Tag Archives: Recipes

“Accidental” Enchiladas

“I think I accidentally made enchiladas.” — me, March 16, 2015

I wanted some chicken and cheese in a tortilla, but then I noticed the container of leftover enchilada sauce was on the counter next to the sink as part of a fridge purge. That sauce would go well with chicken, cheese, and tortilla.

I began grabbing stuff, and was going to grab some canned chicken, but then roasted chicken breasts came out of the oven. So I stole a couple of those, and here’s the recipe:

  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 small can of chopped, roasted green chilies.
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked.
  • 1/4 cup refried beans.
  • 1/2 can of enchilada sauce
  • drippings from the roasted chicken, if you’ve got em.
  • A big fistful of shredded cheese.

Chop the chicken finely. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave. Stir those together in a bowl, adding the green chilies and the refried beans.

Divide the resulting slop evenly among four burrito-sized tortillas, rolling each one up into an enchilada. I used flour tortillas because they’re what I had. (EVERYTHING I used was used because it was what I had.)

Put the tortillas in a baking pan, 9×13 is probably best.

Mix the enchilada sauce with the chicken drippings, then pour that over the top of the enchiladas in the pan. Sprinkle the fistful of cheese over the top of that.

Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes.

Hot Cocoa, My Way

News of Snowpocalypse 2015 had me craving blanket forts and hot cocoa (but not necessarily snow,) and then I realized that my hot cocoa recipe is good enough to share. Here it is:

  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s baking cocoa (the powder)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk, and some mugs
Optional ingredients*
  • 1 tbsp Terva-Siirappi (Finnish pine tar syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the cocoa, the sugar, and the water in a small pot. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. It’s ready when it’s smooth — no cocoa clumps, no sugar granules.

Add the salt and the vanilla. At this point you have a standard dark chocolate syrup.

Add the cinnamon and the tar syrup. The cinnamon adds a very cozy aromatic flavor, and the tar syrup gives it a hint of smoke for some extra-very cozy. More tar means more smoke AND more sweet.

Now that the syrup is ready, take a mug, fill it partway with milk, and then microwave it for a minute or so. You want hot milk, not boiling milk. Now fill the cup the rest of the way with the chocolate syrup you’ve made. For an 8oz mug I do 3/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of syrup (at least when I’m talking about it publicly. It’s possible the syrup-to-milk ratio moves from 1:3 to 1:1 when nobody is looking.)

Stir. Enjoy.

(*Note: no, they’re actually not, but since you probably don’t have Terva-Siirappi on hand right now you get a pass. It’s remotely possible that the same effect can be achieved with a tiny bit of liquid smoke, but I’m not going to perform that experiment until, in desperation, I realize that I’m out of Terva-Siirappi.)

A recipe that you wouldn’t think works as well as you’ll find it does

I got this from my friend Sal, who prepared it for me over open flames at night. I have since modified it to my own taste and cupboard.

2 catfish fillets, thawed, raw, and patted dry
Tony Chacheres “Spices and Herbs” seasoning
Miracle Whip
1 can of tuna in water
Olive oil

You’ll also need a grill. Since I’ve got one with a thermometer on it, I can tell you how hot to make it.

1) Fire up the grill. It needs to pre-heat to about 400 degrees F.
2) Rub the two filets with lots of Tony Chachere’s “Spices and Herbs” seasoning. Use lots, like maybe a tablespoon on each side of each filet. You want it rubbed in so that the fish flat out won’t hold any more seasoning.
3) Spritz (oh… you’ll need a spritzer) olive oil on both sides of both filets. This will help prevent sticking, and will add nice flavor.
4) The filets have “smooth” and “rough” sides. Slap each filet on the grill rough side down. Once the fish approaches being done, it will get very flaky, and you want to avoid having to get the spatula under the rough side as the last step of cooking.
5) Set a timer (oh… you’ll need a timer) for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Now… you have 3 minutes and 30 seconds to start making the chutney.

6) Drain the can of tuna, and dump it in a bowl.
7) Add 2 Tbsp of Miracle whip, 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 cup of applesauce, and two packets of Splenda. Stir with a fork until it’s a creamy mess.

8) Assuming you work as fast as I do… grab the spatula, it’s time to turn the fish. If you’re slow, hopefully the timer woke you from your tuna-stirring reverie in time to not burn the fish. When turning these filets you’ll want to take care not to tear them up too badly. It’s a real shame losing good fish to the belly of the grill.
9) Set that 3 minute and 30-second timer again, and check to make sure the grill is staying right around 400.

9) Now you should be able to set the table. This will serve between two and four people, depending on what else you’re serving with the fish, and how big the filets were. Again, you have three and a half minutes. Go!

10) That would be the timer. You shouldn’t have wasted time trying to put down a tablecloth. Pull the fish from the grill, and serve.

The fish will be very spicy, but not unbearably so, and will be exploding with cool flavors. The tuna chutney is sweet (but in a low-sugar kind of way) and goes right on the fish, bite by bite.

This, by the way, is what I just had for breakfast.