Posts tagged ‘mexican’

January 21, 2012

Chicken Verde Casserole

When working a full-time job you’re always looking for some easy dinner’s that you can prep ahead of time, so when you walk in the door all you have to do is pop dinner in the oven. This Chicken Verde Casserole is a GREAT recipe to prep ahead, and it  makes some great leftovers as well. I was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe. This recipe is delicious, versatile, balanced AND gluten free!! Put this on your list for dinner this week, I know you won’t be disappointed.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package Corn Tortillas (Mission brand is Gluten Free)
  • 1 can Mexican-style beans (or re-fried black beans)
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 1 can Salsa Verde (I like Rick Bayless’s salsas, or Trader Joes)
  • 1lb Organic Chicken Breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Shredded Pepper Jack cheese

 

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large glass baking dish, spread a layer of beans on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of corn tortillas.

Layer onions, peppers, and chopped chicken. Pour 3/4 jar of salsa verde over the chicken. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over pepper, onion, chicken, salsa layer.

Add another layer of corn tortillas. Pour remaining salsa verde and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

*Casserole serves 6 and is 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus*

*You can prep the casserole and refrigerate over-night*

Gnash On!

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November 16, 2011

Chorizo Pasta Bake

As a Chicagoan, I am naturally a sausage connoisseur. Of course I love having sausage on the bun, but in my cooking I like to take the sausage out of it’s casing to make it a little more versatile for dinner ideas. I originally saw a family friend use chorizo with pasta a few years ago and was hooked. It’s spicy, savory and adds a variety of non-traditional flavors to pasta. This recipe uses lasagna noodles BUT feel free to use any kind of pasta (be sure to pre-cook any other varieties of pasta prior to putting in the oven). This meal is fairly inexpensive and super simple, making it a great week-day meal!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1lb Chorizo Sausage
  • 3-4 Small sweet peppers. roughly chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I like arrabiata to add more heat)
  • 1 Zuchini, sliced
  • 1/2 bag Fresh Spinach
  • 8 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
  • 3/4-1 cup Taco shredded cheese (you can substitute with any variety of shredded cheese)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Method: 
        In a pan, saute onions and peppers till soft. Add chorizo, stir occasionally and brown. Drain any excess fat out of the pan. Return to heat and add canned tomatoes and 1/2 jar pasta sauce. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat. Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large baking dish, spoon chorizo/sauce mixture in bottom of pan, creating a thin layer of sauce. Layer lasagna noodles. Spoon another thin layer of sauce on top of noodles. On top of sauce, layer zuchini, then cilantro, and spinach.

Layer zuchini, cilantro, and then spinach for the veg layer of the bake.

Sprinkle a about 1/4 cup of the cheese on top of veg. Spoon some more sauce over veg layer and top with another layer of noodles. On top of noodles, spoon a moderate amount of sauce, covering the lasagna noodles. Top the dish off with cheese, making sure it covers top.

Yummy bubbly Chorizo Pasta Bake.

  Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes or so. Cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!

October 31, 2011

Slow-Cooker Chipotle Turkey with Cilantro-Lime Wild Rice & Simple Guacamole

Another slow-cooker recipe? Yes, I am obsessed! I love using my slow cooker for poultry, it keeps it moist, is an easy clean-up and you can set-it and forget-it! (does anyone remember that 90’s infomercial?) Anyways, a slow-cooker is a key item for the kitchen (and they’re pretty inexpensive). I have been getting a little bored with chicken lately, but like the lightness of poultry, so my next choice is turkey. Turkey breast is a great ingredient throughout the colder months, not just for Thanksgiving. By slow-cooking the breast you can ensure that the meat will remain moist. I wanted to create a smokey, spicy, mexican-inspired Turkey breast, so here ya go!

Slow-Cooker Turkey:

2 lb Turkey Breast (organic or kosher always tastes better to me)

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo (can be found in Mexican or speciality markets)

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 vine tomatoes, cut into 6ths

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 lime, squeezed

sea salt and pepper

Method: Place chopped onions and carrots in bottom. Salt. Add turkey breast. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Add cut tomatoes on top of turkey. Add 3 chipotle peppers and most of the adobe sauce to the slow cooker. Lightly toss so adobe sauce can spread. Juice 1/2 lime over slow-cooker. Add salt and chopped cilantro. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. May sit at “warm” setting for a couple of hours. 

