Thursday, January 31, 2008

100th Post! Creamy Chicken Enchilladas

Something we constantly crave in our house is Mexican food. Okay, it might just have something to do with living in Phoenix, AZ for four years and having delicious, inexpensive, and authentic Mexican food on every corner. If you live on the east coast, there's a pizza joint on every corner. If you live in the Southwest, there are few pizza places, but a TON of Mexican joints! And when I say JOINT. I mean it! Drive thru enchilladas!

We loved living there and we loved sampling all the wonderful Mexican food options. From the everyday taco to the Enchilladas Espinacas with Chicken. Not to mention authentic Tortilla Soup from La Parilla Suiaza

Well, now that we are living back in Philly suburbs, where the most authentic Mexican food close by seems to be Taco Bell. And, well, I'm sorry, but Taco Bell is not Mexican food. And lets not mention it would not be a safe Gluten Free eating environment!

I guess I should be fair, there are 3 Mexican restaurants that are NOT Taco Bell in a 5 mile radius around our house. A few we tried prior to going gluten free. One of our "chain" favorites in Phoenix was Chipotle's. Unfortunately, the closest Chipotle's is on City Line Avenue. WAAAAAAA! If you're going ot have "chain" Mexican, Chipotle's is the place to do it! Just make sure to have the CORN tortillas and not the flour ones.

Okay, I digress.

In desire to have some yummy Mexican food, I decided to try something new.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

2 Cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 1/2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (I do it myself)
1 Cups Jalepeno Jack Cheese, shredded (see note below)
1/4 Cup sour cream (okay I "eyeballed it" but it should be about 1/4 cup)
1 4oz can of diced green chiles

1 Can Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup (as of last confirmation, gluten free but ALWAYS check labels) - strained to remove mushroom solids
1 cup sour cream
1 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 packet Herb-Ox boullion powder (the one that says Gluten Free right on the box)

12 pack of fresh corn tortillas

1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup Jalepeno Jack Cheese, shredded

Mix filling ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

Mix sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside. (NOTE: on the herb-ox bullion use the powder packet, not the cubes. If you HAVE to use the cubes make sure to crush it up before mixing into the sauce ingredients).

Spread about 3/4 to 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13" X 9" pan. Just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.

Warm tortillas in a saute pan until "pliable". Fill with about 2 to 3 Tbs of chicken mixture. Roll and place seam side down in a baking dish. Continue with remaining enchilladas.

Pour remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle cheeses over top.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until it's all bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with thinly sliced scallions if desired.

NOTE on the cheeses: If you are not into "hot hot" spicy foods, alter the ratio of cheese or use ALL monterey jack and none of the jalepeno jack. OR if you LOVE hot, use ALL jalapeno jack and replace the chiles with dice jalepenos instead! OUCHY! :D

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Creamy Chicken Soup

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The white cold stuff came a-fallin' today. Thankfully the fridge and pantry are well-stocked. Probably couldn't survive a nuclear attack, but definitely would not starve in a blizzard!

Any time it snows, I want something that will warm my whole body. We just had soup last night, and usually I don't do two meals the same in the same week, but I just needed soup.

I've been craving creamy soups lately. The only one I've ever made is my mother-in-laws Fish Chowder (note this link is to a NON gluten-free site and this recipe contains a lot of gluten so I am not advocating you try it!), and I haven't even attempted making that gluten-free yet. (Hubby really wants me to give it a go as it's one of his faves!). Anyway, I tried something new and it was just, well, warm, creamy, wonderful goodness. I will say next time I plan on having maybe some crumbled bacon to sprinkle on top with the scallions.

I hope you take the time to make this soup and enjoy it as much as my family did!

