Chicken Enchiladas with Poblano Cream Sauce!

chicken enchilada revised lastChicken Enchiladas are one of our favorite meals. Usually, when you think of an enchilada, it has a red sauce and melted cheese. These have a homemade poblano pepper white sauce that is finger-licking good. When I decided that I wanted to make enchiladas, I went to a popular food site and looked at many recipes, I decided on one by Olga Gonzalez, and glad I did. I have added a few of my own changes, but for the most part it’s the same. I fire-roasted my poblanos the first three or four times that I made this recipe. Then one time I did not, I put the whole peppers in the pot and boiled them without fire-roasting them. I feel that the finished product was just as satisfying without the added step. If you don’t wish to have any heat in the sauce you can remove the seeds and core from the peppers before boiling them and it will lessen the heat. They really aren’t very hot to begin with though. Additionally, I like to add corn and black beans to the top for added flavor.

Chicken Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Bake  20-25 minutes

In a 7 qt. pot with lid add:
2-3 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
2 1/2 c. chicken stock
4 poblano peppers (optional: fire roasted, (see note at bottom) and rubbed clean of charred skin)
4 large cloves of fresh garlic
1/2 large onion quartered
16 oz sour cream (this will be added to the food processor with the pureed vegetables at the end)
1 tsp of Chipotle seasoning or southwest seasoning(this will be added to your shredded chicken)

Place burner on med heat and simmer the chicken, peppers, onions, and garlic covered for about 1/2 hour or so. Lower the heat and remove the chicken and set aside to cool. When the chicken is cooled separate into shreds and set chicken aside. Remove the peppers, garlic and onions from the chicken stock. Remove the seeds and core from the peppers and place in food processor with the onions and garlic, process to a puree. Add the sour cream and process and set aside. While the chicken stock is still in the pot simmering on low, make a roux (recipe below) and whisk it into the stock until it is thickened up like a chicken gravy. Taste it and if needed add 1/2 tsp of better than bouillon chicken base or a bouillon cube to give it a boost of flavor.

Roux
2 Tbsp. butter melted
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
stir together in a small fry pan

Now to finish the poblano cream sauce
Place the puree of onions, garlic, peppers and sour cream, back in the pot and whisk it together.
your sauce is now ready to use.

Place the cooled shredded chicken in a bowl.
Add 1 Tbsp of southwest seasoning or chipotle seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 cup Black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup whole kernel corn thawed
1/2 cup of Spinach thawed and squeezed of excess water
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
toss all of these ingredients together

1 pkg of 10 large flour tortillas or 15 small corn tortillas
Prepare a 13″ x 9″ glass pan or metal pan by coating the bottom of pan with sauce.

When ready to stuff, fill the center of a tortilla shell with a 1/2 cup or so of the chicken and cheese filling, spread the chicken to the edges of the tortilla, drizzle a small amount of the sauce inside the tortilla and roll up. Place in prepared pan seam side down. Finish filling the tortillas until they are all filled and fitted snugly into the pan.

Topping:
Poblano cream sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella shredded cheese
1/2 cup cheddar shredded cheese
any remaining filling or garnish with more corn and black beans

Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the mixture of cheeses, black beans and corn all over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until browned and bubbly. It may seem like alot of sauce but it’s really not. The enchiladas will soak it up. Serve with your favorite sides. These reheat awesome.

chicken ench revised pan cooked

This recipe has been revised 🙂

NOTE: If you choose to fire roast the peppers here is how it is done. Turn on a gas burner and with a pair of tongs hold pepper over the flame and rotate pepper until all skin is charred. Let pepper sit for a few minutes to cool and hold pepper under running water and rub off the charred skin. Now your peppers are ready to boil.

fire roasted poblanofire roasted poblano 2

 

Tree Ripe!

