ADOBO CHICKEN

ADOBO CHICKEN adapted from Bobby Flay

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder*
1 tablespoon New Mexican chile powder*
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (or Italian dried oregano is fine)*
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin*
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*
1/2 teaspoon onion powder*
1/2 cup orange pineapple juice 
1 limed, juiced 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper 
2 tablespoons avocado oil 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each 

  • Preheat 2 cast-iron grill pans over medium heat.
  • Whisk together the ancho chile powder, New Mexican chile powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, orange juice, lime juice and season with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Add the oil and whisk.
  • Put the chicken in the marinade, turning the chicken to coat both sides. 
  • Grill the chicken until golden brown and slightly charred on one side, about 4 minutes.
  • Flip and cook the other side until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 more minutes; the juices should run clear and the meat thermometer should read 165°.  

NOTE: *These are the ingredients from Bobby Flay’s recipe.  I have replaced them with a combination of equal parts Pampered Chef’s Chile Lime seasoning and Organics Adobo seasoning.

SEVEN LAYER DIP TACO CUPS

SEVEN LAYER DIP TACO CUPS Servings: 12

6 flour tortillas (8-10 inch)
1 14-ounce can re-fried beans
2 cups grated Cheddar Jack cheese
1 cup guacamole
1 cup salsa
¾ cup sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 tomato, finely diced*

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Cut flour tortillas into large squares and then divide each into quarters, making 4 smaller equally sized square pieces, per flour tortilla.
  • Generously coat a standard-size muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Line each cup of prepared muffin tin with a tortilla sheet.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of re-fried beans into each sheet.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese over each sheet.
    Place another sheet of tortillas on top of the bean/cheese mixture and press so it flatten.
  • Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Spoon in a tablespoon of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa into each cup then top with green onions and tomato.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE: I sometimes skip the fresh tomato if I don’t have one and use a can of Rotel original tomatoes, drained WELL!

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

Pozole or Posole can be prepared in many ways, but all variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Hominy is produced from dried maize (corn) kernels.

Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. The traditional spelling with the “z” is the Mexican spelling and the Americanized spelling is usually with the “s”.

The three main types of pozole are white, green and red. White pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients including tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños or pipits. Red pozole is made by adding a red sauce made from a combination of chiles like ancho, piquin or guajillos.

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 7-8 pieces
2 tablespoons avocado oil
8 cups chicken broth (I like homemade bone broth)
7-8 Chiles de Arbol, stemmed (seeded if you like)
1 large white onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 large can white hominy, chopped (you don’t have to chop this if you like the large pieces – we don’t though so I chop them smaller)
1-2 cans white shopeg corn

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the cumin, oregano and sea salt.
  • Rub pork with seasoning mix, pressing into the meat.
  • In a large dutch oven (cast iron if you have it), heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
  • Sear pork on all sides until browned.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.

 

  • Remove pork from broth and strain liquid, discarding solids and skimming fat from the top.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Add chiles to the now empty pan and cook over medium heat until they puff up.
  • Transfer chiles to blender and add 2 cups of broth. Process until smooth.

 

  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Add pork, reserved cooking broth, pureed chiles, tomatoes, shoepeg corn, chopped hominy and remaining broth.
  • Simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Garnish as desired.

GARNISHES:
chopped avocado
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
sour cream

WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

  • Substitute the pork for shredded rotisserie chicken. This step saves 2 1/2 hours!
  • Substitute the individual spices for a Taco Bell Pork Carnitas or Carne Asada seasoning package.

BUFFALO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

BUFFALO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
2 cups shredded or pulled chicken pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can ROTEL original tomatoes and green chiles, drained WELL
1 can green enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 cup Taco Bell MILD taco sauce
1 cup Frank’s ORIGINAL hot sauce
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
(8) 8 inch flour tortillas

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine cream cheese, half of cheddar cheese, 1/2 of the green enchilada sauce and Frank’s hot sauce until creamy.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and green onions, reserving a few green onions for garnish.
  • Fill tortillas and place seam side down tightly in a prepared baking dish.
  • Combine taco sauce and remaining green enchilada sauce in a small bowl.
  • Brush sauce over top of enchiladas evenly so that all tortillas are moist.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are cooked through.
  • Serve immediately with green onions, fresh diced tomatoes and sour cream as garnish.

BLACK BEAN, BEEF & POTATO ENCHILADAS

BLACK BEAN, BEEF & POTATO ENCHILADAS
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 pound chuck roast
2 1/4 cups enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can original ROTEL tomatoes, drained well
1 large russet potato, baked
8 flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
FRESH ground salt and pepper to taste
Chopped black olives and onions, optional

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Season chuck roast on all sides.
  • Heat avocado oil in dutch oven.
  • Sear chuck roast on all sides
  • Add onions to pan, top with 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, cover and bake 2 hours until meat is easily shredable. Shred meat into sauce.
  • Add black beans and rotel tomatoes to the meat mixture.
  • Wash and dry potato. Bake potato until tender along side the dutch oven.
  • Cool potato enough to e able to handle it. Peel off skin and coarsely chop.
  • Ladle 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Divide potato among the tortillas and top with a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Add about a 1/2 cup of the meat mixture.
  • Fold sides over the filling and roll up placing seam side down in baking dish. Repeat.
  • Top tortillas with remaining meat and sauce, brushing to cover the tops.
  • Bake covered for 20-25 minutes.
  • Uncover and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and Serve.

