CHICKEN with VERDE SAUCE ~ CLASSIC GOOD EATS

  • Spray casserole dish with PURE
  • Lay chicken pieces in bottom.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken.
  • Cover with Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
  • Place a generous dollop of sour cream on top of each chciken piece.
  • Cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Fire Roasted Salsa Verde 
My Source for awesome homemade verde sauce =  Chris the wonderful cook, griller, photographer and Big Green Egg enthusiast. Check out his blog at www.nibblemethis.com   His Source = Adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue! 
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thirds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered together with a toothpick
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat
3 ounces chicken stock
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Get your grill cooking at about 450f. 
  • Place the peppers and tomatillos on and sear them until all sides are blackened. 
  • This should take a few minutes per side. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, grill the onion and garlic until browned (about 4 minutes a side for the onion, 1-2 for the garlic) and remove from heat. 
  • Skin, seed, and dice the peppers. 
  • Skin and quarter the tomatillos. Don’t be super picky about getting all the charred skin off, you want a little in there for flavor. 
  • Quarter the grilled onions. 
  • Place them all in a food processor and pulse them until you get a salsa like texture. 
  • Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat and then add the tomatillo mixture for 3-5 minutes. You’ll get some thick “pops” as the thick liquid heats but keep stirring. 
  • Mix in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, letting the flavors get happy together. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Be sure and stop by my food blog, Always Eat On The Good China for other tasty recipes.

Fire Day Friday: Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I had a great time at Kingsford University in Las Vegas two weekends ago.  I learned a lot, got to meet old blog friends in real life, and met a bunch of new friends. 

One of the things Chris Lilly stressed was “grill once, eat twice”.  So last night I grilled an extra chicken to use for dinner tonight.

But I learned much from my fellow students too.  On the last night six of us were having dinner at Mesa Grill and we talked about how recent changes to how Google searches and presents results for recipes.  Previously, bloggers had a fair chance at showing up high in results for a specific recipe.  But NOW if your recipe posts do not contain “metadata” or “microformatting”, they will NOT show up in Google recipe searches.  Only the big sites like FoodNetwork, Allrecipes, Cooks, etc show up.

My new friend from last week, Meathead Goldwyn of AmazingRibs.com shared what he had found out about this in THIS POST.   John Dawson of PatioDaddio shared THIS USEFUL WEB SITE that will let you enter a recipe and then generate the appropriate Google Recipe SEO friendly format.  I tried it out tonight and here is the result.


Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 ea
    small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp
    butter
  • 3 cups
    cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 2 ea
    chipotle, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup
    cilantro, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can
    diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz
    Philadelphia Sante Fe Blend Cooking Creme
  • 2 cups
    baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves
    garlic, minced
  • 1 cup
    cheese, shredded (I used 1/2 of smoked cheddar and monterey jack)
  • 1/4 cup
    half and half
  • 10 ea
    flour tortiallas (6″ size)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat a saute pan and then melt the butter. Saute the onions for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, chipotle, cilantro, spinach, tomatoes and garlic. Add 3/4 cup of the Philly Sante Fe blend Cooking Creme and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Top with the hot onions and let sit for a minute. Toss all of this together until well blended.
  3. Spoon the mixture evenly among the tortillas, about 1/3 cup each. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 casserole dish. We ended up having to use another small dish too.
  4. Top with the rest of the cheese. Mix the rest of the Sante Fe Creme and the half & half. Spoon over the enchiladas.
  5. Bake at 350f for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve with Mexican rice and tortilla chips.

Ok, so I’m not crazy about the layout that it generates. So how do you choose between “how your recipes appear on your site” or “how your site appears on Google”, tough one, right?  I guess we will be seeing a lot more tools to help us little guys compete with the big sites.  

Are you planning to change how you post your recipes relative to the Google changes?

