Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Easy Peasy Enchiladas

For those who don't know, Philadelphia Cream Cheese makes sauces now. I picked up the Santa Fe style and found an easy enchilada recipe on the back (find the original here!) I just made it even simpler by using my slow cooker. This picture is from Kraft's website because my enchiladas are already gone!

This morning I put four bone-in, skin removed chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Add a can of diced tomatoes w/chilies. I actually used a chipotle style that was quite good. Let it cook on low about 8 hours. When you get home the chicken meat falls right off the bone and shreds very easily. Add about 3/4 of the Santa Fe cream cheese sauce and I used an entire cup of shredded cheddar jack cheese. Mix it up until the cream sauce is completely blended. I used my 10x7 pan (spray with cooking oil) and 6" tortillas. I filled 8 tortillas generously with the creamy, tomato, chicken mix and still had some left over. Place the tortillas seam side down in you pan. I just scooped the leftover mix along the sides. Spread the remaining Santa Fe sauce on the top of the tortillas, cover the dish, and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Super simple and super delicious. And, according to my recipe builder, just 507 calories for two enchiladas :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

I made some homemade black bean and corn salsa this weekend to celebrate the start of the football season. I am a Bears fan for all who care. They stomped the Colts. It was pretty awesome. Anyway. I say homemade in the loosest sense of the word. I bought a can of black beans, mexicorn, and rotel and put them together. It's pretty amazing and super easy. Drain all the cans, dump them in a bowl, mix, eat. I had a large quantity left though and we're getting ready to go on a business trip so it needed to be used. I also had some mushrooms leftover. Most people wouldn't look at those two items and think enchiladas but I did.

First thing I did was cut about a pound of chicken breasts into small cubes. I would estimate they're about 1/2 inch. I seasoned it with adobo, cumin, and garlic powder. Cook the chicken in a skillet until it's white on all sides, then add the chopped mushrooms. Mix them up and cook another 5 minutes or so, until the mushrooms are tender.

Now to put the enchiladas together. The only Mexican food I grew up eating was tacos. And those were just tacos made with a seasoning packet. It's kind of sad seeing as I am Mexican. My mom did make pinto beans from scratch though. I remember helping her sort the beans :-) I'm getting easily sidetracked today!

Spray a baking dish with cooking oil. I'm not quite sure what the size of my dish is but I would guess at 10x7? It worked perfectly for my tortillas. Take a tortilla.

Add about 2 tablespoons of the chicken/mushroom mix.

Add a tablespoon of the salsa.

Add a heaping tablespoon of the cheese of your choice. I used colby jack.

Roll it up and place it seam side down in your dish.

I don't like mole sauce. And, generally, you should cover the bottom of your dish with sauce. I planned on using salsa the whole time but I didn't realize how little I had so we just covered the top of the tortillas. I then covered them with more cheese. Use as much as you desire, there's really no way to have too much.

Cover with foil and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and let it bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mixture oozing out of the tortillas is bubbly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chinese Goodness

A couple months ago I succumbed to the cheap temptation of season packets and bought a General Tso's packet. Usually, I try to make my own seasoning. It eliminates those unknown things that are added for preservation and what not but really, it was hard to pass up 40 cents. Tonight, I put the packet to use and was quite pleased! Instead of using straight flour as the packet suggested, I coated the chicken breast chunks in an Emeril's Essence seasoned flour. They were then pan fried in a little oil and the seasoning mixture (which included sugar, soy sauce, and water) was poured over it. It was delicious and EASY.

I found a basic Chinese Fried Rice recipe and altered it just slightly. I used a frozen bag of stir fry vegetables to mix with the rice and I used sesame oil prior to adding the rice back into the pan. Again, delicious! I have now decided I need a wok because my skillet is just too small for frying rice. So good.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mushroom Ravioli

It's been a while since I posted and this smelled so good as it was simmering I thought I better go get my camera!

