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Monday, May 02, 2005

Monday Meals - Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Spanish Rice

Ok, so I decided that I was going to do the recipes on Mondays. B/C Monday Meals sounded so much nicer than Thursday Tastings or some other such dribble. Today is the truly delish dish Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Spanish Rice ~ OLÉ! Why casserole and not an actual enchilada? Well, my hungry dears, two things:

1.) Time - it is much LESS time consuming to just layer than to dip and roll.
2.) The stinking tortillas. Corn tortillas are one of the MOST stubborn food substances known to man. Phyllo dough is a very close second. But we're doing casserole, not baklava. Mmmmmmmm, baklava. My favorite little desert. My problems with corn tortillas are this. Even when you do the oil dip thing to "soften" them up, they STILL break when you roll them. Little pissers. So I found out it is easier and a whole lot faster to layer the tortillas with the filling.

This dish makes enough for several people or for a whole week of lunches and some dinners for 2-3. As I have said before, this dish is NOT for those looking for low-cal, no-fat meals. I don't believe in those and think those are a travesty to tastebuds everywhere. This recipe is one that I piecemealed from several other recipes. In other words, nothing I saw was what I wanted so I chose my favorite bits from each and schlepped it together to make this!

So, are you ready for some yummy num-nums? It looks like a lot, but it is SUPER EASY! If it's complicated, I don't cook it. I love, love, love to cook, but not if it's going to take me 3 hours to get it done.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Cook your chicken ahead of time:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1½ cups White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
garlic (1 tsp powder - not garlic salt or 1 minced clove)
2 tsps cumin
Let it cool so you can shred it later.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176.7 C for those using Celsius)

You will need:
To cook:
1- 9x13 pyrex or corning ware cooking dish coated with sauce
tongs for tortillas
large cooking spoon
1 bag of shredded cheese - your choice with the exception of mozzarella or parmesan (those don't taste right with the casserole)
20 count bag of yellow corn tortillas

For the enchilada sauce:
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground oregano
½ tsp cayenne
1½ tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove minced
1 can sweet corn nibblets
2 cans chicken broth - 14 oz (I like Swanson's best)
2 cans tomato sauce - 8 oz (put aside 2 oz of sauce for the rice)
1 lime - roll lime before cutting in ½. It releases the pulp and gives more juice when squeezed
2 8oz microwave softened cream cheese - you can use either original or 1/3 fat (told ya this wasn't for the health conscious. Only the taste conscious.)

In an large pan sauté flour in oil for one minute, then add the spices and cook for another minute.
Add the cream cheese, mixing together with the oil and spices.
Add the broth, tomato sauce and lime juice, stirring frequently to mix the cream cheese with the liquids. At this time, go ahead and coat the baking pan with the sauce.
Shred the pre-cooked chicken and add it to the sauce along with the corn.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently then let simmer for a few minutes. Stir occasionally.

Assembling the casserole
Take 8 tortillas and lay them side by side in the pan. The tortillas should overlap to prevent the chicken and sauce from getting under them.
Take the spoon and scoop out a good portion of the chicken and sauce and evenly spread it over the tortillas.
Take 6 tortillas and lay them on the mix
Take the remaining sauce mixture and pread evenly over the tortillas
Take the final 6 tortillas and layer them on top of the mix.
You may want to take the tongs here and coat the top tortillas in the mixture below so that both siced are covered.
Take the bag of cheese and spread it evenly over the top of the casserole - use the whole bag.

Put foil over the top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the foil off and let bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Take it out and enjoy with the rice and some yummy, nummy margaritas!

Spanish Rice
This will make you rice for the week if you are making this for a small group, or just yourself. I always do this while the casserole is in the oven.

To cook:
Skillet with lid
2 cans chicken broth - 14 oz (Swanson's is best)
2-2½ cups rice (I used enriched white rice but you can use whatever kind you want)
2 oz tomato sauce* (saved from chicken sauce recipe remember?)
1 clove minced garlic or 1½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Mix broth and spices
Add rice
Cook covered until tender.

That's it.

*You can add blanched diced tomatoes to this as well along with the sauce

Easy Desert:
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Butterscotch or Caramel topping.

There you have it. The first Monday Meals recipe!

If you try this out, please, please comment if you liked it or not and why so I can know if it's any good. I try these out on myself and my family, but rarely has anyone else eaten it. Ok, that sounded bad...what I mean is I haven't cooked most of these recipes for anyone else but my family, so nobody else has had the opportunity to eat them. My family loves it though! Remember, the spices are to taste, so you may prefer more or less of something. Also, you can put onions in the casserole. I don't b/c I'm very allergic to raw onions. Even partially cooked ones will give me hives and an asthma attack.

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