What it is that makes reading cookbooks so much fun? It really shouldn’t be, but I still find myself regularly hauling home a cookbook or two from the library, even though my home collection no doubt has thousands of recipes still to be discovered and loved.
This weekend I brought home a book called The Northwest Essential Cookbook by Greg Atkinson. Funny, but like many mystery novels that I check out from the library, I got this cookbook home, started reading it, and thought “hmm. I know I’ve checked this out before”. But, tastes and inclinations change and it seemed time to look through it again. In browsing, I noticed a recipe called Dream Enchiladas. I read it through, noting with pleasure that the author had worked years ago at a Mexican restaurant in Bellingham, Washington. Carrie went to graduate school there, and I always enjoyed visiting here there. It was fun to see her, and also fun to eat out as I liked many of the restaurants.
So, this cookbook author said that one of the great things about the restaurant he worked at in Bellingham was the bacon and orange enchilada sauce served with chicken, beef or cheese enchiladas. He borrowed the basic recipe to make an enchilada dish with crabmeat. Crab was not on my menu, but I did think it would be fun to turn the recipe back around to it’s origins and use it to make chicken enchiladas.
A bit of work (not much, really) and well worth it. I LOVED them. Dave gave them a thumbs up also. Not the usual tomato sauce soaked dish I am used to, but much more lively and bright. I’ll make these again.
Dream (Chicken) Enchiladas with Orange Bacon Sauce
12 corn tortillas
corn oil, for frying
Bacon and Orange Sauce(recipe follows)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound shredded chicken
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry the tortillas, one at a time, in hot oil for 30 to 40 seconds, turning once. As they are fried, stack them on paper towels and put aside.
Mix together 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce with the cream cheese and chicken. Divide the filling evenly among the dozen friend tortillas and roll each one into a cigar shape. Place one cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 12X9 baking dish and arrange the rolled enchiladas in a single layer on top of the sauce. Ladle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, covering evenly. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and bake at 375 until bubbling (20 to 30 minutes) P
Bacon and Orange Sauce
4 ounce bacon, chopped
6 TBSP flour
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp ground chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup orange juice
1 TBSP grate orange zest
1 tsp crush garlic
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Lift out the bacon with slotted spoon, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute more. Stir in onion, chili powder, coriander, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, and garlic and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Continue stirring until the sauce comes to a boil, then remove from heat, and stir in cooked bacon bits.
Adapted from: The Northwest Essentials Cookbook by Greg Atkinson