Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recipe: Echiladas

A friend was decluttering, and gave me a giant stack of Cooking Light magazines - maybe 4 years worth. So many that at least half of them are still stacked in my office at work. From the stack that has already come home, I was intrigued by this recipe from 2006.

I don't actually know much about enchiladas. I've never made them, I don't generally order them in restaurants, though apparently our fav place has good ones. But for some reason, I got weirdly fixated on the idea of making a pan of enchiladas.

I kept running out of this and that, and, happily, kept getting invited out to dinner, which I never turn down. But last night, having fed the kid his requested pasta, I decided to go ahead. We had 2 tortilla. We had a rotisserie chicken that was passing its prime. So, inspired by Cooking Light, I present:

Half-Assed Enchiladas

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Heat your cast-iron skillet, and squirt it with cooking spray. Cook a huge sliced onion for 5 minutes or more, until tender.

Add some cooked chicken, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, a small can of tomatoes, with their juice, and chilis.

The chilis are important. I had one can of pickled jalapenos, that looked like this:

they are tasty. They are HOT. This can is 11 oz; the recipe calls for 8 ounces. As you can guess, I used the whole can.

I recommend you use less than 11 oz of chilis.

Anyway, turn the heat down a little and simmer about 10 minutes.

Combine 2 cups milk and 2 tablespoons flour in a small pot with a little salt. Cook over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. You're waitning for it to thicken, and it seems like it never will, but then all of a sudden it does. Take off the pan off the heat.

Lay a 8-inch tortilla on a plate. Spoon some of the chicken/onion/tomato/jalapeno stuff done the middle, add some shredded cheese (not much - a medium sprinkle.) You'll end up with 6 of these.

Roll each tortilla and line them up, flappy side down, in a baking dish. (if you only have 2 tortillas, like I did last night. you can use a pie pan.) Pour the milk mixture over tortilla lineup (you won't need it all if all you have is a pie pan.) Drop more shredded cheese over the top of everything, covering evenly. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or more - until cheese is bubbly.

If the cheese isn't brown after 25 minutes, you can run these under the broiler for 2 minutes or so.

These were really really good. I was shocked, they were so good. They were sinus-clearingly spicy, and next time I make them, I believe I will use the recommended 8 oz. But we ate every bite and are anxious to make them again. Eric declared them "as good as anything I've had in a restaurant." So, half-assed pantry enchiladas for the Epic Win.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The political trail may be littered with mud, lies, shouting, and personal attacks — but the polling place is sacrosanct. Here, we come to do our patriotic duty and exercise our precious right to vote. We don't come to argue, debate, or demean one another. Here, in hushed tones, we outdo one another in showing honor."

CANDACE CHELLEW-HODGE, Polling Place as Sacred Ground, posted on Religion Dispatches

God bless the election. (And God bless the election judges, on their feet for 12 hours and more, welcoming, helping, protecting, making sure. Polls here close at 8pm.