Did you SEE that game yesterday?
Oh wait. You don't know what I am talking about? The World Cup. I know, here in America it really isn't that big of a deal, but in our half-Brazilian / half-American household it is more than just a soccer tournament; it is pretty much what 95% of our conversation is centered around these days. And I love it!
I haven't always cared about it. In fact, I never had even heard of the World Cup until I was graduating college and a group of my friends didn't come to the graduation because there was a game on. Actually, they came. They just stayed in the back, all crowded around a pickup truck with a TV connected to it, cheering for whatever teams were playing at that moment. Technically they were there, but there weren't really there. I was fuming! These were some of my best friends, they showed up for my college graduation and didn't see me get my degree because of a soccer game?!
I totally get it now.
This household cheers for Brazil. All the way. I mean, my husband comes from a country where every time they play is equivalent to a national holiday. Schools are closed, businesses are shut down, and parties are going on everywhere. Imagine the 4th of July -- continuing on throughout a month. This is a big deal for him, and has become a big deal for me. But yesterday we cheered for the USA (Go, Team, go!).
DID YOU SEE THAT GAME?!
I think my heart sank at minute five, and then soared from about the middle of the game on... until it almost stopped beating during the last 30 seconds. If you don't know what I am talking about you really should check it out. Man oh man, it was intense.
Objectively, it was a great game. Subjectively, it almost made me cry. So this is what it feels like to really care about sports...
But at the end of the day -- win, lose, or draw -- life goes on. And I don't know about you, but I work up quite an appetite while watching these boys battle it out on the pitch.
To help combat that, I bring you a chicken enchilada casserole.
The beauty of this casserole is that you don't have to really roll the enchiladas. Just stuff them, fold them in half, and layer them in the casserole dish. Quite simple to make and really delicious to eat -- even my husband who dislikes most Mexican food (he doesn't understand why cheese and beans go together, nor does he like spicy things) enjoys this. I guess it helps that I don't put jalapenos in even though the original recipe calls for them.
Some tips: (1) buy cooked, shredded chicken from the deli section of the your local grocery store. It is easier than buying it and making it yourself, and costs about the same; (2) substitute Greek yogurt in place of sour cream -- it is tangy and has the same consistency, and is a little bit healthier; and (3) start cheering on your team in the World Cup! Like I said earlier, go Team, go!!!
CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food, October 2011
SERVES 6 • PREP TIME: 35 MINUTES • TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR
- 2 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), washed and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, diced small
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- 15-18 corn tortillas
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 3 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a blender, puree tomatillos until smooth. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatillo puree and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Briefly run stack of tortillas under cold water, turning to lightly dampen. Wrap stack in a clean kitchen towel and microwave until pliable, 30 seconds. Fill each tortilla with about 3 tablespoons chicken and a sprinkling of cheese, fold in half, and arrange in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, overlapping slightly. Top with tomatillo mixture, cover with foil, and bake until bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and 2 tablespoons water. To serve, drizzle casserole with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.