One Rotisserire Chicken, 50 Meals – #3 Sour Cream Chicken Enchillada Casserole

Updated 10.13.13

Son:  “Whenever I make one of your recipes it never quite turns out the same.”

Me:    “So?”

Recipes change with time and repeated preparations.  So when the usual crew showed up to to be fed this weekend I made a conscious effort to pay attention to what I was doing and the quantities while making this dish.  Sure enough, quite a few things were different from the original recipe.  The changes are in bold.  The original recipe is in the cookbook mentioned below.  But you don’t want the original recipe.  You want this one.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1/4 C butter
2 T. flour
2 C. sour cream
3 C. chicken broth
1 small can mild green chiles
1 medium onion, chopped

Saute onions in butter, add flour then broth.  Cook over medium heat until thickened.  Add chiles and sour cream and heat.  Be careful to not let the sauce boil.  Set aside.

One rotisserie  chicken, meat taken off the bones, cubed
 8 oz cheddar cheese, 8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese grated
18 corn tortillas

1.  Butter  a 9 x 12 casserole dish.

2.  Put a little sauce in the bottom of the dish.

3.  Layer 3 corn tortillas.  Layer chicken.  Cover with jack cheese.  Sauce.  Repeat two more times.

4.  Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes covered until bubbly.  Remove cover, add cheddar cheese to the top.  Return to the oven to allow cheese to melt.

5.  After cheese has melted, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

And yet another recipe whose origin is kind of fuzzy.  I think this recipe kind of morphed from Delicioso! Cooking South Texas Style.  But when I go to the book, the recipe is different, calling for Monterrey jack cheese and jalapenos.  If this is the source of the recipe, then somewhere along the Path I subbed mild chiles and cheddar.  But pretty much the recipe is from this classic cookbook.

Tips – Cut up the chicken first.  If you use pre-shredded cheese make sure it the kind that will melt (if you know what I mean and I think you do).  Use more sour cream if you like a rich casserole.  Use more chicken stock if you like your casserole “juicy” as in fall apart and spread all over your plate “juicy”.  Go ahead and use the hot pepper of your choice if you don’t have kids.

One Rotisserie Chicken , 50 Meals – #2 Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

1 C canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c ketchup
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped sweet onion

Mix the above ingredients together to make the dressing.

3 hard boiled eggs
1 can water chestnuts (optional)
6 strips bacon fried and crumbled ( NOT optional)
1 lb bagged spinach, baby and organic (if you can find it)

Toss the above ingredients together and pour the dressing over and mix

The date stamp on the electronic file for this recipe was 2007.  Friends of ours across the street served this salad one night and we thought the spinach salad was the best we had tasted.  This simple salad is a staple in our home for five years according to the date stamp

A couple of weeks ago we were at the same friend’s house for a rousing Friday evening of cards.  I said we’ll bring dinner.  We bought some prepared potato and corn salads, spinach salad, and one carved up rotisserie chicken.  The reaction was somewhat surprising:

“We’ve never put chicken on this spinach salad before.”

And another simple supper recipe is born.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – The Concept

I like to cook.  But let’s be honest, cooking is work.  During my exploratory twenties, I seriously entertained the idea of becoming a professional chef.  I researched the topic extensively.  My sights were set on the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  But the more I learned about the profession the more I realized that I wanted cooking to remain fun.  So I let that dream die.

During the same time frame I got the best compliment ever about my food.  My roommate told me,

“You’re the best everyday cook I’ve ever known.”

Joe was a good business manager and a better motivator.  I seem to recall he didn’t fix another meal the rest of the time we lived together.  Just another one of those things that make you go hmm….

But I didn’t mind because I like to cook.  And one of the things I learned was there is nothing wrong with shortcuts.

One of the greatest time savers for the cook is the rotisserie chicken.  It’s already cooked and the perfect starting point for many dishes.  I’m not quite sure I have 50 recipes that use rotisserie chicken but it sure will be a lot of fun getting there.  Check ’em out.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #1 Salad

One Rotisserie Chicken , 50 Meals – #2 Spinach Salad

One Rotisserire Chicken, 50 Meals – #3 Sour Cream Chicken Enchillada Casserole

PS. Yes, there’s just 3 recipes in the series…for now.

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded, small dice
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
2 pounds ground beef (or 1 pound ground turkey and 1 pound beef)
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs (Italian or Panko)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
  3. When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together.
  4. Form the meat mixture into 2 loaf (brain) shapes on an oiled oven tray or baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

 

When the kids were little I never made meatloaf.  They hated meatloaf.  When I was growing up as a kid my parents never made meatloaf.  I hated meatloaf.

Time passes, people change, tastes change.  I guess decades of going meatloaf-less made me want meatloaf more.  I only started making meatloaf when MedFed began.  MedFed is the code name for meals that freeze well that can be defrosted, heated up, and eaten by time starved medical school students who would quite frankly probably eat anything you put in front of them.  The only problem with my new found meatloaf craving was finding the perfect recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the Food Network’s Michael Chiarello.  It’s tasty, simple, and hearty.  Serve this up with some loaded mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

TIP – The recipe will make two meatloaves.  There’s nothing better than a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day.  I’ve also heard rumors that you can chop up this leftover meatloaf, heat it up in some marinara sauce, and serve over pasta.  Sounds like something a medical school student would do.

Substituting dried for fresh herbs is OK.  I usually make this with a mixture of beef and turkey.  85/15 is good.  Don’t use ground turkey breast, use regular ground turkey.

Makes perfect sense to me!

