It just dawned on me that we weren't the only ones noshing on Mexican food this evening ... Margaret texted me from her Date Night w/Bug - a woman was breast feeding her baby in the restaurant - score! ;-) Breast feeding also came up in Madonna's reflection of the Golden Globes, as I learned while watching Access Hollywood by accident .. playing "squat-stand-squat" with little Thomas ... apparently there was a year she donned a black dress and was basically falling out of it by the end of the night because she hadn't breastfed her child in 4+ hours. I know the feeling .. and I can only imagine how it feels on the red carpet! Go Madonna! I think this picture is from 1997.
Anyway ... Back to the Fiesta!
Margaret and her BF skip off to Acapulco's Restaurant each Monday night for Date Night - $.50 tacos and giant mugs of beer. Mm sounds great! Acapulco's Restaurant has the best cheese sauce - drizzled over any type of burrito you can imagine or ordered a la carte with chips ... it is fabulous! They also have giant mugs of beer - dos equis amber, anyone?
Our dinner wasn't quite as exciting, but it was easy and very flavourful. While zipping through Target yesterday I was pleased to see that they carried Rick Bayless' Frontera brand of taco/enchilada/fajita seasonings. I am always drawn to Rick Bayless' name and brand because we know his food is amazing - we've been cooking it for two years thanks to his cookbook, Mexican Kitchen, that was gifted to us from a good teacher-friend of mine. What makes them unique to those pouches of flavour you might purchase (McCormick frequently flavoured my life growing up - tacos, chip dips, you name it.) is that they are liquid, all natural, and chemical free! ... they are also a bit expensive for my taste, considering we can make most of the sauces from scratch quite easily. Regardless, they were on sale - $.50/off and buy 2 get a back of 8" flour tortillas for free! So I picked up the green enchilada sauce (my all time favourite!!) and roasted tomato-chipotle steak taco seasoning. Sounds good, eh?
After discussing technique (dredge shells or keep 'em dry?) and contents (chicken or chicken + bell pepper and onion?) I set to work. I like to sprinkle Penzey's chicken taco seasoning on my chicken before throwing it onto the George Foreman grill. I hate the foreman ... but it's easy and convenient because you can literally throw you chicken on and forget about it for a few minutes ... buying time to get other things done. The chicken then emerges from the foreman perfectly cooked and crispy on the outside, adding some texture to your filling and a somewhat shredded look when roughly chopped. It's nice. It's easy. It tastes good. <thumbs up>
I sauteed some onion and bell pepper until slightly soft and a bit blackened for extra flava - I think we called these fajitaladas (fajita + enchiladas) because of the veggie aspect to our stuffing. I also love to pile the toppings onto my enchiladas ... so I sliced up lettuce, tomato and avocado. Avocado is a must for green enchiladas after a day of Christmas shopping at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. It is such a cool place to poke around ... a bit maze like, you can find just about anything you desire inside - childrens' items, incense and bath soaps, all-natural foods, sauces and goods from local farms and manufacturers, and of course ethnic food. It was so hard to choose a place to eat..! There is an amaaaaazing little Mexican restaurant named La Loma tucked inside boasting the best tamales ... but in my opinion, unless you have a wild craving, (or, in my case, I was pregnant and using that as an excuse to order the sample plate) skip the tamales and go for the enchiladas. They were amazing. Topped with a dainty wedge of avocado. Mmm ... I have yet to craft an enchilada of that caliber .. but believe me, the day will come!
I assembled our enchiladas, deciding not to dredge the corn tortillas, following the package instructions on the back. I made 8 enchiladas in an 8x8" pan ... I squirted a little sauce on the bottom and the rest on top ... and after 20 minutes in the oven (15 covered, 5 uncovered to get that gorgeous crusty cheese texture?) ... I probably could have used 1 1/2 packages of sauce, or perhaps I could have watered it down a bit with about 1/4c. of chicken stock ... The flavour was awesome, but they were a bit dry.Everyone had a little Fiesta this evening ... even Thomas, who had a few bites of avocado this evening. We attempted to coax him to crawl over for a bite with a little dish of avocado pieces ... to which he scoffed ... at first ... but once I laid near him on my belly, offering him bites off my thumb and index finger, he began to squirm and wiggle. He's got to figure out those little crawly legs!! I think as long as he is satisfied with his mobility via rolling ... he'll put off crawling. I think I'm o.k. with that. =)