cuts through but doesn’t hide the smooth, full-bodied flavor that comes from egg yolks and butter.

There are a lot of things people like to do with hollandaise:

  • drizzle it over steamed asparagus
  • use it over poached salmon for an extra layer of flavor
  • on the infamous eggs Benedict

I, however, prefer it rather simply: with a piece of toast cut into soldiers* and a spoon. A cold winter afternoon with a small pot of hollandaise and a good book can really only be heightened with tea. Enjoy!

M’s favorite hollandaise

2 egg yolks

4-6 tbsp butter, softened

1 tbsp lemon juice (add more to taste if you like)

1/8 tsp cayenne

salt to taste

In a small, small pot (I use a sauce warmer) place the egg yolks, one tablespoon of butter, and the lemon juice. Whisk it all together and place it over low. Whisk continually, watching the butter. Once it’s melted, add another tablespoon and keep whisking.

As you can see, the sauce is very yellow when it starts out. The color will fade slightly as it cooks.

What you’re looking for in the sauce is a thick, almost mayonnaise-like consistency. I know some people like a thinner hollandaise, but M and I prefer it rich and thick like sour cream, or aioli. As the sauce begins to thicken, keep stirring. You will know that the sauce is done once you lift the whisk, letting some sauce drip back into the pot, and don’t see a slightly darker yellow ring around the droplet.

Once the sauce is done, take it off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter.

Taste it and correct for seasonings. Then, serve it up! This recipe makes enough for two hollandaise-loving people.

*Note: “toast soldiers” is a way of saying, toast cut into thin sticks for dipping.

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Filed under All things eggs, Sauces and condiments