Enchilada Night

I know enchiladas are not difficult or daunting to prepare by any means, but they do take a whole pan’s worth of commitment to make. I can recall countless times helping my mom throw a pan together to feed the whole family. But, until tonight, I had never created a pan of enchiladas – let alone a complete Mexican meal.
homemade shredded chicken enchiladas  with chicken rice, refried beans and guacamole ethnic mexican recipes
OK, so I just followed the basic recipe on the can of enchilada sauce, and the refried beans and rice came straight from a can and box, respectively. But still – I made a complete Mexican meal on my own.

Easy Shredded Chicken Enchiladas:

  • Grill 2 chicken breasts, totaling about one pound, on the trusty Foreman to peak juiciness. Shred (which can be great angst-relief).
  • Combine the shredded chicken with 3/4 cup of enchilada┬ásauce and a handful or so of shredded mozzarella cheese. (Officially, I think it called for 1 cup.)
  • Spoon this filling into tortilla shells. Tuck in the ends, fold one side of the shell over, and roll the rest of the way closed so the seal is on the bottom of the pan. Oh yeah, we’re using a 13×9 pan, right? And the oven should probably be heating up. (Because I made big fat enchiladas, I stuffed 5 with this filling recipe…which allegedly makes 8-10 regular skinny-chiladas.)
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over your enchiladas, no matter how fat or skinny they are, and sprinkle with another half cup (or smaller handful) of shredded cheese.

Accompanied by:
  • Rice-a-Roni chicken rice (how’s that for authentic?)
  • Refried Beans
  • Guacamole made fresh in the Nutri-Bullet with organic avocados, cilantro, onion, garlic and green chili

Patio Days and Thunderstorm Nights

For once, Cleveland’s blustery winter hangover went into hiding long enough for a beautiful Indians Opening Day. Of course, the sunshine would be no help in beating the Yankees, but maybe we can blame that on the storm rolling in?

Meanwhile, I was sitting outside of Chipotle enjoying the first patio meal of the spring. And we only had to duck inside once to dodge a few raindrops.

I never thought I liked Chipotle, but I learned the trick to eating there. I just don’t like those soggy, overstuffed giant burritos that deliver more rice than meat in each bite. Now, I know to order a burrito bowl and four small tortillas on the side, so I can craft my own manageably-sized, appropriately-stuffing-proportioned burritos.

Throw in a couple (not-quite-ice-cold) Coronas, a warm wind off the lake, and the buzz of Downtown Lakewood passing by – and I’m glad we had the patio to ourselves.

It was only appropriate, then, that the first patio day of spring would become the first evening thunderstorm of spring. The rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning were a fitting backdrop to the new episode of Bates Motel on A&E.

Baseball games, patio tacos, and lightning storms – Spring is Here!

Fajita Spaghetti

One of my favorite recipes — if not my favorite — featured on the blog so far.

Fajita Spaghetti Recipe
8 oz spaghetti
1 lb chicken
1 tsp canola oil
1 onion
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet yellow pepper
1 can green chile peppers
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup taco sauce
1 envelope fajita seasoning*
Instead of buying fajita seasoning, I used this recipe:
DIY Fajita Seasoning
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
Heat oil in skillet on medium heat. Cook chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side until center is not pink anymore. Remove from heat. (Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to directions.) Saute chopped onion and peppers in leftover oil till tender. Add chicken back in along with chiles, water, sauce and seasoning. Heat through. Toss with spaghetti.