BLOOMING QUESADILLA

BLOOMING QUESADILLA adapted from SPACE SHIPS & LASER BEAMS

A Blooming Quesadilla Ring is PERFECT for the upcoming holidays, a tailgate or Super Bowl party or even a church potluck.

20 taco sized soft flour tortillas
4 cups FINELY shredded taco blend Colby jack cheese
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces (OR PROTEIN OF CHOICE)
1 SMALL red bell pepper, seeded and FINELY diced
1/2 cup FINELY diced red onion
1/2 cup salsa your favorite brand
1 cup Taco Bell mild taco sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese finely shredded
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro

GARNISHES
FRESH chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Sour cream
Chopped green onions
Salsa

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place a large, wide mouth glass jar in the center of the baking sheet.

  • Cut the tortilla’s in half.
  • Cover the halved tortilla’s with a clean dry cloth and set aside so they don’t dry out.

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded cooked chicken, red pepper, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, red onion, salsa and taco sauce.
  • Stir well until all of the ingredients are well mixed. 

  • Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons each of the shredded colby monterey jack cheese and the chicken mixture.
  • Roll each of the halved, “filled” tortillas into a cone shape. Be careful not to squish out the filling. The small pointed ends of the cones need to touch the wide mouth jar and form a ring around the jar.

  • Once you have made a complete bottom layer of about 12 to 13 “cones,” sprinkle ¾ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the ring.

  • Repeat the ring of cones for a second layer.
  • Then top with 1 cup of the colby and monterey jack cheese.

  • Repeat for the 3rd and final ring.
  • Remove the glass jar from the center of the cones.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cones are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Using the edges of the parchment paper, carefully transfer the quesadilla ring to a platter.
  • Serve the quesadilla ring with your favorite salsa or dipping sauce AND garnishes.

NOTES: If trimming off the excess parchment paper, BE VERY CAREFUL not to touch the hot cheese.


MEXICAN QUICHE

MEXICAN QUICHE

1 10 inch flour tortilla burrito size
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces
1/3 cup FINELY chopped FRESH cilantro leaves
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained well
1/2 cup salsa

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
FRESH ground salt and pepper
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup WHOLE milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

GARNISHES
Sour cream
Salsa
Guacamole
Chopped green onions

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Grease 9-inch spring form pan.
  • Press tortilla into prepared pie plate and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Toss chicken, salsa, cilantro, green chiles, 1 cup of the cheese, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper in large bowl until combined.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, and FRESH ground sea  salt and black pepper in bowl until smooth.
  • Slowly pour egg mixture over chicken mixture and fold to combine.
  • Spread filling evenly into tortilla.
  • Bake until surface is golden brown, 25-30 minutes or until set when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top and bake for about 3-5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Let cool 5 minutes.
  • Cut into wedges and serve.
  • Serve with your favorite garnishes.

NOTES: The chicken can be easily traded out for browned ground beef or a pulled pork.

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN

1 can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Green Giant Mexican corn niblets, drained
1 cup chunky salsa
2 tablespoons butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon KINDERS taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Coat chicken breasts all over with the taco seasoning.
  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken breasts, searing for one minute per side.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Add beans, corn and salsa.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cut chicken into slices and serve over rice or fritos.

CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN MEATBALLS in CREAM CORN SAUCE

CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN MEATBALLS in CREAM CORN SAUCE adapted from TALKING MEALS serves 4
1 pound QUALITY ground beef
15.5 ounce can seasoned black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
1 small bunch green onion, sliced – reserve a few for garnish
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, rough chopped + 1 tablespoon sauce for the meatballs – the remainder will be used in sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 LARGE egg
FRESH Ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
3/4 cup ground tortilla chips

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a food processor add black beans, most of the green onions, chipotle peppers, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, water, taco seasoning, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper. Pulse and process until mixture is completely combined and beans are mostly creamy.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, bean mixture, egg and 1/2 cup tortilla chip crumbs. Mix by hand or with a large fork. If the mixture is too wet add a bit more tortilla crumbs.
  • Roll into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Arrange meatballs on a large baking sheet prepared with a light coating of avocado oil.
  • Bake the meatballs in oven on center rack for 20 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.

MEXICAN CREAM CORN SAUCE
2 cans Green Giant Mexican corn
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
1 teaspoon + Sauce Adobo Sauce
3/4 cup Mexican sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped green onions
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Cilantro
1 cup white rice, prepared per package directions

  • Add avocado oil to a preheated pan on medium heat.
  • Add corn kernels, minced garlic, and green onions, sauteing 3 minutes.  
  • Stir in the chicken broth, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. 
  • Add Adobo Sauce.  You can add more if you want it spicier.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, then turn down heat to low simmer to keep warm.

 

  • When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. 
  • Whisk sour cream into the corn sauce.
  • Stir in the cilantro and add the meatballs to the sauce.
  • Serve over the rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!!

