Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

I have been looking up recipes, reading through recipes, and coming up with my own ideas about what to make for Cinco de Mayo this week.  Excitement has been rising yet the other day while planning and shopping for my Cinco de Mayo dinner I became so frustrated.  First I was happy to find tomatillos in the produce section but then I was ticked that they were all soft and as I peeled back some of the paper husks I found mould and bruises (ewwwwww).  Needless to say, I did not get any fresh tomatillos for dinner.  It is kind of hit or miss at my grocery store when it comes to tomatillos.  If they have them, there's never too many and you have to get there early to get the good ones.  I also couldn't find poblano peppers to save my life!!  Lucky there is a small section of Mexican products in the 'international' aisle, if you can call it that.  I did manage to find a bottle of green enchilada sauce and a bottle of red sauce there.  I will have to wait and see how they both taste but I really did want to make my own.

Wednesday evening I spent some time prepping for Cinco de Mayo.
I put together my tortilla soup so it was a quick re heat and serve item for dinner.

Tortilla soup (adapted from Food Network)
Printable versions of both recipes

1 large white onion
2 jalapenos
1 28 oz jar whole tomatoes (roast the tomatoes but save the liquid for the soup)
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
4 cups chicken stock (or more, depends on how thick you like your soup)
1/2 cup ancho chile pepper puree (3 or 4 dried anchos softened with hot water to cover and purred: freeze   the leftover)
2 bay leaves
First I pre heated the oven to 400F and chopped some onions, 2 jalapenos, 3 cloves garlic, and some whole canned tomatoes and put them on a baking sheet.  These tasty tidbits were then coated with olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Then whole works then went into the pre heated oven for 10 minutes.

Pull the whole works out and sprinkle with 1 tbsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp cumin.

Pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until everything is nice and toasty!

I let the roasted veggies cool while I made dinner for Wednesday (scrambled egg night). After the Boy washed the dinner dishes, I plunked everything into my blender and whirred it up until smooth.

(I have made this recipe before but without the roasting and I made a huge mess blending the hot soup so I thought I would try it this way.)

The last time I made a tortilla soup, I had tons of left over ancho chili puree so I froze it.  Wednesday evening I thawed it and tossed 1/2 cup of it into the blender with the cooled roasted veggies. The whole works then goes into a pot and heats up with 2 bay leaves, 1 28 0z can of crushed tomatoes and 4 cups of chicken stock....mmmmm.....

Serve topped with things such as:
  • dollop of sour cream
  • cilantro
  • chicken
  • avocado
  • cheese
  • green onions, onions, tomato
The other item I prepped ahead was the shredded chicken for the enchiladas!!

Chicken Enchiladas

6 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
red or green enchilada sauce of your choice ( I REALLY wanted to make my own green tomatillo sauce and red poblano sauce but I couldn't find either item....sigh)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add some olive oil to coat the pan.  Toss in the onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.  saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and lay them on the top of the onions in the pan.  Clamp the lid on and cook for 18 - 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool until the chicken is cool enough to shred.

I just used my clean hands to pull the chicken apart.  Add the onion mixture and the juices and plunk it all in the fridge until you are ready to fill your enchiladas.

Yet another item difficult to find was corn tortillas...I did find some multi grain and some flaxseed tortillas that had a similar texture to corn tortillas and they worked wonderfully!

Mix the shredded chicken with some shredded monterey jack cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, and some chopped green chiles (optional).

Spray a 9 x 13 pan (or similar size) with cooking spray and pour a layer of your choice of either green tomatillo sauce or red poblano sauce over the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover.

Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling onto the centre of a tortilla, roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in the pan.

Lay each enchilada seam side down in the saucy pan.

Spoon some more sauce over the enchiladas and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until hot, bubbly and the cheese is all melty/gooey.

Serve with re fried beans, rice, chips, guacamole, tortilla soup.....enjoy!!!

 Until next time, stay warm and eat well!


  1. That looks like a perfect meal! A hearty bowl of soup with chicken enchiladas sounds so good.

  2. Oh yummy!! That looks so tasty! I am wiping my drool... great recipe Lori!


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