First, I hope you’re enjoying November! (It began snowing here in Utah yesterday.) I went to a baby shower the other night and my daughter-in-law’s mother, Cherie, had made an entire main course inside a pumpkin. I’ll have to get the recipe and try it myself. It was adorable and delicious!
Secondly, I want to share a fun family experience that goes along with these two recipes.
Every Monday night at our house is Family Home Evening–a dedicated time that we spend as a family. Sometimes we go do something outside the home (movie, bowling, rock climbing, etc.) but usually Steve assigns a “discussion topic” to one of us and we have a devotional together. A few weeks ago, Brecken was assigned the topic of “Enjoying Spiritual Goodness in our Daily Lives.” Earlier that day, she asked each person about their favorite meal item and announced she was making dinner. She then went to work in the kitchen–mixing, chopping, blending and baking.
That night she set a beautiful table, placed the delectable food in the center, and called us to dinner. We then sat around our cozy round table and stared at the food while discussing what looked good and why. She then talked about how our bodies need a balanced diet and many different things to stay healthy. Brecken displayed a chart with the words “Physical Needs” and “Spiritual Needs” in two different columns. We then found word strips under our plates and had to place them in the appropriate columns. The words included grains, milk products, vitamins, forgiveness, being loved, serving, etc.
She then told us since we’d already discussed our meal that we could leave without eating. WHAT? My mouth was watering and I was so hungry. A few minutes later, she called us back together and while we ate the delicious food, talked about how just looking at food does us no good. We have to eat and digest it to give us the nutrients we need. She then compared it with the spiritual needs and how we must live the principles of forgiveness, kindness, serving, etc. before they’ll do us any good. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22. There was a lot more to the discussion, but this is the general idea of it. It was so clever and oh so yummy.
Here are recipes for two of the items on the menu. Let me just say that they are amazing! Unfortunately I didn’t get good photos of the food so I’m using the pics from the web sites where she found the recipes.
Recipe and photo from Tide and Thyme and adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
1 medium onion , chopped fine
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic , minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Ground black pepper
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the onion, jalapeño, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, chopped onion and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Place onion mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl along with the onion mixture. Add in 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 1 cup monterey jack cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
4. Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
5. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with oil spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes until the tortillas are starting to slightly brown on the top. (If you dont’ like a bit of crunch in your enchiladas, just skip this step completely)
6. Reduce oven temperature to 400. Remove enchiladas from oven and pour remaining sauce over to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
8. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and additional cilantro.
Salsa Roja (Roasted Red Salsa)
16 full size tomatoes, or nearly a produce bag full of roma tomatoes (we used roma)
2-3 yellow onions
20-25 Serrano peppers (remove caps) Note: this many peppers makes it hot. Feel free to reduce # of peppers, or scrape the seeds out of them
8-10 cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbsp salt
1-2 bunches cilantro
1. Halve the tomatoes and onions and lay cut-side up on a cookie sheet along with the peppers and garlic
2.Roast at 375 till the onions look nice and translucent (see bottom left of the next picture), tomatoes look soft, and peppers are getting a nice char on them
3. Let it all cool a bit, then run through the food processor with salt and cilantro (we had to do this in two batches)
4. Stir it all together. Trust me–this is so good!
Bon Apetite and Happy Family Night!