There are times when I have no idea what to make for dinner – kind of like writer’s block, only in the kitchen. Occasionally I will ask everyone what they want to eat, but usually I get little help. When someone does give me an idea, however, I’ll most often make it. For example, last week Jenna mentioned that she felt like eating enchiladas, so I bought some enchilada fixings. Now I love enchiladas as much as anyone, but making them can be a serious pain so I don’t do it very often. I did take a short cut this time and bought a can of enchilada sauce. If I had some extra time to cook I’d make a nice tomatillo sauce instead, but I haven’t had much time for anything lately – these take enough time to make as it is. But it does make enough for two dinners, so I guess it evens out.
Chicken Enchiladas (serves 6-8)
1 pound ground chicken (any other meat would work also)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 pound queso fresco, diced
salt and pepper to taste
16 corn tortillas
oil for frying
1 19-ounce can enchilada sauce (or homemade sauce, if you have time – a recipe is here)
1/2 pound shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack would be fine)
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Fry the garlic briefly, then add the chicken, cumin and chili powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes, then mix in the queso fresco and egg.
To prepare the tortillas, heat a little vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry each tortilla for a few seconds on each side, then place on paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Continue until all tortillas are done. (This is the part I don’t like, but it just can not be skipped, otherwise the tortillas break when you try to roll them.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Put a small amount of the chicken mixture down the center of a tortilla, and then roll it up, taking care not to break the tortilla, and to not let too much filling fall out. Place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortilla and filling, putting the enchiladas right next to each other, leaving no space in between. When they are all filled, pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Give it a few minutes under the broiler if you like it extra crispy on top. Serve with rice, beans, avocado, etc…