Do you remember oh I don’t know, 8-10 years back, when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was one of the hottest shows around? I watched the show, played the board game and even had the PlayStation game! Nerd much?
One of the most interesting aspects of the game, is the three available lifelines: phone a friend, ask the audience and 50/50.
I use “ask the audience” quite frequently when I think about my daily routine. I mean isn’t that what a google search is after all? Especially if you google (*ask) a techy question. You’ll undoubtedly click into a forum where you have the chance to see hundreds of people comment then argue their point on various boards. Highly effective lifeline when it comes to figuring out how to achieve something with a program/phone/camera.
Then you have the “50/50” lifeline. This one is quite difficult to figure out when to use it or when not to. Probably wouldn’t choose this one often unless you are figuring which of my sisters or I are my mom’s favorite daughter at the moment. See I would use the 50/50 lifeline since I know I probably wouldn’t be the favorite… haha she’s rolling her eyes somewhere right now.
And then you have the “phone a friend” lifeline. And how much do I use this one, you ask? Well all of the freaking time! But, for me, really and truly it would be reworded to either “phone your mother” or “phone a granny/grandma” or “phone an aunt.”
For example! Green Chicken Enchiladas
What the heck do I know of enchilada making? Nada. Well besides you have to roll a tortilla then smother it with goodness, bake and eat. And I pretty much just gathered that from my thousands of trips to Mexican food eateries across south Texas.
In fact, this is one thing my mother does not make. If she’s gonna do enchiladas, she’s going to do enchilada pie. Which is delicious, but let’s be real; enchiladas look more impressive than enchilada pie.
So I sort of made enchiladas two weeks ago with more leftover chicken and for my first attempt at enchiladas they weren’t bad at all. A bit dry, but again, I had pretty much no clue what I was doing.
But not to worry, my sister encouraged me to ask my Aunt Amy for her chicken enchilada recipe. And well technically I guess it is Old El Paso’s recipe but of course, I received a blurb after she sent the recipe with her hints and tidbits that she has picked up making this recipe.
Alright, armed with this recipe I venture off to my lovely neighborhood HEB. This recipe really and truly doesn’t require that many ingredients, most of which I actually had on hand already. But of course, a trip to HEB for a few items, usually ends up as a full cart. Sneaky sneaky coupons placed carefully across the store always get me!
So now onto how I executed this recipe:
First things first, I don’t boil chicken in a pot on the stove. I don’t know why but it just sort of grosses me out. And I am pretty finicky about under-cooked chicken.. So I always take the extra time in advance to put it in my crockpot on low for 6-8 hours with enough water/broth/stock to cover the chicken. I also added about a 1/2 cup or so of La Costeña Ranchera Salsa to the water just to flavor the chicken a bit more. Again this is one of those things I always have on hand so if you don’t have no big deal, or if you have any other salsa on hand you can use that too!
But TIMEOUT, this is where my second “Phone an Aunt” comes into play. You see, I serving this shortly after work and I would definitely not have the time to run home to make this. So I had a dilemma: do I prepare all of this ahead of time and refrigerate until I am ready to cook then serve right away? OR do I prepare this, bake, cool then refrigerate; then put in the oven to warm up? Decisions, decisions, decisions. But again, per Amy, I gave my Aunt Diane a shout. Both Amy and Diane are 2 of my mom’s four sisters. You really have no idea how good all of them are at cooking! But anyhow, I talked with Diane, and she assured me that option 2 was the route to take.
Ok so back to the recipe: I put the chicken in the crock before in the evening at about 10. So when I awoke around 5, my whole apartment smelled of deliciousness. I drained off the liquids and let the chicken cool to a temperature that would make it easier to handle. Once cooled, I shredded/broke apart the chicken. Thighs or breasts would work just fine. ( #whateverisonsale !! )
Add shredded chicken, cream cheese and green chiles to a skillet. I diced the cream cheese up first so it would disperse more quickly. Stir until blended and the cream cheese is melted. I must warn you, this mixture is absolutely tantalizing!
Spoon chicken filling onto tortillas. While the recipe calls for flour tortillas, my Aunt Amy recommended corn. However, HEB had these new Mixla tortillas and I actually got them free with the purchase of another item, so yeah I used those. And they worked out pretty perfect, I’m not going to lie.
Roll up and place seam sides down in a baking dish. I got away with using an 8×11″ Pyrex dish. Ooh but I almost forgot that I lightly covered the dish with verde sauce. Then I poured almost a full can of green enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled enchiladas. El Paso called for two cans but I think that’s a bit much. It probably evens out though, since I used a cup or so of verde sauce. Before topping with cheese, I added a bit more verde sauce over the top to give it a little more of a kick. Covered with a white shredded Mexican cheese, can’t remember the exact type. Then I baked for 20 minutes or so until hot, lightly browned and the cheese melted.
This is undoubtedly one of the best dishes I have ever made, hands-down. I was so darn impressed with myself that I really couldn’t believe it. And to think that making enchiladas was easy. It really didn’t take that long (I mean come on, I made this at 5AM and was dressed and at work by 7:30!). And one of the most important things was that I only had to was a few dishes in the process. I honestly can’t wait to make this again for company. <<<<< Yeah this recipe is already on that level in my house.
There are a few things, I may do differently but not many. I would say, keep your eyes peeled on tortillas. If you don’t see the mixla ones or maybe they aren’t on sale, look at the selection of corn. Yesterday at HEB I found some La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas that had green chiles in them and they were on sale! I think something like this would be perfect to add to the recipe. But again, any of these ingredients are flexible!
So there you have it. Now you know the secret to any of my success in the kitchen. It’s all about who you surround yourself with, right? Well I have chosen well, in that my aunts, cousins, grandparents, parents and sisters are some of the most talented, smart, beautiful people around!
Happy Tuesday :))