Mini Chicken Enchilada Bake

Arriving back last week from tropical Darwin to our home in chilly Adelaide (see my post Darwin Chili Mud Crab), I was ready for something hot and spicy- what better way than to whip up some mini Chicken Enchiladas!

The tomato sauce for the enchiladas is spiced with chili, cumin, Mexican chili powder, corn and an optional splash of white wine. Already I can feel (taste) the heat!

I filled the enchiladas with shredded chicken breast: I normally think chicken breast is too dry for my taste, however after I poached it in water for several minutes, the meat was nice and tender. I used mini-tortillas since they are ‘cute’ and easy to handle.

Mini enchiladas ready to go into the oven

A friend of mine once said that she doesn’t cook Mexican-inspired food at home since “there are already so many Mexican restaurants and fast-food places around.” But it’s ‘game on’ for me- I’ll take the heat anytime!

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Mini Chicken Enchilada Bake
Serves 8
Easy chicken enchiladas made with mini tortillas
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
For the sauce
  1. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  2. 2 garlic cloves, diced
  3. 1 long red or green chili, chopped
  4. 1 tsp cumin
  5. 1 tsp Mexican chili powder
  6. 1 small can of corn
  7. Splash of white wine (optional)
  8. 1 can (14 oz or 400 g) diced tomatoes
For the chicken mixture
  1. 2 cups (280 g) shredded cooked chicken breast
  2. 1/2 cup (115 g) sour cream
  3. 2-3 tbsp of the sauce (from above)
  4. 1 cup grated extra tasty cheddar cheese
  5. 1 fire roasted red pepper (from jar), diced
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 8 mini tortillas
For the garnish
  1. 1 sliced avocado
  2. 1 spring onion, sliced
  3. Coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Add a little olive oil to a fry pan and sauté the onion, garlic and chili over medium-high heat until soft. Add the cumin, Mexican chili powder, can of diced tomatoes, corn and splash of white wine (optional); reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened and set aside.
  2. Prepare the shredded cooked chicken breast (see Notes below). In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken meat, sour cream, 2-3 tbsps. of the sauce, cheddar cheese and chopped fire-roasted red pepper. Add salt to taste.
  3. Place each mini-tortilla onto a flat surface and top with several tablespoons of chicken mixture. Roll up each tortilla and place seam-down into a rectangular baking dish. Add the sauce and then top with the cheddar cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the enchiladas turn golden and are cooked through. To serve, add the sliced spring (green) onion, avocado slices and coriander.
Notes
  1. To cook my chicken breast meat, I first chopped the breast up into 3-4 pieces, then poached the meat for 6-7 minutes in a saucepan filled with water, several pieces of crushed garlic and a splash of white wine and some chicken stock. This made the meat tender and flavorful.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Darwin Chili Mud Crab

Mud Crab

As my plane landed in Darwin on a recent holiday, I couldn’t wait to try making one of the local traditional recipes: Chili Mud Crab. Mud crabs (called “muddies” by locals) are found in the estuaries and mangroves of the Northern Territory and are known for their huge claws, which produce ‘bucket loads’ of tasty meat. The crab that I used for my dish weighed about 2.6 pounds (1.2 kgs). 

Crab

Darwin’s food is highly influenced by Asian flavors due to its proximity to Southeast Asia, therefore giving birth to dishes such as Chili Mud Crab. One interesting fact: during the gold rush of the 1880’s, there were more Chinese living in the Northern Territory than European-born people!

To prepare your Chili Mud Crab (you could also use Blue Swimmer or Dungeness crabs) , you first need to remove the legs and claws from the crab’s body, then crack the claws open at several places to make it easier to eat the meat later on.

Remove legs and claws from crab’s body

Crab (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

Next, place your thumb underneath the triangular-shaped abdominal flap and lift off the bottom part of the crab’s body. You will now see the crab’s spongy lungs; remove these and any of the ‘gooey’ roe.

Remove the spongy lungs from the body

Crab (3 of 3) (1 of 1)

Chop the crab’s body into four sections using a cleaver. Then, chop the onion, chili, garlic and ginger and you’re now ready to assemble the dish in a wok or large pot.

