Cinco de Mayo fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I never need an excuse to cook, but sometimes I like one!  So when Cinco de Mayo rolled around a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to whip up something more authentic to Mexican cuisine than a taco.  After doing a little research, I decided to go with some chicken enchiladas (a recipe adapted from one I found on, rice and refried beans for sides, and churros for dessert (the churros mainly as a nod to the yummy churros and great memories of visiting the Mexican pavilion at Epcot at Walt Disney World).

Here is the recipe for the Chicken Enchiladas:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 C sour cream
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 T butter
1 bunch scallions, chopped and divided
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 (1.25 oz) pkg. medium taco seasoning mix
1 C water
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
5 flour tortillas
2 C shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce

1) Place the chicken in a stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover; simmer until chicken is no longer pink (about 15 minutes).  Remove chicken from pot and shred; set aside.
2) Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the soup, sour cream, chili powder and cumin in a small saucepan.  Over low heat, bring mix to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Once simmering, turn off heat, cover, and set aside.
3) Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken, green chilies, taco seasoning, water, and about half the chopped scallions (the rest will be for garnish on top).  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and onion and garlic powders; simmer for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
4) Stir one cup of the soup mix into the chicken mix in the skillet.  Spread the remaining soup mixture across the bottom of a 9x13" baking or casserole dish.

5) Fill a tortilla with the chicken mix and sprinkle with a mix of both mild and sharp cheddar cheese.

Fold the edges of the tortillas over the mixture in the middle, and then place seam-side down in the prepared pan, on top of the soup mix.  Repeat with remaining tortillas to make five total.
6) Pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.  Cover with the remaining cheddar cheeses (should have about 1.5-2 remaining cups).  Sprinkle with remaining scallions and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

I apologize for the messy, half-eaten finished product picture, but that just proves how good they were!  I didn't even have time to take a picture before they were snapped up.

As I said, I served the enchiladas with Mexican rice and refried beans on the side.  It was a very filling and very tasty meal!

Can't forget about those Churros!  I used the following recipe:

1 C water
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T vegetable oil
1 C flour
oil for frying

Sugar Topping:
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

1) In a small saucepan, mix together the water, sugar, salt and oil.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; as soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, and stir in the flour until it forms a ball (about 30 seconds).  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star or open-star tip (I used Wilton Open Star Tip 6B) with the dough.  Using the star tip creates those creases down the sides of the churros that help them brown and crisp more easily.  But if you don't have a star tip, or even a pastry bag, you can use either a zip-top plastic bag with the corner cut off, or just roll out with your hand.  The results won't be the same, but they'll be edible :)  Please BE CAREFUL!  The dough will be VERY hot.  I recommend using a pastry bag made of parchment paper or a reusable featherweight bag, as the plastic ones may burst due to the heat.
2) Heat the oil used for frying to about 360 (use a frying thermometer to determine, or use an electric skillet).  Pipe strips of the dough into the hot oil.  You can make them any length, but I made mine about the length of my fingers, and was able to cook 5 at a time.  Fry until golden, then remove to a paper-towel lined tray to drain.  Test one (or two, I won't tell!) from the first batch and adjust the heat up or down as needed; you want the outsides to be golden and crispy, but the inside to be cooked through.
3) Mix together the sugar and cinnamon; roll the drained churros in the mix.  If you happen to have a small paper bag, like a lunch paper sack, you can put the cinnamon-sugar mix in the bag, drop in the churros, and shake.

I would strongly consider doubling this recipe - you're going to want more!


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