Since I grew up eating a lot of Mexican food, I used to think I had a special edge in the debate about what makes “good” Mexican food. When I sat down to think about it, I realized I don’t really have an edge at all. I know that I like Costco tortilla chips, expensive made-at-your-table guacamole and breakfast burritos just about as much as I like fishing the last bit of rice and cheesy refried bean mixture from drowning in the oily corner of a big hot plate. So when I thought about making Mexican food last week (officially giving up on my salad and vegetarian soup routine), I wondered: what could I bring to the table?
For me, “Mexican night” was always been a fun one. Growing up, these dinners were full of life. They were loud, friendly, and messy. I have never had a quiet candle-light Mexican dinner, nor do I want to. So, when it came time to have a double date last week with my roommate and our boyfriends, Mexican is what we made. All together, family style, with everyone playing a part. We made enchiladas the way I learned to make them, we winged the rice with what we had in the pantry, and we mashed enough refried beans to offend the neighbors. What we made was probably miles from “authentic” Mexican food, but it was delicious, loads of fun, and we made a feast!
Here’s LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” to get you in the spirit of family-style cooking!
Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from Mom
2 cups cooked shredded chicken.
4 cups cheese: cheddar and pepperjack blend
2 cups sour cream
2 large jars of green enchilada sauce / tomatillo salsa
1 small can of jalepenos
1 package tortillas (I prefer corn and flour blend)
1 head iceberg lettuce (optional)
2 tomatoes (optional)
3 cans pinto, black, or kidney beans
3 cups water
2 tbs bacon fat or olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
To make the enchiladas:
(Tip: buy a roast chicken and shred the meat. You can roast the chicken yourself, let it cool, and then shred the meat, but this takes longer)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large skillet, heat green chilli enchilada sauce. Chop a few jalapenos (to taste) and throw them in the sauce and stir.
In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, 3 cups cheese blend, and sour cream.
Dip 1 tortilla in skillet to coat with sauce, lay the tortilla on the plate, and place a couple tablespoons of chicken/cheese/sourcream blend inside. Roll up, place in casserole, one next to the other.
Bake for 20 min or until cheese and sauce is bubbling in the middle. Serve topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and chopped tomato, if desired.
To make refried beans:
Drain and rinse canned beans. Sauté in oil or bacon fat in a large skillet. Add a cup of water to keep beans from drying out. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, adding water as needed. Mash with a potato masher and add seasonings to taste.
Don’t miss Part 2! Here’s what we made for dessert, which is better known as, “how my roommate got that scar on her hand.”