I had some extra mushrooms that needed to be used so I decided to get a little fancy and make some homemade ravioli. Unless you regularly make your own noodles, this is pretty involved. You can cheat and buy egg roll wrappers, but I really didn't feel like going to the store (because let's face it, it's 12:30pm on a Saturday!) So if you have some time and patience, make the dough!

I looked at a lot of different recipes to start my brain. I didn't have everything for one recipe so I kind of got the basics and took off on my own for this one.

For the filling:
I took white button mushrooms (fresh) and chopped them up. I had about 1-1/4 cup chopped. I melted a whooping tablespoon of butter in the skillet and added the mushrooms. I added some onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Let me tell you, it smelled delicious! I then added about an 1/8 cup of red wine. You could probably use beef broth here but I had the wine and honestly, I just like cooking with it. Continue to saute until the liquid is reduced by about half.

I read a lot of recipes that used ricotta cheese (or a similar soft cheese) for the filling. I didn't have any so I used a little over a cup of mozzarella and somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan. I put them both in the blender and then added the mushroom mix.

You will need to be patient with your blender. It would probably be smarter to use a food processor (note for next time!). I had to scrape the sides down often. It doesn't look pretty, but again it smells amazing.

For the dough: 
I took this straight from Cyn's Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Three cups of flour, 1/2t salt, 2 eggs, and 1/2c of water. I tried to be fancy and do this straight on the counter. Let me tell you what happened. I made a giant mess. Next time, I'll probably just use a bowl :-)

Knead the dough until smooth and let it rest about 15 minutes. Split it in half and roll it out to about 1/8" to 1/16". I don't have a rolling pin so I used my empty bottle of wine. It works just fine.

Once you roll out the dough, scoop about 1tsp of the mix out. I think I used closer to 1-1/2t-1T. Basically, it's up to you how big you want your ravioli to be!

Lay the other half of dough on top and push the seams together.

Use a pastry cutter (or a sharp knife, which is what I used) and cut the ravioli out. Make sure the seams are pressed together well. Let the ravioli dry about an hour and then it's up to you!

Cook it right then in some boiling water, toast them, or freeze them for later. I have no idea what kind of sauce I'm going to use. Probably something creamy. I can't imagine anything not working with these! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chicago Style Deep Dish

I can't take credit for any piece of this recipe. It's all from Pennies On A Platter blogger which I found on Pinterest. Her directions are great and our pizza turned out delicious. The only thing I did was add some pepperoni between the cheese and the sauce. I took pictures of my dough because this is the first time I've ever made homemade dough using yeast. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

Here's how it begins. Whisk the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and corn meal together. Add the melted butter and water and mix well. I don't have a dough attachment so I used my hands to kneed the dough well. Add it to a bowl that's coated in olive oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rise until about double in size. Mine took 45 minutes. See my transformation above!

 Once it's risen, take it out and roll it to about an 8x6 rectangle. Smear the soft butter all over the top. Apparently, this is called laminating the dough. I had no idea but it's supposed to make the crust flaky and delicious (which it does!). Roll it tightly, seam side down roll it out to a 9x2 rectangle.
I think mine was more 9x4 but I don't think it matters. Fold it up again and and pinch the seams together to form a ball. Put it back in the bowl and cover with plastic. This time, let it rise in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. Again, transformation below.

For the sauce. It calls for grated onion. I've never used that before and let me tell you, it burns my eyes worse than chopping! Saute the onion in butter, add the salt and oregano. Cook until the liquid is almost gone, it took me 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add a can of tomatoes, petite dice. I forgot about the petite part and it was ok. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes to reduce. Add the olive oil and basil.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out to about a 13" disk and put it in a 9" round cake pan that you've coated in . I think mine is actually a pie pan, which did pose a problem as the dough didn't want to stay up on the sides. Dump about 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, any toppings you'd like and cover with the sauce.  Put it in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the crust in golden brown. I also recommend letting it sit about 10 minutes when you take it out before cutting.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cuban Sandwich

I hate packing. I'm leaving for ten days tomorrow and I haven't started. At all. Instead, I decided to try a new recipe out! Last January I was in Miami and had this AMAZING sandwich at the restaurant in the hotel where I was staying. I made a giant crock pot full of pulled pork Sunday and have been trying to come up with different ways to use the pork (because apparently BBQ is not acceptable every day of the week according to my husband.) I decided I would try to replicate my Miami experience tonight.