NOTE: You can easily replace the potato with rice of choice for a change.

CREAMY CHICKEN & SPINACH ENCHILADAS

CREAMY CHICKEN & SPINACH ENCHILADAS
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons salsa verde
8 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained WELL
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
scant 1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
2 green onions, FINELY chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
flour tortillas

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Stir together the cream cheese and salsa verde until smooth.
  • Add spinach and blend well.
  • Transfer half the mixture to a separate bowl.
  • Stir in milk and set aside.
  • Fold in chicken, cilantro, green onions, 1/2 cup of cheese, salt and pepper to the first bowl.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat.
  • Add tortillas, one at a time, turning and cooking 1-2 minutes until blistered.
  • Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas.
  • Roll up and place in baking dish in a single layer.
  • Spread reserved spinach mixture over top of enchiladas.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake uncovered, 20-25 minutes.
  • Brown under broiler 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and browned.

TEX MEX MEXICAN BREAKFAST BOMBS

TEX MEX BREAKFAST BOMBS adapted from SLOW ROASTED ITALIAN
I think I found the original recipe on facebook. It was great, but I HAD to adapt it to my family and now we think it’s even better! These are cheesy, meat filled egg bombs that are a HUGE hit with EVERYONE young and old alike.

The BEST part is that they can be prepared in advance and then popped into the oven when you need them.

16 frozen RHODES dinner yeast rolls
flour, for dusting
SALSA, for finishing

FILLING
1/2 pound diced bacon pieces, prepared to desired crispness (we like them JUST crisp and still a little chewy)
1/2 pound diced country ham pieces
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 ounces shredded Taco blend cheese
1 can green chiles, drained WELL
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced

EGGS

  • In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, whisking until completely combined.
  • Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the egg mixture and stir occasionally until the eggs are scrambled, and no liquid is left in the pan, about 3-4 minutes. DO NOT cook until they are completely dry, or they will be very dry in the breakfast bomb.
  • Set aside to cool.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place dinner rolls on a microwave safe plate and microwave on defrost for about 3-4 minutes (or until dough is no longer frozen, but NOT cooked).
  • Butter a 9″x9″ baking pan and set aside.
  • Lightly flour your counter top.
  • Toss 1 piece of dough in flour and flatten into disc stretching dough into a 3-4 inch circle.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the dough and press into the dough with the palm of your hand.
  • Top with 1 tablespoon eggs, 1 tablespoon bacon, 1/2 teaspoon green chiles and 1/2 teaspoon red peppers onto the center of the dough round. Pull the top and bottom edges of the dough together and then add the left and right edges. Pinch the dough together to create a ball. If the ball won’t seal, tap your finger tips into the flour and then crimp the seal together. Place dough ball in prepared dish. Repeat until all breakfast bombs are in the dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes. OR  Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, place the wrap sprayed side down on the breakfast bombs.refrigerate until the next day.

MAKE AHEAD COOKING

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove baking dish from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap.
  • Bake for 40-45  minutes until the tops are golden brown and the breakfast bombs are no longer doughy. You can pull one of the edge pieces out and if it is still doughy cook it for another 5 minutes.

NOTE: Cover with foil at 25-30 minutes to prevent tops from getting TOO brown.

HERB BUTTER
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave, about 30 seconds or until butter is melted.
  • Whisk in garlic powder, parsley and salt.
  • Remove breakfast bombs from the oven.
  • Brush them with melted butter mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy!

MEXICAN SOFRITO

I wanted to use what I had on hand so made a Mexican version of my Beef Ragu.  Naming it was an entirely different story! 

I found tons of words to replace ragu like goulash, pot-au-feu, gumbo, suey, cassoulet, chowder… You get the idea, but I couldn’t find a word in Spanish.  Finding a word for word translation of RAGU was challenging. 

Turns out there isn’t a DIRECT word for translation so I read until I found an acceptable translation for this Mexican version of my Beef Ragu recipe. The word soffritto is still Italian, but I found the same word with a single f and single t (sofrito) used for Puerto Rican and Latin American recipes.  Close enough for me! 

A Ragu is meat based with a little sauce added.

