Each week, we kick off the beginning of the weekend with “Fun Friday.” Usually that involves cooking some kind of food that we don’t normally eat during the week, something, well, a little more “fun.” What’s fun food, you ask? Well, I’m not entirely sure, but I know what it’s NOT. Sometimes if I haven’t planned very well and am not sure what to cook, Chris might boldly suggest leftovers or lentils for Fun Friday. WHAT?! I usually look horror stricken at such a preposterous proposal and promptly remind him that lentils are NOT Fun Friday food! Our friend here, who is a vegetarian, protests, “Lentils can be fun!” Sorry, but as fond as we’ve become of lentils while living here, they still don’t meet my picky our unified requirements for Fun Friday.
We’re not entirely sure how Fun Friday started, but we’re pretty sure it was shortly after being here, something to look forward to during the week and an excuse to eat some of the foods we miss from home but don’t tend to eat as frequently here, often because they’re a little obscenely more expensive than they would be at home. We don’t eat a lot of meat and cheese, for example, because it can get costly, but on Fun Friday… bring on the meat! Break out the dairy! (Okay, you caught me: On Defrost Thursday, a certain cook just might sneak a little of the defrosted cheese as it awaits its Friday night fate. But don’t tell Chris.)
Fun Friday usually involves games and/or a movie as well, and we often invite people over. Tonight, for example, we had so much fun when we broke out the Wii (Ah, glorious generator! We had no power all day, except for the two hours the generator was on in the morning, but we knew that come evening time, we would have it. What a difference that makes in our mental state!) and played with some of our friends. (Let it be known that, knowing we’d have power in the evenings at our new house, we got a Wii in the States – the first video game system either Chris or I have owned since Atari – to help us exercise more, though we’ve yet to set up the exercise stuff. But Mario Kart, oh, Mario Kart has been well used, mind you.) Their kids had so much fun playing that they didn’t even realize that, well, they weren’t because the grown-ups were hogging it and had given them controllers that weren’t even hooked up to the Wii.
Fun Friday has become a tradition for us and something we look forward to, even when we’re not in Nigeria. Even Chris’s parents, who stayed with us for a month here, adopted it when we were at their house in Michigan. One particularly bleh day, I remember Chris’s mom announcing that it was Fun Friday, so the day had to get better! (And it did – we broke out a game and munched on something particularly Fun Friday-ish, probably frozen pizza and raw cookie dough. Yum.)
But one of our favorite things to eat for Fun Friday when we are in Nigeria is Mexican food, and one of our favorite dishes is chicken enchiladas. Before we moved to Nigeria, I’ll confess that my enchilada experience was limited to ordering them in restaurants, but we have found a recipe we like so much that we actually plan on using it in the States (I say “actually” because I’m shocked that I intend to cook something I can easily order via takeout. 😉 ). One of the things we really like about it is that it doesn’t use that much chicken or cheese compared to a lot of recipes (and I probably use even less than what it calls for), but it tastes like it does. I’ve also used the recipe as a base for other enchiladas, like spinach and cheese. Equally good.
So here is the recipe. I’ve modified it a little because, well, I’m lazy and kept omitting steps each time I made it to see if it affected the taste, and it turned out great each time.
- 10-12 tortillas (Next week we’ll post the tortilla recipes we use.)
- 1 c. milk
- 1 c. chicken broth
Mix filling together:
- 1 ½ c. milk, soured with 3 T vinegar
- 4 tsp taco seasoning mix
- 1 small tin tomato paste (The ones here are 70 grams, about 2 ½ ounces)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- pinch of salt
- ¾ c. cheese, grated, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 c. chicken, cubed (I don’t think I’ve ever used that much chicken here, and the chicken I use is usually pre-cooked since I typically cook and prep a whole chicken at once then freeze it in smaller portions.)
Optional: In a skillet, heat 1 c. milk and 1 c. broth until warm. Dip tortillas in the mixture before filling. (I found this step to be unnecessary because our tortillas usually roll fine without dipping them, so I just pour the milk and broth mixture over the tortillas after they’re wrapped for some extra flavor. If your tortillas don’t roll or stay rolled well, though, you probably want to do this. Though I’m not entirely sure why it’s supposed to be heated (the first step I omitted.))
Mix filling together, then spread each tortilla with filling. Roll tortillas and place them in 9×13 pan. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Pour remaining milk & broth mixture over all. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350°F.
The first time Judah ate these he was not quite a year old, I think, and we were floored when he ate about one and a half of them on his own. Of course, served with homemade salsa and sour cream yogurt, who can blame him?? Now… well, now let’s just say we double the tortilla recipe….
p.s. If you try this recipe, all you people who have access to Mexican restaurants and such have to come back here and confirm or deny its yumminess so I will know if my taste buds have just disintegrated since moving here or if it really is as good as we think it is.