I started with onions. I sliced two onions and caramelized them. This was pretty much the longest process of what I made for supper tonight but man, it's always worth it.

Next I started on the sauce. I looked up the hotel restaurant and the sauce on that sandwich was Mojo sauce. It calls for sour orange juice. I've never heard of it. Didn't even know where to begin looking for it at the grocery store. Fortunately, fellow cooking fanatics never let me down and I found a substitute (though they always followed by saying it wasn't as good...) I minced about...7 cloves of garlic? I forgot to keep track. It was more than 5, for sure. In a skillet, saute the garlic in 1/3c of olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add 1/3c of orange juice, 1/3c of lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp ground cumin. Let it cook until it smells really citrusy- about 1-2 minutes- then remove to a bowl to cool.

Once the sauce has cooled, mix 1/4c of the sauce (making sure you stir well so you get the garlic) with 2 tbsp of mayo. I use Olive Oil mayo. This makes the sauce slightly thicker but thin enough to still be a sauce.

I took the pork, that had already been pulled, and warmed it on the stove. Nothing fancy was done to the pork roast while it cooked. I just added salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and let it cook in water for the day. It's a good base seasoning that can then be used in multiple recipes (like BBQ pork sandwiches and pork tacos!)

Now to assemble the sandwich. I bought some fresh ciabatta bread from the store and sliced it up. We used pepper jack slices of cheese rather than Swiss. The Swiss is really good but we don't eat it enough in our house to buy it. The cheese went on one side of the bread. The other side got some of the sauce and caramelized onions. I loaded it with some of the pork and drizzled some more sauce on it. Close it up, cut it half, and wear something that you don't mind dripping on!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Asian Inspired Tilapia

As most of my friends, I am also addicted to Pinterest. I found this recipe for Garlic Chicken and decided I could adapt it for the Tilapia I had defrosting. I made just a few minor adjustments to the original recipe. Here's my version of what I'm calling Asian Inspired Tilapia.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
~ 1/4 c french onions

Preheat the oven to 500 F. I lined a 9x13 with foil and sprayed the foil with cooking spray. I laid three pieces of Tilapia on the foil and seasoned lightly with seasoned salt and pepper. In a small skillet, heat the oils until shimmering, then add the minced garlic. I sauteed about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and add the brown sugar and garlic powder (side note: I only added the garlic powder because I ran out of fresh garlic, if I had another clove I would leave it out). Mix it up and divide evenly over the fish. It's not a sauce. It will be crumbly. I used my fingers to make sure each piece had an even amount. Take the french onions and crunch them up over the fish. Stick it in the oven for 10 minutes and you're done! Really easy and quite good. I served it over some brown rice (I added some soy sauce to the water while it was cooking) and some stir fry vegetables that I sauteed in sesame oil and soy sauce. Great Sunday supper!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Southwestern Tilapia w/black bean & corn salsa

This year I have again declared that we are going to incorporate more fish in our meals. I said this last year too but I didn't follow through. Hoping to do better this year, I picked up some Tilapia at the grocery store last week. It's been sitting in the freezer ever since. My problem is mostly that I've convinced myself I don't like fish. Probably because my Mom doesn't so we never ate it growing up. And also because I cannot stand the way tuna smells. Gross. I digress. So, the other day I went to a restaurant and decided I'd try Santa Fe Tilapia. It was delicious. It was so good that I decided I'd also try my husbands Mesquite Grilled Salmon. Also delicious. I think the fish aversion may be over. This evening I decided I could recreate my meal on my own. Huge success. Yum.

First, I sprayed a pan with spray oil. I have never cooked fish before so this was all very new. I decided I'd season it like I would if I were using chicken for this instead. I sprinkled it with some Adobo seasoning, added some cilantro, and squeezed half a lime over it. It then went into the oven at 400 degrees for about 13 minutes.

