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Vegetable (and optional Chicken) Enchiladas

September 19, 2008

You know when you ignore your cooking instincts and realize you shouldn’t have as soon as you try the dish?  A voice in my head said, “Sarah, sautee the vegetables, you know they won’t cook in 35 minutes and the dish will be watery!”  But I trusted the recipe and didn’t want to get another pan dirty.  Then, the voice in my head said, “Sarah, that’s not enough cheese!  You need more cheese!”  But still I ignored it.  And the voices were right.  But it wasn’t anything that extra time in the oven and more cheese on the top couldn’t fix.  And it was still very tasty.  So, below you will find how I would make it next time.  And despite what you might think after reading this, I would recommend you try this recipe from Williams-Sonoma, but try it my way.  I am also posting a quick black bean recipe below that I made all the time and is a great accompaniment to any Mexican dish.

Ingredients:

15 8″ corn tortillas, halved

2 Tbs. canola oil or cooking spray

Salt, to taste

2 chicken breasts (with or without bones and skin), optional

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

2 jars (each 12 1/2 oz.) tomatillo salsa (or make this great recipe for it)

1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema (I left this out, but I think it put it in next time)

1/2 cup queso fresco, cojita or feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Toast the tortillas
Preheat an oven to 400ºF.  Brush or spray the tortillas with the oil, sprinkle with salt and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.

Poach chicken breasts: place chicken breasts meat side down in a large, lidded pan.  Fill pan with water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil.  Boil until cooked through (will vary depending on it they have bones and how large they are).  Remove from water and let cool until you can handle them, then remove skin and bones and shred chicken.

Saute zucchini and corn over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are softened but still hold their shape.

Shred Monterey jack and White cheddar cheeses and combine in small bowl.

Reserve 1/2 jar (or about 3/4 c) of the salsa for serving. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch round baking dish (or a 9×9 baking dish if necessary) with a thin layer of salsa. Lay 10 tortilla halves over the salsa, overlapping if necessary. Top with one-fourth of the salsa and one-third of the vegetable mixture, chicken and cheese mixture, spreading them evenly. Repeat the layers two more times. Top the final layer of cheese mixture with the remaining salsa. Spoon the sour cream evenly over the top, then sprinkle with the queso fresco.

Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Uncover return to the oven and bake until the cheese is golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand briefly before serving. Serve with the remaining salsa at the table. Serves 6.

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