Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Green Chile and Chicken Enchilada Casserole


We love Mexican food at our house.  There usually is not a week that passes by that we do not eat it.  So here is one of our favorites. You do not have to make this in a casserole.  You can make individual enchiladas but I usually take the easy way out on this one!!

Salsa Verde:

  • 12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups canned chicken stock
  • 1 deli roasted chicken, about 3 pounds, boned and shredded
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 large corn tortillas
  • 1/2 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • sour cream

DIRECTIONS

Make the salsa: Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion in a saucepan with the vinegar and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until the tomatillos are soft. Drain. Put the vegetables in a blender, add the cumin, and puree. Add the cilantro, pickled jalapenos, lime juice, garlic powder and salt. Pulse to combine. Set aside. (If you do not like your salsa hot, then taste before adding the pickled jalapeno peppers.  Add until it is the right heat for you.  Also, add enough salt and garlic to taste as well. The key for this to be good is taste, taste, taste!!)
Meanwhile, place the poblano peppers directly over the flame on a gas stove and cook, turning with tongs, until the skin is charred and blackened. (Or, if you have an electric stove, put the chilies on a baking sheet and broil, turning with tongs, until the skin is blackened.) Skin the peppers; then seed, core, and dice them.
Heat a 2-count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the cumin and cook 1 minute. Then sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring to make sure the flour doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan; the liquid will thicken. Fold in the chicken, diced peppers, and cilantro, and season well with salt and pepper.
To assemble the dish: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dip 4 of the tortillas into the tomatillo salsa and layer it in a 9x13 inch pan. Put half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat with tortillas, chicken and cheese.  Top with the four remaining tortillas, pour the remaining tomatillo salsa over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Serve hot with sour cream.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sauteed Potatoes

These potatoes add great flavor to any meal!  


Charlotte potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprig of rosemary
1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil


 Parboil the potatoes in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.



  Take a clean pan and heat with olive oil. Place the potatoes in cut-side down and season with salt and pepper. Leaving their skins on, lightly crush the garlic cloves and add with the sprigs of rosemary. Once the potatoes have begun to colour toss with the butter and cook for a further 1 -2 minutes.


Super fast and super yummy!

Steak Diane

This is such a fast and easy way for Steak Diane.  It took me about 35 minutes from start to finish.  It also had great flavors.  I hope you enjoy!



4 sirloin steaks
3 shallots peeled and sliced
6 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS salted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream
flat leaf parsley, minced


Using a meat pounder or rolling pin, pound out the steaks to about 1/2 inch thin and trim off any excess fat.  Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.Heat about 1 TBS of olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all four steaks.  Quickly saute the steaks for 1 minute on both sides and remove from the pan.


In the same pan add the shallots and saute briefly.


Then add the mushrooms and butter.


 Then add the minced garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes and then add the Worcestershire sauce and the mustard.  Stir and heat through.  Turn up the heat and tilt the pan away from you.  Pour the brandy into the far end of the pan and ignite.  Once the alcohol has burned off, stir the the content of the pan to combine.  Then add the cream and turn down the heat.  Put the steak back into the pan and cook a little further, depending on how well done you like them.  Add the chopped parsley to the pan.


I served with sesame green beans and sauteed potatoes.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler



Those of you who know my husband can agree with me that Dan does not cook much!  I am hard pressed for him to make his own toast in the morning, but he does occasionally through down some awesome dutch oven recipes. This is Dan's famous peach cobbler.  I have decided that there is no way to eat peach cobbler better than this!  I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

2 large cans of peaches, (I use bottled peaches that I can in the summer)
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cube of butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBS of cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

MAKE SURE YOUR CAMPFIRE HAS PLENTY OF HOT COALS. THESE ARE IMPORTANT FOR PROPER BAKING.


 
Coat the inside of your dutch oven with cooking oil. This helps prevent the cobbler from sticking and will greatly help you when serving.

Pour the entire contents of the can (peaches and juice) into the dutch oven.
Dump the cake mix on top of the peaches.

Slice the butter into sections and put them on top of the cake mix.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Put the lid on and place over hot coals.  Place hot coals on top of the lid as well.

LET THE COBBLER BAKE FOR 35 TO 45 MINUTES. CHECK TO SEE IF IT IS DONE BY INSERTING A CLEAN KNIFE INTO ITS CENTER. IF THE KNIFE COMES OUT CLEAN, THE COBBLER IS FINISHED. IF IT DOES NOT COME OUT CLEAN, ADD MORE COALS AND WAIT 5 TO 10 MORE MINUTES. REPEAT UNTIL THE COBBLER IS DONE. 

