Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’
After 6 years of grad school you would think I would be completely dependent upon my slow cooker to provide sustenance. Somehow I’ve only started utilizing it frequently over the past year (and also maintained my blog without depending on it to do the cooking for me) and have discovered a whole new world of slow cooking that I never knew existed. I used to think slow cookers were only for stew-type meals, and a few years ago would’ve never dreamed of being able to cook oatmeal, dessert, or Asian cuisine in it. Most recently I enjoyed slow cooked chicken for tacos, which then lead me to try the same process for nachos.
Although my slow cooker is a bit temperamental and had to cook this on low for only 3 hours instead of the directed 6, at least I know my slow cooker well enough to do so. Since I do not have a slow cooker with a timer on it – just on, warm, low and high – I now use a plug timer. Before I used this method I could only use my slow cooker on the weekends, and that kind of defeats the purpose. Now I set it up right before I leave in the morning with the plug timer turning on a few hours after I leave so that it just finishes cooking when I get home. And what a great meal to come home to! Once it was all prepared with the toppings it was actually hard to believe it came from something as simple as a slow cooker.
One year ago: Cheesy Potato Casserole
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN NACHOS
2 chicken breasts
1 jarred whole roasted red pepper
1/2 cup salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pinch salt and pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bag favorite tortilla chips
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream (I used 0% plain Chobani instead)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 scallion, finely sliced
1 avocado, diced
1 lime, for the juice
- In a slow cooker, place the chicken, roasted red pepper, salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on high for three hours (or low for six)*.
- Once the chicken is cooked, take two forks and shred the chicken and pepper right in the cooker. Add the pinto beans, toss to combine and cook an additional 30 minutes.
- Arrange the chips on a large platter. Spoon the chicken and bean mixture over the chips. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken. Pop the platter under the broiler for a couple of minutes to the get the cheese all browned and bubbly.
- Remove the platter from the oven and top with Greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, scallions and diced avocado. Squeeze of lime juice over the whole thing and enjoy!
*Cooking times may vary. My slow cooker cooks hot so it only took about 3 hours on low.
Source: Adapted slightly from Bev Cooks.
It just occurred to me that I’ve been craving avocado and Mexican-inspired dishes a lot lately. Most recently I have made Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado-Yogurt Sauce, Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie, Guiltless Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Chicken, and now of course these quesadillas. There’s another avocado in my kitchen waiting for be turned into something else magical, but I might cave and just make guacamole out of it because it’s yummy.
In addition to an abundance of avocados, I’ve seen more sunrises than usual since daylight savings. I am one of those people that is up when the sun it up, so the fact that my alarm now goes off before the sunrises is most upsetting to me and it is therefore difficult to get myself moving and out of bed. But at least I get to appreciate a pretty sight in the sky.
One year ago: Irish Car Bomb Mini Cheesecake Bites
CHEESY DOUBLE BEAN QUESADILLAS WITH AVOCADO RANCH
1 cup black beans
1 cup cannellini beans
2 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 oz. pepperjack cheese, freshly grated
4 whole wheat tortillas
Butter or olive oil for toasting
1 ripe medium avocado
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
2 Tbsp freshly chopped dill
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
- In a large bowl, mash together black and cannellini beans with a fork, spoon or potato masher.
- Heat an electric griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of butter or olive oil.
- Place 2 tortillas down, covering each with a bit of both cheeses, then evenly distribute the mashed bean mixture over top. Place the tortilla on the griddle or skillet, then cover with bean mixture with the remaining cheese and the other tortilla. Cook until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, then gently flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden.
- To make the avocado ranch, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally when needed. Taste and season additionally if desired. Store avocado ranch in a seal-tight container for 1-2 days.
Source: Adapted slightly from How Sweet It Is.
I thoroughly enjoy cooking with others, but I don’t do it much living by myself. Thankfully my friend Maggie has gotten more into cooking lately and we’ve had a few dinner-made-at-home dates. Most recently we made this quesadilla pie and while making it I showed her a trick for her to use with her new Kitchenaid standmixer (she has the green 6 quart one and I’m jealous – don’t tell my 5 quart). After you cook your chicken (or pluck all the meat off a rotisserie), plop into the bowl of your standmixer, fitted with the paddle, and stir on low. Proceed to watch as it magically shreds it, perfectly!
With that little trick, this recipe becomes super easy prepare. Everything gets mixed together, with a little cheese reserved for the topping, and then goes on its merry way into the oven. I thought it was perfection, but at the same time might add a little jalapeno next time to add a little spice. Maggie’s boyfriend Will thought it was a bit heavy on the cilantro but I didn’t mind. However, some people are more sensitive to it’s flavors so adjust accordingly.
One year ago: Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza
Two years ago: Apple Harvest Oatmeal
CHEESY CHICKEN QUESADILLA PIE
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or wheat
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
8 oz. (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Sour cream, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, making sure an oven rack is in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Overlap and layer the four tortillas (kind of in a cloverleaf pattern), pressing them into the dish, so that the bottom and sides of the pie plate are evenly covered with tortilla. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with 1 cup of the cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture into the pie plate.
