Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Culinary Confusion - A different kind of Chicken Enchilada

Hi Everyone!!!

Sometimes, I can't decide what culture I am going to cook from.  Sometimes it is on purpose, and sometimes, it is because of necessity.  I think by now, y'all know that my favorite foods are from the desert southwest and Mexico.  Don't get me wrong, I fully enjoy other flavors and cultural foods as well.  But there is something so comforting to me about the desert southwest.  The first time that I stepped off of a plane in Albuquerque in 1995, I was "home".  I can't fully describe the pull that this part of the country has for me.....but some day, I am going to live in New Mexico.  Jason and I adore Albuquerque and the surrounding area, Santa Fe and Taos.  Plus, it gets us that much closer to Sedona, which is only about 4 1/2 hours from Albuquerque.

Well, that was a little bit of a tangent, but we'll get back on track.  A few days ago, I promised Jason that I would make chicken enchiladas.  I had everything in the house, or so I thought.  I had a bunch of Hatch chiles in the freezer that had been roasted and peeled, so I defrosted them in a bowl and threw them and the liquor in the blender with a little salt and pepper and processed them until they were smooth.  I used about 6 cups of chiles to end up with about 4 cups of sauce. This is my version of a very simple and straight-forward enchilada verde sauce.

The filling for these enchiladas is:
2 1/2 to 3 pound rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned and the meat shredded
1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed in a little olive oil until browned
4 cloves of garlic, minced and added to the onion after it is browned
4 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups of shredded cheese (1cup each of cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella), reserve some for the topping

Once the onion and garlic have been cooked, add the black beans, cilantro, chiles and cumin and heat through.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  Once cool, add the cheese and mix well.

Take your tortillas......this is the point in the evening when you realize, something is missing and it is a main ingredient for your meal.  As I frantically searched the refrigerator and freezer, all I can find are left-over cooked and frozen giant pasta shells from making stuffed shells a few weeks ago.  So, I put 1 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of 2 baking dishes, defrosted the shells, stuffed them with the filling, lined them up in the baking dishes, poured over the remainder of the sauce, sprinkled them with more cheese and baked them at 350' for about an hour, until they are nicely browned on the top.

They came out amazing and as soon as I can get the picture downloaded from my iPhone, I will add that to this post.

This recipe will make 26 stuffed shells.  In honor of this wonderful meal, I am going to don a sombrero and sing, "That's Amore"......

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,


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