I have a killer enchilada recipe.
It reads as follows:
- 2-3 cups shredded chicken (I stew three bone-in chicken breasts, chill quickly in iced water and shred away).
- 8 ounce package of Monterey Jack cheese, grated (set aside one good handful)
- 10-12 ounce package of cream cheese
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- jumbo can green enchilada sauce (32 ounces? maybe? sorta?)
- 10 large flour tortillas
Take off any rings that are important to you and, using your hands because trying to use a spoon will cause a wrist injury, squish the first five ingredients together in a bowl until they form a large, gooey mess.
I make my enchiladas assembly-line style, where I lay out the ALL the tortillas and then make filling logs to match the number of tortillas. (Otherwise I end up with either one pitifully small one or obscenely huge one at the end.) Place one filling log on each tortilla, roll tightly, shove more tortillas than you think will fit into a baking dish, pour enchilada sauce over the top, separating sardine-packed-enchiladas with any handy tool or your fingers to allow sauce to seep in between them, sprinkle reserved cheese over the top, and bake in 375 oven until bubbly and delicious (20-30 minutes.)
HA! You haven’t met my family.
Here are the problem ingredients:
- the Monterey jack cheese
- the cream cheese
- the chicken
- the cilantro
For those of you that are math challenged, let me offer that that list is 60% of the total number of ingredients for the entire recipe. But it should be noted that the same ingredients are not problems for the same people. Different people take exception to different ingredients. Because having only one problem ingredient for one set of people would keep me sane, allow me continue this habit I’ve developed of speaking in complete sentences and enable me to actually enjoy an event rather than be a crazy person that my husband explains by way of a tragic industrial accident.
The Scene: Our Oldest’s 18th Birthday Party
The Venue: My house
The Cast: Our family of five, my mother and her gentleman, my brother and his wife, and 6 of our son’s friends.
The Challenge: Make enchiladas (per the birthday boy’s request) that accommodate my husband’s lactose intolerance, my mother/brother/Sister-in-law’s cilantro aversion, and our son’s friends’ vegetarian leanings.
Except what the birthday boy wants is the classic recipe, with the chicken, and the cilantro and the cheese. And so, frankly, do I.
For those of you who appreciate a visual model, here is an illustration that shows the intersection of people who will happily eat any permutation of the enchilada sub-groups.
I can do this. I have an advanced degree. It has nothing to do with math or civic planning, but still required a fair amount of tests and serious logistical juggling, so I can handle a handful of enchilada variations. I am Martha Inspired, I will do it with grace and style and deliciousness and I will be witty and charming and refresh peoples’ drinks while serving hors d’oeuvres.
It may be a good time to mention that my kitchen is roughly the size of an iPhone.
My countertops can accommodate one baking dish and half a cutting board. I routinely move to the kitchen table for overflow and sometimes commandeer one of the ottomans. I will park any one of our three children next to me and make them hold bowls while I stir and add ingredients because I can’t have the bowl and the ingredients on the counters at the same time. I lease space in a commercial warehouse when I need to make Christmas cookies.
Four variations of enchiladas for a party of 15 in MY kitchen turned out to be a wee bit more than my emotional equilibrium was prepared to cope with. In an effort to protect itself my subconscious has blocked out large portions of the afternoon, but I do recall sitting on the floor at one time singing to the cheese grater, and I have a fuzzy half-memory of someone roughly my size, age and gender running naked down the block throwing cilantro at the neighbors. But it’s also possible that those are false memories caused by the new meds.
And then, once all the guests arrived and dinner was ready to dish, my brother asked, “Do you have vegetarian without cilantro?”
I gave him my best withering look (not easy as he’s 9 inches taller than I am) and asked, “WHO doesn’t eat meat AND doesn’t eat cilantro?” thinking that it’s him and that I’m just going to clock him with my shoe and force-feed him Eukanuba Cat Kibble.
But he glanced my sister-in-law’s way (who was trying to discreetly sort out what of the food would work for her and was absolutely not going to ask any more of the cook) and said, “Mary gave up meat a few weeks ago.”
But so did this one, so it’s all okay.
This post is being linked in humor and silliness to “Tip Me Tuesday,” hosted by the lovely Laurie at Tip Junkie. Hope it made someone laugh!