Thursday, April 16, 2009
Chicken Enchiladas "Swiss Chard" (as opposed to "Suizas)
What luck! I mentioned that in my C.S.A. box of fresh veggies, I received some beautiful Swiss Chard. Know what? I've never cooked with them! Yep, it's true. I did a little research, and found out that it's a beet, but grown more of it's leafy greens-- as opposed to the root. I'm going to include this recipe in the "Grown Your Own " round up:
It's pretty, I can attest to that. I searched around, and found a five star recipe from good ole Rachael Ray. But, wait! I stumbled across another recipe, on Food Network, for Swiss Chard Enchiladas-- made with a red enchiladas sauce. I make a great red sauce, if I do say so myself. Intrigued, I read the recipe. Bingo! I had thawed some shredded chicken, thinking I'd either make Enchiladas Verdes or chicken tacos. I had also thawed the last of my corn tortillas, and my cilantro is thriving in my garden-- yippee skippy!
For some reason, I had a hankering for tomatillo sauce. I had a jar of Enchiladas Verde Sauce, from Trader Joe's. I could not make a decision, but after reading three different recipes, I decided to improvise.
First, I washed and rinsed the Swiss Chard; then separated the stems from the leafy greens.
In a large pan, I heated a little bit of olive oil and sauteed some chopped onion, until soft. Then I added 3 minced garlic cloves, until just fragrant. I had a little leftover turkey stock (from making my Leek & Potato Soup), so I tossed in about 1/4 cup and then the chopped stems.
I cooked them for 5 minutes, covered.
Next, I added the leafy greens and cooked them until tender-- about 5 minutes. I took a taste...
Know what? I like Swiss Chard! It definitely reminds me of spinach...and I love me Spinach!
I was still skeptical about using these lovely greens in a Mexican enchilada dish-- but I was feeling adventurous, and I went for it.
I opened the jar of salsa verde sauce and set aside about 1/3 cup and put the rest into a sauce pan. I decided to add about 1/2 cup of turkey stock (you could use chicken stock or water). I let that simmer a bit.
I added the thawed shredded chicken and tossed it around to heat it through.
After tasting it, I decided to add some cumin and chili powder. How much? I'd guess about 1 Tablespoon of cumin, and a scant Tablespoon of chili powder. Aha! I have a secret weapon! In my freezer, I keep unused chipotle chilis (roasted jalapenos) for moments like this. I cut about a 1-inch piece, chopped it up and tossed that in. Now we're talking!
Next, I had about 3 Tablespoons of leftover cream cheese, cut up, so I added that-- and about 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese. I was starting to feel very happy...
I preheated the oven to 350F and sprayed a baking dish with non-stick spray.
Here's a neat trick that I just learned...have you ever tried to roll corn tortillas, and they split? Most recipes say to cook the tortillas in oil to soften them. I didn't want to! I rinsed the corn tortillas with some hot water, then placed them on a dish (separated...not stacked) with a paper towel on top. I steamed them for about 2 minutes, and they were soft and pliable!
The reason that I say "don't stack them" is because that's what I did-- the first go-round. They stuck together. It wasn't pretty.
I poured about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, I dipped one corn tortilla in the remaining sauce; I added a spoonful of the chicken and chard mixture (using a slotted spoon), and then a handful of cheese. I don't measure...
I rolled the tortillas and placed it, seam side down. I eventually decided that there was no need to dip the tortillas in the sauce. They were very soft, from being steamed.
Last, I added poured the rest of the salsa verde sauce over the enchiladas. Then I added the cheese-- in total, I used 1 pound of cheese.
Next, foil was placed on top and baked for 15 minutes; then the foil was removed and baked until the cheese was bubbly-- about 12 more minutes.
I wanted to make a salad, and I remembered that I had shredded cabbage. Since I wasn't going to make tacos, I had a brain storm. I still had leftover balsamic vinaigrette, from the Spinach & Strawberry salad that I made on Easter Sunday. Wow! The vinaigrette is perfect for making a mayonaisse-free cole slaw. I added some shredded carrots, and dinner was ready.
I cut fresh cilantro, from my herb garden. I chopped the cilantro and added it to some Light Sour Cream (to offset the cheese...) and some fresh lime juice. This made a nice garnish to the enchiladas.
I'd say that from the start of prep time, to being out of the oven, took about an hour-- fortunately, the shredded chicken was already made.
This was delicious! I couldn't really taste the Swiss Chard. Personally, I think this is a great way to sneak veggies into dishes for very picky eaters. You can leave out the greens, though. This is still a delicious recipe.
I'm so looking forward to the leftovers. For some reason, enchiladas taste even better, the next day. That is, unless my 6'3 Pirahna Son doesn't devour the rest on one of his midnight raids.
I might have to rig some fishing line and bells to my refrigerator. I wish I had his metabolism. He can eat anything, and not gain weight.