Saturday, August 14, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas in Sour Cream Chili Sauce


Have I mentioned that I love to cook?  I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes, one that my husband and I really enjoy (but the picky kids won't touch with a 10 foot pole - their loss, and more for us).  It's called "Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas in Sour Cream Chili Sauce," or in our family shorthand, Black Bean Enchiladas.  My favorite time of year to have this meal is during the winter - it's a wonderful cold-season dish - but we thoroughly enjoy it any time of year.

Sauce:
4 cups milk (I use 1 %; 2% or whole are fine too)
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup sour cream (I use light sour cream, but whole is even better)
1 (4.5 oz.) can diced green chilies (Old El Paso brand is good)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Filling:
2 1/2 - 3 cups cut up cooked chicken meat (I like to get a rotisserie chicken from the store and strip the meat from it)
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn (or even better, 2 cups FRESH corn)
1 (15-16 oz.) jar of chunky medium salsa
1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
1 tbsp. ground regular chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin

10 whole wheat flour tortillas
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a 2 qt. pan, combine the sauce ingredients and whisk together.  Slowly bring up to just barely starting to boil over med-hi heat, stirring occasionally.  As soon as the sauce starts to thicken, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients.  Stir together thoroughly.

You'll need a LARGE casserole dish, or two smaller ones (like a 9" x 13" and an 8" x 8").  I use a big 12" x 15" x 2" one.  Each enchilada will take approximately 1 cup of filling.  Spoon the filling into the middle of the tortilla, fold it around, and place it folded side down in the dish.  In the big dish you'll have 8 parallel against one long edge, with two lengthwise against the other long edge.  Once all the enchiladas are filled, pour the sauce over them.  Cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes at 350.  Remove the foil and spread the shredded cheddar all over the top.  Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheddar is melted.

We use this as an "all in one" meal, with no side dishes, but fresh fruit salad would be a good accompaniment.  Serves 5 to 8, since some people will want only one enchilada, and some will want two.

You can vary the spice in this dish.  I like it moderately hot, but you can use mild salsa, less chili powder, and omit the chipotle if you want to cut the heat down - but it really is good with the chipotle!  Also, you can go totally vegetarian with it - just use 4 cans of black beans and omit the chicken.  It's great either way.  But, DON'T use corn tortillas!  They'll turn to mush (yes, this is the voice of experience - they were tasty, but it was a shapeless, gooey kind of meal).