Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken, corn, and squash enchiladas

For those who are new to my blog, welcome!  I've been a local food junkie for a couple of years.  Last spring I made a leap of faith and started this blog with the goal of sharing the rewards and challenges of eating locally while living in a city.  We live on a teensy city lot in Tacoma, WA, which we share with 9 hens, 2 cats, and a dog.  Last summer I moved my veggie garden out of the reach of the backyard hens to the parking strip.  It was a success, considering the cold and rainy summer we had.

During the summer I go to farmers markets 2x/week.  The mid-week market is about a 6-block walk from my office.  The weekend market is small but only a mile or so from our house.  Both closed in October, though another market across town is open one day each month.  If I haven't stocked up, we're stuck with the regular grocery store's offerings.

All this means that I sometimes have to be flexible on what I consider "local".  Take, for example, these tortillas:

They're manufactured in Seattle (technically White Center, a suburb).  Were the ingredients sourced from this region?  Without calling them I had no idea.  But sometimes you take what you can get.

Same thing with this chicken, which the website says is processed in a Seattle plant.  I've seen semi trucks loaded with cages of chickens on the freeways around Seattle.  (Dangit!  In researching for this post I just found out that the birds are trucked in from the Midwest.  So much for "local".  I could have gotten this at any grocery store.  Sigh...)  The problem is that I missed the biweekly delivery from Lucky Pig Farms and didn't have anything in the freezer.  That'll teach me.

Lessons learned?  First: Food that seems local because it's "manufactured in Seattle" probably isn't.  Second: Buy my chicken from Lisa.  Lisa, if you're reading this, I need to submit an order!!

As for the rest of the ingredients, I know for a fact that they're local.

The salsa verde's tomatillos and jalapenos came from my parking strip.  The tomatoes (which I wound up not using in this recipe) are from Yakima, WA.  And the corn, which I canned & froze the same day it was picked, is from Spooner Farms in Sumner, WA.

I wanted to stretch the enchilada filling a bit so used this squash leftover from dinner a few days prior.  They were from a local farmers market, as were the onions and garlic in the filling.

To make the filling, I cooked up the chicken, then added a small diced onion, 1 clove of minced garlic, the squash, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.  The hubbie doesn't care for squash so I try to sneak it in where I can.

I stuffed and rolled the enchiladas, then covered them with my salsa verde.  I topped it with a (non-local) queso fresco that was in the fridge already and baked for 30 mins in a 350-degree oven.

The end result wasn't exactly beautiful, wasn't as local as I'd wanted, but was tasty and satisfying.  The tortillas soaked up the spicy salsa verde and became soft but not gooey.  The slight sweetness of the squash and corn offset the spiciness of the filling.


1 lb ground chicken
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup corn
1/2 small squash, cooked & scooped out of shell
Chili powder, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste
8 soft taco sized tortillas
1 pint salsa verde
Queso fresco

See above for directions.

Where did it come from?
Around here: Onion, Garlic, Corn, Squash, Salsa verde

Possibly around here, but not likely:

Not from around these parts:
Ground chicken, Queso fresco, Chili powder, red pepper flakes, and salt

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