I love comfort food. Comfort food for me sometimes looks like a big bowl of fluffy white rice with beef and broccoli, or a warm bowl of vegetable broth and noodles though my current could-eat-this-everyday FAVORITEEEEEE is my mama’s Chinese Ginger Chicken Noodle (Mee Sua) Soup.
Other times though, the more “American” part of me craves for a grilled cheese sandwich with homemade tomato-ey vegetable soup, a cheese-avocado quesadilla, spicy homemade queso with chips and guacamole, or a perennial favorite, casserole of any kind with ooey-gooey perfectly browned and oozy melted cheese on top.
Please keep in mind that I’ve also just thrown up every meal for the last three months and have had to stay away from dairy so I hope it explains the cheese monster that woke up this morning and inhabited my body.
Or maybe we could just blame the sweet little awesome baby.
Let’s blame baby. 😛
(Also, I owe you a week 16 bump-date on beautiful Phuket and about measuring God’s grace and learning the depth of His wisdom and His time…but I have cheese-brain now. Literally. Like if I don’t write down the recipe this very second, it might be swallowed up into the big black hole of “what was I saying/doing/walking here/picking up/remembering again?!?!?”)
I made a big roast chicken dinner last night for my awesome boys (and Winnie!).
Mom is still in Australia for the next six weeks so of course it is my sacred job to sayang the lost little puppies and what doesn’t say love and comfort than roast chicken, mash potatoes, warm toasty bread, and big bowls of fruit and vegetables right? 🙂
Oh, and I learned this see-lai housewife trick a long time ago, if you make roast chicken/pork/beef/anything, always make extra.
There are all kinds of fun fun fun recipes you can make with the flavorful leftovers – pizza topping, quesadilla, sandwiches, stir-fry, pasta, soup, etc plus in our house, you never know who else might show up for dinner!
I was so excited about our leftovers I contemplated a greek yogurt chicken salad or making a mango salsa and rolling it all up in a toasted tortilla for lunch but in the end, this quick yummy soul-comforting casserole won out.
Traditionally, enchiladas are made with tortillas but oh my pasta carbs. 🙂
In about half an hour, I threw together a bunch of random things featuring just a little bit of Mexican, a little bit of spice, and warm oozy comfort.
The best part?
I followed the other super important rule of our kitchen which is that if you make casserole, you can’t just make one!
Usually, I can either split or double the recipe for an extra pan to share with a friend or neighbor that might just need a little sunshine or just-because-you-are-loved hug.
So this morning, they got Knocked-up Quick Comfort Chicken Enchilada Bake.
I think that is exactly how I’m going to introduce it. 😛
Knocked-up Quick Comfort Chicken Enchilada Bake
3-4 cups pasta (any kind), cooked
1-2 cups chicken, shredded
10 oz Green Chile Enchilada sauce (I used a can of Old El Paso available at B.I.G. and Village Grocer in Malaysia…I’ve yet to find a non-homemade quick organic substitute..sorry!)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (you could also add other vegetables like peas, broccoli, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, yum!)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package (6 oz) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tub (8oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp chicken broth (can be substituted with either all milk or chicken broth too)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp plain flour
1/4 cup spicy salsa or chopped jalepenos (optional)
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
green onions/cilantro with tomatoes & avocados for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 350f
2. Cook pasta in salted rapidly boiling water until al-dente. While pasta is cooking, you can prep your ingredients – chop tomatoes, shred chicken, etc.
**If you don’t have any leftover roast chicken available, you can easily just boil 2 pieces of boneless breast/dark meat in salted water and use a Kitchen Aid mixer to shred or trade out for black beans as a vegetarian entree.
3. Over medium heat, sweat onions with a little bit of olive oil and a pat of butter. When onions are translucent and tender, add minced garlic followed by tomatoes (reserve a little for garnish if wanted).
4. When the tomatoes have softened, add corn then chicken.
**Fun little tip, buy corn ears in bulk when it’s in season then shuck and separate kernels at home. Date and freeze into little zip-loc bag portions so it’s always available and cheap!
5. Add in salsa or chopped jalepenos. Skip this step if you want it a non-spicy version.
6. Add cream cheese and half the shredded cheese, stir until melted and incorporated completely.
7. Add enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup each of milk and chicken stock.
**If you only have chicken stock or milk available, don’t sweat it. Either or is fine..I just like to use both because the chicken stock adds a bit of flavor and the milk adds a little creaminess.
8. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 tbsp plain flour with 2 tbsp chicken stock and 2 tbsp milk together. Add to saucepan and stir while it heats up and the sauce thickens.
9. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in pasta.
10. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. I ended up adding some mozzarella string cheese too because we didn’t have enough shredded cheese. Adaptability? I gots it! 😛
11. Bake for 40-45 minutes until mixture is bubbling and cheese has melted and browned.
12. Serve warm and top with chopped tomatoes, green onions, avocados and a dollop of sour cream/greek yogurt if wanted.
“Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when you see food coming at a restaurant.”
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