Crab (4 of 4) (1 of 1)

For the final assembly, sauté the veggies in hot oil in the wok or pot, then add the tomato purée, chili sauce and white wine. Pop the crab pieces into the wok, cover with a lid for about 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat until the meat is cooked and the crab shells turn red. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) and prepare to get your fingers a little dirty as you eat!

Crab

I loved visiting Darwin with the balmy tropical air, the Asian influences and the proximity to national parks such as Kakadu and Litchfield. I was sad to leave Darwin and the beautiful sunsets, however I will return again one day to make more dishes using their wonderful mud crabs!

Darwin Sunset

Darwin Sunset

Chili Mud Crab
Huge chunks of luscious crab meat cooked with an Asian influence
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Mud Crab, segmented (or other type of fresh, uncooked crab)
  2. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, diced
  5. 2 tbsp ginger, diced
  6. 1 red chili, seeded and diced
  7. 2 cups (500 ml) tomato purée (passata)
  8. 3-4 tbsp chili sauce
  9. ¼ cup white wine
  10. Coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Separate the crab into pieces; first remove the claws and legs of the crab by twisting and pulling them from the crab’s body. Using a cleaver, separate the claws at the elbow joint then crack them open in several places to reveal the meat.
  2. Lift the abdominal flap on the underside to open the crab’s body; remove the ‘spongy’ lungs and clean the roe from the shell. Using a cleaver, chop the body into quarters. Set all body parts aside.
  3. Set the wok or large pot over high heat; add the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chili several minutes until soft. Reduce heat to medium and add the tomato purée, chilli sauce and white wine; let simmer for several minutes. Add the crab pieces and turn with a spatula until all pieces are fully coated with the sauce. Cover with a lid and let cook for at least ten minutes until the crab meat is fully cooked and infused with the chili sauce. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) - goes well served on a bed of rice.
Notes
  1. Adjust the seasoning to your individual taste- if you like more heat, add more chili or chili sauce to your liking.
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Mango and Banana Caramel Tart

 

Tart 10

I could smell the caramel a mile away when making this recipe. This tart has a calypso feel to it- tropical mangoes and bananas steeped in a rich caramel sauce, then ‘baptized’ in a splash of rum and nutmeg and then anchored in a flaky buttery crust. I’m already howling for more!

I came across this recipe while reading a food magazine near Portland, Victoria in Australia. We had just returned from a ½ mile walk to see a colony of seals and a kangaroo had bolted across our path on our return back. What a great way to finish the day- a close encounter with seals, a kangaroo and now a delicious caramel tart recipe!

The recipe is pretty easy. First, you heat sugar and butter in a fry pan to make a caramel flavored with rum, nutmeg and vanilla bean, then let the mangoes and bananas simmer in the sauce until soft.

Then roll out a pastry dough and place it on top of the caramel mixture- bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Final step- place a serving plate on top and then invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm, plain or with a scoop of ice cream.

THE PARTY

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Mango and Banana Caramel Tart
Serves 6
This recipe is like a 'Tarte Tatin' but made with mangoes, bananas and a touch of rum.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Pastry
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. Pinch salt
  4. ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tbsp iced water
Tart Filling
  1. ½ cup caster sugar
  2. 3 tbsp butter
  3. 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped
  5. 1 tbsp dark rum
  6. Pinch nutmeg
  7. 2 bananas, halved, sliced lengthwise
For the Pastry
  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the egg; mix well with spoon or spatula. Add the iced water and continue to mix; turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until mixture holds its shape. Form into ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for one hour.
For the Tart filling
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place the sugar and butter in an oven-proof fry pan (about 9 inches wide). Over high heat, occasionally shake the pan until the mixture starts to bubble and turn brown, forming a caramel. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the mango, vanilla bean, rum and nutmeg; reduce the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and the mango caramelises. Add the banana slices and cook for another 5 minutes, turning the bananas gently to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick, then shape the dough so that it is 1 inch wider than the diameter of the fry pan.
  4. Lay the dough over the fruit mixture in the pan and tuck the ends under a bit. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Place a serving plate over the fry pan and invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm plain or with ice cream.
Adapted from Feast Magazine
Adapted from Feast Magazine
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/