I have a confession to make: I think date nights are overrated. My husband and I very rarely go out because we haven't really figured out the babysitter thing yet. We don't have any family around, and I'm a total control freak not comfortable leaving my kids with a stranger. I don't mind because we have a schedule that makes every night feel like a (stay-at-home) date night. I feed the kids and get them to bed by 7 or 7:30, about the time my husband is getting home from work. Then I make another round of dinner for the two of us, and we eat together in peace and quiet around 8:00 or so. When I want a break from cooking, we get delivery, which is generally as close as we get to going out for dinner.
Last weekend, a good friend of ours offered to have our boys over for a movie night so we could go out on a dinner date. We were all excited about this, kids and adults alike. We decided to go to a nearby Southern restaurant recommended by a friend who actually leaves the house on a regular basis. Being from Mississippi, I of course love Southern food and was looking forward to giving it a try.
We sat at the bar and tried to blend in with the hipsters, but I'm pretty sure we stood out as the parents in the crowd. We had a nice time, but it stung to pay $9 for a cocktail and $20 for fried chicken with mashed potatoes and overly vinegary greens. Our date was over by 7:30pm, and then we had to pick up two amped little boys and wrangle them to bed. By 8:30pm, the cocktail was a distant memory, and I wondered why I didn't just make my own Southern meal at home.
The next night, I was a bit relieved to be home and back to our regular routine. I decided we were due for a Fiesta Night (our weekly Mexican dinner) and wanted to come up with a new enchilada recipe. I'm fond of using fresh salmon in Mexican food, but this time I decided to give canned salmon a try to make the recipe easy to throw together. I can't say that the filling of these enchiladas is particularly attractive, but the taste did not disappoint! Alternatively, you could use canned chicken in these creamy enchiladas, or of course you could use fresh shredded salmon or chicken if you prefer.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing at home with these homemade creamy enchiladas and margaritas and didn't wish we were in a crowded restaurant instead. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this recipe for your own date night or family dinner very soon!
Easy Creamy Enchiladas
- 16 oz. can pinto beans, drained
- 10 oz. canned salmon or chicken, drained
- 1/2 c. salsa verde (green salsa), divided
- 1-1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
- 1/2 c. sour cream (I use reduced fat)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1-1/2 c. chicken broth
- 1/4 c. half and half (you can use sour cream instead)
- 10 corn or flour tortillas
- finely shredded cabbage (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together pinto beans, salmon or chicken, 1/4 c. salsa, 1/2 c. cheese, and sour cream. Spoon about 1/3 c. of this filling down the center of each tortilla, fold sides to the middle to cover filling, and place rolled enchiladas seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Enchiladas should fit tightly together in the pan.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour, chili powder, cumin, and salt until combined. Slowly add chicken broth about 1/4 c. at a time, whisking constantly to keep mixture smooth. When all chicken broth is added, simmer until thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/2 c. cheese, 1/4 c. salsa, and half and half. When cheese is melted, turn off heat and pour sauce evenly over prepared enchiladas.
- Cover dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle remaining 1/2 c. cheese over the top. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve enchiladas on a bed of shredded cabbage if desired.