Books, Cooking, Food, Recipe, science, science fiction

Eat This While You Read That: Tedd Roberts

In with the traditional novel-length writers, I’ve sprinkled a few folks who are more difficult to stuff into a pigeonhole. This man is certainly not a person you can define with a single role. Or sentence. Renowned scientist, science fiction fan, and author of short stories and numerous science articles related to science fiction topics, Tedd Roberts is also the man of many names.

You can find his fascinating science articles at Baen.com, in easily downloadable-to-ereader formats, perfect for contemplation while cooking and eating up his delicious dinner recipe. Food for thought and the body! For his short fiction, you may have to wait, as the latest story is coming in June inside the Black Tide Rising anthology (set in the very best zombie universe created by John Ringo). So what’s your fancy? Putting the Science in Science Fiction?  Growing organs outside the body? A Translunar laboratory? Brain Implants? Are we wired differently? Once you have that, let’s get cooking!

Speaker – I did mention he’s the man of many names? The one I know best is Speaker to Lab Animals. Anyway, Speaker sent me a family recipe to cook up and tantalize the readers into trying it themselves.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
It’s a colorful dish, and a delicious one.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

 

  • 1 whole chicken or 6 chicken breasts – boiled, de-boned and chopped into small (1/2 inch) cubes
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped,
  • 1 pkg of flour tortillas
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stick of margarine or butter
  • 1 jalapeno or green chile pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can Campbell’s condensed Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth (from boiling) or 1 cup water with 1 cube chicken bouillon)
  • 8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Colby/Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 300º.

Chicken should be fully cooked before preparing casserole – boil whole chicken or chicken breasts, or microwave boneless chicken breasts (save 1 cup or broth for the “salsa”).

Sauteed vegetables
Sauteing the vegetables until softened.

Salsa: Saute onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms in butter or margarine.  Add tomatoes, chilies, spices, and chicken broth.  Cook until well-blended, and liquid thickens, but do not boil off all of the liquid..

sauce
All the sauce cooking down together – a great way to develop and fully blend flavors.

Grease 9″ x 13″ glass deep casserole dish, layer bottom with a double layer of tortillas (whole or cut into triangles).  Layer with one-half of the chicken, condensed “Cream” soup(s) (but not the Pepper Jack soup), salsa, and 4 oz. Monterrey Jack or Mexican shredded cheese.  Top with a single layer of tortillas, then layer with remaining chicken, condensed “Cream” soup(s), salsa, and 4 oz. Monterrey Jack or Mexican shredded cheese. Top with a double layer of tortillas.

The tortillas fit beautifully into my cast iron dutch oven.
The tortillas fit beautifully into my cast iron dutch oven.
Enchilada casserole
Layering ingredients into the dutch oven before baking.

Leave the top dry. Bake for 30 minutes @ 300º, or until top is very lightly browned.  Remove from oven, top with 4 oz. shredded Colby/Jack cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Cheesy casserole
Cheese! We love cheese *whisker twitch*

Cedar’s notes: I wasn’t at all sure about making this with flour tortillas, I have never had enchiladas using flour – always corn tortillas. If – the First Reader says when! – I make this again, we will use corn tortillas which soften up when cooked with liquids. The flour tortillas were very chewy. But the flavor was delicious, so it didn’t matter.

I served this with chopped fresh tomato and the other half of the bell pepper. They added a nice bit of crunch and flavor to the rich, creamy casserole. The dish is spicy but not very spicy – slightly less than medium, rating by store-brand salsas.

Chicken enchilada
The First Reader’s comment was that it’s very good. Good enough he didn’t even mind he was eating chicken.

You can find the index page for ETWYRT here, and the facebook group where we chat about food and books here.

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