16 Apr

I love all ethnic food but topping my list is a tie between Chinese and Mexican cuisines. I love them both – and have discovered I can actually reproduce some of my favs in my own kitchen. I am now starting to reach into the dark corners of my kitchen bookshelf to find more cookbooks/recipes. Tucked away was Old El Paso Sun Country Mexican Cookbook (1978). On first glance, you might think it’s merely an advertisement for Old El Paso products – and you would be sort of right. But the recipes are remarkably good and varied, and I had a hard time deciding which to try here.

I make chicken enchiladas a lot. I have several variations that I rotate through for dinners but this one was a little different that those I enjoy regularly. The homemade enchilada sauce is a winner – just the right amount of spice. I cut-up the canned tomatoes with my handy-dandy kitchen shears (every kitchen should have one). I skipped the chicken breast prep because I have several bags of cut-up cooked chicken in my freezer – the byproduct of That Soup (aka Chicken Soup) featured in a previous post. Chicken cooked in broth for several hours is like liquid gold. So many uses! Besides using this ready-made meat for enchiladas, I use it to make egg foo young, fried rice, chicken salad and naturally, chicken noodle soup. I chopped up my chicken; not sure I understand the recipe’s directions to use strips.

One word of caution, I’ve been unable to find my favorite brand of corn tortillas (La Perla) – made locally in Minnesota – and purchased another brand. They immediately fell apart when dipped in the sauce so I resorted to my ol’ faithful way of rolling tortillas. Wrap a bunch in a wet paper towel and microwave 1 minute or until they begin to soften up. You need to move fast while they are soft! And you’ll see my pictures- yes, everything I post, I make, and I photograph – for better or for worse! You’ll see mine aren’t perfectly lined up like little soldiers in the pan as they should be – but they tasted amazing! Husband just finished them at lunch today. I think topping the tortillas with the extra sauce mixed with sour cream is the perfect finishing touch!

Chicken Enchiladas

2 large chicken breasts


1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, cut-up

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

12 corn tortillas

2½ cups (10 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¾ cup sour cream

In a saucepan, simmer chicken breasts in water to cover, 15 to 20 minutes or till tender. Drain and carefully remove skin and bones. Sprinkle chicken with a little salt. Cut in 12 strips; set aside.

In saucepan, cook onion and garlic in butter or margarine till tender but not brown. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, sugar, cumin, the ½ teaspoon salt, oregano and basil. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Dip each tortilla in tomato mixture to soften. Place one piece of chicken and about 2 tablespoons shredded cheese on each tortilla; roll up and place seam side down in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Blend sour cream into remaining sauce mixture, pour over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or till heated through.

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