Interstellar Adventures

October 24, 2006

Adventures in Cooking

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,Real Good Food — by InterstellarLass @ 7:29 pm

I’m becoming more and more intimate with my kitchen. None of my measuring implements have gone missing just yet. My dishwasher, all ten of my fingers, and my mixing bowls are still with us.

Last night it was spaghetti and meatballs. Until The Ex’s grandmother learned me, I never knew that you actually cooked the meatballs in the sauce. That’s right. A little salt, a little pepper, some fresh parsley, parmesean, an egg and some breadcrumbs mixed into some ground round, balled up, and dropped straight into the sauce. I make them about the size of an egg (a chicken egg, not an ostrich egg, in case you were confused) to make sure that they cook all the way through after simmering in the sauce for about an hour.

Tonight, I made the Enchilada Casserole. Nancy at Crazed Mom asked me for the recipe, and since I thought it was good, I’ll share. Nick’s opinion is slanted since he grew up on “real” Mexican food, and Zed is somewhat picky. Elle asked for seconds, so I know she liked it too. The next time I make it, I’ll make some adjustments that I’ll note below, but here is the original recipe from CleanHomeJournal.com.

One 3-pound chicken, boiled, deboned, and cut into bite size pieces. Save the broth.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1-10 oz can cream of chicken soup, low-fat, condensed
1-10 oz can cream of mushroom soup, low-fat, condensed
2-10 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1/8 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 lb Montery Jack cheese, grated
12 corn tortillas

  1. Boil chicken, covered in water, for 30-40 minutes until done. Remove from broth and let cool to touch.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil until hot. Add the onion, bell pepper, and oregano and saute until onion is translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and add the chicken soup, mushroom soup, and the canned tomatoes including juice. Stir to combine.
  5. Dip the tortillas into the warm chicken broth for a few seconds, one at a time, and layer across the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with four of the tortillas. Cut to fit if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle half of the chicken across the layer of tortillas. Spread 1/3 of the soup mixture over the chicken and sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese.
  7. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, chicken, soup and cheese.
  8. Dip the remaining tortillas in the broth and layer across the top. Spread the remaining soup mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly and slightly browned.

Here are the substitutions I made for Lass’ ‘Whitey Style’ Enchilada Casserole. I call it ‘Whitey Style’ because, as Nick said, bell pepper is for white people that want to pretend to eat Mexican food.

  1. Used a can of Hatch Green Chile sauce in place of the can of cream of mushroom soup. Mushrooms do not belong in enchiladas.
  2. Added about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. This didn’t do much to kick up the heat. Must add more next time.

Other than the calor temperature, this wasn’t as caliente as I think I would have liked. Next time I will make the following substitutions.

  1. Use two cans of Hatch Green Chile sauce in place of both cans of soup.
  2. Replace the bell pepper with either jalapeno or poblano pepper, or a green chile.
  3. Replace the cheddar cheese with an asadero cheese or queso blanco.
  4. Use the Ro-tel tomatos in place of the regular diced tomato.
  5. Use more tortillas in the layers. They came in a pack of 24.
  6. Remove the neck and the other innards from the body cavity of the chicken before cooking. (Duh! I can’t believe I did this!)

I think these changes will add some spice and more flavor. I also recommend letting the casserole sit for a few minutes so it stands up. I cut into it too quickly and the insides just kind of slumped out. If you have any ideas how to improve it, let me know! And if you make it, let me know how you like it! It still won’t be Mexican food, but my whitey-style palate will like it just fine.

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