Friday, November 30, 2012

How to make: Red & Green Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas

What is up blogosphere?!  You'll be happy to know that QuinnStitch is off to a great start.  I've had a bit of traffic coming in, and I really hope people are liking what they're seeing!  Not many commenters so far, but let's keep trucking along!

One thing that you should know about this household and the food we eat is:   We loooove spice.  If there's a way to make a dish spicy, we normally go for it!  Spaghetti sauce, pulled pork, pizza, mac & cheese, etc.  I feel like it gives food this extra dimension that makes it more delicious.

"But Laurie, I haaaate spicy food, it hurts my sensitive mouth area!"

Guess what, naysayers?  I used to be the biggest spice wussy on the planet.  How did I get over it?  Well the story is completely anecdotal, not based on science, may not work for you, but here goes.

Once upon a time, I worked at a restaurant called PF Changs.  ("omgz Laurie, I lrrrrrrve that restaurant, tell me more about Chicken Lettuce Wraps!"  At PF Changs they have a dish called Dan Dan noodles, which are insanely delicious.  One day, a customer ordered the Dan Dan noodles with no spice.  Accidentally, the cooks made it EXTRA SPICY.  Whoopsies!  Now, because these noodles could not be used, the staff went ahead and ate it.  On that day, I was working very hard and I was insanely hungry in the middle of my shift.  When I saw the noodles, I went for it.  Instantly, when I ate those noodles, I felt the fire of 1000 suns raging through my mouth and throat.  I told myself, "I am sooo hungry, don't think about the pain, just don't think about it!!".  I successfully ate a portion of the noodles, and to this day, my spice tolerance is wayyy higher.  The power of psychology!

Now, this COULD be due to the inferno-noodles, or because I eat spice more regularly than I used to, but we won't dwell on that.  The best thing about making spicy food yourself, is that you have all the control over how much spice you add.  For example, adding the seeds of a jalapeno will make dishes spicier. If you like a  lower level of spice, don't add the seeds.  Also, adding spicy peppers or cayenne to something like spaghetti sauce can give a delightful hint of spice without making it unbearable.  Almost like a little kiss of spice.  Awww.

Ok, next, this brings me to the next topic about the food we eat:  We LOOOOOOOOVE Mexican food!  The spices, the flavors, the variety.  I really can't get enough.  And, even better, the degree of difficulty is extremely variable.  One day you can go for regular old tacos, and the next spend two hours attempting to cook an authentic el pastor taco dinner (we have done this!).  Or even better, spend two DAYS making tamales (yep, done this multiple times!)  I love mexican food so much, that I literally buy Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Cayenne Pepper in bulk.  And I use it ALL.

So when I saw Closet Cooking's recipe for Chicken and Avacado Enchiladas on pinterest, I was all, "I like Chicken, I like avocados, I like enchiladas!" As always, I changed it a little bit to accommodate the ingredients I had at home.  Also, this is another recipe that can use the leftover chicken from the Roasted Chicken we made earlier on QuinnStitch!  WIN WIN!

Gather your ingredients:

Red & Green Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas

For the salsa:
1 tomato
1 jalapeno
1/3 to 1/2 of an onion
1 handful cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
the juice of 1 small lime

For the avocado sauce
2 cups cooked shredded chicken

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa (which you just made)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 avocado
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
salt & pepper to taste
1 handful cilantro
the juice of 1 small lime

1 green onion, sliced
2 cups cheese of your choice, cheddar, jack, shredded
4 small tortillas or 2 large tortillas
1 can refried beans 

Begin by chopping the onion, tomato, jalapeno (remove the seeds for less heat) and cilantro, and combining with the salt and pepper and lime juice in a food processor.  Pulse a few times until you reach the desired consistency of your salsa!

The finished product.  YESS this is looking good!

Ok, at this point you either can use the leftover meat from your Roasted Chicken, or you can cook up a couple of chicken breasts.  I just simmered these in water for ~20 minutes until they were cooked through.

Then, shred the chicken with a couple forks:


Now for the avocado sauce: Combine the avocado, salsa, sour cream, spices, garlic, chicken stock, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in your food processor again, and mix until creamy.

Now add about half of your avocado sauce to the shredded chicken and mix:

Now it's time to construct our enchiladas!  You may want to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees at this point.  I found these gigantic tortillas at my local grocery store that are perfect for some gigantic enchiladas!

Begin constructing your enchiladas:  Layer beans, the chicken/avocado mixture...

Go ahead and add some of the salsa you just made:


Now fold up into a nice enchilada-pocket!

Top the enchiladas with the remainder of the avocado sauce, more salsa, and cheese.  Bake in your 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and the the outsides are bubbling, roughly 15-20 minutes.

When the enchiladas come out of the oven, top with cilantro, and enjoy!!

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  1. So glad you got over spiciephobia. Welcome to the world of flavor :) These look delicious btw! Jalapeno doesn't have enough kick for me, do you think that serrano peppers in the salsa would work?

    1. Probably! Any kind of hot peppers, really. For an extra kick, you could also add a dash of cayenne to the avocado sauce.

  2. Mmm, those look great! Now I'm insanely hungry. Good thing it's Saturday -taco night!