Baked Chicken Enchiritos by E.A.T. (Everyone Around the Table Blog)

Chicken Enchiritos

My daughter asked if I’d make chicken enchiladas for her. Sure, I said, except that I only had white flour tortillas (not the traditional corn), and I wanted to add beans for a little more protein and bulk. They were going to be something of an enchilada and something of a burrito. Thus, Chicken Enchiritos were born – and were delicious!

Baked Chicken Enchiritos by E.A.T. (Everyone Around the Table Blog)

Chicken Enchiritos all baked and melty, ready to serve up.

Everyone Around the Table Chicken Enchiritos

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Approximately 1 cup cooked chicken, diced *
1 can refried beans (could be black refries too, per your preference)
Approximately 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese or just cheddar or Monterrey Jack
1 can Enchilada Sauce
Small flour tortillas

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Apply non-stick cooking spray to a 9 X 11 glass baking dish, like Pyrex, bottom and sides.

Mix the diced chicken and refried beans together in a bowl.

Place a tortilla on a cutting board and place a large spoonful of the chicken and beans mixture lengthwise, toward one end of the tortilla. Note, this is not the typical enchilada method which has one heating the sauce in a skillet and dipping the corn tortilla in on both sides before filling. 

Sprinkle a little cheese over the mixture.

Roll the tortilla starting at the chicken/beans/cheese end and place it seam side down in the pan.

Continue filling and rolling the tortillas, placing them right next to each other in the pan. It’s okay to squish them in a little bit. And you may have to put a couple going the other direction depending on the size of your tortillas.

When the pan is filled, slowly drizzle the can of Enchilada sauce over the rolls, trying to cover them completely. If they didn’t get covered evenly, chances are, there’s some pooled between the rolls. Spoon that out and drizzle it over any bare parts.

Sprinkle cheese over the whole thing. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Chicken Enchiritos sprinkled with cheese before baking.

Sprinkle the Chicken Enchiritos with cheese just before baking.

Bake with foil on for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and rotate the pan, baking for another 20 minutes. The cheese on top should be melted and the Enchiritos should be heated through.

Serve them with sour cream and avocado. Do it up even more with diced tomatoes and red onion and cilantro.

*We’d made two baked chickens one Sunday and froze one, after taking it apart.

Serve Chicken Enchiritos with guac and sour cream.

Serve Chicken Enchiritos with guacamole and sour cream.


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Breakfast Sopas

A grocery store coupon for sopas led us to a fun and easy breakfast. Sopas are made of corn masa, Egg Green Chili Sopas - doneshaped into shallow little “dishes” of sorts that you can fill with whatever you want. We came up with this for breakfast.

Breakfast Sopas

Ingredients:
4 Sopas
1 Cup green chili (with or without pork)
4 Eggs
Cheese of choice such as a Mexican Blend, feta or cojito (optional)

Directions: 
1. Place the olive oil in the skillet and heat in a 350 degree oven. When hot, add the sopas and spoon in some green chili until filled just below the top edge of of the sopa.
2. Heat up for 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven, crack an egg over the green chili and return to the oven.
4. If you’re going to add cheese, do so a couple minutes before the egg is done to your liking; this allows the cheese to melt without overcooking the egg.
5. Serve with potatoes of your choice such as cubed or hash browns.

Egg Green Chili Sopas - Eating

 

Easy As 1-2-3 Fajitas By Edan Goode

Some of my best meals come out of a mix of desperation (how did it get to be 5:00?!) and the need to feed my picky-eaters fast! Standing in front of an open refrigerator the other day, I perused the various bits and pieces of ingredients I had on hand. I saw onion, some red and yellow bell peppers on their last legs, leftover grilled chicken, the dregs of sour cream and a jar of salsa. It came to me – fajitas! All I was missing was the tortillas, which I asked my husband to pick up on the way home. (Unfortunately, I had depleted my supply of frozen tortillas, otherwise this would have been an even easier meal.)

Here’s how I turned this into a three-step meal:

1. Slice
Cut the veggies and chicken into long slivers. Put the chicken aside since it’s already cooked. If you’re using raw chicken, add it and the veggies to a zipper bag and add in enough olive oil to wet everything without pooling, some salt and pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Squeeze out the air, zip it closed and massage the seasonings and oil all over and throughout the veggies and chicken if it’s included. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or longer if you have time.

Throw sliced peppers and onions in a bag with oil and seasonings.

Throw sliced peppers and onions in a bag with oil and seasonings.

