Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Real Live Cooking Post

Hold the phones! Bek is posting a recipe!!! And not just a recipe, but like an actual guide, with actual pictures, to show that she actually cooked!

Try not to be blown away by the tornado that is my own bragging.

Alright, here's what's up. I cook like maybe 3 meals that can actually be considered meals, as opposed to cooking meat and then adding an accessory dish {or not... I'm pretty low-key}. BUT! This recipe I got from Victoria at Happily Ever Strader and this is the second time I've made it!!! I figured that was such a big deal that I needed to blog about it. You're welcome. 

So here's the deal: Victoria's recipe is wonderful and I {mostly} followed all her steps the first time I made it. And this time, I kinda, um, forgot? skipped? didn't include all the steps/ingredients. The moral of the story is, Victora made some tweaks, I made some tweaks, and you'll probably make your own tweaks, so let's tweak {not twerk} away and eat yummy food, mmkay? 

I broke it down into ten steps. Wow, that's a lot of steps, Bek! Yes, but there are pictures and a running commentary, so I think you'll enjoy the read. hint hint it's a long read. Also, if you want the technical measurements and stuff, head to Victoria's post, because nary a measurement will be found here, but there's plenty of snarkiness to go around. And we begin. 

  • bell peppers {I used three because the grocer sells a three-pack. What can I say, I'm a sucker for things already in a bag.}
  • half an onion
  • can of corn
  • can of black beans
  • can of refried beans
  • enchilada sauce {I've only tried mild because it's red, but if you try the medium or hot, do let me know how it is!}
  • several handfuls of grated cheese {I have a bag of white and cheddar mixed; it's totes delish}
  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • chicken {not found in Victoria's recipe - my own brilliance added that...because absolutely no one else could have come up with adding chicken to a dish}
  • cumin 
  • chili powder
Step One: Slice and dice those peppers! And the onion... but the onion isn't as colorful as the peppers, so it's only in like 2 pictures. While you're slicing and dicing, set a pan on your stove {about medium heat} and get it ready to saute those veggies.

Look at that yumminess!

Step Two: Once your veggies are cut and your pan is hot, add a teensy bit of oil to the pan and add your veggies. Sprinkle a bit of chili powder and cumin on them. You don't have to stir too much; just be careful not to burn anything. You want them browned, not completely blackened. Um, I found out the hard way that if you cut the onions into pieces that are significantly smaller than the peppers, they will cook MUCH faster. Just food for thought... get it?

Step Three: While your veggies are being sauted, open and drain the cans of corn and black beans. These are going to be sauted next. I got out a big bowl and had it ready to hold the peppers and onion while the corn and beans were on the stove. 
Oh, depending on how quickly or slowly your oven heats up, you may want to start preheating it now. 400 degrees is your goal.

Step Four: It's probably time to get the peppers and onions off the stove and put the corn and black beans in that same dish {yay for fewer dishes!}. Once you're on the second round of saute-ing, get out a 9x13 pan. Grease it. Grab your enchilada sauce {seriously, if you try medium or hot, tell me if you die of either happiness or heat stroke}. Spread some sauce over the bottom of your dish. I did a couple squirts up and down and then made sure to get the corners. 

Step Five: Stir your corn and beans. If you want to add cumin and chili powder to them, awesome. If not, awesome. No judgement here. Now open up your bag of tortillas {or grab them fresh from your oven, you pioneer woman you. No judgement.} and cut them into strips. They're going to cover the bottom of the pan. I think I used 3-4 for the bottom, and my strips were about as wide as my pinky and 2/3 as long. I know, I know, so technical. I'll stop, I promise. 

Step Six: Alright, the corn and beans are pretty much done, so add them to your bowl of veggies. Re-oil that pan {it's getting a workout tonight!} and put in some chicken. If you want to add the spices to the chicken, go for it. I did, and it turned out wonderfully. 
While your chicken is cooking, grab your bowl of peppers, onion, corn, and black beans. Half of that goes on your layer of tortillas. Just half. Trust me.

Step Seven: THE CHICKEN IS ON FIRE! Just kidding, but I made you check it, didn't I? Oops, it really is on fire. Well, cajun is a style of cooking, so we're good. Rollin' with the punches is what we do best, right?
Once your chicken is extinguished cooked, put it on top of the veggie layer in your pan. 

Step Eight: Alright, let's review our layers. There's the dish itself, obviously, and then there's some enchilada sauce, some tortilla strips, half your veggies {peppers, onion, corn, black beans}, and your freshly burnt cooked chicken. 
Now it's time for the refried beans. Victoria recommends adding some water to the beans so they spread easier, but I've tried it both without and with the water and I didn't notice a difference, so do whatever you want in order to spread the refried beans into your pan.
Is your oven on yet? 400 degrees, baby!

Step Nine: After the refried beans are spread nicely {or not so nicely - no judgement on how things go down in your kitchen. I definitely yelled at my refried beans, so don't feel bad if yours were pains in the drain also}, sprinkle some cheese over them. I find that the cheese covers up any deficits in the bean department, so be generous. 
Then cut up some more tortillas for another layer, squirt some more enchilada sauce on them, add the rest of your veggies, and top it all off with another round of cheese! Whew!
Your oven should be preheated and all toasty now!

Step Ten: Cover your dish with foil. Victoria has this clever trick where she sprays the foil with Pam before covering the dish, and that way nothing sticks to the foil. Try it; it's totes brilliant. Place the foil-covered dish in your 400 degree oven and set the timer for 15-20 minutes. The goal is for the cheese on top to be melted, so channel Tim Gunn and make it work. When the cheese is melted, hooray! Dinner's ready!

Ta da! Congratulations for sticking with it all the way to the end! Victoria's directions are probably way easier to follow and there's definitely less snark over on her blog, but if you've made it this far, a) you're my stalker-sister or b) you enjoy snark. Either way, I wish you well on your cooking endeavor!

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