Mustard and Peppercorn Crusted Ribeye

I tried this the other night and really liked it. So, I though I would share it here. I am in a major grilling mood.  It has been sunny and hot and I am ready to through down my BBQ skills.  


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large rib-eye steaks (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, at least 6 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper, optional
  • Kosher Salt

DIRECTIONS

Brush rib-eyes with mustard on both sides. In a shallow bowl, or on a plate with a deep center, combine crushed peppercorns, ground pepper, if using, and salt, to taste. Pat pepper mixture onto steaks and crust thoroughly on all sides.
Prepare your grill by lightly spraying the grate with non-stick cooking spray and then preheat the grill. When the grill is hot, place the rib-eyes on the grate and cook until desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for rare. Add 1 to 2 minutes for medium-rare and so on. The best way to test steaks for doneness is to poke it with your index finger; rare will be soft, medium-rare will be slightly less soft, and so forth. Never flip a steak more than once; let it cook for half the total cook time before flipping. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes in a warm place before serving.

Recipe and Picture Courtesy of Food Network

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken Rolls (can be used as a make ahead freezer meal)!


I will make a large batch of these and put them in my freezer for nights that I have no time to cook.  They are great!

3 packages crescent rolls
1 8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup green onions
2 cups cooked chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 ounces sour cream
1 TBS lemon juice

In a medium size bowl cream your butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer.  Add the cooked chicken, pepper and onions.  

(If you do not have a favorite way to cook your chicken, this is how I cook mine.  I like to boil my chicken because this way makes the chicken really tender and it shreds easily.  Place your chicken breast in a sauce pan and cover with water.  Let the water come to a boil and skim off the white foam from the top of the water.  Then add 1 beef bouillon cube, 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 1 tsp dried onion.  Cover, turn to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.  Once done remove form water, shred the chicken and set aside.)

Open the crescent rolls and separate.  With one roll form it into a rectangle and add a spoonful of mixture into the middle of the roll.  Bring the side up around the chicken and pinch the dough together so that the chicken mixture is sealed in side.  Set on a sheet pan and repeat until all of the chicken mixture is gone. (HINT: use cold dough; the warmer it is the more difficult it is to work with)

Roll the chicken pillows in the melted butter and then roll in the bread crumbs and return to the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the chicken pillows are baking make the sauce.  In a small pot put the soup, sour cream and lemon juice.  Heat over medium heat until warm.  Serve over the chicken pillows and voila.

(If you want this as a make ahead meal,  wrap each chicken roll in plastic wrap and place in a zipper bag and put in the freezer.  These can be taken out directly from the freezer and baked but you will need to add about 10 minutes to the baking time. Do not make the sauce ahead. It will curdle when you thaw!)

Toffee


Toffee and chocolate is one of my favorite candies and this is my favorite recipe!

In a large stock pot combine 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 TBS corn syrup and 3 TBS water.  Cook over medium heat until it gets to hard crack (300-310 degrees)  It is always smart to test in ice water to make sure your candy thermometer is reading right.  Stir the toffee only a few times.  If you stir constantly it will ruin the texture of the toffee.  When it reaches hard crack pour onto a cookie sheet and let cool.  Top with melted milk chocolate and sliced almonds. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mango Sticky Rice Dessert


I tried this for the first time a few months ago at a Thai restaurant and absolutely fell in love with it.  I was instantly hooked and wanted to find out how to make it.  There is something about the warm sweet rice and the taste of the mango that is the perfect combination! This is what I came up with and I would say it is almost identical in taste.  Enjoy!

3 cups prepared sticky rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
2 ripe mango's


Prepare your sticky rice.  If you do not know how to do this, find instructions in my how to section.  You can make this ahead of time but must use it within 24 hours.


Empty the can of coconut milk into a saucepan.  Over medium heat, bring just to a boil.  Add in the sugar and stir continually until the sugar has dissolved.  Be careful not to scald or curdle your milk.  Once this is done add in the sticky rice and stir until well incorporated.  


Peel the mango's and slice



Once you have done this, plate your sticky rice and mango's. Pictured below is the way that I like to do it.


So good! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie


THIS POT PIE IS TO DIE FOR!  IT IS THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD AND HITS THE SPOT every time I make it.  FOR A QUICK SHORT CUT YOU CAN BUY A ROTISSERIE CHICKEN AT YOUR LOCAL STORE AND US IT.  IT ADDS SOME GREAT FLAVORS!

  • 3 whole chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  •  1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cube of butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cube cold salted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Kosher Salt and cracked black pepper
  • Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Shred the chicken into small pieces. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small frying pan melt 1/4 cube of butter.  Add carrots and potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and fry over medium heat until cooked through.  Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 1 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, potatoes, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water slowly and enough to just moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.