Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday's Are For DINNER! (and church and sleeping): Enchiladas and Coconut Cream Pie

Sundays.  It took me a long time to really relish Sundays, but sometime during college when I actually committed to keeping the Sabbath Day holy, I started to truly feel the peace and revitalization that is promised by making Sunday different from every other day.  This takes a concerted effort, planning, determination, and sacrifice.  But the blessings from reverencing the Sabbath Day are so wonderful, and I have experienced increased energy during the week, a renewal of peace that comes from a quieted mind, and a repose that I look forward to all week by committing to honor this sacred day.

Also, on Sundays, I like to make more of an effort to eat a nice meal.  Since Kyle and I don't eat that  much, and I don't know how to make a fancy meal for less than 4 people, I love having people over on Sundays.  Today, since my house wasn't clean enough for anyone other than family, we invited Ma and Pa Wheeler and had Enchiladas and Coconut Cream Pie.

Enchilada a la Mel
I don't know where I got this recipe. I think Mikaela and I made it up. Not sure. But its wicked good.

 Prep time: 30 min, cook time 45 min
3 decent size Chicken Breasts, mostly thawed and cut into cubes (I say mostly thawed because chicken is really easy to cut when it is still a tiny bit frozen)
1 Can (8 oz) Black Olives, sliced (or as much or as little as you want, we love olives!)
2 or 3 garden tomatoes, cubed (same as olives)
1 cup sour cream
1 small can Green Chilies (4 oz)
Lotsa Mexican style cheese
1.5 or 2 (14 oz) cans Enchilada sauce

Cooking Chicken:
Olive oil, 1 tbl spoon garlic, and some diced onions in a pan.  Cook until the onions are limp and getting brown on the ends.  Add chicken.  Sometimes I splash in some lemon juice.  I almost always add: sprinkle well with Italian seasoning, and add dashes of any/all of the following: onion powder, lemon pepper, chicken seasoning, greek seasoning, or that yummy Montreal seasoning for chicken.  Don't over do it, but don't be afraid of a little flava.

Get it good and sizzlin'.
Its good to have your olives and tomatoes sliced before the chicken is done cooking. I had help. :)

Put the olives, tomatoes, cooked chicken with all the pan drippings, sour cream, and a handful (or 2) of Mexican cheese in a large mixing bowl, and mix until creamy.

Spoon this deliciousness into the tortillas, wrap them, and put them in a 9x13" baking pan.

 Here's a quick lesson on how to properly wrap a tortilla:

Add the cheese.  I just dump cheese on by the handful, and probably put about 3.5 cups on this batch.  Then pour on the Enchilada Sauce.  I added two 14 oz cans, but you don't need that much.  The important thing is to cover every visible part of the tortillas, otherwise the areas that aren't covered with sauce will get hard and crusty (which is bad in this instance) during baking.

Add a little more cheese to the top.  Bake at 375-400 degrees for 45 min.  Today, I cooked it at 375 for 30 min and it wasn't enough.  They were still good, but the cheese wasn't as melted as it should have been.  When you take it out of the oven, let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes, as the sauce is like boiling lava.

It was delicious!  And very filling; Kyle can eat at least twice as much as me at a normal meal, and we both stopped at 1 1/2.  I was a hungry hippo, apparently.
Then desert!

Coconut Cream Pie (Betty Crocker)
The Shiraki's gave me a stellar Betty Crocker cook book for our wedding, which I use all the time.  The honey wheat bread recipe is a favorite that I make at least 2-3 times a month.  I tried this Cream Pie recipe for the first time last week, and made it with bananas.  Here's a picture of the recipe book:

I am not a pie maker, but I aspire to it (thanks to Marie Shiraki).  So this is all experimental.  This video is meant to show the consistency of the filling as it cooks, which I was most unsure about the first time I made this.

 ***Note: In the video, when the vanilla, butter, and coconut are added, the burner is off.

The key in this process is stirring.  DON'T STOP STIRRING.  Like ever.  Especially when the mixture starts to thicken and then boil; it will burn in 2 seconds.  In the video above, toward the end, you can see little dark flecks in the yellow filling--these are little burninated bits from the bottom of the pan that I didn't stir thoroughly enough.  They don't taste gross at all, in fact you can't taste them, but I would rather have a uniform, smooth color without the flecks.

After it has cooled for about 2 hours, top with a generous layer of whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut.

Finished pie, the perfect sweet, but light, after dinner desert.  Mmmmmmm.....

And next Sunday is General Conference--what should I make?

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