May 24, 2010

Dairy Free, Gluten Free Enchilada Fail

Inspired by my roommate C's delicious enchiladas, I decided to take on the challenge of making dairy free, gluten free chicken enchiladas that were still somehow edible, and maybe even tasty.

Here are C's enchiladas:

I mean, C made those enchiladas like she'd made them seven hundred million times in her life, and they came out tasting amazing. She used a simple store-bought enchilada sauce, and slow-cooked the chicken in a Crock Pot for about 4 hours. Maybe it was because no one has cooked for me in a long time, but that food tasted like straight up heaven.

So I decided, hey, I'm a big shot food blogger, I bet I could make them with no dairy and no gluten and they'd be just as good! Those are famous last words, for sure.

I spent a few days researching enchilada sauce recipes, because I knew that, with no cheese added, the sauce was going to be more or less the sole source of flavor in the whole experiment. For some reason, I hated every enchilada sauce recipe I came across. I decided to wing it, because I knew the basic ingredients (tomatoes, peppers, various herbs and spices, and something to add heat) and I was feeling cocky.

Here's me sauteeing some onions for the sauce. Total pro.

Here's me roasting my own red peppers, which I've never done before. Despite my inexperience, I decide to take the plunge because I am awesome. And want to know what else I'm doing for the first time? Slow-cooking chicken with peppers, tomatoes, and onions in a Crock Pot. I am fearless.

Here are the peppers, post roast. They're ready for me to peel them, which I will now do with surprising skill and ease.

I will now proceed to make the best sauce ever.

Here's where things start to go awry. The corn tortillas I bought are gluten-free, but they're also only a little bigger than a coaster. This makes stuffing them full of yummy, tender chicken, brown rice, and cilantro difficult. Oh well, the sauce will save the day.

Here is the sauce, thinking it has saved the day. What you can't see are the five cloves of garlic I have added to the blender at the last minute, which won't have enough time to cook properly while the enchiladas are in the oven, and will instead combine with the heat of the sauce to make me feel like I'm being cooked from the inside out for the rest of the night. Fun!

In theory, this was a good dish. The chicken was pretty tender, the corn tortillas were tasty and turned nicely soft while in the oven (even if they were made to fit inside a center for ants), and the sauce tasted like a smoky roasted red pepper soup. Somehow, though, these elements got into a fight while they were in the oven, and came out ready to take their anger out on me.

I also have a theory that, since this was my first big encounter with peppers since the elimination diet, they might have been less welcome in my stomach than they used to be.

As I lay awake that night, clutching my stomach and hoping not to burst into flames, I vowed to try again and prove that gluten free, dairy free enchiladas are good. Now, though, it all seems like a big hassle.

No comments:

Post a Comment