BARBARA MCCLELLAN

Barbara McClellan

We have probably talked about this before but is there any untouched topic we have not covered in our weekly visits for the past 50-plus years? I want to share some of our favorite recipes from the past, and I mean from the far past. First of all, we know that our cooking and eating styles have changed over the years. I remember as a child and as in adult in my own kitchen preparing three meals a day. I don’t mean just an energy bar for breakfast, a light salad or sandwich for lunch and a full meal in the evening. As dietitians tell us now, that is in the wrong order. The last thing I read on healthful eating habits was simply put, eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at noon and a pauper at night. You get the idea — first meal of the day is the most important.

Well, in looking back at the recipes I cooked during the early days of adulthood, I cannot believe we ate as we did on a daily basis. Never mind, I am still going to share some of my favorites. This past weekend I decided to make Chicken Enchiladas from my favorite recipe that I had not made in many years. Claire English gave me this recipe after we had eaten it at her house, probably in the early to mid-70s. I used to make it often, serving one half of the recipe immediately and freezing another pan for later.

There are many ways to make this dish, but I think Claire’s is the best.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

24 medium corn tortillas

2 fryers (2-3 lbs. each, or 4 chicken breasts with rib meat and 4 thighs)

6 onions, 5 cut into chunks

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1 stick butter

2 small cans (4 ounces each) green chilies, drained

2 pints sour cream

1 package frozen chopped spinach, (10 ounces) cooked slightly and drained

8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

Steps

Boil chickens in about 4 cups water with bay leaves and 5 onions. Reserve broth. Debone chickens and cut into pieces. Sauté chopped onion in butter and add sour cream, spinach, peppers, salt and pepper to taste.

Dip each tortilla in broth, and fill each with 2 tablespoons chicken and 2 tablespoons sauce. Roll and place in a sprayed or greased 9-by-13-inch dish or pan. Repeat with remaining chicken and sauce and place in another dish. Cover with remaining sauce and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. (Note, I cover with foil during the baking time.) Makes 12 servings. (I prefer to freeze the extra one before cooking.)

I serve this with a taco or a tossed salad with Mexican salsa or pico de gallo and chips. What a meal!

But wait; would we really want this for the first meal of the day?

Of course, I served dessert at every meal. This pie recipe is simply perfect with a Mexican food meal.

It has been around for a long time and can be made in about 5 minutes. However, the pounds from it stay on a little longer!

Lemonade Pie

Ingredients

1 cookie crust (There are several kinds now: graham cracker, shortbread cookie crust and even almond and walnut crusts for those with gluten allergies)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can (6 ounces) lemonade, pink or regular, undiluted

1 carton frozen whipped topping (8 ounces) slightly thawed

Steps

Mix all ingredients and place in cookie crust. Chill or freeze for several hours.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.