Monday, August 8, 2016

Housewife Food- Cheesy Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas

Wait....housewife food? What the heck is housewife food? I actually made this term up but I'm sure it will be a trending topic before long- once the internet sees how ingenious of a term it really is. That's my hope anyway. So back to what I'm talking about. You all know The Chef and I cook all the time. He in the restaurant kitchen, myself for competition and recipe development. This usually doesn't include a lot of homestyle food and casseroles and the types of things a busy homemaker might make to feed her 4 kids and hungry hubby. THAT is what I call housewife food- the simple, easy to make, but filling and homey meals that reminds us of an era in the past. Maybe we remember our own moms being at home when we got home from school with a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering away or just searing off that pot roast, or maybe we remember the television moms that never seemed to leave the kitchen......

Sometimes even The Chef and I crave those comforting foods. We both are absolutely nuts over a pan of tator tot casserole, and who wouldn't be? Beefy, creamy mushroomy goodness topped with crunchy tots. Yum. We even sometimes get a serious craving for tuna noodle casserole. Imagine that, with all the gorgeous produce and interesting foods we have to cook with, we sometimes just want something that starts with a can of cream of something soup.

The Chef, of course, cooks for a living. Myself, my career field is far less glamorous-insurance. My day can be a little on the dull side, or it can be stressful as heck with angry insureds calling about one reason or another. It's not unusual to be yelled at several times a day by a person in a bad circumstance who just wants to blow off some steam and raise a little hell and I'm the person on the other end of the line. It's all good. We've all been there.  I also spend a lot of hours in front of dual monitors typing. Typing a lot. Notate every conversation. Document every specific. Make notes, check notes and make more notes. While not physically demanding, it can be mentally demanding and many days I get home and regret planning on making an elaborate pounded, stuffed and rolled steak dish with a potato side that includes numerous steps, a specific baking dish and a countertop full of ingredients. Plus a salad- always a salad, right?

I was so thankful today when I got home from just such a day that I had the foresight to buy a couple convenience products. Especially that can of soup. Tonight's dinner took some of the simplest ingredients and turned them into something really good, really filling and definitely housewife food. What did I use? A bottle of store-bought salsa, a jar of queso dip, a can of black beans, a couple chicken breasts and a can of nacho cheese condensed soup. Amazing results from everyday ingredients, let's make some enchiladas!

Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

1 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 small bags shredded cheese
10 flour tortillas
1 jar queso cheese dip
1 jar salsa
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
1/2 cup water

Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and cook until done. I poached them in just a small amount of water until cooked through. Let cool slightly, then shred or cube and place in a large bowl. Toss with one bag of the cheese, the black beans and half of the sliced scallions. Set aside.

In another bowl combine the queso dip, 1 cup of the salsa, the nacho cheese soup and water. Mix well. Add about 3/4 cup of this mixture to the chicken mixture and mix. Divide the mixture among the 10 tortillas and roll up.

Spread a few tablespoons of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan or two square pans. Arrange the enchiladas in the pan and spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the other bag of cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. 

Serve with additional salsa and the remaining sliced scallions. They are delicious with a dollops of sour cream or even some guacamole, but guess who forgot to buy sour cream when she was at the grocery store?

This recipe absolutely goes against our rule about fresh cooking and real foods and not buying stuff in cans and bottles but every once in a while you just have to. It doesn't make us bad people, or lazy, or unhealthy. Let's face it, sometimes life is hectic and cutting the occasional corner isn't a bad thing at all. 

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