Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Creative Dinner

Yesterday, I used the last of the Super Birds I bought last month. These were huge roasting hens, that were on sale at the time and I purchased 3 for our BANK ( freezer). I had enough leftover last night to fill a storage tub, and wasn't sure yet, what to make with the leftovers so in the fridge it went.

Now I could have frozen this bin for a later meal but, decided that I also needed to use some corn tortillas that I purchased and with that, CHICKEN ENCHILADAS were just the ticket!

Chicken Enchiladas ( Red )

1 1/2 cups of chopped or shredded cooked chicken
10-12 corn tortillas ( I used yellow corn)
1 can of Gebhardts Enchilada sauce ( this is the only sauce I use)
Block of cheddar cheese
AND,  from the fridge if you have this ( and you should have)
1/4 piece of onion chopped finely
1/4 piece of bell pepper  chopped finely ( I had both red and green and they both got used up this way)
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray a baking dish with oil ( about a  12" X 12")

In a small sauce pan slowly cook, the chicken, onion, peppers in a little oil until the veggies start to soften to that add about a tablespoon of the Enchilada sauce.

In a small skillet, add about 3/4 inch of cooking oil and heat to medium high. When hot, dip in one corn tortilla at a time for just a few seconds to soften and place around on a plate to cool enough to handle.

Cut or grate cheddar cheese to equal about 1 cup of cheese. I prefer to cut small "sticks" of cheese about 2"x 1/4" to use inside of the enchiladas.

To assemble: 
On one end of a softened tortilla, place a stick of cheese and generous tablespoon of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place on one end of the oiled baking dish. Continue with all of the tortillas until you have filled the dish. Slowly pour the remaining Enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, making sure you cover the edges of each tortilla too. Top with any remaining cheese sticks, or grate more cheese to cover the top of all of them.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until all bubbly.

I served this with Rosarita's canned refried beans. ( these are a little more pricier but they are quite good.

For dessert, I made some Key Lime Bars from a Krusteaz Brand mix that were quite tasty with a cup of French Roast Coffee.

Since the chicken was left over from a previous meal, I considered the meat already paid for from the grocery budget, as well as the corn tortillas and the onions and peppers. 

So my Creative Dinner cost breakdown was approximately: 

$1.50 for the cheese ( I buy in bulk)

$1.10 for the can of Gebhardts enchilada sauce 

$1.15 for the can of Rosarita's Refried Beans

$1.98 for the Krusteaz Key Lime Bars

Dinner and dessert for three, and 2 additional lunches cost: $5.73 - $1.15 a person

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lean and Mean! Dinner & The NBA Playoffs

Tonight is the third game of the San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City.While we don't usually watch a lot of sports, we certainly get all into the playoffs if it involves our beloved home team,
The San Antonio Spurs!

To get us nourished and ready to scream and yell, tonight's dinner is lean and mean!

Grilled Seasoned Boneless Chicken Breasts, Fresh Baked Yeast Rolls, lettuce, tomato, pickles for topping

  • Early in the day, take out 3 extra large chicken breasts and 6 frozen yeast roll dough balls from freezer  ( Remember that I bank meats, doughs etc. in a large freezer) 
  • Prep a cookie sheet with oil or margarine and place your dough balls on it to raise ( per your recipe)
  • Place your chicken breasts on a plate or platter with sides and season to your liking. I am using my blend of season salt and Braggs all purpose seasoning). Place in refrigerator to thaw. 
  • After about two hours, check the chicken to see if at least half way thawed. When the chicken is starting to be pliable, remove and place on strong cutting board or a clean surface and pound to about 3/4 inch thick. The chicken breast will be quite large at this point, so cut in half. Now re-season and back into the refrigerator until time to cook.
  • I gear our dinner time to about 4:30 to 5:00. At 4:00 I will heat the oven for the bread and warm up our George Foreman Grill. You could saute, or even bake them too. We prefer the Foreman Grill.
  • If your bread has been extra happy and risen bigger than usual that is really what you want. These free form rolls will be your "buns". Begin to bake them according to your recipe. Also start your chicken breasts, so both will be done at near the same time.

I don't think I need to tell you how to plate them, that is pretty much a given!

We usually have chips or beans, but if you want oven fries, this would work too as your oven would already be on, they can be put in first to allow enough time to bake.

Now, we will enjoy a great semi gourmet chicken sandwich while we watch our SPURS win another game!