Make Ahead Meals: Enchiladas
Hopefully everyone had a long & relaxing weekend...I sure didn't but more on that later this week (hint: at least I was planning two food-filled events!!). Something about short weeks feel SO busy, which means it's the perfect time to whip up a Make Ahead Meal.
Everyone has their opinions about leftovers (full disclosure: I'm staunchly in the pro-leftover camp), but there are some foods that just really taste better with time. I call these meals Make Ahead Meals and I always have one in the fridge. Having the time to cook dinner every night is a luxury that sometimes I just don't have. When Chase is home it's absolutely necessary that I have these in the fridge because as I mentioned before he does this thing where he doesn't eat all day and then he is hangry. And I do this thing where I don't eat for an hour and I get hangry. My point here is that Make Ahead Meals are that stop gap between hangry and inhaling an assembly line of random chips, being satisfied with nothing, and going to bed angry about having no food in your house. Hangry-Doritos-For-Dinner-Eating-Person meet Make Ahead Meals.
So what makes a meal so special they get to be included in the Make Ahead Meals tag on my site?? They have to be able to reheat well, keep for the week, and be versatile (no one likes eating the same thing in the same form everyday!) Bonus points for those dishes that actually taste better as the flavors mingle in the fridge.
Enchiladas are one of those meals that fit the bill for a Make Ahead Meal because they are especially versatile. Reheated with beans & rice for dinner? Yes. Thrown in a burrito, wrapped and taken for lunch? Yep. Served with three sunnyside up eggs for breakfast? Most definitely.
An entire pan full of enchiladas are a staple in our house. And when Chase goes offshore, I usually send him with a pan of enchiladas and a plate of cookies.
The other reason I love enchiladas is because they can be made with all homemade ingredients or can be made with all store bought ingredients. Either way, they taste delicious. You've got the whole day to stew your enchilada sauce and roast your chicken? You go girl. You're on your way home from work and you want to pick up everything from the pre-cooked chicken to the pre-shredded cheese to make your enchiladas? You also go girl. Regardless how you get your ingredients, the one thing you HAVE to do to make this delicious: sweat your onions down with hot sauce. No matter how rushed you are, cut your onions as soon as you get home and put them in a pan with oil and your choice of hot sauce. By the time you assemble your enchilada making station, your onions will be done and your enchiladas will be delicious because of it. Here's my favorite recipe:
Sailor Wife Enchiladas:
2 large onions, sliced
your desired type/amount of hot sauce (we use more like 1/4 cup around here!)
vegetable oil for frying
1 package of corn tortillas
1 whole roasted chicken, shredded
2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese (or more, don't be shy. honestly, I've never measured cheese, it's a "this looks like enough" sort of ingredient.)
2 4oz cans of green chilies
1 28oz can of green enchilada sauce (or red if you're into that sort of thing)
1/2 cup chopped green onions ngRepeat: deal in deals["4405"]
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Fry onions for 5 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add desired amount of hot sauce and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
Heat tortilla on stove top or in microwave to make pliable. One by one, take a tortilla, place chicken, pepper jack cheese, and onion inside. Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in a greased baking pan. Repeat until pan is full of tortillas.
Top with green chilies and any remaining onions. Smother with enchilada sauce. Sprinkle more pepper jack cheese on top.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is bubbling on top. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro.