Did you every make something just so you could make something else with the leftovers? I do that all the time so we can have one of our favorites — enchiladas.
Enchiladas are kind of like open-ended burritos that are baked. They always include a traditional sauce made out of a variety of roasted peppers pureed together, and they usually include some sort of cheese.
Whatever else they are filled with is up to you.
I have collected recipes for enchilada sauce, but it’s one of those things that is just easier to buy. It’s not really very expensive and you can get it in a 14 oz can, which is just the right amount. Its very flavorful but not all that spicy.
We like to stuff our enchiladas with leftover chicken, pork or just beans and corn if that’s all we have. I almost always make a little rice to bind it together, but I’ve also made it without rice.
I have a wonderful rice steamer, which is soooo easy to use — you just pour in the rice and liquid, turn it on and forget about it! But I have been making brown rice lately because it’s healthier and I’m trying to weed out our overflowing pantry. Brown rice needs to be made on the stovetop because it takes a lot longer to cook.
I haven’t used instant rice ever since I learned that nearly all the nutritional value is leached out when they pre-cook it then dehydrate it. Yuck.
Whenever I cook a chicken, beef or some sort of pork, I almost always plan on making enchiladas with the leftovers a day or two later. I can justify spending money on the meat if I know I’m going to get at least two meals and probably a lunch out of it.
If you only have a little bit of leftover protein, you can stretch it out with extra rice or beans.
Enchiladas are also another excuse for us to have our favorite homemade guacamole. I also serve it with (fat free) sour cream and our special salsa blend, which is made with two parts regular salsa (any kind) and one part chipotle sauce, which has a wonderful smoky flavor but is much too spicy to eat on its own.
We probably have enchiladas at least twice per month. It’s a night we look forward to because it’s super delicious and easy to make. It can even be made a day ahead of time if you know you are going to be busy, or you can even freeze it for another time.
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
8-12 oz leftover chicken, white or dark meat, diced
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz can enchilada sauce
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked corn, canned or fresh
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack mix preferred)
5 whole wheat tortillas
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9″x9″ baking pan with pan spray.
Combine chicken, beans, rice, 3/4 of cheese and 3/4 can of the enchilada sauce in mixing bowl and stir together. Lay out tortilla on cutting board, fill one side with 1/5 of the mixture, roll up tightly and place sealed side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining four tortillas. Drizzle remaining enchilada sauce over the top, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and cook for 35 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the top.
Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and tortilla chips. Also goes great with beer.