Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco De Mayo (Kinda) and Mom's Recipes -- Chicken Enchiladas

Guys. This year I planned ahead! I made a Cinco De Mayo Dinner BEFORE Cinco De Mayo--instead of actually ON Cinco De Mayo like last year! This means I could blog about it, woo!

I'm proud of myself for 1. Remembering, and 2. Planning ahead. When left to my own devices on personal projects I can get a little scatterbrained, so this was some good foresight on my part. Also, my plan for May is to do a series of Mothers' Day recipes honoring my mom--by re-creating dishes she made throughout my childhood. Be on the lookout for Baked Mac and Cheese, Veggie Lasagna, and possibly beef stew and American Chop Suey :) And more if I can remember them, I definitely need to brainstorm...

These enchiladas, while only "Mexican-inspired" and in no way authentic ethnic cuisine, bring back fond memories of my mom making these for dinner, and little me being SO very excited every time. I decided I loved tacos, enchiladas, and all things even remotely related at about age ten. I am pretty sure my mom found this recipe on the back of a Campbell's soup can, which makes it feel even more homey and comfort food-like. It's amazing what a can of soup can do!

My Dad was a terrible cook, but my mom was wonderful. I'm happy to share her recipes this month!

I accompanied the enchiladas with Spanish Rice and refried beans to round out the meal and the plate--plus jalapeno poppers, recipe to come soon!--but usually Mom would just serve the enchiladas by their lonesome, or maybe with a quick side salad or cucumber-dill salad for veggies, and I always went back for seconds. Sometimes thirds.

Baked jalapeno poppers
...Mom would NOT have made these. She hates peppers.
But they went well with the rest of the meal :)
Because of my current dietary restrictions, I used all low or non-fat ingredients... not the easiest thing to do with this recipe, but I was able to eat it with only mild discomfort and the flavor and nostalgia of this dish for me was more than worth it. ALSO, my stepdad actually liked this meal! He can be very meat-and-potatoes and tends to stealthily pop a pizza in the oven when it's my night to cook if I attempt a dish that isn't... well, meat n' potatoes... but he told me the Spanish rice was fantastic about ten times. It made me feel very accomplished!

Happy Cinco De Mayo :) I will also be making Margarita Cupcakes from 150 Best Cupcake Recipes for a cookout this weekend, and if all goes according to plan I'll post that one too :) I also plan to drink many a liquid Margarita at said cookout.

Also: If you'd like a quick history on Cinco De Mayo, head on over to Lynn's blog at Cook and Be Merry. She has a nice little outline about the history of the holiday. Prior to reading that, I'm ashamed to admit the only experience I had with Cinco De Mayo was that it was another excuse to drink heavily in college--as if we needed more excuses like that... Plus, she has a fantastic recipe for pork tacos!

In other news, I am sad that these pictures came out all red-tinted--I'm still figuring out my camera's settings and if I have no natural light I'm still screwed. However, they almost look like I took them with Instagram, which apparently is SO in right now... so, um, cool. I still wish they didn't look like poop though...

Chicken Enchiladas
(adapted from the Campbell's Soup recipe, by memory from watching my mom)

  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded--I poached mine and half-shredded, half-cubed the meat
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • Enchilada sauce, to taste (I used nearly the whole bottle!)
  • 2 cups (or more!) cheese blend of your choice (I used reduced fat cheddar and a reduced fat "Mexican Blend")
  • 1-2 cups salsa
  • 12 small tortillas (or more depending on how full you want the enchiladas to be)

-Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together chicken, soup, sour cream, enchilada sauce, and half of the cheese in a large bowl. Add chicken and coat entirely.

-Grease a baking sheet/casserole dish with cooking spray. Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture (about 1/4 cup per tortilla), roll up, and place seam-down in the baking dish. Continue until you run out of tortillas, filling, or both.

-Pour salsa over tortillas. Top with remaining cheese.

-Bake for 30 minutes.

Right out of the oven :)

And now for the sides... I made these while the chicken poached and kept them warm on the stove until the enchiladas were ready.

Spanish Rice

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 2 tbs olive oil

-Cook chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Add rice and chopped garlic and cook until browned. Add chicken broth and salsa, stirring often, until a gentle boil starts. Cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes (just a guess! check often!). Fluff with fork.

Easy Refried Beans

  • 3 jars black beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

-Cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add spices and stir to combine. Add beans and chicken broth cook for ten minutes or until throughly heated through. Mix until desired consistency is reached.

I make a mess in the kitchen, always.


  1. Your Cinco de Mayo meal looks absolutely delicious! My Mom cooked with canned soup also, so this was a trip down memory lane. I'm looking forward to your Mother's Day recipes. Lynne xo

    1. I forgot that I was going to link to your history about Cinco De Mayo! I will edit that now :)

  2. The colors and textures in your photos make it look so tempting.

    1. Haha really? I always feel foolish when I have to take pictures in non-natural light, because I feel like the pictures come out looking far less-than-appetizing. Thanks though! :)

  3. The entire meal looks insanely good! I'm so lazy I usually just make enchiladas with a salad. . . I would definitely like your sides with them next time!

  4. i was just thinking about what I would eat on cinco de mayo- great idea!

  5. I looovvee enchiladas and can definitely see why you looked forward to this meal so much as a kid...and now! My parents were really not into ethnic foods so I actually didn't have Mexican food until I was in college! Crazy.

  6. Happy Cinco de Mayo! What a great collection of recipes. Mom recipes are always the best, so I'm excited that you're sharing them this month.

  7. Very nice! Your Cinco de Mayo meal is a great start for me. Your chicken enchilada looks perfect. I always wish to make it at home!

  8. Sounds like a tasty meal to me...and definitely worth the mess.

  9. oooh this looks like the perfect cinco de mayo meal!

  10. An excellent meal for Cinco de Mayo, those enchiladas look terrific!

  11. What a meal! I hope you had a lovely day!