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I know I’ve said on more than one occasion since I’ve started this blog that one thing or another is “one of my favorites,” and today I’m going to say it again. Since I moved out of my parents house, whenever my mom said that she was making or had made enchiladas, I always made sure to drop by to score some leftovers. Her not very traditional enchiladas (they’re stacked like lasagna, not rolled) are one of my favorite home cooked meals. They’re full of flavor, including way too hot green chili, and really creamy with crispy edges. On top of her awesome enchiladas, my mom makes a pretty mean green chili sauce for someone who doesn’t have an ounce of Mexican in her blood.

In the years since I moved out of my parents house (and more recently, since I’ve become obsessed with cooking), there are some meals I just haven’t attempted to recreate. Mom’s enchiladas were always one of them — until now. While putting our menu together this weekend, Billy and I got the urge to give them a shot. The results definitely weren’t my mom’s, but they were pretty awesome.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 4 to 6
Green Chili Sauce
– olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 oz. fresh (roasted) green chili, diced (if you can’t find fresh, canned is fine, it just won’t be as spicy so maybe add more)
– 2 to 3 tbsp flour
– about 1/2 cup chicken stock
– splash milk
Enchiladas
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 oz. green chili
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (any leftover chicken (or turkey or any other meat you like) will work, too)
– 1/2 cup Monterey Jack, shredded
– 1/2 cup Velveeta, cubed
– 1 can cream of mushroom soup
– cumin
– salt and pepper
– corn tortillas

My mom’s green chili sauce is killer and is good for so much more than just enchiladas. With that being said, it’s probably the tastiest component to these enchiladas. It’s also really simple. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions begin to sweat out, then add the green chili and continue to saute for three to five minutes or until the onions are translucent and the green chili has cooked down a little. Add the flour to the pan and stir until it has completely cooked out, about one minute. Poor in the chicken stock (start with a 1/2 cup and add more if you prefer a thinner consistency — it’s all based on preference), stir to combine and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken, then smooth out using an immersion blender (or regular blender if you don’t have an immersion). Stir in a splash of milk and add more liquid if necessary. Set the sauce aside until you’re ready to assemble the enchiladas.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I said before that my mom’s enchiladas aren’t exactly traditional, and it’s probably going to become very apparent in the next steps so I’ll apologize now to any traditional Mexican-style cooks who may be reading this. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix together the onion, chopped green chili, shredded chicken, cheese, cream of mushroom soup and seasonings. Grease a large casserole dish, then begin layering the enchiladas.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with some of the green chili sauce, then completely cover with a layer of tortillas. Spoon over half of the chicken mixture and spread an even layer over the tortillas. Spoon over more green chili sauce, cover again with tortillas, and finally the rest of the chicken mixture. Add one more layer of tortillas and finish with plenty of green chili sauce. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and the edges of the tortillas begin to brown.

Enchiladas with Accoutrements

Yum. Our version of my mom’s enchiladas were definitely not the same, but they were pretty dang close and for sure delicious. They really hit the spot, and the leftovers made a delicious lunch the next day. One of the best things about my mom’s enchiladas is how creamy they are (thanks in part to the cream of mushroom soup, but mostly because of the Velveeta), and in terms of creamyness, ours were spot on. The crunch of the onions and the crispy edges of the tortillas gave the enchiladas a little texture.

I know these may not be traditional or restaurant-style enchiladas, but they aren’t lacking anything in flavor. They may also sound a little weird (Velveeta? Cream of mushroom soup?), but I promise if you give them a shot you’ll see why they’re one of my favorites. :)

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I’ve lived in New Mexico all my life, so green chili is pretty much a staple to me. Since Billy is a transplant, he seems to think that New Mexican’s use green chili for way too many things (like pizza and beer). Never the less, when we were out to eat a few weeks ago and he saw Parmesan risotto with a green chili white wine sauce, he had to order it. He cleaned his plate and was determined to recreate the dish at home…I think it’s probably safe to say that he’s turning in to a true New Mexican.

We pretty much made just a basic risotto and created a sauce to put on top, and it was amazing. It was one of the easiest risottos I’ve done in a while, but also one of the most flavorful.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Risotto
– 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
– 3 tablespoons butter
– olive oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– salt and pepper
– 1 cup Arborio rice
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 1/4 Parmesan cheese
Sauce
– olive oil
– 1/2 of an onion, chopped
– 3 to 4 ounces green chili, chopped (2 or 3 fresh green chilies or 1 small can)
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 cup white wine

Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and let it sit throughout the cooking process — the idea here is that all liquid additions to the rice are warm. In a separate pot (or high-sided pan large enough to hold the rice once it’s cooked), heat two tablespoons of the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper (and a few red pepper flakes, if you like). Add the rice and stir to coat each grain with butter. Next, begin adding liquid, one half cup at a time, starting with the wine. Stirring constantly, let the liquid simmer until it has evaporated almost completely, about three minutes per addition. Continue adding liquid, stirring and evaporating until thre rice is cooked through and creamy, about 20 minutes after the first addition of liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for the green chili sauce. Saute the onion until translucent, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the green chili and continue to saute for another two or three minutes. Add the white wine and let simmer until reduced by half, or until there is a good amount of liquid to create a sauce for the rice.

Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and remaining tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon onto a plate and cover with the green chili and white wine sauce.

Parmesan Risitto with Green Chili Sauce

Considering we had really no idea what we were doing when going into this, it turned out awesome. Billy was in charge of make the sauce since he was the one that devoured the version we had at the restaurant. It was spot on, let me tell you. The flavors from both the green chili and the wine really went well together and added a ton of flavor to the risotto. The green chili wasn’t overpowering, but it added so much flavor to the dish as a whole. I think the sauce would go great on any type of plain rice (or other grain, like quinoa) as a flavor enhancer. Plus…if you live in New Mexico, green chili has to be a part of every meal and this is certainly a new way to do it!
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