Friday, May 11, 2012

Enchiladas (..and enchilada pies) & Fiesta Rice

This is one of my favorite freezer meals- homemade, easy and really freezes beautifully!
You'll never buy "enchilada sauce" again- this is so delicious!!
Of course I got a little busy with my active wild-man Logan and made this for Thursday night's dinner- which is my "go-to-Bar-Method-and-get-my-butt-kicked" night (daddy does bedtime solo every Thursday so I can have this much appreciated me-time, he's awesome)- and I didn't get a photo of the enchiladas! HA!
After said Bar Method class, I got home, ravenous and ate..... Oops. Sorry folks. Mama was HUNGRY.

I did make a pan to give to my friend Kristen, because she is another amazing Bar Method Mama and I had to do something to thank her for the priceless advice, guidance, baby gear and gloriousness she has brought into our lives.
This recipe is great because it can feed a big family, or sever small families like mine & Kristen's, or make several freezer meals- which I loooooove.
Kristen was so sweet to post this pic on FB so at least you get SOMETHING- haha!

I was initially inspired by THIS recipe via Food Network by Emeril Lagasse- but changed it to make it easier for me to make.

Here's what you'll need:
This will make 14-16 enchiladas OR 10 enchiladas and 4 enchilada pie's (oh, ya, I owe you an explanation of that top photo!!'s coming...)

1 15oz can of tomato puree OR crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup New Mexico Chili Powder*
3 T olive oil
1 T whole wheat flour
16 oz chicken or veggie broth
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
1/2 heaping tsp cumin

10-16 tortillas- traditionally corn tortillas are used- I used whole wheat flour tortillas from Trader Joes- which are delicious in this recipe- or get crazy and make YOUR OWN (click here)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cooked chickens - shredded (I get mine from this amazing Peruvian rotisserie place on Venice that takes these to the next level- but just grab two hot chickens from the grocery and shred in your mixer while they are still warm- SO EASY)
4 cups shredded cheese- a mix is best- pepper jack, cheddar, etc.- 3 cups go in the filling the 4th is to top em & garnish
1 8oz package low fat cream cheese- at room temp
5 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
Sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt (for garnish)
(disposable pot pie containers from the baking aisle if you want to make the enchilada pies!)

Make the sauce:
In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, add flour and whisk for about a minute. Add chili powder and stir another 30 seconds.Stir in broth, puree (or crushed) tomatoes, oregano, cumin- bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.

Make the filling:
While the sauce simmers, in a large bowl, mix the chicken, onion and cheeses.

Assemble the enchiladas or pies-
If you are using corn tortillas or if your tortillas are a little on the hard side then soften them by microwaving 20 seconds on a plate stacked with moistened sheets of paper towel between each tortilla. you don't want them hot, just soft and easy to roll around the filling.
Pre heat the oven to 350
Add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the bottom of a baking dish & spread to make a thin, even layer.
Lay a tortilla on a plate and add a few scoops of the chicken mixture in the center- roll like a burrito (with open ends though- just roll it)
Place stuffed enchilada seam-side down in the baking dish- repeat until the pan is full- do this in a 9 x 13- or several 8 x 8s
Top liberally with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.
Wrap with press n seal and freeze for another night or cook for 30 minutes and enjoy!

For the "pies" (photo at the top of the post)
Add a big spoonful of the sauce to the bottom of each pie foil.
Press one tortilla down into the little pie foil (you have to use full "burrito size" tortillas for this)
Fill with 3 big spoonfuls of the chicken mix.
Fold the corners/sides of the tortilla into the center (there will be a space in the middle where they will not meet up) cover with more sauce and shredded cheese- freeze or cook as noted above & enjoy!

For frozen enchiladas bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes (until hot all the way through)

*You may or may not know in the grocery store there is a whole OTHER section where they sell spices! Not located on the baking aisle- usually near the beans, or ranch/dressing mixes there is a section of spices in plastic baggies- not jars- and they are WAY less expensive (hopefully your market has this!!) Always a great go-to for cinnamon, garlic & onion powder, paprika etc- and in my store that was the only place they had specific "New Mexico" chili powder! If you don't have that section or want to just use the regular chili powder you have on hand- that's all good

2 cups brown rice
3 cups chicken broth, veggie broth or water
1 can pinto beans drained rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes w green chilies, drained, as much liquid as possible pressed out w paper towel
5 green onions chopped
2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
1 jalapeno, membrane and seeds removed, chopped
salt & pepper
Hot sauce

Prepare rice and let cool
In a large bowl toss in the onions, beans, bell peppers, jalapeno and tomatoes- stir until all are well combined.
Add salt & pepper & hot sauce to taste.
You can warm it up in a sauce pot or make it ahead (my favorite method) and refrigerate an hour or so- the flavors really combine well that way- it's also good cold, perfect for summer/ 4th of July picnics and BBQs!!

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