Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dinner & Dessert

Are you ready for two amazing recipes? Granted, they don't go well together. No no, I would not follow chicken enchiladas with lemon pie. That wouldn't work well, but that doesn't stop each of them from being unbelievably delicious.

First up: Chicken Enchiladas Cremas Verdes. I got this recipe from my friend Amanda who had us over for a Mexican themed dinner one night. I was lucky that she offered to send some of the leftovers home with me because boy oh boy were they good. I mentioned in my last recipe post that the recipe for these enchiladas actually came from HEB. I don't know why I found this so surprising... but I did. 

The funny part is that the ingredients were all "HEB brand this" and "HEB brand that," and when I went shopping I thought to myself, "I'm not going to get HEB brand for everything! How silly." And then do you know what I did. I got HEB brand for just about all of it. HEB is just so darn cheap and it's usually just as good as the name brand. No complaints here on saving a dollar or two.

Ingredients
3 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 jars HEB tomatillo salsa
1 small can diced green chiles
8 oz cream cheese
1 dozen flour tortillas
1 cup cream
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese



Directions:
Heat the oven to 375˚. Boil the chicken breasts for 20 minutes.

This was my first time to boil chicken. It certainly didn't look that appetizing, but it got the job done!
Using two forks, shred the breasts.



Saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, cream cheese, one jar of salsa, and chiles. Reduce to medium and blend the contents.


Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture, roll tightly, and place in baking dish with seam sides down.

I got tortillas that were smaller than average and ended up needing two baking dishes because I couldn't fit enough chicken in each tortilla. If you get normal sized ones you should be able to fit all 12 in one dish. 
Combine the remaining jar of salsa with the cream, and pour it over the enchiladas.

I totally forgot to add the cream to the salsa. Would have been even better...
Top with shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes.


Ta da. Yum yum yum. They're super creamy and flavorful and addictive.



I happily ate these for almost every meal for the next week. No shame.

Now, onto a wonderful dessert that should never follow these enchiladas: Lemon Tart. I love this recipe because it's pretty simple to make, it just takes a little time. I made it for the first time a few years ago, and recently made it for John's Grandfather's birthday. Given that there was none left at the end of the night, I think it went over pretty well! 

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour


Crust Directions:
Heat the oven to 350˚. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, vanilla, and sugar together. Slowly add the flour until fully combined. 



Press the dough into a 10 inch round pan, making sure the finished edge is flat.


Butter one side of a piece of aluminum foil to fit inside the crust, and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry.


Place a second piece of aluminum foil on top.


Fill with pie weights (in this case I used beans) and bake for 20 minutes.


Remove the weights (and save for next time) and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature.


Lemon Curd Ingredients:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 4 medium lemons)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
4 eggs, at room temperature


Zest the lemons, then, in the same bowl, juice the lemons and set aside. 


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the lemon juice and zest. Mix until combined. 

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.


As the mixture heats up and the butter melts, it will become much smoother. 


Stir until thickened, about 10 minutes, roughly 165˚. Having a thermometer isn't necessary--I usually just eye-ball it anyway. You'll be able to see a shift in the consistency from watery to close to pudding. Once thickened, fill the crust with the lemon curd and allow to set at room temperature.



I normally serve it with homemade whipped cream and raspberry coulis, but I was crunched for time and didn't get to make those two extras. It's good by itself, but the raspberry coulis adds some nice color and flavor, and the whipped cream helps cut the tartness.

What's your favorite dessert? Are you a chocoholic? Into ice cream? Candy? I'll have just about anything...

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