Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How We Met, Our First Date, and White Chicken Lime Enchiladas


If registration for spring semester is two days away that means it's almost spring right? I'm just going to go along with that line of thinking, and unpack my skirts and sandals. Spring semester holds a particular feeling of nostalgia for me because my first spring semester is when Nik and I met. 

When I think of that first semester, one meal comes to mind: white chicken enchiladas. 

I think it's a requirement in the first months of dating to constantly take Photobooth pictures together.
I had moved for the third time since starting school, moving in with a friend on a whim. My first week in this new apartment I walked into the kitchen and stumbled upon Nik. He was the perfect example of my "type". From his build, to his coloring and cute face. My middle school self would have ripped his picture out of a magazine to be glued to a binder. Seriously, it was like seeing my dream boy in person. (Outside of the enchiladas, that's as cheesy as this post gets.) I was filled with jealously, because obviously the cute guy in my apartment was a boyfriend of a roommate. 

By some miracle, he happened to be my roommate's brother. And she did what any smart sister would do. She told me he thought I was cute, and him vise versa. 


For our first date, we started off making dinner. We made white chicken enchiladas. The main ingredient for the sauce was one food I refuse to eat, cream of chicken. I was not raised in a family that consumes cream of anything. I had never tried cream of anything, and didn't have any plans to. Ever. 

While Nik and I were cooking, my fear of eating the enchiladas increased. As Nik scraped the soup into the pan, I tried to disguise my dry heaving through coughing. While the enchiladas baked in the oven, I hoped for some sort of fire or spontaneous combustion in the oven. The timer went off, and it was my moment of truth. I honestly thought I could work up the courage to take a bite, due to the effort Nik had put into the meal. My will power to make this date with this cute boy go well was strong. I kept reminding myself how attractive he was as motivation. But as my fork cut open the enchilada, the sauce oozed out, and any will I had mustered diminished. I didn't care if he was adorable, I would not consume that dang soup sauce.

I put the fork down, and explained I couldn't eat due to a "nervous stomach". Not my smoothest move. Nothing creates an environment  for a romantic date like mentioning a "nervous stomach". 

Unfed, we moved onto or next activity. Nik had heard me reference in the kitchen we met that I had a desire to learn to drive stick shift. Luckily, he hadn't heard me mention I failed my license test. Twice. 



He borrowed his roommate's car. It was a green mustang convertible from like 2000. By most standards, I was terrible at learning to drive stick. But knowing my driving skill set now, Nik would probably say he was just grateful I didn't crash. 

Afterwards, we went to a janky Mexican restaurant, and filled our empty stomachs with chips and guacamole. 

Ever since that first date, I've been determined to prove my ability to produce the best white chicken enchiladas possible, to make up for my lack consumption of the original white chicken enchiladas.

Tonight, the following recipe was actually dubbed by my favorite first date as "the best enchiladas" he's ever had. 



White Chicken Lime Enchiladas

Serves 1 Wife and 1 Extremely Hungry Husband

Ingredients:

2-3 C shredded chicken
2 T of butter
1/4 C flour
1 1/2 C chicken broth
1 C sour cream
1/4 C sliced jalepenos (I use the kind from a jar)
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T chopped green onion
1 T lime juice
2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
7 tortillas
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Mix cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Set aside. 
3. Melt butter over medium heat, add flour. Stir until flour is incorporated and you have a thick roux. Cook for one minute. 
4. Add chicken broth. Stir thoroughly, ensuring roux is incorporated into broth. After one minute, the mixture will become thicker. Cook until sauce has desired thickness. Stir in sour cream. 
5. Pour sauce into blender. Add sliced jalepenos, cilantro, lime juice, and half of spice mixture. Pulse mixture three times or until ingredients are evenly distributed. 
6. In a bowl, mix shredded chicken, 1 C of cheese, remaining spice mix and 1/2 C of sauce. 
7. In a baking dish, place tortillas. Evenly distribute chicken mixture into tortillas. Wrap closed. 
8. Pour remaining sauce and sprinkle cheese over tortillas. 
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. 
10. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, and limes. 

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