2. Cook
If you have an oven-safe skillet like cast iron, heat it up over the grill, then add the veggies from the bag. There’s no need to pre-oil the skillet because the food is already oiled. If the chicken is raw, cook it at the same time as the veggies. If it is cooked, add it in near the end once the veggies have started to soften and brown slightly. If you don’t want to grill, follow the same process on the stove top.

Chicken, onions and peppers ready to be cradled in a tortilla. A certain child of mine picked out all of the red peppers for her fajita before I could catch her!

Chicken, onions and peppers ready to be cradled in a tortilla. A certain child of mine picked out all of the red peppers and claimed them for her fajita before I could catch her!

3. Serve
While the veggies and chicken are cooking, warm a stack of tortillas wrapped in foil on the grill or in the oven. Set out the chicken/pepper/onion mixture, tortillas and toppings so people can assemble their own fajitas. If you have them on hand, warm some refried beans, and add cheese and tomatoes too to extend the meal and add some more protein and vegetables.

Go-To Recipes, Part 2 By Edan Goode

Finding myself nearing the end of the day with no dinner plans in mind is becoming more the norm than the exception. Although I consider myself a planner (or maybe that’s the image that exists only in my head), I can’t always get my act together enough to plan dinner menus ahead, shop for everything, defrost, etc. so that a fabulous, nutritious meal comes together quickly that the whole family loves. Oh, that’s such a foreign concept to me anymore it makes me laugh (and cry a little) just thinking about it.

So, with your help, readers, I’m trying to put together a repertoire of Go-To meals that can, indeed come together quickly with a minimum of extra shopping, time or stress. Please keep those suggestions coming and I will share them in a future blog. If you are sending a recipe that belongs to someone else, i.e. from a book or website, I’ll need the link so that we can give them proper credit. To send your go-to recipe, email to Edan Goode at ingoodtastedenver@gmail.com. Thanks!

For now, I’ve come up with another Go-To recipe involving very few ingredients and only two dishes.  It was a big hit at my house.

Edan Goode’s Half-Way There Chicken Enchiladas – Serves 6 or more

I call these Half-Way There because I took shortcuts by buying a rotisserie chicken plus a couple of canned items (instead of making them from scratch) and a bag of pre-shredded cheese. The whole thing came together in about 15 minutes, plus cooking time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

• Rotisserie chicken

• 2 cans enchilada sauce (green or red)

• 8-12 tortillas (burrito size) – the number varies depending on how large your pan is and how full you fill them.

• 1 can bean of your choice such as kidney, black bean or pinto, drained and rinsed

•  2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided in half

• 1/2 onion, diced and sauteed

Directions:

1. Take apart the chicken, putting half of it in a zipper freezer bag for another meal. Chop the remaining half into bite-size pieces.

2. Put chicken, the can of beans, one can of enchilada sauce, the onion and half of the cheese in a bowl and mix to get everything coated in the sauce. This is where you can add variations like quinoa, rice or other grains to add bulk.

3. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-1/2 X 11 baking pan with non-stick spray.

4. Lay a tortilla in the pan and place a couple of spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the tortilla and roll, with the seam side down. Repeat with as many tortillas as will fit in your pan snuggly.

5. Pour the remaining can of enchilada sauce over the top of the rolls, coating as thoroughly as possible. Use a spatula to help you spread it out evenly if necessary.

6. If there is any leftover filling, spoon it down the center of the enchiladas, lengthwise.

7. Sprinkle everything with cheese.

8. Spray the non-shiny side of a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick spray and gentle lay that over the top of the dish, sealing the sides.

9. Bake for 20 minutes or longer – until the sauce is slightly bubbly and the cheese is melted.

10. Serve topped with avocado slices and dollops of sour cream or plain yogurt and a cool salad on the side.

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Mix the ingredients in a bowl.

Mix the ingredients in a bowl.

Start filling the enchiladas right there in the pan to avoid another surface to dirty.

Start filling the enchiladas right there in the pan to avoid another surface to dirty.

Sprinkle any leftover filling and cheese over the enchiladas.

Sprinkle any leftover filling and cheese over the enchiladas.

The finished product.

The finished product.

 

A Bowl of Goodness By Edan Goode

I am the complete opposite of those who don’t want any of their food touching. I LOVE to have my food touching. You could say I’m very touchy-eaty that way.  I enjoy having a bit of this with a bit of that to see how they combine. So imagine the joy I felt when I first went to the Rocky Mountain Chili Bowl in Stapleton.

