Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring, You Say?

So my West Coast Parallel convinced me to join an online group/community/cult called Daring Kitchen. It's pretty awesome, you register as either a Daring Cook or a Daring Baker – actually, you need to be ACCEPTED – and once you are you have one month to make a recipe that someone in the group decides on. Then, EVERYONE blogs about it on the same day – which happens to be TODAY! So guess when I made mine? You got it, last night! The idea was for the parallel and I to make it on the same day but... a three hour time difference, two birthdays and a wedding anniversary kind of got in the way... SO, right down to the wire, luckily last night my youngest brother, Kevin, was there to help...

And so was George...

On the menu: Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada
Now, I understand the theme behind this one was "Cinco de Mayo"... but not a whole lot of Mex cooking goes on in our house... needless to say, I've never bought a tomatillo, didn't really know what the sauce was even supposed to look or taste like... I even had to ask the parallel if by "peel the peppers" they meant peel the skin off (she thought I was joking...). SO being an almost completely new experience for me, this took roughly three hours from start to finish. Meaning we ate around... 10pm. Awesome.

So first I roasted, seeded and peeled the peppers...

And Kevin helped with that... making fun of my gloves... and apparently making the same face as me! (Can you tell we're related?)

Next we roasted the tomatillos... which are kind of gross, and I like tomatoes! They just look like green tomatoes, but they are sticky for some reason, probably something to do with the weird papery leaves around them... After roasting we pureed them in a food processor.

Add some onion and garlic (I used more than the recipe called for, because man do I love onion and garlic!)

Add it all in a saucepan with chicken broth, oregano, salt and pepper. My first thought was "Oh my God, this is WAY too much chicken broth" - but trust it, it DOES thicken up in the end.
While that was simmering, and thickening, and such, I cooked the chicken in the skillet, and then wiped it down to warm the tortillas. (which I've never done before, and must say - win!)

(you can see what a mess I'm making of the stove!!)
Once you have prepared all the layers, it's time to layer and put in the oven (I apparently only made enough chicken for 3, so you will see three come out of the oven!)
About half an hour later...

Okay, I have to admit, the ooey gooey cheesy goodness is my fav! These were very wonderful! Especially with some low fat plain greek yogurt, or sour cream, on the side! They were not my most favorite thing I've ever made, and I'm not sure they're three-hours-good... but I'm SO glad I made it, and even though the hubs (who is not a huge fan of the Mex) didn't LOVE it, he did like it (which is a win in the "picky eaters book" as far as I'm concerned) and my brother really enjoyed it, so I am happy.

Not officially being a food blogger (more just a fan of cooking, and other people's food blogs!) I'm not positive how this is supposed to go, but I will post the recipe I used, plus some of the variations I made [in red]. I don't THINK they make it unauthentic, but it started to remind me a bit of a mexican lasagna toward the end soooo... you can see where my cooking expertise lies :)

You can find the full recipe, with notes, tips, and suggestions, here.

AND - can't forget this bit of info: Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.


1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely.Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)

7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams - peel, remove stems

4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
 [I used way more, like, half an onion, but I love onion]

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)

¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)

2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)

Hot sauce, your favorite, optional [I used Franks, more for a "local flavor" than for more heat]

2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)

3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)

12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)

6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)

Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional [hey Pammy, guess whether or not I OPTED to use it :)]


Roasting Fresh Chiles

1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster. [it was thunderstorming outside so I used the broiler for chiles and tomatillos, and pan seared the chicken. If you can grill, I definitely recommend, I think it would have added better flavor!]
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.

Green Chile Sauce

1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

NOTE: It may cause you to use every bowl, cutting board, pan, skillet, and utensil in your kitchen...
However, if you're lucky like me, not only will your husband clean all of it up for you when you're done, but he'll be late for work the next morning because of unloading the dishwasher and loading what wouldn't fit the night before, so you get to come home to a nice clean kitchen. I'm a lucky lady.

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