Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mexico Revisited - Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Indulge me as I revisit one of my favorite places.  Along the Eastern coast of Mexico lies, in my opinion, the jewel of Mexico.  The Riviera Maya is the stretch of sunkissed tropical beaches, also the home of  Playa del Carmen, a once quaint fishing village,  and it's only a 45 minute drive from the lively Las Vegas like town of Cancum.   If you love a beach with talcum powder-like white sand, this is THE place.  If you like exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, you can do that, too.  If you're a foodie, and love the ultimate in dining and the beachside taco or shrimp quesadilla stands, you'll eat your way through Mexico.  But then you can walk the long stretches of beach for exercise relief! 

Amazingly enough, some of the best Italian food has been found in Mexico.  Also, as you stroll along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, the restaurants have plate displays of what a meal would look like on your plate.  The lobsters, I swear, were the size of 3 month old small kittens!  Or mini chihuahuas, if you're a dog person!

Food aside, though, the multi colored turguiose waters is what pulls me there.  The vibrant colors and the graciousness of the Mayan/Mexican people is another reason I have a fondness for the Riviera Maya region.  But, until a time comes when I can revisit, I continue to fill my kitchen with Mexican influenced dishes.

Some of the best sunrises!

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas


1 cup cooked chicken

1/4 c green chile enchilada sauce

1/4 c water

1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Cook the above together in a small saucepan until the flavors mix.

1 cup black beans, rinsed well

1 cup grated jack cheese

1 small can black olives (optional)

1 1/2 c green chile enchilada sauce

6  soft flour tortillas (6 inch size is best)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In an 11x7 glass baking dish,  spray first with pan spray and put a small amount of green chile sauce on the bottom.  Lay out a tortilla,  put a small amount of chicken mixture, some black beans and cheese on top.  Roll closed and place seam side down into baking dish.  Repeat the process.  Pour the rest of the chile sauce evenly on top.  If you have remaining cheese you can add that, too.  Bake covered for approximately 30 minutes.  Garnish with fresh guacamole, perhaps a margharita, close your eyes and wish you were back on the glistening white sand beach.  Feel the tropical breeze?  Enjoy!

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