Creamy Chicken Soup

2 Carrots, small dice
2 Celery Stalks, small dice
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
1 large clove garlic, minced (or pressed)
2 medium red potatoes, small dice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock (CHECK THE LABEL!!!) This time I used homemade...
2 packets Herb Ox Boullion (currently confirmed gluten-free, but ALWAYS check labels!)
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
2 cups cooked white meat chicken, diced small (or size you prefer)

Saute diced carrots, celery, yellow onion, potatoes and garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add stock and Herb-ox, cover pot and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Cook until the vegetables are soft.

Blend in blender in batches until smooth (make sure to take out the center of the lid and cover with a towel so the steam can escape).

Return to pot and add half cup heavy cream. Add diced/shredded chicken. Bring to JUST A SOFT boil...remove from heat and serve immediately. Serve with scallions sprinkled on top.

If you are trying to cut calories, you can cut out the heavy cream. I will say, though, it added such a luxurious feeling to the soup!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

As I perused by cabinets, fridge and freezer last night, the pickings were slim, to say the least. Old Mother Hubbard's cabinets were bare, and I had no food to spare! It is definitely time to go food shopping, and to restock even pantry staples. I've been living off my pantry and just adding fresh stuff in each week for a while because we do not have a lot of storage room.

So, I had some frozen ground beef from our butcher (thanks to hubby who noticed it was on sale buy one get one free and got it for about 89 cents a pound!), frozen peas and carrots, a can of Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup, and red potatoes. Seemed a too natural fit for me to make a Shepherd's Pie.

Let me say this, I've NEVER in my life made one, so I winged it. It was a hit, and it is all gone. Even my kids loved it (heck it was covered in mashed potatoes and cheese!).

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground beef
1 cup frozen peas & carrots mixture
1 can Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup
salt & pepper to taste ( I used about 20 or so cranks of pepper from the grinder!)

2 lbs red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbs sour cream
1/4 cup milk, warmed
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced fine

1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar, feel free to use your favorite)

Put potatoes on to boil.

Meanwhile brown ground beef and drain well. Add soup and peas & carrots. Heat until just warmed. Turn off heat. Cover and let sit.

Also, while all this is going on, heat oil and 1 Tbs butter on low heat in a small skillet. Add garlic. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. HEat until warmed and aromatic (but do not burn the garlic!)

When potatoes are done, drain well. Add garlic/butter/oil from the small skillet, sour cream, milk and mash until smooth. (use a mixer if you like, we used a hand masher).

In a deep dish pie plate, pour ground beef mixture in the bottom. Top with the mashed potatoes. Spread around to seal the edges of the meat filling.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until everything is reheated and bubbly. Sprinkle cheese on top and leave in oven, but turn the oven off. Check in about 5 minutes the cheese should be melted.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Okay, so I absolutely love chicken wings. And as the NFL Playoffs begin and life is all focussed on who is going to make the Superbowl, well, I just start thinking about what we're going to serve at our Superbowl Party. Last year we made our famous chicken wings using rice flour instead of regular flour and they turned out great.

The only problems with chicken wings is the mess, and the bones! Well, over the holiday season, I discovered a way to deal with both! A friend brought Buffalo Chicken Dip to a holiday party. I was hesitant to try, but she assured me she had done everything possible to ensure that the dish was gluten free. Oh it was so good.

She sent me the recipe which while explaining why it was so delicious, was daunting to say the least. It also was a layered dip, and I'm much more into a mixed dip. So below is my adaptation of the dip.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 8 Oz Brick of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (I've used both Maries and Kraft)
1/3 to 1/2 Cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded and divided
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Cups cooked, cubed (or shredded) chicken breast meat

Whip cream cheese, blue cheese dressing and wing sauce together until very smooth.

Fold in 1 Cup Monterey Jack, scallions and chicken. Mix well.

Place mixture in an 8 X 8 square baking pan, or 9" pie plate. Sprinkle remaining half cup of Monterey Jack Cheese on top. Bake @ 350 until bubbly and yummy!!!

Serve with tortilla chips and veggie dippers (carrots and celery work great for this!).


I'll post a picture later, we just had some of this last night, so when I heat up a snack later I'll take a snapshot of it to post! :D