It’s a concern many a woman has: measuring up to her partner’s mother. As much as a man might love you for who you are, somewhere in the back of his head, he is comparing you to the woman who nurtured him growing up. Women do it too, by picking men in relation to how their fathers were.
Mama’s homemade meals
It’s a competition I know I can’t win, at least when it comes to cooking. My boyfriend, Albert, is Latino and grew up with foods that I still can’t pronounce correctly. While he was raised on spicy dishes that are much too strong for me, I was off in Norway with my meat and potatoes seasoned with plain old black pepper. There is no way in the world that I can cook food like his mother does.
This means that I’m intimidated to make Hispanic dishes. While we love going to a good Mexican restaurant, I don’t tinker around with it as much at home. I want to, but I’m afraid of “doing it wrong.” Luckily, I found a solution to my predicament.
A creative twist
I make foods that use Hispanic ingredients, but assembled in a way that a native to those cultures would never even consider. So I can give Albert familiar flavors, but I won’t be compared to his mother because she never made what I make. Tricky, tricky!
One of these dishes is this enchilada casserole. According to Albert, who is a multicultural scholar, only Caucasians make casseroles, so I’m in the clear on this one. I will confess that the first time I made it, we gobbled up the entire casserole in one night because we loved it that much. While the recipe presented is not very spicy, you can kick it up a notch by using hot green peppers, adding some chili powder to taste or pouring hot sauce on it before serving.
Makes 4-6 servings
2 cups diced or shredded chicken breast meat
1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced green chili peppers (mild or hot depending on preference)
1 T Activz Spinach Powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 can or bottle red enchilada sauce (10-12 oz)
8 tortillas (flour or corn depending on preference; 6-7” in size)
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 container sour cream (8 oz)
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, beans, chili peppers, Activz Spinach Powder, garlic powder, coriander, cumin and cilantro.
Spread 1/3 of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 7×11” Pyrex pan. Place a double layer of tortillas over the sauce, tearing pieces to fit if necessary. Spread half of chicken mixture over the tortillas and cover with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, half the sour cream and half the cheese. Place another double layer of tortillas over it. Spread remaining chicken mixture, and top with the remaining enchilada sauce.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with remaining sour cream and cheese. I place little dollops of sour cream all over the dish and then smooth them out when they have had the chance to heat up a little, then cover it with the cheese. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Let dish stand for 15 minutes before serving.