A decade of basketball, beer and bad food-Spicy Chicken Enchiladas and Fresh Salsa

When I make my annual trip north for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament I always bring along a recipe or two to share with Kristine.  This year I brought two of my favorite Mexican dish recipes.  The first is an easy chicken enchilada recipe that has become a family favorite and the other is a fresh salsa recipe that I got from a friend oh, so many years ago.

I found the enchilada recipe while standing in the check-out line of the grocery store.  While waiting I tend to read the front covers of all the small food magazines by Betty Crocker, Taste of Home and others.  One day I spotted one of these small cookbooks with the title Cooking For Two” by Betty Crocker. I found it interesting at the time because as I was trying to adjust to cooking smaller after preparing meals for so many years for a large family.

Armed with my recipes, Kristine checked her pantry and refrigerator to see what ingredients she already had on hand.  The next day Kristine and I picked up the ingredients I would need. On day six of my visit Kristine went off to work, Brian settled into the dining room to complete some schoolwork and I went to work in the kitchen to make a home-cooked meal.

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces

½ cup chopped onion

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ cup sour cream

2 Tablespoons Old El Paso® Chopped Green Chiles

½ cup Old El Paso® Enchilada Sauce

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese

½ cup chopped lettuce

½ cup chopped tomato


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square (1 ½ quart) baking dish.  Spray medium nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Add chicken; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Add onion, salt, oregano and pepper; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Cool 5 minutes.  Stir in Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and chiles.
  3. Spread ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce in bottom of greased baking dish. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up.  Place filled tortillas, seam side down, over sauce in dish.  Spoon remaining ¼ cup sauce over tortillas.  Cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 350°F. for 30 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Uncover; sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.  Bake an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  To serve, sprinkle with lettuce and tomato.

These enchiladas are so easy to put together with a preparation time of about 15 minutes.  Then short time in the oven and voilà you have a delicious meal.  I have been making these tasty enchiladas over the years for family and friends and always with the same result; they love them.  I doubled the recipe so Kristine could put some in the freezer to save for another day.

(Note: Light or nonfat sour cream and reduced-fat cheeses are good substitutes to reduce the fat by about 21 grams per serving in this recipe.)

Many years ago my friend Louise hosted a get-together for our couples group and prepared this wonderful, fresh salsa.  I loved it so much I asked if she would share the recipe; she did.  This recipe is easy to prepare and is equally good if served right way or put in the refrigerator for a while so that all the wonderful and fragrant ingredients can mingle.  Either way, it is delicious.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 pound firm, ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼-inch pieces

1 fresh jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and very finely chopped

½ small red onion, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

In a medium-size bowl, toss all ingredients together.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until serving.  Makes 2 cups

Kristine and beau Brian loved both!

An update on my standings: At this point I am still #4 in one of my brackets and #39 in the other in a field of 62.  I am hoping to stay in the top ten and it looks like that just might happen.  I am so excited.  No matter where your bracket(s) is I wish you luck!!  Enjoy watching the final game between North Carolina and Gonzaga tomorrow night; I will!

Miss Kitty sleeping peacefully on the couch and Miss Paige and her favorite stuffed toy relaxing on her bed. So cute!



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