MEXICAN LASAGNA~HEALTHY MEALS

This is a huge piece of lasagna. Enormous. I’m totally full. This recipes makes a LOT of food. It’s a great recipe to freeze individual portions for quick lunches or dinners. Packed with protein, this cheesy, tasty sauce is full of flavor but isn’t spicy at all. You do need a big baking pan for this, I think that I used an 11 x 17 in. pan. You probably could split it and use 1 – 9 x 13 pan and 1 – 8 x 8 pan and just freeze one. I might just do that next time.
MEXICAN LASAGNA
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can of corn or frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chil peppers
1 (8 ounce) jar taco sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
12 – 8 inch, whole wheat tortillas, toasted
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ground turkey for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the onion, peppers and garlic, and sauté for 5 more minutes. 
  • Drain any excess fat. 
  • Mix in the tomatoes, green chile peppers, tomatoes with green chile peppers, taco sauce, corn, black beans and refried beans. 
  • Stir mixture thoroughly, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Spread a thin layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 11 x 17 pan. 
  • Cover with a layer of 3 tortillas followed by more meat mixture, then 1/2 of the sour cream. 
  • Repeat tortilla and meat layers, spreading sour cream on one more layer, until all the tortillas are used, topping off with a layer of meat mixture and cheese. I use 3 tortillas on each layer, 2 side by side and one cut in 1/2 spread over the open area. 
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.

Total calories = 3789
8 huge servings = 473 calories per serving
12 servings = 316 calories per serving

QUINOA & BLACK BEAN COLD SALAD

I love the flavors of this salad. It’s no secret that I adore red wine vinegar. That paired with the lime, the cilantro, the onions, and finally the texture of the Quinoa, just gives this that “what is that flavor” feeling on your tongue. You can’t help but continuing to go back for more and more. It’s really that good.

It definitely has that south of the border appeal and would be great for a fiesta or any Mexican themed meal.  We ate this with some taco burgers and it was sensational!  This makes a lot but it stays in the refrigerator for a long time so you can enjoy the leftovers!

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Recipe
1 ¼ cup quinoa 
1 can (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 can of corn
1 red pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon splenda or sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Rinse quinoa under cold water thoroughly. 
  • Put quinoa in a pot with 2 cups water. 
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. 
  • Fluff quinoa and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. 
  • In a small bowl, toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper. 
  • Add beans, corn, red pepper, green onions, garlic, cayenne and cilantro to the quinoa. Toss well. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, cumin, splenda and oil. 
  • Drizzle over salad and toss well with salt and pepper.
Total calories = 1770
12 – 1/2 cup servings = 148 calories per serving

Fire Day Friday: Vegetable Burritos

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, I made a recipe for vegetable burritos that came from a recipe pamphlet from RoTel. Okay, carbon dating and fossil records show it was actually just over 15 years ago.

We loved it back then and thought it was an impressive recipe. That was back when I was just learning to cook for Alexis and my new family. Tonight we dragged this one out of the archives and upgraded it to how we would have made it now compared to back then.

Fire Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Cilantro/Roasted Pepper Queso

Source: NibbleMeThis

1 cup long grain rice
2 ea vidalia spring onions (green onions if you can’t get them)
1 ea red bell pepper
1 ea poblano or cubanelle chile
1 ea cherry pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
1 ea serrano pepper, finely diced (skip if you want mild, double if you want hot)
1 cup refried beans
1 cup salsa
6 ea flour tortillas (mission sized burrito tortillas)
6 oz Mexican Dipping Cheese (We get El Viajero brand)
4 oz milk
1/4 cup cilantro

Start your grill to direct high heat at about 500f (skip if using your broiler and oven)

Cook your rice according to directions.

Grill the green onions just enough to get a slight browning on them (about 1 min a side). Fire roast or broil your peppers until blackened on all sides. The fire roasting brings out the best of the veggies.


Don’t be afraid that they are “too charred”. That makes them easier to peel and won’t affect the final flavor. This one wasn’t done enough yet, just to give you an idea.


Place the peppers in a plastic zip top bag, they’ll steam on their own for 5 minutes.

Cut the ends off each pepper and slice down the length of one side to open them up. Remove the seeds from the inside. Flip and lightly scrap the charred skin off with the sharp edge of a knife.

Dice the green onions.

As soon as the rice is finished, stir in the green onions, red bell pepper, and cubanelle/poblano pepper (reserve the cherry pepper for the cheese sauce). Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the serrano pepper.

Taste the rice mixture for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Repeat for each tortilla:
Spread about 3 Tbsp of refried beans on the tortilla. Top with 1/2 cup of the rice mixture. Sprinkle more cheese and 3 Tbsp of salsa on top. Roll up burrito style and place seam side down in a casserole dish. (Click here for a photo tutorial of how I fold mine.) Top with a few sprinkles of more shredded cheese.

Place the dish in your oven preheated to 350f (or in our case, a grill set up at 350f for indirect heat) and cook for 25 minutes.

Cut the queso cheese into 1/2″ cubes and put into a small sauce pan. Add the milk, cilantro, and diced cherry pepper and warm until melted over medium/low heat.

