Christmas is a time when we think about traditions.Â The memories mix with the moment and nostalgia dodges our steps.Â This week nostalgia filled the air of my rental home here in Wales with the smells of green chili chicken enchiladas, sweet corn spoonbread and peppernuts.Â Oh the joys of diversity.Â My California upbringing and my Mennonite heritage collide at Christmas and I can hardly begin to celebrate without this delightful mix of culture and flavor.Â We’ll leave the peppernuts for another day, because today, by popular demand, I want to share the recipes for this weeks “traditional” Christmas meal.Â Honestly, tamales would be more traditional (Teen Challenge used to sell them as a Christmas fundraiser), but I’m much better at making enchiladas.
Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
- 7 ounces of green chilies (rinsed, chopped and seeded)
- Small Onion
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp leaf oregano/crushed
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cilantro
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I use a gluten free mix)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
- 1/4 cup (approx) Cooking Oil
- 8 large Tortillas – (I use gluten free homemade flour or corn tortillas)
- 3 to 4 Chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese
- Cook chicken in olive oil on stove top or in slow cooker. Shred finely. Set aside. (For extra flavor add an extra 3 to 7 ounces of green chilies to the chicken while cooking)
- Make Green Chili sauce: Saute small diced onion in olive oil or butter until clear or golden brown. AddÂ green chilies.. Add cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cilantro. Cook 1 minute.
- Stir in flour until well combined. Cook 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In another pan bring cooking oil to a medium heat. Do not overheat â€“ it should not smoke. Add tortillas to oil and quickly turn them over and remove them to your baking dish. (This softens the tortilla and keeps it from tearing when rolled)
- Place tortilla in the pan. Add meat, sauce and some of the grated cheese. (Reserve enough sauce to pour over top when done) Roll the tortilla and continue until the pan is filled.
- Cover with remaining grated cheese and the rest of the liquid mixture. Cook in oven on low heat until warmed through and cheese is melted.
- If desired (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t) Top with homemade guacamole before serving
Sweet Corn Spoon Bread
(Recipe credit: Lee Ann Clark = Allrecipes)
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup masa harina
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy.Â Add the Mexican corn flour (Masa Harina) and water and beat until well mixed.
- Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky.Â Stir into the butter mixture.
- In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt and baking powder.Â Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour batter into an ungreased 8×8 baking pan,Â Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place pan into a 9×13 baking dish filled a third of the way with water (water bath)
- Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven F (175 C) oven for 50-60 minutes.Â Allow to cool 10 minutes.
- Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.