Chicken enchiladas for one…really fat person.

Well, in two days I’ll have officially been a “Haligonian” for a month. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here that long, but at the same time I almost feel like I just got here. I’ve started to settle into my new apartment and so far I love it. It’s a ton of space and I’ve been slowly getting it set up the way I want to. The walls are still a little bare and ugly, but I’ll be able to add artwork and things once I’ve got a couple paycheques!

Residency has been a total whirlwind to start. Just getting thrown in and all of sudden having responsibilities after not using our brains very much for the past two months is extremely disconcerting at first!! Especially in a new health care system with new computer health records systems, different paperwork, and different people. So far I think I’m managing to tread water and just keep my head above water.

Being on call is definitely one of the things to get used to, what with not having any call in fourth year. There’s good nights, and there’s bad nights, and then there’s terrible nights (like last night). But I’m slowly discovering that the worst part of call is when your partner is also a resident…and also doing call. Last weekend he was on home-call all weekend and we couldn’t go anywhere because he kept getting called into the hospital. I’m on call three out of the next four weekends, and he’ll have to go into the hospital for two of the four. I barely get to see him!!

What this story is leading up to is that last saturday night, I had planned out a delicious meal for us, since I had time to cook and I figured he wouldn’t get called in all night for home call. How wrong I was. I ended up cooking these delicious enchiladas and he got called into the hospital right at 5 when I started making them and didn’t come back til 10PM. So I had a whooole lot of chicken enchiladas to eat all by my lonesome! Such are the perils of residency. This recipe makes 12 of them. Good thing they’re still delicious as leftovers for lunches. So enjoy them with a big crowd if you can, there’s definitely enough food for everyone!

Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Yield: 12 enchiladas

For the sauce:
1 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sugar
1 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce/pasta sauce (I had leftover pasta sauce)
½-¾ cup water
Salt and pepper

For the filling:
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups enchilada sauce (above), divided
1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1 pre-cooked chicken breast (diced or shredded)
Salt and pepper

For assembly:
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Lime wedges, for serving

To make the enchilada sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Transfer half of the black beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until almost completely smooth. Set aside. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the mashed beans mixture, whole beans, and diced chicken and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the big mixture to a large bowl and stir in ½ cup of the enchilada sauce and the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, warm the tortillas in a damp cloth, then place some filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional feta and/or cilantro for garnish, if desired. Serve warm with lime wedges.

Enjoy (maybe with some margaritas)!!


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