Tonight's meal comes to you from an excellent cookbook we got for Christmas this past year from some friends who attend St. Alphonsus Church here in the Milwaukee area. (Shoutout to Pat and Mark!!)
This cookbook is, like every good church or organization cookbook, full of great recipes from old and young alike; classics intermingled with favorites waiting to be discovered. The beauty of this one is that it is nearly 400 pages long, and may possibly be the only cookbook to contain a recipe for "Elephant Stew" (For the curious, here's how it starts off: Cut 1 elephant into bite size pieces, this will take about 2 months...).
Since we unfortunately were fresh out of elephant, we decided to try a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. (Fattening, awfully bad for you meal alert!! Okay, well maybe not if you eat it in moderation. But really, this one cannot be good for you.)
The enchiladas are filled with a cream cheese, chicken, and salsa mixture enhanced by several common household spices. It is a good meal in terms of using things that would normally be on hand. It has a little prep, such as cooking/shredding up the chicken, chopping some onion, and preheating the corn tortillas.
The flavor of this dish is delicious, and I will warn you, it is a heavy dish-very creamy and rich. It is similar to eating at a Mexican restaurant in that regard. I went all out and did refried beans and rice with this, and we kinda had way too much food. The good thing? We will be able to eat this probably 2 more times each, as it made a good 13-14 enchiladas (I went a little heavy handed on the stuffing). This is definitely a good meal to make to cure wanting to go out for Mexican food!
-1 cup chopped onion
-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon chili powder (I subbed Penzey's Arizona Dreaming)
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
-6 cups shredded, cooked chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts, but I can see that canned chicken working well for this)
-3/4 bottle salsa (we used a 16 oz jar for this)
-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup chopped black olives (I hate olives. We didn't add them)
-16 corn tortillas (we only could fit 13-14 in our baking pan
-2 (14 oz) cans enchilada sauce
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare a 9x13 baking pan (we actually use one a little larger than this, our big lasagna pan).
Cook onion in oil in a large saucepan until translucent.
Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Add cream cheese and cook over low, breaking cheese up with a wooden spoon until melted. Add chicken and salsa. Heat 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, then add 1-1/4 cups of the cheese and the olives.
For the tortillas:
Wrap tortillas in stacks of 8 in foil wrappers. Heat in oven 8-10 minutes until warm and pliable.
Put it all together:
Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce over bottom of baking pan. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla, rolling each and placing seam-side down in baking dish.
Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
You apparently can also make this ahead of time, then refrigerate until ready to cook. If you do that, you'll need to cook it 30-35 minutes.