1000 Awesome Things

Slide that beef tube right on down

Toronto is home to some of the best hot dog street vendors in the world. Street meat, we call it proudly, waiting in lines to get char-grilled, crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, big, brown beautiful hot dogs. The dogs usually come set perfectly in a puffy, yellow bun, like a smiling child tucked tightly into bed. Yes, it’s a glowing little beef-tube of heaven, a spicy little meat-wand of joy, the perfect company for a movie or a long walk home after the bars.

Now, despite the powerful taste-punch to the mouth the street vendor hot dog delivers, I’m sorry to say there is just one little problem: my friend, there is spillage, and plenty of it. Hot dog vendors pride themselves on their never ending array of toppings, from spicy mustard to onions, pickles to olives, sauerkraut to banana peppers. It’s a delicious den of germs just sitting out on…

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One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #1 Salad

Image

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

One fully cooked rotisserie chicken

One bag salad

Salad dressing

  1. Carve the chicken off the bones. Set aside.
  2. Open one bag of salad into a large serving bowl.
  3. Add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc.
  4. Arrange the chicken on top.
  5. Serve with your favorite bottled salad dressing.

 

It’s been an interesting week.  I really didn’t cook that much.  When it’s hot outside, you don’t feel like cooking and you just want something light.  With this recipe I’m starting two new Tags:

  • One Rotisserie Chicken 50 Meals and
  • Super Simple

Every grocery store now sells Rotisserie Chickens.  It’s cooked.  All you have to do is cut it up.  Bagged salads are the greatest food invention since sliced bread.  You should always have several different varieties of salad dressing in the house.   Add a few chopped fresh vegetables.  Grab a loaf of bread, a nice Chardonnay and you have dinner.

Yes, the picture was taken with a cell phone.  Super simple like this recipe.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

¾ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 T melted butter or margarine
4 tilapia fillets
1 lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine the cheese with the bread crumbs. Coat the fish with butter and dredge in the cheese/bread crumb mixture.
  3. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 15 to 17 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.

I really don’t have a clue where this recipe came from.  James Beard has a recipe for chicken that is similar and when I looked up my Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia recipe it was different than what I’ve presented here.

It was a Rachel Ray recipe.  I had to change it.

The Butcher’s Info Blog: On A Beef Chuck Roll

The Butcher’s Info Blog: On A Beef Chuck Roll.

via The Butcher’s Info Blog: On A Beef Chuck Roll.

I know the economy is pretty bad but I am absolutely convinced one of the reasons why some items in the grocery store go unsold is due to the fact that people don’t know what it is or don’t know how to cook it.  My local market deep discounts meat a day or two before the last sale date.  I love a bargain and the other day I found Country Style Boneless Beef Ribs selling for $2.29 a pound.  The original price was $6 a pound.  There were four packages begging passers by please buy me.

So I did.  I’ve used this cut before and found the resulting dishes to be extremely flavorful so I wanted to know where on the animal it came from.

Chuck.  Now you know.

Baked Penne with Two Sauces

Baked Penne with Two Sauces

In the North End of Boston there is a marvelous Italian restuarant named Giacomo’s.  The place is small and cramped, service is brusque.  The food is exquisite which certainly explains this eatery’s well deserved reputation.  My first encounter was many years ago when my brother and I stopped in for dinner.  I ordered Seafood Linguine and the waiter asked

“Red, white, or pink?”

“I know what red is and I know what white is.  What’s pink?”

“Red and white together.”

Imagine a pasta dish with the consistency of a good macaroni and cheese plus a rich hearty ragu.  I bought back my memories and created a baked pasta with two sauces.

Turkey Ragu (about a quart, more if you like your pasta moist)
Parmesan sauce (see recipe below)
One pound box of penne (rigatoni works well also, or use your favorite pasta shape)
Grated parmesan cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese, about two cups
Extra virgin olive oil

1.  Bring several quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Cook pasta until barely al dente.  The pasta should still be firm to the touch and will cook through during the baking process while absorbing the sauces.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

2.  While the pasta is cooking prepare the parmesan sauce.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook briefly.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to remove all lumps.  Add parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. When the sauce begins bubbling at the edges and thickens, turn off heat and set aside.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4.  Take a baking pan large enough for the pasta and grease the pan with extra virgin olive oil.

5.  Place partially cooked pasta in the pan, add parmesan sauce, and mix well.

6.  Cover pasta mixture with ragu, mixing gently.  If your family likes pasta moist, use more ragu.

7.  Sprinkle grated parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheeses on top.

8.  Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.  If your family likes pasta a little drier, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking time.

9.  Serve with a nice fresh green vegetable, salad, and bread.

Parmesan Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Giacomo’s Restaurant
355 Hanover St
Boston, MA

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup low fat milk

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flours, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add
egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy
skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly
bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side. Repeat with
remaining batter.

Weekend guests at the house are treated to a rather substantial breakfast before they head back home.  The menu varies but usually consists of pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs or omelettes, sausage or bacon, toast, breakfast potatoes (if I wake up early enough), juice and plenty of hot coffee.  This pancake recipe started as a variation of an old recipe from Jane Brody called Wholesome Pancakes.  There’s not much difference between her recipe and mine, so I figured I better give Jane some credit.  This morning we had omelettes because the fresh mushrooms, red peppers, sweet onions and cheddar-jack cheese said OMELETTE.

Prep Tips – Mix the dry ingredients for the pancakes the night before and add the wet in the morning.  Crack your eggs the night before too.  Rinse and slice your veggies first, then saute in a little butter or margarine.  Set aside.  Start your pancakes next.  After the first batch comes off the griddle, start cranking out the eggs.  Skip the potatoes because they take too long to cook, everyone will complain, you won’t need them anyway and they won’t be missed.