Cookin' With Leo
Italian Tex-Mex Enchiladas!
What? You thinkin' that crazy nut Leo has lost it? You got some idea in the back of your head that Italian and Tex-Mex ain't compatible or somethin'. Well, it most certainly is, an' my Dear Sweet Italian fairy Godmother came by and told me it was. And, I never dispute her word, having done that once a long time ago and suffering the dire consequences of such action taught me to pay close attention to her Magic Wand whenever she waves it. Was sittin' out on the patio havin' a few cool ones one hot, West Texas Sunday afternoon and who should breeze in but my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother.
"Hey 'der li'l Bambino, wacha' doin' sittin' n' dreamin' out in 'dis hot back yard?" she sez. My Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmothr never 'says' anything.
"Well hello there Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother", I sez, er' said. "What are you doing down here in the middle of summer? I thought you would be cavorting with all your fairy friends at the annual midsummer Fairy Feastival."
"Naw," she sez, 'No fun dis summer, too many odder tings goin' on, conventions all over da place, so nobody pay no 'tehntin to us dis year. Somebody gatta have us on der mind if we gonna' stick around ya' know, an' I know when you tinkin' a me, so here I am."
I guess I deserve this impromptu, intrusive, invasion of my imagination; it's been too hot to wear the garlic and medal of the Blessed Virgin around my neck, which keeps away spirits of any sort and even best friends and worst enemies. "Oh well", I wondered, "what's she going to impart on me now?"
I really thought she had given me all the knowledge I could handle, a long time ago, but then daydreaming on a hot summer day in West Texas, while consuming a few cold ones, can change passive thoughts into virtual reality, whatever. So, here is my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother's latest impartation. And, since she really is Italian, and since she really does conjure up these marvelous concoctions, and since this is West Texas where chili, and tortillas, and tamale, and Tequila abound; my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother left me with this Tex-Mex Italian recipe, whichever. 'Smart cookie,' I thought to myself, as my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother waved her wand and flew off to who knows where.
So, here we have a brand new Italian Tex-Mex recipe for Enchiladas, and you are going to love it.
This recipe is in two parts and it doesn't matter which you do when, for instance you can use some left over chicken or turkey to make this. So let's prepare some Italian Chicken.
Here is what you need:
If you have left over chicken or turkey, chop it up and heat it with the cooking ingredients or go get,
About a pound of boneless, skinless chicken meat.
Butter, about 2 tablespoons.
A couple of cloves of garlic, pressed. Every good Italian chef has a garlic press even me and I am Irish.
A dash of pepper
2-Tablespoons dried Basil. Of course if you want to go make a trip to the spice shop, get some fresh Basil, and chop it up that might even be tastier than the dried stuff.
In any event here is how to prepare the fowl:
In a cast iron skillet melt two tablespoons of butter and add the garlic. Cut up the chicken into small pieces, or if using left over already cooked meat just string it apart. Add that to the hot melted butter and garlic. Sprinkle on the pepper and Basil and cover the pan until cooked tender. And there is your Italian Chicken, Turkey, whichever.
Now for the Tex-Mex Enchiladas, here is what you need:
1-chopped and seeded green pepper
1-chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper
1-eight ounce package Philadelphiaâ Cream Cheese
1-eight ounce jar mild or medium, whichever you like Salsa, divided.
8 or maybe 10, depends on how you fill and roll them, 6 inch flour tortillas
12 ounces, cut up Velveetaâ Cheese
¼ cup cream (dat's Italian), or milk (that's Tex-Mex) is ok if you don't use that degenerated, chalky, light stuff. Let's always remember I ain't no diet cook, you know.
And here is what you gotta' do to do it:
Stir the prepared chicken or turkey, the peppers, the cream cheese, and half the salsa in a saucepan on low heat until the cream cheese is melted.
Spoon this mixture down the center of each Tortilla and roll it up. Place the seam side down in a lightly Olive Oiled (dat's Italian) or greased (that's Tex-Mex) baking pan that will hold the rolled up tortillas and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
Stir the process cheese and cream?, milk?, whichever, in a sauce pan over low heat until smooth. Pour that over the tortillas and cover with foil.
Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven and pour the remaining salsa over the tortillas.
About 2 of these, with a salad and wine (dat's Italian) or with red beans and rice on the side with a can of CKA, (that's Tex-Mex) will please any Texan, Mexican, Italian, or even Irish friends will like this with a shot of Irish Coffee, or whoever. .
Ya'll Enjoy Your Texican, Mexican, Italian, Irish Cookin' Now, Ya' heah!