While the fish was cooking, I mixed a can of Rotel (drained) with a can of Black beans (also drained.) I mixed those up and then added some frozen corn until it looked like an even mix. I added about a tablespoon of garlic salt and a handful of chopped cilantro. I put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes (so the corn would thaw.) Then I mixed about 1/4 a cup of ranch dressing with a teaspoon of Emeril's Essence (which is pretty much the best thing on earth, find it at the bottom of this Cajun Jambalaya recipe.)

When the tilapia was finished cooking, I added some dressing to the top.

Then I covered it with the black bean & corn salsa. 

It's wonderful and really easy. My plan is to pair it with a baked potato with salsa and sour cream on top!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tomato + veggies = Good Pasta

I wasn't quite sure what to call this. I made it up with stuff we had on hand. Here's what we did.
First, saute an onion, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil. I did this for about 5 minutes. Then I added some Balsamic vinegar. I don't know how much, I just kind of poured it in until the bottom of my skillet was covered. I continued to saute until most of the liquid was gone. Once that was complete I added a 28oz can of diced tomatoes. I also added thyme, oregano, marjoram, and basil. Mix it up well and let it simmer for a bit. Once it was hot I put it over some penne pasta. I didn't like it. Something was missing. So, I added a cup of tomato sauce and some garlic salt and let it cook another 20 minutes. That did it :-) Yum.

Avocado Tortilla Soup

Today at work we got a really fancy blender. If the thing wasn't so expensive (upwards of $400), I would buy one. Unfortunately, we don't get to use it on anything but corn. Boo. However, the fancy blender came with a cookbook. I was flipping through it and found this recipe. It looked so easy and delicious I had to come home and try it. I adapted it a little (since my blender isn't as hard core) but essentially it's the same.

1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 lime, peeled
~ 1/3 bunch of cilantro, stemmed
1 garlic clove
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 c chicken stock
1 can black beans
1 c corn

I threw everything except the chicken stock, corn and black beans in my blender and let it go until it looked semi smooth. I was actually surprised at how well it diced everything. I imagine a food processor would also work. Once it was done I transferred it to a big pot with the chicken stock, beans, and corn. I cooked it on medium heat for about 20 minutes (until it started to boil). Once done I smashed some tortilla chips and added them to the bowl. It was delicious. Next time I make it I will try adding chicken and cheese. And sour cream. Mmm. 

Breakfast Smoothie

I have finally discovered the very best way to eat oatmeal...in a smoothie!
I've tried to eat oatmeal but every way I fix it I just don't like it. I adapted this recipe from one I saw on Pinterest. I tried to find it again but I'm not having any luck. Here's what I used:
1/2 banana
1/2 c cooked oatmeal
~ 2 tbsp almonds
~ 1/2 c mixed frozen fruit
3 ice cubes
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

I threw everything in the blender and let it go. I really like the taste of the almonds in the smoothie. I've varied it a couple times this week by using peanuts instead of almonds, peanut butter instead of any nuts, the one thing I do not recommend leaving out is the banana. For whatever reason, when the banana is in there you won't feel the oatmeal. I left it out one day and had to chew :-/. Otherwise, it's delicious and it really hold me over for lunch. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sante Fe chicken (but without the Chicken!)

So we're on a little bit of a restricted diet right now at the Brown's. I've struggled to find good recipes to eat without meat or dairy. I did find this Santa Fe Chicken recipe for the crockpot though, and I adapted this from that :-) Very, very simple.
1 can pinto bean
1 can black beans
1 can rotel
~ handful of fresh cilantro chopped
some frozen corn (I just poured until it looked like a good mixture)
~ a quarter red onion, chopped
Season to your liking; I used garlic powder, cumin and adobo

Dump it in the slow cooker, mix it up, put it on low. Mine was in there a good 10 hours. We ate ours over some brown rice. We also put some cut up whole wheat tortillas in the oven with some cooking spray and had homemade tortilla chips. This was quite tasty as a dip, too!