Friday, May 20, 2011

A Break in the Kitchen

This week we've had lots of take-out. Subway, Panera, Bellacino's, you-name-it.

Not that I don't like take-out (because I do!), but every night? I don't know how some people do it. Cooking is just so much more fun! And satisfying.

Anyways, we've finally reached a lull in the house improvements. They floors are in the process of being stained & varnished, so there are 10 hour chunks of time that they can't be walked on. Thus, work can't be done. (Well, no work can be done in those rooms... believe me there's plenty else to do.) 

But I got a reprieve today. I pleaded with my Business Man if I could stay home and cook dinner. It's been awhile since I really cooked. Tried a new recipe; something I really wanted to make.

So, after a quick trip to a store that wasn't Lowe's, I got started!

Yay for produce! Mangoes, onion, avocados, limes, cilantro. Yum!
I declared it Mexican night, but with a twist. I absolutely adore How Sweet It Is and all the recipes found there. If you haven't explored Jessica's site yet, you are definitely missing out!

She has quite the plethora of enchilada recipes, and I decided to try her BBQ Chicken Enchiladas.

You start with a filling of enchilada sauce, barbecue sauce, shredded chicken, caramelized onions (!), and shredded co-jack cheese. 

All wrapped up in little tortillas. Corn tortillas are the best. I used to only buy flour tortillas, but that was just because I'd never purchased corn tortillas. Corn is where it's at! And they're gluten-free. (I think.) If you have to worry about things like that.

All lined up in a pan.

All my pretty pans are packed up in boxes. Sad.
With more of the enchilada-barbecue sauce poured over the top, and covered with more cheese.

Because cheese makes everything better.

And then they get baked for 25 minutes to heat everything through and get the cheese a bit crunchy. That's my favorite part.

And topped with a bit of cilantro. My favorite fresh herb. 

Gosh these were so good. They were ready about 7:30pm, and I tried to wait until the guys got home at 8pm to eat. I lasted about 2 minutes before I dug in. The sweet & tangy sauce was just so good! And the caramelized onions just added a little extra something-something that was delicious.

But I didn't stop with enchiladas. You can't have Mexican without chips & salsa guacamole! (Gotta get those healthy fats somewhere!)

I'd never made guacamole before tonight. To be honest I was a bit intimidated. But it's so easy! I used this recipe for Mango Guacamole from How Sweet It Is. (What can I say? Every recipe over there is good!)

I only made half the recipe because avocados were $1.79 at the store. I couldn't justify spending almost $8 on four avocados. So I just bought 2, and halved the recipe. It turned out to be the perfect amount for three people. It always seems that leftover guacamole gets all yucky in the fridge anyways.

My Business Man and dad loved this meal. I loved taking the time to make it for them. Win-win situation. The other win-win situation is that they went back to put another coat of varnish on the floors, and I get to stay at the apartment and pack boxes watch House Hunters. (What they don't know won't hurt them, right??)


In other news, I'm running a half-marathon tomorrow! Yea... I didn't see that one coming either. I found out yesterday there is a half-marathon in the Bean Town tomorrow morning to raise money for an orphanage in Haiti. So of course I'm in!

It doesn't matter that the longest run I've done since the marathon is 7.5 miles. I'll be fine, right? ;-)

No worries, I'm gonna take it easy and run for fun.

Later gators!

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

  • rotisserie chicken, skin & bones removed, and meat shredded
  • sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 28-oz. can enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce , (Sweet Baby Ray's!)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8-oz. co-jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 small corn tortillas


Place olive oil and onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes, until golden brown and caramelized.

Meanwhile, combine enchilada sauce and barbecue sauce in small bowl.

In large bowl, combine caramelized onion, chicken, cayenne pepper, and half the cheese. Add in about 1/2 cup of the sauce, just until everything is coated.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Place a small amount of the filling into each corn tortilla, roll up, and place seam-side down in the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (You might have some filling leftover. This serves as a great pre-dinner appetizer.)

Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 375*F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and top has browned.


Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is


Catherine: said...

Looks yummy! One of my friends brought some gorgeously green guac to a potluck earlier this week, and we tried to figure out how he kept it looking so fresh. His secret? Popping back in the pit when he was done mixing it up! It seemed to do the trick for at least that evening!

jana said...

Mmm, I may have to try those! My mother-in-law always puts the avocado pit in the guac to keep it fresh too. Great tip! I could go for some chips and guac right now.

Kristin said...

OMIGOD those look amazing! Too bad my husband won't go near Mexican food. I'm definitely checking out "How Sweet It Is." Looks like it's got good stuff. Thanks for the recommendation!

Alissa said...

Uh, you can't justify spending 8 dollars on 4 avocados? I spent 4 dollars on one hahahahaha. But then again, I have bought only one avocado in the last 9 months.

Sara said...

Thanks for the tips about the avocados guys!!

@Kristin!! You were so in my dream last night! We were at some touristy vacation spot trying to figure out where to eat and then we were sky diving. Crazy. I think it means we need to see each other some time soon. Maybe this summer on one of my trips back to IL, I can make a pitstop in Champaign?

@Alissa - Yikes! I guess you would have to 1/4 the batch... and then savor it. :-)

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