I had my choice of ingredients piled high in a bowl, ladled with green chili. I could mix, stir and mash to my heart’s content getting something yummy in every bite! My favorite is the RMCB Fajita Bowl ($7.55) with white lime rice, fajita veggies, chicken, beef or park carnitas, smothered in pork or vegetarian green chili, topped with sour cream, guac, cheese and jalapenos! I love the different textures, colors and sensations.

My family has also tried the RMCB Original Bowl ($5.55) with garlic skin-on mashed potatoes forming the base, topped with black or pinto beans, smothered in chili and topped with cheese and jalapenos. Other signature bowls are based around tamales, a hot dog or hamburger or even cheese fries. But you can also make your own, choosing a base, veggies, meat and toppings.

My husband went on a Breakfast Burrito ($2.50) binge, having one every day for four days. A self-proclaimed breakfast burrito aficionado, he declared them the best ever. He especially loved the crispy potatoes inside.

Rocky Mountain Chili Bowl is good to kids with the Breakfast Bowl, Mac ‘n Cheese Bowl, Rice and Bean Bowl and our favorite, the Nacho Bowl. A simple bowl of yumminess, it’s just corn tortilla chips, beans, chili and cheese yet it makes my children so very, very happy.  All kid meals are $4.25 and come with a juice pouch and a sweet treat.

Speaking of sweet treats, the cookies are good  and while tasty and spicy, the brownies are dry. If that’s the only negative we found in our multiple experiences there, then I can consider the bowl the real treat.

If Rocky Mountain Chili Bowl sounds familiar, you might have seen their food truck at one of the Farmer’s Markets. I’m glad the family owned and run restaurant has found a place to settle.

The decor is all about snowboarding with a slick, cool-dude vibe.  Even if that’s not your thing, it’s a casual, comfortable place to sit a spell (or take it to go) and really get in “touch” with a good meal.

Rocky Mountain Chili Bowl
7350 E. 35th Ave., Ste. 130 (just east of Quebec)
303-322-3009

Feeding the community (including the kids) by Edan Goode

El Camino Community Tavern
3628 W. 32nd Avenue at Lowell
720-889-7946

Last weekend, we became part of a new community – and it was delicious. While walking around the historic Highlands neighborhood, we discovered a restaurant that puts extra effort into everything they do. It’s as appropriate for a gathering with friends as it is for a well-deserved grown-up date or a casual lunch with the kids. I love the use of the word “Community” at El Camino Community Tavern. It isn’t just a casual place to go –  they are committed to being responsible to and for their guests, much like someone welcoming you into their home.

The space is small and narrow enabling people to get pretty close to each other but not so close that you become part of each other’s conversations. The décor is funky and lighthearted, especially now when it is also decorated for the holidays. (Notice the huge mirror and what the front of the bar is made of.) The staff is friendly, they recycle, grow herbs on their rooftop garden, source locally and are 100% wind-powered. What a great example to us all!

Small additions make all the difference with the food. The Grandes Nachos ($7.95) had layers of refries, jalapenos, carnitas (we had a choice of meats) , cheese and salsa with a touch of pineapple for a sweet counter to the heat. The Smuggler’s Burrito ($8.95), was a giant of a thing filled with grilled potatoes along with the usual beans, rice, and choice of veggies, beef, carnitas, chicken or as a breakfast burrito, all smothered with pork green chili and cheese. Sopapillas ($4.95) had whipped cream, fresh strawberries, raspberries and scoops of homemade strawberry and chocolate ice cream.

Next time, we’ll try the Mollettes ($7.95), part of the weekend brunch with a baguette spread with refried beans, layered with manchego cheese, pico de gallo, roasted jalapeno salsa, served with scrambled eggs. Or a big bowl of Aztec Soup ($6.95) – chicken, tomato, onion, avocado, queso fresco and tortilla chips.

Although there’s always a kids menu available, I wouldn’t recommend taking the kiddos to El Camino Tavern at night. Then, the adults rule, but for lunch or brunch, the clambering of the kids will blend right in with the lively adult conversation and  excellent live music. For around $5, kids can have a quesadilla, flautas, bowl of rice, beans, meat or chicken, a burrito or a PB&J tortilla. Plus, the place is great for games of I Spy.

Even if you don’t live in the Highlands, El Camino Tavern lets us all become part of the community, if only for as long as it takes to polish off a great meal.