Serve the burritos with the sauce poured over the top or on the side.

Don’t let the minimal amount in the picture fool you. As soon as the pictures were taken and my burrito was cut up, I ladled a good bit of that queso sauce all over my burrito!

In case you’re interested, here’s the original version. It’s a lot easier and still good.

Vegetable Burritos
Yields: 6

Ingredients
1 Pam non stick spray
1 can (12 oz) Rotel (Diced tomatoes/chilis)
1 cup instant rice
1/2 cup water
1 Green pepper
2 Green onions
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup refried beans
10 8″ tortillas
1 cup salsa
Black olives to taste

Instructions
preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x 12 x 2 baking dish w/ spray. In medium saucepan, combine Rotel, rice & water. Heat to boil, reduce heat, cover, & simer 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in pepper, onions and 1 cup cheese. Spread 3 table spoons beans over each tortilla. Layer rice mixture over beens and sprinkle on more cheese & salsa. Roll up and place seam down in prepared baking dish. Cover w/ foil. Bake 25 minutes.

Chayotes Rellenoes ~ Cultural Connections~

Pronounced [chah-YOH-teh], the chayote is another native Mexican plant and is a member of the squash family. It is also referred to as a “vegetable pear” or chcocho. In France the chayote is called a christophene. The flesh is quite crisp something like a water chestnut. Quoted from Gourmet sleuth.com
Chayotes squash is easily found in the supermarkets around here and very inexpensive. They are very mild in taste, and are also known as mirlitons. In New Orleans they use them in a stew like dish with shrimp.

I love this dish and have made it several times. It originates in Guatemala. I can’t decide whether to eat it for breakfast, a side dish or what. However you decide to eat it, it is good. Originally they have you scoop out the squash and use the shells like a twice baked potato, but I find the skins are way to flimsy. So I use ramekins or an individual baking dish instead.

Chayotes Rellenos
4 chayotes
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot minced you can use onion, but the squash is so mild I use shallots
2 T salsa verde*
2 T Parmesan cheese
2 eggs well beaten with salt
4 ounces queso fresco crumbled
some shredded Monterey jack cheese to top with
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cover the chayotes with water, bring to a boil, and let them cook over a medium flame until they are tender (about 30 min). Drain and allow to cool.
Cut the chayotes in half, and scoop out the flesh carefully. Mash the flesh well and leave it to drain in a colander for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter and cook the onion, without browning, until they are soft. Add the mashed chayote and let the mixture dry out a little over a low flame. Add the eggs, and stir them as you would for scrambled eggs until they are just set. (about 1 minute). Stir the crumbled farmer cheese, parmesan cheese, and salsa verde into the mixture. Stuff the chayote shells. Place on an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese on each chayote half, and cook in a 400 degree oven until melted and golden about 15 minutes. I topped mine with some finishing salt.

*you can use store bought or make your own I posted a recipe on Aqua Sunday .



PORK in ORANGE SAUCE

My wonderful SIL recently returned from a cruise to Panama – lucky her! – she had a great time, but lucky me – she sent me a new cookbook of Mexican recipes.  I have tried 3 recipes so far this week and we loved all 3!!!!!!!!!  But, hubby all but licked his plate on this one tonight. And this recipe was soooooooooo simple!  I did tweak the original recipe to suit us, but the basics are all still there.

2 pound pork tenderloin, cut into pieces
1/3 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
sliced oranges for garnish
mashed potatoes (original recipe called for mashed sweet potatoes but hubby doesn’t care for them)

  • In a large bowl combine vinegar, cumin, garlic, red pepper and salt.
  • Drop in pork cubes and make sure they are completely coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or more.
  • Remove pork pieces from marindae, but reserve the marinade.
  • Pat the meat dry.*
  • In a heavy skillet, melt the butter.
  • Brown the pork cubes until golden.
  • Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until pork is tender (30 minutes or so).
  • Stir in orange and lemon juices last 15 minutes.

*Next time I will brown the pork first and then marinade so there is a bit of a crusty edge.

NOTE:  Any time you marinade in vinegar, meat will take longer to brown.

Tequila Fajitas

Chris over at Nibble Me This is entering a contest that requires a video.  So he did a practice video for his last Fire Day Friday at OUR KraZy kitchen and he did an awesome job on it too.  I decided to make the recipe for his fast fajitas for father’s day and the guys loved it! Here is his video and recipe. I offer up my picture of our finished product too.