- In the same bowl that the chicken mixture was in (no need to wash it), whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Slowly pour this liquid mixture into the pie plate covering the chicken evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. Let the casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving, topped with a dollop of sour cream.
Source: Adapted slightly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
After having highs in the 70s over the weekend, the weather here in Memphis has drastically changed. Two days in a row we have had wintry mix with highs of 32. The warmth we recently had means everything hitting the ground melts and then later turns into ice. Since I grew up in upstate NY none of the wintry weather here phases me, however I do have to drive more cautiously due to the drivers around me and the inefficient systems set up to handle this sort of weather (since it’s not a common occurrence). The university closed at noon yesterday and even though I make jokes about it, I am really pulling for it to be closed at least until 1 pm today so I can get out of doing a journal club presentation. Although I have to go in to do lab work regardless. Priorities.
In other news, I think my slow cooker is incapable of actually cooking things slowly when it is not filled to maximum capacity. When I make corned beef and cabbage, for example, it is nearly overflowing and cooks perfectly on low for extended hours. But whenever I cook a small amount of chicken, fully covered in liquid but only filling the bowl 1//3 of the way, it cooks in about 2.5 hours on low instead of 5-7. I’m starting to think I need to invest in a smaller crock pot for such recipes because the whole point of the crock pot is to SLOW cook.
Nonetheless, the chicken for these tacos came out wonderful since I made them over the weekend and was able to check on the doneness. Unfortunately, it was done much too soon for dinner but just turned it to the warm function. I added more taco seasoning than the original recipe called because my sister-in-law made them and told me she would’ve preferred more seasoning – a wise move.
One year ago: Carrot Cake Oatmeal
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TACOS
1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs, whichever you prefer)
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
3 Tbsp taco seasoning
A few dashes of tabasco sauce
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 oz. cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Whole wheat soft taco shells
Green pepper, diced
Red onion, diced
Guacamole (or avocado)
Sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
- Toss chicken in slow cooker with enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, tabasco sauce, and pepper. Cook on low for 5-7 hours (cooking times may vary), until chicken is easily shredded with two forks. After shredding, stir in cream cheese and cheddar until melted.
- Serve with soft shell tacos and desired toppings.
Source: Adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi.
Did you ever try the cream cheese chicken enchiladas I posted? They are the #1 most viewed recipe on this blog of mine, so it seems as though you should if you have not yet. But before I send you away, focus on this new enchilada recipe I am sharing with you today. It is another deliciously creamy enchilada, but this one is packed with avocado and some spicy serrano pepper! Do you think it could be a serious contender for the future #1 spot? I certainly enjoyed it and the leftovers .
If you are not into spicy things, seed the serrano pepper or use a jalapeno (which is less spicy), and use mild salsa verde instead of medium. I think these could also be prepared ahead of time, but I did not try it out for myself yet.
SPICY AVOCADO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 serrano pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish if desired)
1 cup medium salsa verde
1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt (such as 0% Chobani)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded & divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 avocados, peeled and chopped
8-10 whole grain flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute serrano pepper and garlic, for 1 minute. Stir in flour, constantly stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, whisk in the sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro. Remove from heat.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add 3/4 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, combine chicken, 3/4 of the shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, onion and avocado. Place mixture into the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with leftover cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and lightly brown on top. Serve immediately garnished with cilantro.
Source: Adapted slightly from The Novice Chef.
Hooray it’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month I had the pleasure of discovering Lindsay’s Life and Kitchen. As usual I had a hard time picking just one recipe to showcase for today, but there’s always time to make more later, right??
Remember when the recipe for the creamy baked chicken taquitos was wide-spread across the food blogosphere? Well, Lindsay made her own version with bean and cheese filling and it’s just as yummy! Definitely going to stock-pile these in my freezer along with the chicken ones – so easy to make and freeze well for even easier meals later on.
Taquitos would also make for a great appetizer!
BEAN AND CHEESE TAQUITOS
Makes about 20
1 can refried beans (I used vegetarian)
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Mexican blend, etc)
~20 6″ corn tortillas
Sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the refried beans, black beans, cilantro, and spices. Then add the zest from the lime and the juice from half of the lime and stir. Mix in the cheese.
- Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable. Put about two tablespoons of filling lengthwise into a tortilla. Spread it out into a strip and roll up the tortilla around it. Place it seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with all of the tortillas*.
- Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the edges are golden brown (it took mine about 10 minutes). Eat warm with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping.
*Stop here to freeze. Roll up each individually in foil, place in ziplock bag and put in freezer. Cook by following remaining directions. (No thawing necessary.)
Source: Life and Kitchen
In case you haven’t had enough of my do-gooder-ness, I just signed up for the 7th annual Le Bonheur Children’s Pumpkin Run 5K. Second year in a row! I am participating in the race in honor of the thousands of patients served by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital each year (my lab used to be located there until we moved this summer). If you feel like being extra generous (after all I did just finish hosting a bake sale), click here to make a donation on behalf of my team – Little Miss Spooky!
