Posts Tagged ‘jack cheese’

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Monday, September 14th, 2009

I’ve been playing with the idea of making tamales, but I know how much work they really are. Well, I know how much work they are on paper. I’ve never tried to make them before–and honestly, I imagine they’re even more work than I’ve heard.

That is why the idea of a Chicken Tamale Casserole appealed to me.

It was good, but not great. The good news is, I know what went “wrong” and have some solid ideas of how to fix it. I definitely plan to try this one again sometime.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Serves 8 – From Cooking Light

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Note (Or what I would change for next time): First of all, I used Jiffy cornbread mix, which is usually pretty satisfying, as far as corn bread mixes go, but for this recipe, a little too sweet. A less-sweet southern style cornbread mix would have worked better. This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine, but if I wasn’t as concerned about the health aspects of the dish, I probably would have used more cheese. Even trying to keep it light, using reduced fat cheese (there are lots of great 2% blends these days!) would’ve kept the nutritionals the same for a bit more cheese. I think it would’ve made a difference. Finally, I should mention that a handful of crushed corn chips sprinkled over the top was delicious. That one was Cara’s idea.

Double Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

David and I got married last summer, and everyone threw us a couples’ shower last spring. The day was beautiful, and everyone had a good time. Not surprisingly, a huge portion of  the gifts were for the kitchen, and we still use them all the time. Even the Chop ‘N Scoops.

The shower was centered around the fact that Dave and I like to cook. One game involved having people identify different fresh herb plants, and another stocked our spice cabinet by having people bring the spice that represented them the most and then make their case (the winner was my good friend Becky from high school—for as long as I’ve known her, she’s been obsessed with the color orange, and for the spice game, she brought a jar of dried orange peel. Case closed!).

The other really cool thing that the bridesmaids did was to collect recipes from everybody and compile them into a cookbook. We look through it often, and I finally got the chance to try one last week: Chicken Enchiladas.

I wouldn’t call this dish authentic. It’s not meant to be. But between you and me, I’ve made more authentic enchiladas, and I’ve eaten authentic enchiladas, and I’m pretty sure I liked these the best. I liked them with chicken, but I bet they’d be just as good with ground beef, shredded beef, or even chorizo.

chicken-enchiladas

Double Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 16 ounce jar of salsa con queso
  • 16 ounce container sour cream (I used reduced fat; I usually do)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used Tillamook medium cheddar, but sharp cheddar or jack, or even a combination, would be good), divided.
  • 1 small can enchilada sauce, mild
  • 3 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 10-12 small corn tortillas
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the dish with a thin, even layer of enchilada sauce.
  2. In a large bowl, combine salsa con queso,  sour cream, and 1 & 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Add chicken and taco seasoning, and stir to combine.
  3. Fill each tortilla with a 1/4 cup of the chicken & cheese mixture, roll up, and place seam-side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat, until the dish is full of tortillas. You should have at least 1 cup of the chicken/cheese mixture leftover.
  4. Pour a layer of enchilada sauce over the tortillas in the baking dish. Carefully spread with the remaining chicken/cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of shredded cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until heated all the way through. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: I prefer the corningware dish for this casserole, instead of something like Pyrex, because the corningware doesn’t stick very much and is easier to clean. It’s also a little deeper.

I like the top layer of cheese to get crunchy at the edges, but if you don’t, just cover this with foil. Even though there’s sour cream in this dish, we used extra sour cream when we ate it. I enjoyed scooping up these enchiladas with thick, crunchy tortilla chips.