Fast Fajitas
3/4 lb Milanesa style sliced beef
1/2 to 1 green onion, seeded and sliced
1/2 to 1 onion, peeled and sliced

Marinade
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup beer or tequilla (I used the Tequila)
1 1/2 tsp season salt
1 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
Fajita Finishing Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 Tbsp of the marinade (reserve before marinating the meat)

Marinate the beef for 30 minutes. If you like, you can also season your veggies with salt, garlic pepper, lime juice and oil.
Sear over a hot grill (400-450f) for about 30 to 45 seconds per side. You could also do this in a cast iron pan if you get it preheated very high heat.
Roast veggies for about 4 minutes, until starting to char slightly and soften.

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STACKED GREEN CHILE & GRILLED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

I made this for daring cooks and then made it again and altered it for my family.  It turned out really good when paired with my homemade REFRIED BEANS.

STACKED GREEN CHILE & GRILLED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles roasted, peeled, seeds removed & chopped coarsely.
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium) peeled and stems removed
4 cups homemade Chicken broth
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
¼ tsp Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
3 Boneless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons canola oil

3 10-12 inch flour tortillas

8 ounces grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack
Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional
Roasting the Fresh Chiles
  • Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
  • Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
  • As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
  • Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
  • DO NOT RINSE!
Green Chile Sauce 
  • Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft. 
  • Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
  • Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.
Assembling the stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas
  • Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts. I did them on the stove in a cast iron pan and they were awesome.
  • Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
  • In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
  • Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
  • In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
  • Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
  • Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
  • Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
  • Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

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CHILI HOMINY BAKE

Back when I was a latch key kid I was supposed to go home after school, lock the door, do my chores and homework and then start dinner. Dinners were mainly casseroles and a pre-planned set of recipes at that. One of those recipes was my great aunt Louise’s Chili Hominy Bake. I recently ran across that recipe and it drudged up memories – some good, some not so good. You see I can’t stand kidney beans or black olives and I hated hominy – or so I thought. I did love the overall flavor, but since I didn’t like the parts I decided to rework them to make a better whole!

AUNT LOUISE’S JIFFY CHILI HOMINY BAKE
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound can chili with beans (2 cups)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can yellow hominy, drained (2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup shredded American cheese

  • Cook ground beef and onion until browned.
  • Stir in other ingredients except cheese.
  • Put in casserole.
  • Cover and bake in medium oven for 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cheese over top, continue baking uncovered 5 minutes more.
  • Good re-heated.

MY CHILI HOMINY BAKE
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Williams Chili seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, drained, but save the juice
1 can cream of celery soup
1 large can hominy, drained & chopped small
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

  • Cook ground beef, garlic and onion until browned.
  • Add in the chili seasoning mix and tomato juice.
  • Cook until well blended and juice is absorbed.
  • Chop hominy smaller.
  • Stir together the soup, tomatoes and chiles, hominy until well blended.
  • Stir together the soup mixture and beef mixture until well blended.
  • Put in greased casserole.
  • Sprinkle cheese over top, continue baking uncovered 25-30 minutes more.
  • Good re-heated.



The key was taking out the kidney beans, black olives and chopping the hominy into better sized pieces. Now that might not be the key for you so add them back in! This is a very versatile recipe. I guarantee these changes will make this a great kid friendly casserole.

Slow Coooking Thursday ~ Mexican Baja Casserole

Slow Cooking Thursday is hosted by Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
MEXICAN BAJA CASSEROLE

1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup salsa
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 large can white corn
1 large tomato, chopped (seeds too)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 cups Sargento Mexican blend shredded cheese

  • Brown the beef, onions and garlic in a frying pan.
  • Drain the fat off. Add the salsa, chiles, corn, tomatoes and seasonings. Mix well.
  • Spray slow cooker with a coating of PURE.
  • Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
  • Layer the tortilla strips, meat mixture, and cheese.
  • Repeat until all ingredients are used (2-3 layers)
  • Cover and cook on low 4 hours.
  • Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with sour cream.
I do the memes: Menu Plan Monday hosted by aura at I’m an Organizing Junkie, Favorite Ingredient Friday hosted by Kathryn at Overwhelmed with Joy, Freezer Food Friday hosted by MJ at mjpuzzlemom, Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Meredith at Mercedes Rocks and Slow Cooking Thursday hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Doing them all make great additions to help keeping me on track and finding so new recipes!