Enchilada Experiment

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There are times when I think my best food creations come with the first experiment. Sometimes it is the second or third version, but often the first time I make something it comes out really well and I never capture the same incredible flavors and texture of that first dish. I’m not sure why – it may be my expectations are increased, it might be a slight bit of ego going into the food or it might just be dumb luck. Whatever it is, I love experimenting in the kitchen.

This week I had prepped a few dishes over the weekend knowing it was going to be a busy week back at work. The chicken and onions was ok and we are having the beef stew tonight, but earlier this week I popped my fist ever chicken enchilada attempt into the oven … And it came out fantastic. Now if I can just remember what the heck I did when making the sauce, we will be in good shape.

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The chicken part is pretty basic – cook a chicken breast in some water in a covered frying pan until it is cooked and you can pull it apart. Remove and pour out the water. Cook some chopped onion in a little oil with spices – coriander, cumin, pepper and … I think allspice -until soft and translucent. Reserve some of these for the sauce.

Meanwhile, grill a few tomatillos on the grill until they are slightly charred. Cut in half and put in a food processor with some chili (I used the paste), cilantro, parsley, some of the cooked onion and pepper. Blend until it looks like a sauce. I’m pretty sure that was it. I don’t think I did anything else to it and I know I didn’t have lime in it because I remember commenting to Bob that I had forgotten it.

Shred the chicken and mix it with the onions and some rough chopped, skinned tomatoes. Roll a portion in a flour tortilla with some shredded cheese. Lay in a pan, cover with the sauce and then another layer of cheese. I did find that I had to cook them at 400 to 450 to get the cheese to really bubble and melt, and that some sort of sauce or cooking spray would help with the clean up on this one.

The taste was surprisingly bright and tangy without a lot of heat. It had a nice balance of flavors and something I have to keep in mind as a “quick” dinner. Not the prettiest dish I have ever made, but a very tasty one. Not a totally grainless meal, but not bad.

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