Rachael Ray Vs. YOU: Who Is the Better Cook?

April Peveteaux

rachael ray challengeWhen you need a quick, easy meal, Rachael Ray is arguably the most famous chef who can point you in the right direction of family meal success. I admit to perusing her website in search of inspiration on more than one occasion.

But what I've found, rather than a new favorite recipe from the spunky food star, is a reminder that, hey, I know how to make that! More often than not her chicken or burger will give my memory a kick in the pants and I'll be off to my own devices, abandoning her Every Day recipes as quickly as I found them.

Not that she doesn't offer an amazing service -- she does, especially when I'm able to conjure up a long-forgotten favorite recipe. Still, I decided to put Rachael Ray to the test.

Scrolling to Rach's casserole section, I found a familiar recipe for enchiladas that's close enough to what my mother-in-law taught me to whip together in a pinch. The taste (and prep) test was ON.

You can find Rachael Ray's recipe for Enchilada Suiza Mexican Lasagna here. And you can find my mother-in-law's recipe (with my own notes) below.

Advantage Me: Fewer ingredients equal less effort.

Advantage Rach: Two kinds of cheese (although who uses Swiss cheese in Mexican food?).

Advantage Me: Fresh chicken breasts instead of ground meat.

Advantage Rach: Avocados.

At the end of the day, I like the way my (or rather, my MIL's) Mexican enchilada lasagna tastes a bit better. Yes, I'm biased, but it also takes less time to throw together, so I'm declaring myself the winner.

What you'll need:

1 dozen flour tortillas (sometimes I use corn)
2 pounds shredded cheese (jack, cheddar, or pepper jack)
1 large can sliced black olives
4 to 6 cooked and shredded skinless chicken breasts (throw them on the grill, but don't overcook)
1 (28-ounce) can green enchilada sauce
1 small bag frozen sweet white corn, or 4 fresh, cooked cobs of corn, corn cut off the cob

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and add enough sauce to barely cover the bottom. Line dish with tortillas. Cover with shredded, cooked chicken breast, black olives, corn, and shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Pour green enchilada sauce over the tortillas and add remaining shredded cheese on top. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling.

Do you think you can do it better than Rachael Ray?

Image via Rachael Ray

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