Tacos are something I whip up when I don’t have time to plan anything for dinner. I always have frozen ground beef, my trusty bag of homemade taco seasoning, and several varieties of cheese. Usually I also have most of my favorite toppings lying around from previous meals. But this time around I was lucky enough to find corn tortillas hiding in my fridge. Apparently I bought them for something and ended up never touching them, whoops! But that’s okay, they found a wonderful purpose this time around.
These taco bowls are really neat and easy to make. And they make a regular taco look fancy! I used corn tortillas, but you could use flour as well. By the way, if you don’t have two cupcake pans, cook them in two batches.
Makes 6 taco bowls
6-Six (6″) inch corn tortilla
Favorite taco fillings (taco seasoned ground beef, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato)
- Sprinkle the tortillas with water to slightly dampen them. Stack the tortillas on one of the two plates. Cover the stack with the other plate set upside down. Microwave the tortillas between the plates for one to two minutes or until it’s warm and pliable.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Turn two 12-cup muffin pans upside down. Spray one tortilla on both sides with vegetable oil cooking spray. Lay a tortilla with the middle directly over an open space between the muffin cup bases. Push the center of the tortilla between the muffin cups to create a bowl shape. Repeat with the remaining tortillas (three per pan).
- Bake the tortillas in the preheated oven for 8 to 15 minutes or until crispy. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
- Fill the cooled taco bowls with your favorite toppings!
Guess what? I have money in my bank account again (for now)! First thing I bought? The ingredients for this meal and my shopping list consisted of: cream cheese, enchilada sauce, green chiles, scallions, and tortillas. Yes, that was all I had to buy. I never realized until the past two weeks how stocked my kitchen is before going to the grocery store. And how many different and delicious things I could make without leaving home.
But regardless of what your pantry looks like, buy whatever ingredients you do not already have and make this. Very easy to prepare and it cooked while I got ready to meet up with friends for drinks. I definitely took a moment to slow down and enjoy this delicious thing that I put on my plate before going off into the night with a full and happy belly!
5 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light sour cream
10 oz. can of enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (canned corn works just fine, but drain it first)
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of your mixer cream together the cream cheese, sour cream, and 1/2 of the enchilada sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup of each type of cheese.
- In a second bowl toss together the chicken, corn, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, green chiles, and half of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and combine well.
- Spread about half of the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Spoon the filling into each tortilla, roll the tortilla up, and place in the baking dish with the seam down. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the filled tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve.
Source: Buns In My Oven
I’ve had glasses since I was about 2 years old. For some reason my brain decided it only wanted to look through my right eye, then my left became weak and developed a strabisthmus (turn in toward my nose). Bring on the sexy glasses!
Although glasses straightened it out most of the way, junior year of highschool I had surgery to completely straighten it out. That also meant I could finally wear contacts for the first time in my life! It was such a strange transition. I had phantom glasses syndrome, where I’d try to push them up on my nose even thought they weren’t there anymore. I got used to the contact world quickly, but my vision was still unfabulous even with them.
You know your vision gets worse as you grow older? Well my younger self asked my dad once, since my vision was already terrible could it get better instead? He told me he didn’t see why that couldn’t possibly happen so I kept my hopes up… Then I went to my eye doctor yesterday, and he reduced my prescription for the second time in the past to years – I can now see 20/25 with my contacts! Even he was even impressed – “Not bad for a blind lady, right?”. I know that sounds sad to most of you with perfect (I hate you) vision, but I feel like I am slowly seeing more of the world that we live in and it makes me happy.
Since I woke up still happy about my eyes this morning, I decided to make myself a bigger-than-usual weekday Breakfast. I promise it still only took me 30 minutes to cook this, eat it, get dressed and get out of the door (granted I do shower at night). And it was so good! I love my various food magazine subscriptions but Women’s Health rocks for this one.
2 Tbsp salsa
1/4 C shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 C fresh cilantro
1 large egg plus 4 large egg whites, beaten
1/2 C diced lean ham
1 large (8”) whole-wheat tortilla
- In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the diced ham over medium-high heat, just until the surface starts to brown. Place the cooked ham in the tortilla, then add more cooking spray to the skillet and scramble the eggs together with the cilantro. Add the eggs to the tortilla, top with the cheese and salsa, and fold.
Source: Women’s Health Magazine
It’s Cinco de Mayo! Do you have everything ready for the party you are hosting/attending this evening? Or were you planning to skip out? Well, whatever your plans are I think you should take the few minutes it takes to make this salsa. A friend of mine, Lisa, used to make this salsa for many football parties and other group events (which always involved food) and it was always raved over. But she never made it exactly the same every time, so getting the recipe from her was a challenge. She used to say that she just threw in whatever she had around her kitchen. Finally Brandi was lucky enough to observe the making of this salsa before Lisa moved, and attempted to write it all down. What I have posted here is half of the recipe passed along to me (it makes a lot even in half!) with a couple minor changes. I feel like Lisa is in my kitchen right now, miss you!
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, cut in half with seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, zest and juice
Half a bundle of fresh cilantro
1 tsp tomato bouillon
1 tsp salt
Note: I used a 10 cup food processor and it fit everything perfectly (and that’s only half the original recipe!)
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until you reach a desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.