Monday, June 7, 2010

Hodge-Podge Enchiladas

These are some of my favorite times in the kitchen... When the left-overs and random things in the fridge just happen to come together.  This definitely don't happen all of the time, or very often for that matter.  But I wanted to share this particular time for a couple of reasons. One being I have several friends that don't cook. The kitchen intimidates them.  This is my way of encouraging you to take your kitchen by the horns and take control... You go girls (and guys)!

I had a pre-marinated turkey loin (that I got on special at the grocery store a while ago and had stuck in the freezer) cooked from a few days ago.
So with that in mind, I raided the pantry for some more fun stuff: black beans, diced tomatoes, cream of chicken soup, and green diced chiles.

I started by dicing 1/2 an onion, about 1/4 of a green pepper, and an anaheim pepper.  Don't let anaheim peppers scare you.  It's basically like a green pepper with a little bit of a bite. Not hot by any means, but a nice little zing.

The following is the easiest way I've found to chop an onion (if you don't have a convenient food chopper... I do, but I sometimes find cooking more enjoyable when I do it all by hand)

1. Cut ends off onion, peel, and chop in half.  Make several slices, making sure not go all the way to the top. This way it all stays together until you make the final cuts.

2. Turn onion and make cuts going the other way.  Perfect little pieces.

Another side note. The last one for this post, I promise.  Certain professional chef's (I won't name her them) have a cute little "garbage bowl" while they cook... Yeah, umm, the last thing I want to do is wash out another bowl after cooking.  And since I don't have a compost pile or a garbage disposal, I often use the little plastic sacks from the grocery store that are used for produce.  Maybe not the "greenest" approach, but I'm also saving water that would be used to wash a bowl.  I don't feel bad. Sorry.

I sauteed the onion and two peppers with a few tablespoons of olive oil until the onions were translucent and starting to brown.  Then added the chopped up turkey loin (I'm going to guess there was 2 1/2-ish cups) and a can of drained and rinsed black beans, just to infuse all of the flavors together.

I could have easily made 6-8 smaller enchiladas, but I chose to make 5 over stuffed. Probably the lazy in me coming out.  I don't have a picture, but after I filled them, I added a handful of cheese to each one.

After they were rolled up, I made a random version of my enchilada sauce. That means I didn't have everything, so I used what I had.  Basically it was about 3/4 c. sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can of diced green chiles, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and 1/2 c. chicken broth.  Mix all of that together and spread over the top.  Finish it off by a nice healthy sprinkle of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until everything is warmed and the edges are bubbling. 

Sorry, this is a picture after we started digging in.  I was pretty hungry. And it was pretty tasty.

So I hope this gives you a little confidence (if you don't have any) in the kitchen.  Like I said, it doesn't always work out... But that's some of the fun.  And that's how all the learning happens :) 

Bon Appetit! 

PS - If you live in Wichita (or make trips into Wichita for your groceries), it is WELL worth your time to buy your tortillas at Tortilleria Los Iii Portillos.  They are located on 29th street between Arkansas and Broadway.  They make tortillas fresh daily, and they are even a little cheaper (if I remember correct) than the house brand at Walmart.  Most of the time, they are still warm when I get home.   Rolled up with a little butter, it is heaven in your mouth. Did I mention that they have white and wheat tortillas? You will never go back to stiff, old store bought tortillas.


  1. can we go on an adventure to that tortilla place? I never go anywhere new by myself, or really anywhere by myself for that matter. . . will you show me your ways? oh wise chef you!

  2. Oh Mandy, I'd love to!!! :) I'm the same way, I had to put on my big girl panties the first time I went alone (I'd been with my mom and sister)... But they are super nice there, and the main guy speaks pretty good English :)

  3. I really don't like to cook very well, but you are inspiring me! If your stuff tastes even half as good as your mom's (& I'm sure it does!), I know it's FABULOUS! Keep up the good work!