Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Indiana "Enchiladas"

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Coming from the Southwest, Brian and I experienced culture shock when we moved to Indiana. Many things we embraced (snow, small town life), learned to tolerate (ice), or love (friends we made, rural backroads), but some things we just never took to (humidity, racism). Another thing we never took to was the "Mexican" food served in local restaurants.

At first* there were two choices: Taco Bell and Chi-Chis. My co-workers liked to get together for lunch (all you can eat buffets) or after work drinks (margaritas) at Chi-Chis. They LOVED the food; couldn't get enough of it. It was all white...everything covered with what they called "queso sauce"...something I'd never really seen in an authentic Mexican restaurant. EVERY entree was smothered with this white sauce. And they'd order extra on the side!

Now, I'll be the first to admit that even the Mexican food served in Tucson isn't always authentic. There's a lot of Tex-Mex, and Southwestern-American influenced food (chimichangas come to mind). But it's a whole heck of a lot more authentic than the Mexican food in Southern Indiana! (At least back in the 90s....)

This next dish is one my friend and coworker, Karen, made for me. She called them "Yummy Enchiladas, " and Brian and I agreed...they really were yummy. Though anything with cream cheese, whipping cream, and flour tortillas really shouldn't be called an enchilada. For many years we kept the name, "Yummy Enchiladas." Tonight however, I renamed them "Indiana Enchiladas" because they remind me of all the white-sauced "Mexican" food served in Indiana.

If you are a Mexican food snob, please re-name these so you're not even thinking of Mexican food when you eat them. They really are quite yummy, and are worth trying. Just don't think of them as Mexican food and you'll be fine!

Indiana "Enchiladas"

8 oz softened cream cheese
4 oz salsa
4 chicken breasts
12 flour tortillas
4 oz whipping cream
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Boil & shred chicken.
Mix cream cheese & salsa. Add chicken.

Roll meat in the tortillas, and place in a greased baking dish. Pour whipping cream over the tortillas & top with cheese.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

*Later on, the town we lived in (Bloomington) got an authentic Mexican restaurant. I can't recall the name, but the owners were from Guadalajara. This was a welcome change as we really got homesick for Mexican food.


Lisa said...

I'm from the Southwest too. New Mexico. Queso sauce. That's funny. It took my husband (not a Southwesterner) so long to get used the question that you get asked in many, many New Mexican or green?

dg said...

I would have DIED for any red or green sauce while we lived in Indiana! I don't think they'd even heard of green. My family used to ship me cases of Herdez salsa (a favorite of mine since childhood), as all we could get was Pace!

Lisa said...

Do you know that they sell Hatch brand chiles at Harvest Fresh? Hatch is the standard New Mexican brand. I was so excited to find that. They also sometimes carry Bueno frozen green chiles, which is another decent brand from New Mexico.