A man can accomplish much in life with basic life gear.
Cover him with a ball cap from his beloved baseball team. Anoint him with a distinctive after shave. Place him behind the wheel of an automobile he’ll name, shine, neglect, restore, and trust to transport those he loves and carry him to buy corn tortillas and shin guards.
Arm him with a cast-iron skillet, and don’t be late for dinner.
Weekend cooking’s my thing. It’s easier on weekends free of soccer. Sunday night, I returned to my roots. Yes, those roots (enchiladas), but also the roots established in frontier days, when a guy’s essentials included a fast horse, a scruffy beard, a miner’s hat and a skillet.
What you’ll need
- Olive oil (a splash here, a splash there)
- 12 corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces (bonus if they’re shaped like U.S. states)
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
- 10-oz. can red enchilada sauce
- 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup (ha!) shredded cheese (we like cheddar, Colby, Colby jack, monterrey jack, mozzarella, white American … wait, where am I?)
What you’ll do
1. Slosh a few circles of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Actually turn on the heat
2. Defrost a chunk of chicken strips you’d frozen and forgot to take out.
3. Toss the chicken in the skillet. Poke around and cook it enough that you can shred it right there in your skillet. No weenie non-stick plastic spatula necessary when you cook in an iron skillet.
4. Ask your hungry teenage daughter to rip up a dozen corn tortillas if she’s really that keen to eat before 8 p.m. (Praise her for her efficient ripping.)
5. Cook chicken and tortilla mini-states for about 5 minutes. Stir it around and slosh some more olive oil in the mix so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. Pour undrained tomatoes, enchilada and tomato sauces onto your chicken/tortilla mix. Stir well, and add cheese. The recipe calls for half a cup. Ha! Puny God. The Maker made my fist big enough to pump after a disc-golf ace, and also to add copious amounts of cheese in an instant.
7. Also, no offense, my Caucasian counterparts – but when y’all concoct recipes like this, you sometimes forget Latin spice. I tossed in a bit of cumin and chipotle pepper as homage to my heritage.
8. Mix cheese in for a melty taste of heaven. Another fistful of cheese won’t add itself. Go for broke, lad.
9. Cover skillet, and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Check your email or Twitter, and stir it up a bit. Wait, is there enough cheese? You know what to do.
10. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese, and serve post-haste.
Minimalists take their skillet enchiladas in a bowl.
The ambitious call for their skillet enchiladas served inside tortillas, as enchiladas (think Inception, con queso).
Royalty? They call for Skillet Enchiladas … Del Rey!
“What’s that mean, dad?”
“Skillet Enchiladas … For a King!”
You can flick a man’s favorite team’s cap off his baffled head.
You can bust his bottle of after shave and spill your water jug all over the floorboard of his 2004 Pontiac.
But you cannot deny him his moment to shine with his skillet.