South of the Border…

I just knew Mexican food was not for me. Who in their right mind would want to burn their mouth with jalapeno’s? And refried beans looks like baby poop. And remember I was born and raised on good old potatoes – what is this rice stuff all of a sudden?

Well, thank goodness I’ve changed my ways. I now love just about everything Mexican including a good mouth cleansing with some spicy jalapeno peppers! But somehow, Mexican food was something I ordered when I went out, never trying to make it at home… that is until the other day. I subscribe to a site called “One good thing by Jillee”. It’s a site that sends out blasts on all sorts of topics, from how to make homemade soap to getting out those nasty stains to how to fix those too tight shoes.

Lo and behold, the other day I got an email from the site with a quick and easy recipe for sweet corn chicken enchiladas. It seems the author adapted it from a recipe she found on Lovely Little Snippets. Instead of making homemade enchilada sauce, she used store bought, and substituted rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken herself.

I was intrigued. So I decided to jump into the deep end of the pool and try them. To my surprise, they were rather good. The next time I try them I will add some jalapenos to the mixture to spice them up a little bit. I had some frozen chicken breasts so I did cook them to use in the recipe. I used a Mexican blend cheese inside the tortilla and for the last ten minutes added a queso cheese on top. But you can do whatever is easiest for you. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Chicken corn enchiladas

Chicken corn enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

12 tortillas (the recipe called for corn but I used flour)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

2 cups frozen sweet corn

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend and added a queso cheese on the top)

1 large can of enchilada sauce (19 ounces)

sour cream and guacamole (for serving if desired)

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken, corn and 1 cup of cheese. Pour approximately 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to soften. (30 second did the trick for the flour tortillas). Fill them with the chicken and corn mixture and roll them up. Place each rolled tortilla seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat with all the tortillas and then pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and top with cheese. Put it back in the oven just until the cheese melts and then take it out and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. It will be VERY hot. Garnish with sour cream and guacamole.

This makes divine left overs as well. Try it, and let me know what you think.

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Stir Fry Beef with Vegetables and Pea Pods…

I loved my my mother dearly, but let’s face it she was right up there when the world’s worst cook award was being passed out. I guess it simply was the fact that she did not have time, especially when she went back to work full time. My father was runner up for the award as he hardly cooked a day in his life, that was woman’s work you know. So I grew up with a bland palate consisting of meat (always overcooked), peas, corn and potatoes. Yep, that was about it.

During my career I too never had time to cook. Thank goodness my husband was adept in the kitchen. And boy did he have trouble moving me away from the staples I grew up with. And eating any type of ethnic food, well that was just not acceptable. So how did it all change.

Well, the Food Network for one – once I started watching it I was hooked. I learned so much watching those shows that no on ever taught me. Then once I retired, I finally had the time to explore cooking. I took cooking lessons, I experimented with various dishes, I started working at Crate and Barrel where a lot of their mainstay merchandising relates to dining and entertaining. And I became a student of the art.

Now I am not saying I am a master chef by any means, but I really enjoy the process. I enjoy learning about different foods, learning new techniques, experimenting with recipes. Who would ever believe that. It’s fun when you can accomplish something new and interesting in the kitchen. At least for me…

So, every once in a while in my blog I will be posting recipes. I hope that you try them and give me feedback about them. And if you have some you want to share, join the party – the more the merrier.

Today I posting my stir fry beef and pea pods recipe. It cooks up in 15 minutes or less and it is fabulous. Most of the work involved in the recipe is the chopping and dicing (which I like to do, I find it therapuetic). ย Enjoy, and please let me know what you think.

Stir Fry Beef and Pea Pods

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • Flank steak or beef tenderloin
  • Beef broth
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vermouth
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Pepper (red or green)
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Pea Pods (fresh or frozen, I prefer fresh)
  • Garlic (I-2 cloves)
  • Cornstarch, 3 TBS total
  • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil

BEEF MARINADE:

Flank Steak or Beef Tenderloin (if beef tenderloin, marinate for only ยฝ hour, if flank steak the longer the better, I found 4 hrs. minimum to be the best)

  • 1TB cornstarch
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 4TB vermouth

DIRECTIONS:

Chop vegetables and garlicโ€“ a bigger chop for vegetables stands up better to stir frying (this can be done well in advance)

Heat wok. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. (I use an electric wok so it heats up very quickly)

Add beef and stir fry until almost at desired doneness. (We most often use beef tenderloin so I like to have a little pink in the meat – with flank steak I would cook longer)

Remove beef and set aside, cover with foil to keep warm

Mix together:

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2TB soy sauce
  • 2TB cornstarch (make sure cornstarch is completely absorbed by the liquid)

Add mixture to wok and let simmer for a short time (1/2 minute to 1 minute)

Add peppers and mushrooms

Cook until almost crisp tender, 3-5 minutes

Add tomatoes and pea pods, cook for about 1 minute

Add garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds to minute)

Add beef back into the mixture and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Serve over rice

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