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Tastes of Summer

“This is a family recipe that I have never shared,” says Nikki Chavez McKee with Classic Guys Plumbing (ClassicGuysPlumbing.com), Holistic Healing Heroes (HolisticHealingHeroes.com), and We Paint State 48 (WePaintState48.com). Each time I announce to the family that I'm going to make it, everyone is excited and everyone shows up. I've made it for company functions, and employees of other companies always remember me by my enchiladas. I've been told on a scale of 1 to 10 they are a 20 by many plumbers in the Valley. We love this dish because it tastes amazing and is a flavor explosion in your mouth.”

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Yields two pans with two layers

Ingredients:

  • Four cans of chicken breast or precooked shredded rotisserie chicken 
  • 4 cups of sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 2 bags of hatch New Mexico Green Chile (I buy the satchels from New Mexico, have them roasted when I purchase them, bring them home to peel them, bag them, and freeze them). As an alternative, you can buy cans of Hatch New Mexico Green Chile
  • 1 glass jar of green chili enchilada sauce from Sprouts 
  • 1 bag of corn tortillas (approx.. 24 tortillas total needed) 
  • 2 disposable aluminum pans or two glass enchilada pans 

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized pot, mix the canned or fresh chicken, green chilis, green chile enchilada sauce (save 1/8 of the contents of the jar and set aside), and a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. Bring to a light boil and then turn on low while mixing periodically. 

In your two aluminum pans, pour an evenly placed amount of green chili enchilada sauce that was saved from the glass jar into the bottom of the pans. Then layer your corn tortillas on the bottom, one next to the other in a two-by-two formation, until you have six corn tortillas total on the bottom layer of the pan. Use a ladle and pour an evenly distributed amount of contents from your pot over the tortillas. Then evenly distribute one cup of sharp cheddar cheese over the top. Repeat these steps for your second layer. Do this with both of your pans so you have two layers, and your last layer will be cheese on top. 

Once you are finished layering, place both pans in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown around the edges. 

Denise McCreery, owner of d’Vine Gourmet (DVineGourmet.com), shared this recipe, which as a classic French country salad, is an elegant (and easy!) summer meal.

“This is a simple yet hearty summer salad, using fresh or leftover grilled fish and easy-to-assemble ingredients. Its French heritage makes it unique and refreshing!” says McCreery. “I served it to my new in-laws the first time they came to visit. I needed something super impressive yet easy to make that could be served on the patio … this dish was on point!”

 

Classic Salad Niçoise

Ingredients:

  • Dressing (whisk together until well blended)
  • Juice from one large fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 1 large head butter lettuce leaves, washed **
  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 1 pound thin green beans or baby asparagus
  • 1 pint of cherry or heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 4 red radishes, quartered
  • 1 cup kalamata olives or black Niçoise olives
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • 8 oz. grilled tuna (salmon is good, too!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme or dill for garnish

For tuna, grill your tuna or salmon steak until desired doneness with lemon, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper. Canned tuna also works. Add potatoes to a medium pot, cover with cold, lightly salted water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and keep at a low boil for 10 minutes, until al dente. Add the green beans and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and beans and immediately add to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. When cool (5-10 minutes), remove all, pat dry, and cut into bite-size pieces.

Line four individual plates or a large platter with butter lettuce leaves, arrange potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, olives, radishes, eggs, and tuna on top of each plate, dividing the ingredients evenly.

Drizzle each salad with some dressing. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs. Serve with crusty bread and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or hearty IPA.

** Drizzle butter lettuce leaves with olive oil and throw on the hot grill for 2-3 minutes until char marks appear for an added, smokey flavor to your salad!