I've already shared my feelings on picky eaters with all of you (plus my love for Tina Turner) and my willingness to help anyone learn to cook. So, when my friend Jeff, possibly the single pickiest eater I know, sent me a text that said he wanted to make cheesy chicken enchiladas, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Jeff is just learning his way around the kitchen, and is looking for the easiest route to any dish, which often includes takeout.
When I sent him a text asking how he felt about sour cream, he replied that he'd get drunk enough to try using it as an ingredient, in moderation of course, if it was necessary. I immediately envisioned flames coming out of his oven, and decided against sour cream.
I had roasted a couple of chickens, so I started there, assuming he would start with rotisserie chicken from the store. Jeff will eat any kind of cheese (except Goat Cheese, NoNoNO!) so I stared at the cheese drawer, hoping a light bulb would go on. It did.
Cream Cheese. Yeah, I went there.
I heated the oven to 350 degrees, and warmed an 8oz brick of cream cheese in the microwave so I could stir it. I tossed in some diced chicken, green onions, salt & pepper, and ½ cup of the green enchilada sauce I was gonna use (mine was chunky, so I didn't add diced Ortega chilies, which I normally would have done. Also, I'd usually add sliced black olives, but Jeff hates them.) Then, I grated 1 ½ cups of jack cheese, and threw about a ½ cup of it in the cream cheese & chicken mixture. I rolled the filling up in white corn tortillas.
I sprayed an 8x8 pan with cooking spray, and poured just a touch of the sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Then I placed the rolled enchiladas side by side in the dish, like little inauthentic-cream-cheesy soldiers. I poured the rest of the sauce over the top, and covered the sauce with the rest of the shredded cheese. Into the oven they went, for 35 minutes. This experiment was either gonna go all right or all wrong. And we'd know soon enough.
When the buzzer rang and the enchiladas came out of the oven, they looked good enough to eat, so that was a plus. I tried them & liked them, and then went for the real test: I served them to someone who grew up eating actual Mexican food. He ate them too (in fairness, he also hates sour cream and he's dating me, so he probably wasn't gonna be too harsh. But still, he ate them.)
Experiment success! These enchiladas are really rich, and they're yummy, and cheesy enough for Jeff & kids to eat them, so there you go. When Jeff makes them, I'll update the post to let you know what happened - and if there were flames.
Jeff's No Sour Cream Enchiladas
- 1 15-18oz jar of Gluten Free Green Enchilada Sauce (I like chunky, Jeff is gonna use smooth for sure)
- 3 cups cooked chicken meat, diced
- 1 ½ shredded jack cheese
- 8oz cream cheese, softened well
- 2 green onions, diced
- 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper, plus more to taste
- 6-7 Gluten Free Tortillas (Jeff will use flour, but he eats gluten, so whatever.)
- 1 4oz can diced green chilies and/or 1 4oz can sliced black olives, drained, *optional
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cream cheese, chicken, green onions, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce , ½ cup of the shredded cheese and the salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Add diced chilies and/or olives if desired. Mix well and taste. Add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with pan spray, and pour a bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom to coat. Roll an equal amount of filling in each tortilla and place side by side in the dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for at least 5 minutes and enjoy.
Jeff (no sour cream) McCarthy says
Well, KC, my beautiful friend, thank you so much for tackling this for me. I have to be honest, im still going to utilize beer in the attempted creation of this mastful and yet accomodating dish. Ill even play Tina Turner's top ten while the production takes place. Spoiler Alert! Mariah Carry may end up in Tina's top ten.