MEXICAN SOFRITO ala SLOW COOKER
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 ½ -3 pound chuck roast
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (see below)
28 ounces crushed tomatoes, with cumin and chili powder to taste
1 large can chopped green chiles
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Cotija cheese

  • Spray a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Arrange the onions, garlic, green chiles and bacon pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Generously season roast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Arrange roast on top of the onion mixture.
  • Sprinkle the carrots on top of the roast.
  • In a medium bowl, blend together the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, red wine vinegar and cilantro.
  • Pour over the roast.
  • Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours until the beef is EXTREMELY tender and falls apart.
  • Skim any fat from the top.
  • Use 2 forks to shred the beef.
  • Stir beef into the sauce.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Re-cover and cook for another hour to allow the flavored to meld together.
  • Serve with corn tortillas and top with Cotija cheese sprinkles.

This is an adapted version of my Beef Ragu recipe.

CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE ala Slow Cooker

CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup WHOLE milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup sour cream
1 can original ROTEL tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see recipe below)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag FRITOS
1 small tomato, chopped
1 SMALL bunch green onions, sliced thin

  • Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Whisk together the white sauce and sour cream until smooth.
  • Add in taco seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in Rotel tomatoes, black beans and 1 cup of the cheese.
  • Spread mixture into slow cooker insert.
  • Top with chicken pieces in a single layer if possible.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours* until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  • Mix chicken back in.
  • Top with Fritos and remaining cheese.
  • Cover a few minutes JUST until cheese melts.
  • Top with chopped tomato and green onions.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • Time varies based on chicken breast sizes.
  • I accidentally bought re-fried black beans this time actually liked it too.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together and use with your taco meat.
  • Pour the water in the pan and cook just like you would for tacos.
  • The amount above is the same amount that is in one packet of taco seasoning mix at the store.

CHICKEN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS with HOMEMADE ENCHILADA SAUCE

CHICKEN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS
4 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1/3 cup sour cream
2 + 1 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 small shallot, finely chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8-10 small flour tortillas
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese mix
Enchilada Sauce (see recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Ladle 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly. Se aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the chicken and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, tossing to coat well.
  • Add the sour cream, 2 tablespoons cilantro, shallot, salt and pepper, mixing well. Set aside.
  • Warm and soften the tortillas slightly.
  • Add a spoonful of the chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons of the cheese to each tortilla rolling and placing seam side down in the baking dish.
  • Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
  • Bake covered for 20-25 minutes.
  • Uncover and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and Serve.

NOTE: this recipe is just as good with corn tortillas if you prefer.

ENCHILADA SAUCE yields 3 cups
3 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups chicken or beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Heat oil in sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add flour, whisking to combine until golden.
  • Add chili powder, cumin and cocoa, blending well.
  • Add stock, stir well and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add tomato paste, brown sugar and salt, blending well.
  • Simmer 10 -15 minutes, stirring often, until sauce thickens slightly.

PINEAPPLE RAISIN TAMALES

MANY moons ago at a funky little bistro in Silver Lake California I used to order their dessert tamales.  They were soft, silky and TOTALLY delectable full of pineapple and raisins.  At the time I was entering county fairs with my homemade jams and eating these tamales with a spoonful of jam drizzled over top was just pure HEAVEN, at least to me 😀

I CANNOT remember anything else on the menu, I can’t even remember the name of the bistro, but those tamales were worth the drive out of my way just to buy several to take home for later.

I’ve been working to recreate the recipe for years and I think I’ve come as close as I can!

PINEAPPLE RAISIN TAMALES yields 2 dozen tamales
40 corn husks
4 cups corn masa flour
2 sticks salted butter, melted
2 large cans DOLE crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice)
1 cup of reserved pineapple juice (make yourself a cocktail with the rest) 😀
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups golden raisins
2 dozen marbles

  • SOAK corn husks for 1 hour before beginning.

  • SET UP large dutch oven.
  • Invert a pie tin into bottom of dutch oven.
  • Arrange marbles around the pie tin edge.
  • Fill with water JUST to cover.
  • Arrange a second pie tin right side up on top.
  • Layer several corn husks over top pie tin. Turn flame to low heat and cover while you prepare tamales.

  • Combine masa, butter, juice, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  • Add pineapple and raisins, blending with gloved hands until well distributed.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup of mixture in your corn husk into a 1×3 log shape.
  • Roll up tightly and tie ends with a piece of corn husk or string.
  • Place half of the tamales in the dutch oven and cover, steaming for 45 minutes.
  • Serve warm topped with blueberry sauce.

NOTE: They reheat easily in the microwave.

MEXICAN TORTILLA BAKE a.k.a. FOLD OVER TACOS

Your favorite taco in a casserole – perfect for potlucks!

FOLD OVER TACOS
1 pound ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 cup red enchilada sauce
1 can re-fried beans
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
12 6 inch tortillas
6 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature 30 minutes
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook beef until crumbled and pink is gone.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Add tomatoes, sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pour half of the meat and sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Top with half the beans.  Set aside.
  • Stir together the cream cheese and one half of the re-fried beans.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on each tortilla and top with a spoonful of the sauce.
  • Fold each tortilla over and arrange in baking dish partially overlapping.
  • Pour remaining meat sauce over top of tortillas.
  • Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.