Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hard Work Pays Off

Last Tuesday night I laced up and headed out for my first track workout of the season with my local running club. Oh, I have such a love/hate relationship with the track. I dread the workout all day long, cursing myself for signing up for such a thing. Then once I get the workout underway I'm reminded how much I love pushing myself. How great it feels to do something you didn't know if you could even do. How nostalgic it is to smell the rubber and feel the heat of the track while nearby coaches bark orders and blow whistles at football practice. And most of all, how rewarding it is to do something hard, and have it actually pay off.

Track workouts are hard, but they are so important if you want to take your running to the next level. Even more important than that for me, they help to break up the monotony of weekly runs. It can get pretty boring to go out there every day to push out the same old 4 to 6 miles. Track workouts shake it up, give you one day where you push yourself just a little harder, and in my case, reward myself juuuust a little more. Immediately after finishing this weeks track workout, which by the way was in the pouring down rain, I was feeling pretty badass so I took myself over to Giant for a fresh carton of chocolate ice cream. Its a good thing I love to run, because I suuuure do love to eat. :)

So here is the other indulgent, sinfully delicious recipe I mentioned a few posts ago. Similarly, this recipe is a LOT of WORK but it is worth every effort!!!! My girlfriend brought over these chicken enchiladas after I had TGB and oh my goodness, I fell in love with the sauce immediately. I put my own little spin on them, but kept the sauce the same. This dish is a definite crowd pleaser. The sauce is savory and rich but not at all spicy, so its perfect to please a large group. And always an added bonus, you can make this the night before!

The Best Chicken Enchiladas You've Ever Had

6 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I poached these in water and shredded the day before to make the assembly a little less burdensome the next day)

About 12 corn tortillas

vegetable oil for frying

your favorite brand of jarred salsa

About 4 oz of shredded jack cheese and 4 oz of shredded cheddar

For the sauce:
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 stick of butter
At least a 1/2 cup of tightly packed cilantro
1 tbl cumin
2 tbl flour

(Its pretty funny I thought light sour cream might make this any less fattening. Especially since its sitting next to that giant slab of butter)

In a blender add the chicken broth, cilantro, sour cream and cumin. Blend until smooth.

Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter over low heat (I doubled the recipe, so there's a lot more butter in here than half a stick if youre wondering). Whisk in the flour until smooth.

Like so :)

Then pour in the cilantro sour cream mix from the blender and whisk it up from time to time as it thickens over the low heat.

Get everything ready for frying... corn tortillas, veggie oil, a piece of aluminum foil, and you'll need some tongs too! Get someone to watch your kids (even if its the TV) because this part is kind of time sensitive. And by the way, don't even bother making these enchiladas at all if you're going to skip this step! If you just put the chicken in the corn tortillas without gently frying them first they will fall apart when you go to serve them.

Add a thin layer of oil to a hot hot pan, and fry the corn tortilla for just maybe 10 seconds per side so that its slightly crispy but still bends without breaking.
Then pick up the corn tortilla with the tongs, shake off the excess oil, and dip both sides in the sour cream sauce. Then transfer to the aluminum foil.

Repeat this with each tortilla until you've done as many as you want to make!

And now finally its time for assembly. Arent you happy you cooked the chicken the day before?? Make you assembly line... I've got the tortillas, chicken, then salsa, then cheese, then baking dish.

Put a bit of chicken, a spoonful of salsa, and some cheese in the tortilla.

Then fold and put open-side down in the baking dish.

Then pour alllll over the magic sauce...

And top with even more yummy fattening cheese! Just do it! You've already come this far!

Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the top is hot and bubbly. Oh my.
And finally, the last parallel I'll draw for you today, if you love all things running check out my girlfriend Dorothy's blog. She is the definition of Hard Work Pays Off and chronicles her inspiring journey through her Mile Posts entries. She was kind enough to do a little athlete bio on me today!


The Recipe Diva said...

You are making me miss Mexican food so much! I used to just warm my tortillas in oven for enchiladas, but I think I will start giving them a quick pan fry! Thanks for the tip!

Rebecca Samson said...

Seriously it took me months and months to do speed work and you are back at it in just a matter of two months. Kudos to you!

Julie said...

oh my word!!!!! you are killing me. looks incredible!!