Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sometimes I think I must be part Mexican because I could seriously eat Mexican food every night! I know, my pasty white skin begs to differ but my stomach sure believes. I found both of these recipes on Ashlee's Cooking blog. This girl is amazing! Seriously, she picks a different country each week and researches their cuisine and then plans her menu accordingly. She clearly doesn't have a baby crawling at her feet, screaming as she tries to cook. Gone are my peaceful cooking days. So this recipe uses my favorite cooking tool, the crock pot! I liked the enchiladas but the corn side dish was my favorite. I followed her recipe pretty much as written, but I think next time I might substitute cilantro for the basil. I just don't associate basil with Mexican food as much as I do cilantro. Either way, I think it's a great accompaniment for any Mexican meal.
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
1-2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup salsa
4 tsp. cumin
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp corriander (optional - I only had the whole seeds and I wouldn't do that again)
1 (15oz) can black beans, washed and drained
2 bell peppers (one red, one green), sliced
1 medium onion (red or white), sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups cheddar or mexican cheese
corn or flour tortillas
shredded lettuce, tomato, sour cream for toppings
Put chicken, stock, salsa and half of spices in a crock on low. Cook for 4 hours. Leave crockpot on and drain and shred chicken.
Add chicken back to crock with black beans, peppers, onions, garlic, and remaining spices. Cook on low for 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375.
Put half of the sauce on a plate. Dip the tortillas in the sauce to coat, lay in a baking dish, fill with some of the chicken filling and cheese, roll and repeat. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until melted and bubbly.
Top with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.
**The enchilada sauce really makes the difference in this recipe. I chose to use a Frontera enchilada sauce and I thought it was too smoky. I prefer just a plain old red enchilada sauce. A lot of your flavor comes from this sauce so chose wisely!
The corn side dish is apparently Argentinian rather than Mexican. Whatever the origin, I thought it made a great side dish for this meal.
Humita en Cacerola
(Argentine Humita Casserole)
2 cups corn (or 6-8 fresh ears removed from cob)
4 T. butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 finely chopped green or red bell pepper
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used Roma because it has fewer seeds)
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 tsp. black pepper
8 basil leaves, chopped (or cilantro)
4 oz. Muenster Cheese (or any cheese you have on hand)
3 large eggs, beaten
1. Place corn in a blender or food processor until finely ground (I omitted this step because Wes and I like corn so I kept it whole).
2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring a few times until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until it forms a sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ground corn, cornmeal, salt, sugar, nutmeg, pepper and basil and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to form a soft dough, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm (this is so that the eggs don't cook in the hot mixture). Mix in the cheese and eggs and taste for salt and sugar.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Transfer the corn mixture to a well buttered casserole and bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.