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Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Wow, that title is a mouthful!  Sometimes it’s hard to stick to a two or three-word recipe name when there’s so much goodness going on with it.  I had to tell you this was creamy, because that’s one of the best features of this dish.  I had to tell you it features green chiles, both straight up and in salsa verde, because the flavor profile this creates with the creamy & cheesy ingredients is rockin’.  And it’s a chicken enchilada casserole so I couldn’t exclude those words.  For your sake, I didn’t mention the beans in the title, though I was tempted to call this “Creamy Green Chile Chicken & White Bean Enchilada Casserole.”  You gotta draw the line somewhere, am I right?

Pretty much everything I eat right now seems like the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.  So maybe it’s not true that this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life, but it sure felt that way while I was eating it.  It’s filling (yay for protein, fat and fiber! hehe), which made me so sad because I wanted to eat the whole casserole, in one sitting, all by myself.  It seriously rocked my world.  I was so excited to serve it to my husband (we hardly ever eat dinner together, and on this occasion I actually ate before him, which is unusual since he usually gets off work before me) and I tried not to lean over his shoulder to gauge his reaction.  But I kinda did.  He never gets excited about food like I do, but he said it was “really good” and ate a huge plateful rather quickly, then went back for more.  I’d say that’s a big two thumbs up from the Den man!

There’s pepper in this dish, but the black flecks come mainly from the roasted salsa verde, linked to in the recipe.

I based the recipe off of my favorite Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, and maybe it’s just that I haven’t had them in over a year (so many recipes, so little time), but I do believe this green casserole version is even better than the original enchiladas.  All I know is it’s good, and I would definitely make it for company!

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles
½ cup salsa verde (I used Walmart’s World Table Roasted Salsa Verde, which I highly recommend)
1 (15.5 oz) can white beans (such as navy or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
1 cup light sour cream
1 (10.5 oz) can light cream of chicken soup
1 ½ cups Monterrey Jack, divided
1 ½ cups Cheddar, divided
*OR 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend substituted for both cheeses
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8-10 white corn tortillas, quartered
Butter for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9 pan with butter and set aside.

Salt your chicken breasts and cook them in a skillet or grill (I use my George Foreman). Allow to cool enough that they won’t burn your hands, then chop them up; set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and chop up your onion. Melt the butter in the heated skillet and add the onions, sautéing until softened. Stir in the green chiles and salsa verde and cook for 3-5 more minutes to cook off some of the liquid. Add the chicken, white beans, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of the cheese (reserve the rest for the top), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Stir together until well blended and cheese is melted.

Spread a small amount of the chicken mixture over the bottom of your prepared pan, then put a layer of the quartered tortillas over it, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas, then another layer of tortillas, and finish with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top, then cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray to keep the cheese from sticking (or use the nonstick foil). Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 5 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Veronica’s notes: I highly recommend shredding your own cheese, as the preshredded kind doesn’t melt as well and IMHO, does not taste as good. You will need ¾ of an 8 ounce block of both cheddar and Monterrey Jack for this recipe (every 8 oz block makes 2 cups of shredded cheese). The tortillas are super simple to cut into quarters if you layer five tortillas and use a pizza cutter on them, or a chef’s knife. Also, this would make an excellent meatless meal if you just replace the chicken with another 2-3 cans of white beans.

A Veronica’s Cornucopia original, with help for transforming it into a casserole from 4 Little Fergusons


1963 Good Housekeeping White Bread

My friend Kim, aka Red, shred this recipe with me.  I keep calling this “Red’s Bread,” because even though it’s an old recipe, she’s the one that introduced it to me!  (Besides, I love the way it rolls off my tongue–I think Kim should have her own bread company and name it “Red’s Bread”, don’t you? )  I love trying old recipes, and this one was not only easy, but delicious.  I never thought I could turn out a decent loaf of bread that I actually kneaded myself, but I did it! Woo-hoo!  My husband is in heaven right now (he’s already eaten half a loaf!) and keeps staring at me with these gushy lovey eyes like I’m some sort of goddess.  I wonder if fresh bread does this to all men or if it’s just a quirk of his?  In any case, I think I’ll be making this bread a LOT! :)

