Saturday, November 10, 2012

Comfort Cooking

Death is inevitable. There was recently a death in one of my very close friends family, her grandmother. I am very uncomfortable in situations such as these. Though I can relate to death because I have had to deal with death of grandparents in my own family, it is just difficult to sense what people want. I don't want to make people talk it out, or not say the right thing. I just want people to know I am there for them, and I do this with my cooking. I told my friend whatever she wanted me to make I would. She came over one afternoon, looked through my cookbooks and picked out one entree and one dessert. She chose a recipe for Layered Chicken Three-Cheese Enchiladas and a chocolate roll. I am not an expert with dessert but I told her I would try my best. The enchiladas came out really well but the chocolate roll wasn't as pretty as I would like it to be, but it did taste good. I feel like it is possible to communicate through food and express emotions. Without saying anything I feel like my friend could tell I really cared and was there for her if she needed me for anything. 

Since the Enchiladas were so good I will share the recipe with you to try. Enjoy!

Layered Chicken Three-Cheese Enchiladas

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 3/4 cups red enchilada sauce
9 corn tortillas, each about 6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
Sliced green onion tops for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Add the chicken to the onion and stir well to combine.

Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 3 1/2-quart round wide Dutch oven. Arrange 3 tortillas in a single layer on the sauce, overlapping them as needed to cover the sauce. Top with a generous 1 cup of the chicken-onion mixture, 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese. Repeat the layering 2 more times, alternating the direction of the tortilla layers and finishing with 1/2 cup sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.