Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Gandhi

Friday, March 5, 2010


The meal that I chose to prepare for my friends is Enchiladas Con Arroz, a traditional Mexican dish. This meal is one of my childhood favorites. Traditional food is a large part of my culture and this dish is a great representation of the delicious kinds of food we make.

The preparation for this meal included measuring each ingredient, finding the right pots and utensils, pre-heating the oven, and cooking two cups of chicken breast.

First I will begin with explaining how I prepared an authentic side dish of Mexican rice (arroz). I used a large pot (with a cover), one small pot, a blender, wooden spoons, and a platter. The ingredients I used are: one large tomato, plenty of water (~10 cups) 1/4th garlic clove, 1/3rd onion, half a cup of vegetable oil, one cup of rice, and two cubes of seasoning preferably Knorr* Brand name. The first step is to boil a pot of water and add the tomato. After the tomato was boiled, I pureed it in the blender with the garlic clove and the onion. After they were mixed in the blender, I got the cup of rice and brownd it in some heated oil in a large frying pan. Once the rice was golden brown, I drained the oil out of the pan. Next, I mixed the pureed ingredients into the pan of rice. After that, I filled up the pot 3/4ths of the way with hot water. I then added in a cube of chicken broth seasoning, and a cube of tomato seasoning. I then stirred the mixture while it boiled so the rice didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The heat was then lowered and I let it simmer for about twenty minutes. I checked to see if more water was needed. (You will know by seeing how much water soaked into the grains of rice, and tasting the rice to see if it is tender.) The rice was tender, therefore I have completed my rice making mission. This rice is an excellent side dish to almost any meal. Rice is a very famous side dish in Mexican homes and restaurants.

While the rice was simmering, I began to make the main dish- Enchiladas. Yum. I used two large mixing bowls, a shallow baking dish, a wooden spoon, aluminum foil, and an oven. The ingredients necessary for this dish are: one can of condensed cream of chicken soup, one 8 ounce container of sour cream, one cup of Picante sauce, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 2 cups of chopped and cooked chicken, one cup of shredded cheese(any kind will work-I used Mozzarella cheese), and a pack of large flour tortillas. The first step I did was open the can of condensed cream of chicken soup. I mixed the soup, sour cream, Picante sauce and chili powder in a bowl. In another bowl, I mixed one cup of that mixture with the chicken and cheese. In each tortilla I spread the chicken and cheese mixture (about 4 tablespoons in each tortilla). After rolling up each tortilla, I placed them in the baking dish. The rest of the Picante sauce was poured over all of the rolled up tortillas and I sprinkled some cheese on top. I baked the dish for about half an hour in the oven at 350 degrees. I served the enchiladas with rice on the side, and topped them with sour cream and chopped tomatoes.

After savoring the delicious meal, my friends and I cleaned the dishes and table. I felt very satisfied after making and eating this meal. Knowing that I can prepare a traditional Mexican meal makes me happy. Although this meal cannot compare to my mother’s food or grandmother’s style of food, I was overall content with my final dish. My friends also enjoyed the food, because most of them have never tried a homemade Mexican meal before.

After reading chapter 1, section 7 of In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollen, he makes the point that us Americans have evolved in the way we eat. We are more concerned with getting cheap, fast food, rather than making our own delicious meals. I agree with Pollen, because whenever I go to other countries, I notice a great difference in how people eat their food. For example, when I go to Mexico, my family always takes the time to prepare meals and dine with everyone at the table. It is very rare for them to buy already-made and processed foods. I appreciate their time and effort into making each meal as special and delicious as possible. Addie supports my opinion about the importance of making meals at home rather than eating out.

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