Slow-Cooker Turkey, "set it and forget it"

Cilantro-Lime Wild Rice:

wild rice

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 lime

sea salt

Method: Cook rice to directions on package (you may also use frozen or microwave wild rice bags). I usually cook my rice in the rice cooker, as it’s easier if you cannot watch rice on stove. Once the rice is done, toss with cilantro, sea salt and lime juice. 

Simple Guacamole:

2 avacados

3/4 cup pico de gallo

lime juice

sea salt

Method: Spoon meat of avocado into a bowl, mash with fork. Add pico, squirt of lime juice and sprinkle of sea salt. Mix until combined.  

Serve Turkey over Wild-Rice, spoon simple Guac on top. Add a dollup of sour cream to add creaminess.

September 22, 2011

Rick Bayless’s Pollo Pulquero (Slow- Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, and Jalapenos) with Corn Salsa

As a chicagoan, anthropologist, and foodie, I have mad respect for Rick Bayless.  With his educational background in Anthropology, Rick Bayless really gets the importance of connecting ingredients with culture, incorporating new ideas, and making home-style Mexican cooking accessible. I got this recipe from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”. This recipe for Pollo Pulquero stood out to me for a few reasons: Slow cooked meat is one of my favorite ways to have meat, the flavors sounded simple and delicious, and it was a recipe that I could easily make around my schedule. This is a great recipe to make before you leave for work, or prep the night before. And let me tell you, the aromatics from this will make your home smell amazing. Of course I had to add my own personality to the recipe, and decided to add some lime to the slow-cooker to bring a citrus flavor. I also decided to serve this with some corn salsa, as it adds a nice sweetness and texture to the meal. I promise if you give this a try, you will not be disappointed!

Pollo Pulquero:

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch think rounds

2 medium baking potatoes (Bayless calls for red skin, or yukon gold potatoes but I had some baking potatoes and they worked great, you could even use something like purple potatoes, which would work great as well)

4 (or around one pound) skinned chicken thighs*

1 cup cilantro leaves

8-12 Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and slices 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

2 diced pickled jalapenos

Half of a lime

Sea salt

This slow-cooker recipe is all about layering. I started with the potatoes on the bottom, then chicken (skin down), cilantro, onions, and tomatillos. Once layered, I poured the pickling juice on top, squeezed lime juice and added the diced jalapenos on top. Be sure to salt between each layer, as this is the only salt in the dish. I set my slow-cooker on low for 8 hours, but Bayless calls for 6 hours on high. Once cooked, I spooned out the extra juice and decided to put it in a small pot and simmer it down a little. The juice is mostly the fat from the chicken skin, but adds some more flavor. Utilizing this juice is purely optional.

Ingredients layered in Slow Cooker

*Bayless’s recipe calls for skinless thighs but my store only had skinned and I thought it would add some great flavor. You can also use pork shoulder  or beef chuck, but Bayless suggests staying away from leaner cuts as they’ll dry out.

Cooked Pollo Pulquero (before excess juice has been removed)

Quick Corn Salsa:

3 ears fresh corn

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced

7 grape tomatoes, quartered

Fresh cilantro.

Fresh lime juice.

Sea salt.

Boil corn ears until tender but not too soft. While corn is boiling, chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and place in bowl.  Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut corn off of the ear and add to bowl. Add lime juice and salt. Toss mixture.

Plate a chicken thigh and scoop of potato, onion, tomatillo. Add sauce reduction (optional). Top with fresh corn salsa.

Pollo Pulquero with Corn Salsa

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. If you only have sweet potatoes and chicken legs, you can still give this a try and it’d come out great! There is no easy way to fail at this. If you’re looking for more easy, delicious, flexible Mexican recipes, I encourage you to get some of Rick Bayless’s books and start testing things out.

Gnash On! 🙂