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Super Bowl strategy: Crowd-pleasing enchiladas

9/17/2009, 11:20 a.m.

USA WEEKEND Food

For this year's big game, make enchiladas your winning Super Bowl party entree. I've come up with three festive varieties -- chicken, seafood or beef-bean, each with a different sauce. Feel free to mix things up: The cream and verde (green) sauces for the seafood and chicken enchiladas, respectively, are interchangeable. Or, try them with the red sauce I use in the beef-bean enchiladas. Each dish can be assembled in about the time it takes to make a weeknight supper and can be made ahead to pop in the oven as guests arrive. Depending on the crowd, make one, two or all three. With that kind of choice, you can please just about everyone.4 cups shredded, cooked chicken from 1 to 2 rotisserie chickens (save extra meat for another use)

1 32-ounce jar (4 cups) salsa verde, divided

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (about 3 cups), shredded and divided

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Salt and ground black pepper

16 6-inch corn tortillas

1/2 medium white onion, halved and sliced thin

Optional: sour cream and guacamole, to serve

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix chicken with 3/4 cup of the salsa verde, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste. Spread 1 cup of the salsa over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Microwave tortillas on high power in a microwave-safe plastic bag until warm, about 45 seconds. Then, working one at a time, spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken filling into a tortilla. Roll into a cylinder and place, seam-side down, in baking dish. (You may have to turn some sideways to get all to fit.) Drizzle enchiladas evenly with 1 1/2 cups of the salsa, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Lightly spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray, cover dish and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with onion and remaining cilantro, let stand for a few minutes, and serve with remaining salsa verde (and optional sour cream and guacamole).

Serves 8 2 enchiladas: 335 calories, 23g carbohydrates, 29g protein, 13g fat (6g saturated), 87mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 674mg sodium1 pound lump crab meat, picked over carefully for shell and cartilage

8 ounces frozen cooked salad shrimp (very small), thawed and drained

3/4 cup coarsely chopped pimento-stuffed olives

8 ounces (3 cups) shredded Monterey Jackcheese, divided

2 8-ounce bottles clam juice

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbs. butter

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chilies

16 6-inch corn tortillas

Mix crab, shrimp, olivesand 1 1/2 cups of theMonterey Jack cheese in a medium bowl.

Microwave clam juice, milk and garlic in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl until steamy hot, 6 to 8 minutes, or heat in a saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, whisk in flour until well blended. Pour in hot milk mixture all at once; whisk vigorously until sauce is smooth and starts to thicken. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and chilies; continue to simmer until sauce is of cream soup thickness. Stir 3/4 cup of the sauce into the seafood, and spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a9-by-13-inch baking dish.