White Bread
From 1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook

1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 pkg. (2 1/4 t) active dry yeast
About 6 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Scald milk; stir in sugar, salt and margarine.  Cool to lukewarm.  Measure warm water into large bowl; sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved.  Add lukewarm milk mixture and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough additional flour to make ta soft dough.  Turn out onto lightly floured board.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 min.  Form into smooth ball.  Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hr.
Punch down dough.  Let rest 15 min.  Then divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf.  Place each loaf in a greased 9x5x3 bread pan.  Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hr. 
Bake at 400 degrees F, about 30 min, or until done.  Makes 2 loaves.
*Veronica’s Notes:

Many older recipes instruct you to scald milk.  That is, to bring it nearly to a boil (185°F, 85°C, or more), preferably in a thick-bottomed pan, and stirring actively, to keep a protein skin from forming on the surface and keep the proteins and sugar from sticking to the bottom. Scalding served two purposes, to kill potentially harmful bacteria in the milk, and to destroy enzymes that keep the milk from thickening in recipes. Pasteurization, however, accomplishes both of those goals, and since almost all store-bought milk in Western countries is pasteurized these days, scalding is essentially an unnecessary step.  Therefore, I merely heated the milk with the butter, sugar & salt until the butter was melted and then I cooled it until it was just warm but not hot. 
Also, I used rapid rise/instant yeast.  If you are also using instant yeast, here is my method for this bread that you can follow–it cuts down on the prep time by a full hour.
Mix 3 cups flour with the yeast in a large bowl, then pour in the warm water and cooled milk mixture until blended.  Follow the rest of the directions up until the point when you have kneaded the bread for 8-10 minutes.  You will skip the first rising since instant yeast makes this step unnecessary.  Divide the dough in half, form into loaves, and put it into the greased loaf pans.  Follow the second rising and baking directions.  I turned my loaves out of the pan as soon as they were done and brushed them with melted butter.  Divine!

Black & White Truffles

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Today I tried to make a white chocolate buttercream based on my own recipe for chocolate buttercream which is just equal amounts of chocolate and butter and nothing else.  I have no idea whether this would actually work, because I made so many mistakes in making this simple buttercream (one I’ve made a hundred times with regular chocolate) that to actually describe them would be tedious.  Let’s just suffice it to say that I tried to fix it by microwaving the mixture after blending it and when the white chocolate and butter separated and refused to go back together, I tried to fix it again by adding powdered sugar.  I ended up with a thick sort of dough that obviously would not work for my purposes.

Feeling the velvety texture with my spatula as I mixed it, I thought the soft dough might make a nice truffle center.  So I tasted it.  That settled the matter.  What was once the beginnings of a white chocolate buttercream had suddenly transformed into the beginnings of white chocolate truffles.

I rolled the dough into small balls and froze them to harden them up for easier handling. 

I went the easy route and dipped them in almond bark.  (Dark chocolate would contrast nicely with the sweet center, but I didn’t want to go out and buy it.)  Then I melted some white almond bark in a disposable pastry bag* and drizzled it over the top of the truffles to pretty them up.

While I was zigging and zagging, I thought, “Hmmmm….these would make great gifts!” And I haven’t bought anything for mother’s day yet.  So I boxed them up and now they’re in the fridge, ready to give to my Mom and mother-in-law on Sunday.  They don’t have to know that their gifts started out as a disaster!

Black & White Truffles
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
dark & white chocolate for dipping & decorating

Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.  Beat in the powdered sugar.  Roll the dough into balls and freeze until hard, about 10 minutes.  Dip in dark chocolate (you can mix a little shortening, butter or parafin with it to make it shiny) and then decorate with white chocolate.

*You can buy disposable plastic pastry bags at Walmart on the cake decorating aisle.  I get a pack of 50 and I think it’s less than $10.  They’re awesome b/c you can stick chocolate in the bag, microwave it, then snip the end and squirt the chocolate out to decorate with.  You can also use them for drizzling anything, like frosting or glaze.


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