Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ah Mexican Food-I Have Missed You

Mexican food isn't all that bad for you, really. Chicken tacos with lettuce & salsa-not so bad. Even tostadas (baked) are high in fiber. But whenever I go out for mexican, its always the cream based seafood enchilada with cheesy queso sauce. Yeah, I dont think thats good for you. So, during diet time, we just avoid mexican b/c it will surely break the diet bank.

Now I can make Mexican at home fairly healthy as well, but those plain chicken tacos in corn tortillas, they just dont taste nearly as good as the aforementioned seafood enchilada. So I decided to attempt this enchilada casserole. Sure looked good and there wasn't really a cream sauce to it (just sort of). It had all the ingredients we could eat, so we sacrificed lunch time by having grilled chicken tenders and a veggie soup, so we could eat up the enchilada casserole. And my oh my was it worth it! Prep time is a bit long and then take on another 30-40 minutes of baking time, yikes! There are definelty short cuts you could take, like cooking & shredding the chicken the night before, to decrease the time.

Enchilada Casserole
Cooking spray
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup beer ** Oh so not diet friendly, I used chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper **Here I used one whole adobe chile pepper with about 1 Tbsp of the Chiptole sauce
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped *Since I used some of the sauce above, I cut this back to 22 or so oz
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions **Omitted, didn't have any
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained **Used diced olives
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained **I used one can
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour **Here I cut the sauce in 1/2, so 2 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon salt *1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin *1/4 tsp
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander *didnt have, so omitted
2 cups 1% low-fat milk *1 cup milk
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten or 6 tablespoons egg substitute *3Tbsp egg substitute
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream **Didnt use
1/2 cup salsa **didnt use

Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.

Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 tablespoon olives for garnish. Stir remaining green onions, remaining olives, and chiles into chicken mixture; set aside.

Combine flour, salt, cumin, and coriander in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.

Place cheeses in a bowl; toss well. Set aside.

Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of a 2 1/2-quart round casserole or soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 cup white sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture aside.
** I only had 2 smaller Pyrex bowls, so I did 2 of those and one large round dish**

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture, reserved green onions, and reserved olives; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

NOTE: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350º for 1 hours or until bubbly. Or freeze casserole, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated.

Needless to say it was very good. It made 6 servings.


Sarah said...

I'm really proud of you guys for sticking with this diet so well. Keep up the good work (and keep up with the great recipes)!

Nemmie said...

Yum! Thanks for the recipe - I love enchiladas but usually hate all the work...