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP ENCHILADAS

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP ENCHILADAS adapted from TALKING MEALS

This ooey gooey, creamy, cheesy, spicy, and utterly delicious appetizer dip makes an exceptional ooey, gooey, yet crunch dip, but is even better as a taco or enchilada filler or even to top a salad for an entree.

CHICKEN
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
4 tablespoons Frank’s original buffalo hot sauce
2 teaspoons avocado oil

  • Toss all together and set aside.

DIP BASE
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
8 ounces Mexican sour cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup Frank’s original Buffalo hot sauce
¼ cup Blue cheese crumbles or shredded cheddar or pepper jack
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, seasonings and hot sauce together.
  • Stir in the celery, green onion and cheeses.
  • Adjust seasoning.

DIP VEHICLES
Celery sticks
Carrot Sticks
Crackers
Tortilla Chips

  • Transfer the dip to an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
  • Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake the dip in the oven for 10 minutes or until its warmed through and the top is melted.
  • Serve and enjoy!!

NACHOS CASSEROLE

NACHOS CASSEROLE adapted from LOU LOU girls

SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (you can change this up be using a salsa verde sauce)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth*
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the melted butter and flour.
  • Cook, whisking continually, until it begins to bubble; let it bubble for 1 minute.
  • Add the enchilada sauce, salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Raise the heat slightly and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer while you prepare the meat.

FILLING
1 pound QUALITY ground beef
1/2 pound shredded chicken
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 can BUSH’s seasoned black beans, drained WELL
15-ounce bag Doritos nacho cheese flavored chips

1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese (pepper jack if you want a bit of a bite)
1 1/2 cups shredded medium Cheddar cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Crumble beef into skillet along with the onions and garlic, cooking 5-8 minutes until crumbly and cooked through.
Add chicken pieces.
Drain off grease.
Stir in the beans, taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
Add the simmering sauce and shut off the heat.
Mix together the cheeses in a medium bowl.
Stir in 1/3 of the cheese. Save the remaining cheese for assembly.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Gently break up the chips by crushing the bag slightly with your hands. Make sure not to over crush the chips; you’re looking for pieces, not crumbs.
  • Pour one third of the broken chips into the prepared baking dish.
    Top with a quarter of the beef mixture and 2/3 cup of the cheese.
  • Repeat, adding another layer of chips, beef mix and cheese.
  • Finish by adding the remaining chips to the top of the casserole.
  • Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to bake15-20 minutes more until bubbly.
  • Add toppings just before serving.

TOPPINGS (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup guacamole
1/4 cup sliced black olives
3 green onions, sliced
Crumbled Cotija cheese
Shredded cheddar
Hot Sauce, optional

NOTE: I use homemade bone broth. In the summertime my bone broth also contains lots of FRESH tomatoes that only enhance the flavor for the better.

 

CREOLE STYLE CHICKEN AND RICE

CREOLE STYLE CHICKEN AND RICE
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces – drumsticks, thighs etc…
1 tablespoon SLAP YO MAMA seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 can Progresso hearty tomato basil soup
4 tablespoons red pepper jelly
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can Trappey’s seasoned black eyed peas, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Generously season chicken pieces with creole sesoning, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of the soup and 2 tablespoons of the jelly.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat well.
  • Cover and chill 2-3 hours.
  • Remove chicken from marinade.

 

  • Coat large heat proof saute pan with non-stick baking spray and heat over medium flame.
  • Add chicken and brown 8-10 minutes or so on all sides, turning often.
  • Remove chicken and wipe pan clean.
  • Add chicken broth and remaining soup to pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add rice and chicken.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 25 minutes until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to platter.
  • Add beans to rice mixture, cooking 3-5 minutes until heated through.
  • Nestle chicken back into rice and bean mixture.
  • Brush chicken with remaining jelly.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes to brown and glaze chicken.

TACO PIE

Who doesn’t love a bowl full of the ultimate comfort food? You guessed it, deep dish layered taco pie.
 Especially if you add some homemade salsa, some Mexican sour cream and maybe some cilantro…

TACO PIE
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or a COMBO of ground pork and beef)
2 tablespoons KINDERS taco seasoning
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles, drained well
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup biscuit mix
1 cup WHOLE milk
3 LARGE eggs
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Salsa, for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 400º.
  • Spray a 9″ deep baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add ground beef, browning until the beef is no longer pink and crumbled small.
  • Drain off any fat.
  • Add in the taco seasoning and Rotel, mixing well and heating through.
  • Spread the beef mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the biscuit mix, milk and eggs.
  • Pour evenly over the beef and cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the middle of the pie is set and the top is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately garnishing as desired.


MEXICAN STREET CORN CHOWDER ala CROCK POT

Ever wondered what the difference is between a soup, a stew and a chowder?

A soup is usually made with stock or broth and can have vegetables, meat or fish as ingredients and is generally not very thick.

