Sunday, November 20, 2011

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I like this one because it uses fewer tortillas than traditional enchiladas, and therefore has fewer carbs.

Two half chicken breasts, butterflied
Southwest Taco seasoning
Salsa Verde
Five small whole wheat tortillas (or whatever you prefer) cut in one inch strips
1# shredded Monterey Jack cheese or 1/2 # Jack and 1/2# Queso Fresco

Shake SW seasoning over chicken breasts and broil until they start to brown a little. Flip, re-season, and broil til the other side is done. Roughly chop the cooked chicken.
Cover the bottom of a medium baking dish with salsa
Layer tortillas, chicken, sauce, and cheese until you run out of ingredients, making sure that the top layer is cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350º. Eat and enjoy.

Salsa Verde

I use this to make my Chicken Enchiladas. Sometimes I use the stuff in a jar but this is so much better so if you have an extra fifteen minutes...

1/3 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 # tomatillos
1 jalapeno, seeded and flattened
3 cloves garlic, chopped
handful cilantro, choppped
chicken stock

Broil the tomatillos and the jalapeno until they start to blacken.
Saute the onion and garlic until the onion starts to turn translucent.
Add tomatillos, jalapeno, and chicken stock to cover, as well as salt to taste. I have a salt pig on the counter and probably pull out a good teaspoon.
Simmer until tomatillos start to soften

With an immersion blender (boat motor), smash up all the ingredients until you have a thick soup. Cook for a while and let it thicken. You want it to still be sort of runny.

Roughly chop and add the cilantro. Smash it up some more with the blender. If you don't have an immersion blender you can wait til the end and then stick it into a food processor or a blender and pulse it up a few times.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cheddar-Chipotle Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ok, already posted a stuffed chicken breast, plus a comment that you can pretty much modify the last recipe with anything you want to stuff. But this one is good enough that it deserves its own post.

Large split chicken breasts, one per person

Stuffing (per breast):
1/2 cup grated cheddar
2 chipotle en adobo plus a little of the sauce
1/8 cup finally chopped onion

Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and fill with stuffing.
Set into greased casserole dish
Cover with a thin layer of bread crumbs.
Top with slices of thick cut pepper bacon.

Bake at 375º for 45 minutes (55 if they are particularly thick).

Brigid's Range Chili

Well, she's done it again. An incredible improvement on an old standby. Chili, with sweet. And hot. Really. Who'd think to put Coca Cola and chocolate in chili.

Pictured with Skillet Cornbread.

A couple warnings before you get started. This overflowed my large crockpot. I had to scoop some out and add it back in later after I ate the first bowl.

Went in the kitchen and now I can't remember the second. I could edit it to "a warning" but since I know there's another one out there somewhere I'll just leave it as is. Maybe I'll remember it.

I made a couple modifications to her recipe based on availability but nothing that I think would change it dramatically from how her's might taste. Other than that, I copied it pretty much ingredient for ingredient, word for word. In exchange for this you should definitely go visit her site, read her brilliant writings, and try some of her other recipes which may appeal to you. (What do you think? Enough sucking up so she won't be mad at me for poaching one of her recipes?)

2 29 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 28 ounce cans chopped, diced or stewed tomatoes, or any combination thereof
2 cups diced onions
1 heaping tablespoon Italian Seasoning (or 1 tsp each basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme: homemade italian seasoning since I don't keep the mix around)
1 pound thick cut peppered bacon, cooked until done but not too crispy and then chopped into bite sized pieces.
3 pounds burger or venison (lean as you can get it)
2 pounds spicy sausage
4 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed (canned beans have a LOT of sodium)
1 bottle (about 18 ounces) Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup Penzey's 9000 chili seasoning (I used Mohave Chili Powder from the Spice Hut since I haven't seen Penzey's around here)
1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper
approx. 3/4 cup Coca Cola (yes, and not Pepsi and certainly not diet), use the Mexican Coca Cola in glass bottles made with sugar, not corn syrup if you can find, Costco often has it.
2 individually wrapped squares Baker's unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped (each square breaks into two pieces so it's pretty easy to chop up).

Cook the meats separately and drain well. Saute the onion in with the burger so that it caramelizes. Mix in with rest of ingredients adding the dark chocolate last. Cook in the crockpot on high about 2 hours, or on low 4-6 as as desired.

Mrs. Blair's Butter Tarts

A few weeks ago I was digging through my mum's recipe book and I found some recipes in the back from Mrs. Blair, our neighbor on West 39th Ave. The Blairs were a Scottish couple who are most remembered by the family for comments like "That dog's nothing but a bloody s**t machine", the children with glee and the mother with horror.

Anyway, one of the recipes I found was for butter tarts. Been buying them for years, never made my own so yesterday I decided to give it a try. Very different flavor from the store bought that I have had, but a huge hit at school amongst the staff.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup seedless raisins
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter
4 Tbsp cream

Beat eggs. Combine all ingredients, boil for three minutes. Fill pre-baked shells and bake at 15 minutes at 375º.

A couple observations.

I tried both little pre-made phyllo shells and shells made from pie crust, rolled thin, and pre-baked in a hemispherical ball cake pan (not sure who made it or what it was originally for, but it is useful for stuff like this. Another good option (Christmas list) would be a mini tart plaque. I definitely like the pie crust shells better.

I might try a different type of sugar with the next batch. Maybe turbinado for a slightly heavier flavor. I think brown sugar would be too much but it needs a little something (imo, as I said, the staff raved about them).

Update: I baked the shells slightly longer on the second batch, then baked the filled shells for 12 minutes, at which point I noticed that they were getting really dark brown. They are dry, burnt, and horrible. The filling is chewy and has less flavor. Max bake times on the shells five to six minutes, ten minutes on the filled tarts.