Tree Ripe!Do you remember the days when you would bite into a peach and you would have it running down your face? Or when you would peel an orange and your saliva would begin to run because it was so juicy and delicious looking? I bet you’re doing it right now. Those were the good old days, when fruits were allowed to ripen on the tree and then be picked. Now the growers pick the fruit unripe and treat it with ethylene gas so it will ripen as it’s being shipped 3,000 miles across the country.
You can get tree-ripened fruit, it’s usually organic and it is a little more money. But, I certainly don’t mind paying more money for a piece of fruit that is free of chemicals and full of flavor and moisture. The other fruit is mealy and dry and with no trace of sweetness.
This week in our local Shop n’ Save stores, they have organic, tree-ripened peaches, plums, and nectarines. I bought a bag of each thinking I would make a peach pie with the peaches. I couldn’t do it. The fruit is so juicy and sweet like sugar that I needed to eat it over the sink. The plums were soft and deep purple — almost black — and the nectarines were the same: soft, juicy, and super sweet. I’m not even sure I want to tell you all because when I go back to get more, you may have bought them all up on me (just kidding!). Go and taste what should be available to us and support the wonderful farmers who are growing this fabulous fruit.

Festivites and Lite Bites for the 4th!

3 appsFor the 4th of July, we were lucky enough to get 4 days off. We began our long weekend at the Bangor Waterfront Pavillion at a Phish concert. The concert was amazing and we got to spend the evening with our kids their spouses and friends. The weekend consisted of some work, lots of fishing and swimming, lots of relaxing, lots of visiting and lots of eating. We were invited to set off some additional fireworks at my daughters bonfire, so I opted to bring some snacks. I decided to bring what could be reheated and easily eaten. One of Brian’s favorites is those sausage and pepper subs you get at any fair or festival. So, I made a bite size version of those that I popped in the oven for 5 minutes and served. I also put together a bowl of Swedish meatballs. And, thirdly I made some steak, sausage and mushroom skewers that reheated in the microwave for 1 minute. They all went over very well and I will most definitely make these appetizers again and again.
sausage and steak sausage and peppers 1two apps
Mini Sausage and Peppers

Sausage, grilled and sliced into 1/4 ” slices
onions, cut into 1″ squares
Peppers, cut into 1′ squares
sautee onions and peppers in 4 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper until tender
1 long baguette cut into 1″ slices and buttered and grilled on both sides
provolone cheese cut into pieces big enough to cover the bread

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
mix together

Assemble
on a oven safe pan lay all the grilled bread on the pan
spread each piece with a little bit of the dijon mayo
place a piece of provolone cheese
lay 2 slices of sausage
stick a 3″ skewer through the sausage and bread
take an onion and a pepper and slide it down over the toothpick so its sitting on top.
and additional liquid from the onions can be drizzled over all the breads
Wrap in Saran Wrap and refrigerate. When ready, remove Saran Wrap and bake 5 min on 375 degrees and serve.

Swedish Meatballs

Thaw out store bought meatballs or use homemade
1 c. brown gravy
1/2 c. sour cream

toss and bake 15 minutes on 400 degrees, add toothpicks and serve

Steak and Sausage skewers

3″ toothpicks
broil mushrooms in butter and cut in half
grill  steak seasoned with salt and pepper
grill sausage, slice into 1/2 ” slices

cut into bite size pieces and skewer
before serving, microwave 1 minute and serve

Tiramisu

tiramisu  Tiramisu is an excellent dessert! It’s pretty expensive to buy due to the ingredients but worth it. It’s such an elegant dessert to serve and so delicious. You can make it in individual cups or dishes and you can change it up with the addition of flavors. I personally love it in its simplest form right here. It really needs a full 3 hours to set otherwise it will be a little sloppy. They sell pans for Tiramisu with a removable bottom, or you can use a springform pan, a regular pie plate or square dish with high sides. When you make the decision to make this dessert, you will have some challenges finding the exact ingredients. I get a lot of my ingredients at MICUCCI’s, an italian store in Portland Maine, mostly because their prices are way cheaper than any grocery store and they have everything I love. However, you can substitute ingredients. Once you purchase the instant espresso powder and the bourbon, you will get many future trays of Tiramisu. Bourbon is a great addition to sweet sauces, like for bread pudding. There are lots of things you can use it for, one of my faves is adding it to fresh whipped cream. I buy the Honey flavored bourbon and its even yummy to drink. Mascarpone is basically the italian version of cream cheese, its slightly softer and more expensive, but you can use regular cream cheese if necessary. The biscuits are hard and crunchy and they usually are called Saviordi. They soak up the strong coffee quickly and hold the liquid. You can use the soft cake like ones if you cannot find these biscuits. They may use up more coffee or maybe less, I don’t really know. You will find a recipe for Tiramisu on the Mascarpone cheese tub and on the biscuits. They are quite different. I like Tiramisu to be light and fluffy, like the recipe on the mascarpone. You can experiment with any recipe, they are all good, just have different characteristics. Here is my favorite version…

