Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Enchilada Day!

This weekend, I made enchiladas. To those who don't know what I mean by that, you are probably thinking, "So what? You probably cook every day!" And yes, I do, but Enchiladas are different. I created a recipe a few years back, and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger. I now make a massive amount of enchiladas when I do, and they go into the freezer for future numminess. This weekend, since I was having problems with contractions, I made a smaller batch than normal, only seven 9x13 pans worth, but oh, are they good. They take a while, but that is seven to 12 dinners taken care of, so it is worth the time.

I will share my recipe with you all as long as you promise not to make fun of me for not ever measuring anything, OK?

Start with 3-4 pounds of chicken breasts in the crock pot the night before. Start it just before bed, add anything you want. I usually add some salsa, stewed tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set on low and let it cook all night. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover it most of the way so it doesn't get dried out on top.

The next day, cook 4 or 5 cups dry rice in a big stockpot. When you add the water to the dry rice, add one package of taco seasoning and salt and oil. While that is cooking, take the chicken carefully out of the crock pot and set on a plate to let it cool. Let the chicken rest for ten minutes or so, then shred it with two forks. Return the chicken to the crock pot and it's liquids.

When the rice is done, add three or four big handfuls of whatever cheese you like, I use cheddar and Colby-jack. Add two cans refried beans, two big jars of chunky salsa, one can of enchilada sauce, a half a jar of Alfredo sauce, and the chicken and all of it's liquids. I usually also add whatever I have in the fridge that looks good, the chunky salsa has lots of good stuff in it, but I'll add chopped onion, bell peppers, whatever. Stir really well. If you have vegetarians in your family, don't add the chicken right away, and use vegetarian refried beans. You can make a couple of trays of vegetarian enchiladas and then add the chicken for the rest.

Fill tortillas with a little bit of cheese and the mixture. I use Guererro white corn tortillas, they come 90 to a pack and are a lot cheaper than others I have found. You can fit 12 enchiladas to a tray, then drown them all in sauce. I like mixing about 12 cans of enchilada sauce with one and a half jars of alfredo sauce. Cover with saran wrap and freeze the trays you are not gong to use right away. Refrigerate the rest.

A word of advice, do not use disposable aluminum baking trays. The acids in the enchilada sauce will leech the aluminum into the food while it is in the freezer. I have collected glass 9x13's over the years from garage sales and second hand stores, and I cover them with saran wrap or Glad press and seal to freeze. I bake them with aluminum foil over the top, but I don't store them that way.

Thaw the trays before baking, then cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 mins. When they are just starting to bubble, top with shredded cheese, olives, and green onion, if desired. Bake another 10-20 minutes till cheese is melted and they are bubbling well. Yummy!

Hope you enjoy!


Snow Mommy said...

Good for you for tackling enchiladas, but you need to take it easy!!!

Erin said...

How funny, I made enchilada casseroles today. But I only made one to eat plus one to freeze. Way to make me feel like a slacker. :)

Anonymous said...

7??? 7!!!! OH MY GOODNESS GIRL!!! Sounds like A LOT of work! But it does sound tasty, and easy once it is all done and you just have to take it out of the freezer to reheat! 7??? Sorry, I still can't believe that! Shari