A chowder may have the same ingredients as a soup or even a stew, but is more chunky, creamy and thick. It is often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers, biscuits, or a roux. A chowder is also usually made with fish and corn.

A stew is made by sweltering the ingredients in a covered pot.

You can do this the easy way or the easier way, both taste just as delicious.

MEXICAN STREET CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER serves 8-10
5-6 cups FRESH corn (about 10 ears)
6 slices thick bacon, diced
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
1 LARGE red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can HOT diced green chiles or jalapenos
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 1/2 cups rotisseries chicken pieces
1-2 cups homemade chicken broth
Juice and zest of 1 LARGE lime
1 cup heavy whipping cream

GARNISHES
FRESH chopped cilantro
lime wedges
sliced jalapenos
chopped bell pepper

  • Cut corn from cobs, reserving corn juice as you go. You should have at least a cup of corn juice, preferably two. Add enough of the chicken broth to make it a total of 2 cups.
  • Add corn and juice to slow cooker.
  • In a large skillet, cook bacon pieces over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and add onions and peppers, sauteing 3-4 minutes.
  • Add red pepper flakes, green chiles or jalapenos, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Add to slow cooker, stirring into corn mixture.
  • Cook on low 3 1/2-4 hours until corn is tender and mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Stir in chicken pieces during the last half hour.
  • Stir in cream and lime juice.
  • Garnish with zest and desired toppings.

NOTE: If you are in a hurry this can all be done on the stove top, but I highly reccomend the slow cooker for a deeper flavor.

TEX MEX aka MEXICAN MEATLOAF

TEX MEX aka MEXICAN MEATLOAF
4 cups shredded hash browns, cooked crisp
1/4 cup salsa
1 LARGE egg
1/2 package KNORR vegetable soup mix
1 tablespoons KINDERS taco seasoning
2 cups shredded taco blend cheddar cheese, divided
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH cilantro
Sour cream and Salsa, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the egg, soup mix and seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Crumble beef into a large bowl.
  • Pour egg mixture over meat.
  • Add salsa and 1 cup of the cheese and gently mix all together blending well, but not overworking the meat.
  • Shape into loaf.
  • Bake 1 1/4 hour.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Serve with additional salsa and sour cream.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER

I LOVE clam chowder, but honestly, it does get a bit boring. Growing up in California it was almost always served in a bread bowl or at the very least with some crusty sourdough bread, which was always tasty, but once again it was never changing so could get boring!

When I found this recipe in my TASTE OF HOME magazine I was elated for a new take on it and it sounded absolutely delicious. I have made several changes to make it to our liking and reduced its size as they had it serving 10! Plus they used the pressure cooker and I just didn’t find it necessary as long as you time preparing the potatoes while you are preparing the rest of the chowder.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER
4 slices peppered bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 LARGE shallot, diced
1 SMALL stalk celery, SMALL diced
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
2 ounces chopped green chiles, drained
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 cans (6 1/2 ounce) chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
3/4 pound YUKON gold potatoes, diced
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

  • In a large sauce pan bring salted water to a boil.
  • Add potatoes, boiling until potatoes are JUST tender.
  • Drain.
  • In a stockpot melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat.
  • Add bacon, rendering until crisp. Remove to paper toweling to drain with a slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining butter to pan.
  • Add celery and shallots, sautéing 3-5 minutes until soft.
  • Add flour, mixing well.
  • Add red pepper and chiles, cooking 3-5 minutes until peppers are tender.
  • Add garlic, cooking 1 minute longer until fragrant.
  • Add clam juice and chicken stock.
  • Stir in taco seasoning, cream, clams and half of the chopped cilantro, simmering 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until heated through and chowder has reached the desired consistency.
  • Serve topped with garnishes of choice such as bacon, chopped avocado, shredded cheese and cilantro…

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN – CROCK POT STYLE

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN – CROCK POT STYLE
1-1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, tenders or breasts
1 LARGE shallot, halved and sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 LARGE can diced green chiles, heat of choice, DRAINED
1 can ORIGINAL Rotel tomatoes DRAINED
1 can green chile verde sauce

FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon Kinders or Pampered Chef taco seasoning

TOPPINGS
sliced avocado
sliced limes
sour cream
shredded cheese

  • Pour Green Chile Verde sauce and the Rotel tomatoes into bottom of slow cooker.
  • Season chicken pieces with taco seasoning, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange chicken pieces on top of tomatoes in a single layer if possible.
  • Sprinkle shallot and garlic on top of chicken pieces.
  • Pour chopped green chiles on top.
  • Cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
  • Shred chicken into sauce, stirring to blend and coat the chicken pieces well.
  • Serve with warm tortillas and toppings of choice.

NOTES:

  • Depending on which cut of meat you’re using cooking time may vary.
  • For a gluten free version serve in large lettuce leaves.