6 egg whites whipped until stiff peaks plus 1 tsp. sugar, set aside

In a seperate bowl…
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP espresso powder
1/4 cup honey bourbon( brandy or cognac is fine too)
beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes
add:
16 oz. mascarpone cheese
beat 5 minutes
Fold in the stiff whipped egg whites with a spatula

in a seperate bowl…
2 1/2 cups of left over coffee
2 tbsp espresso powder
1/4 c. honey bourbon

In a mesh strainer/colander
1/2 cup cocoa powder

36 Saviordi biscuits or ladyfingers

tiramisu ingred

Begin assembling the dessert by opening all the biscuits, making sure your filling is prepared, your coffee is cooled, and your cocoa is ready for sifting.
line the bottom of your dish or pan with dipped biscuits. Dip quickly because they will fall apart in seconds. Cover the whole bottom, if necessary break the biscuits to the size you need and dip and place them in the dish. Next put about a 1/2″ layer of the cheese filling on top(approximately half of the bowl), spread all around until level, generously sprinkle with cocoa powder. Repeat the process for a second layer. You may have a little filling leftover, you can always make a couple of individual servings with leftover filling. Now refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut and serve.

Family Time!

kidsThis was a fabulous weekend. It rained a lot so staying home and getting some work done was a blessing. But, the best part of the weekend was getting to spend time with family and kiddos. This weekend my niece and her beautiful family came from Illinois to visit. It has been a while since they have been back to Maine. Four generations all got together at Nany’s house. Nany cooked a really nice lunch of Italian food and I brought a Tiramisu. My nephews wife, Hillary and her two boys came. My niece Jennifer, her husband Brian and their two children were there. All 4 kiddos got to reconnect and they got along great. My son Eric was here also from Austin, Texas and my daughter Courtney who is expecting her first child, also was there.  Such a fun day day, full of laughter and playing. I brought my newest child Johnny Cash, our Pomeranian along to entertain the kids. I think they liked him, My nieces husband even said he would like to take him home with them.  Brian and I are looking forward to becoming grandparents and having a bustling home full of kids, noise and lots of fun.

Carpenters deserve a lot of credit!

bath tileAfter 4 weeks of a bathroom remodel-tiling job, lots of arguments, and plenty of stress, we have finished. It’s a pretty common occurrence that we tackle jobs, well beyond our scope of talent and knowledge only to wish we had hired a trained carpenter. All in the spirit of saving a few hundred dollars. Is our well being, our sanity, our appreciation of time off, ever a consideration. Maybe not in the past, but the future, for sure it will be. We aren’t actually done with the entire bathroom but we have finished the tile and the grout. And, just for future reference, don’t make the mistake of thinking, the larger the tile the faster the job will get done. Here’s the failure in that line of thinking. Using 18 inch tiles, there are a few problems. They are extremely heavy and they will shift and slide easily. That means you need to let them dry sometimes before adding another row, especially when starting at the bottom. Next, it is not easy to cut them because they are much larger than the average home wet saw, cutting out holes for plugs and faucets, very difficult. All in all, it was a challenge and not for me. My poor hubby had to get aggravated every time he had some free time. I thought I was doing him a favor by getting gigantic tiles, but it made his life more miserable. My heart was definitely in the right place, sorry honey! 🙁
In the future, any remodeling will be done by a professional. Those damn DIY shows make it look so easy!!!!