Monday, October 18, 2010


This weekend was a bit lazy for me. I had a sick dog at home so I spent my entire weekend basically watching my dog to make sure she was going to be ok. What this means is I didn't make it to the grocery store or to Sams like I had full intentions of doing. What this also means is I didn't go out to eat either. So, this post is about "making do with what ya got!" It could also be called "Cleaning out the pantry, fridge, and freezer and making something great." A really good friend of mine went to New Mexico over the weekend and when I found out she was going I hurried an email to her asking her to please pick me up some freshly roasted Hatch green chilis. She agreed and I told everyone I would make us all enchiladas. Well, as soon as I mentioned it I started thinking about them and couldn't stop. Saturday that was all I thought about. chili enchiladas...hmmm...

I didn't get the chilis until today but I couldn't wait so I decided to make them from what I had. So, here's how I made them along with a couple of other side dishes to go with them. For the enchiladas I had already boiled 2 chicken breasts earlier in the week with the intention of making chicken salad with them. It was only after I boiled them that I realized I had nothing else to go in the chicken salad so they just sat there. I took them out and cut them into small bite size pieces. I looked in my pantry and I had 2 cans of Hatch Green Chili enchilada sauce. OK...they would have to do. I got out an onion (I actually had a couple of them!) and chopped up about half an onion in small pieces. I also got out 4 garlic cloves and chopped them as well. I pulled the very last jalapeno from my jalapeno plant on the back porch, seeded, deveined and chopped it as well. I put a little oil (didn't even have olive oil so I had to use good ole canola) in the skillet and started to saute the onions, jalapeno, and chopped up chicken. I saved the garlic for awhile so it wouldn't get bitter. If you overcook fresh garlic, it just turns bitter and nasty. Once the onions were tender and started to carmelize I added one can of the green chili enchilada sauce. To that I added the garlic, a palm full of cumin, a palm full of smoked paprika, a good pinch of salt, and about a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. I simmered it all together for about 10-15 minutes, just to let the flavors all combine and to rehydrate the chicken.

I turned off the heat to the sauce to let it cool to where I could handle it and also so it would thicken...which it did...and heated a smaller skillet filled almost half full with more oil. Once that oil got hot I dipped the corn tortillas in the oil until they started to bubble. It's hard to tell people how long to leave them, but with experience you'll figure it out. You basically just want to get them pliant enough so you can roll them, but not too much so they are tough and hard.

I had some shredded cheddar cheese but if not, just shred some yourself. You need a big 9" x 13" pan. I spray mine with Pam to prevent the enchiladas from sticking and to help make cleanup a lot easier. Then you take one tortilla, add a spoon full of the chicken sauce mixture, spread some cheese over that, then roll it up in the pan. I do all of that in the baking pan actually. I put the loose ends down so it will help hold them in shape. Continue to roll enchiladas. My mixture made 14 of them. Once they are all rolled, top the entire thing with the extra can of enchilada sauce (just straight out of the can). Spread it around so everything is covered. Sprinkle more cheese on the top and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until everything is heated, melted, and bubbly.

While the enchiladas were in the oven I made my side dishes. I just made one package of Mexican Style rice in the packet as the directions stated but added some extra cumin and garlic powder. Then I took a can of black beans (for some reason I have like 6 cans of black beans and I'm not sure we even like them!) added a 1/4 of an onion chopped, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, 2 pieces of cooked bacon from breakfast crumbled up and a couple of spoonfuls of sausage from breakfast. I cooked that all together for the time the enchiladas were cooking. Voila! Really quick, really good, really easy Mexican food. Green chili chicken enchiladas with black beans and rice. You can do it too!

On Sunday my dear wonderful husband cooked dinner for me. His dinner was right up there and maybe even better than mine. He made raspberry barbequed lamb chops with black eyed peas and creamy bow tie pasta. I'll get his instructions from him soon and post them. I do know it was so delish! I love when he makes lamb chops. They are my sisters favorite thing he makes and they just might be mine too. He usually uses a combination of apricot preserves and cherry juice (just the juice from the jar of marachino cherries) as his basting sauce but this time we didn't have the apricot preserves. What we did have was left over raspberry preserves from a monte cristo sandwich I had ealier so he substituted that instead. See...make do with what you've got! I also know his pasta was made with a can of Santa Fe Cream of Chicken soup with some extra shredded cheese. Like I said, I'll get his full recipes though soon and try and post them. You won't want to miss them. I have to admit, my man can COOK!

I hope these ideas give you some ideas of your own on how to clean out that pantry and make yourself a really decent dinner at the same time. Until next time, in the words of Julie and Julia...Bon Appetit!

Coming of my new fall outfits that I just love!

1 comment:

Sassy said...

Lord have mercy! If there's ever a natural disaster, I call staying at YOUR house! dibs!!!