Archive | September, 2010

Green Chili and Chicken Chilaquiles

26 Sep

Our last trip to Mexico this past February my husband and I went to Cabo San Lucas with our timeshare.  We were in a gorgeous resort on the bay a few miles from town and it was during the whale migration season.  My husband and I would sit on our balcony and watch the whales!  It was an incredible site to see the whales and I had a new camera and did not know how to capture these whales as they were breaching etc.  Needless to say I got alot of pictures of splashes but the real picture is imprinted in my memory.  Anyways we participated in 3 timeshare tours and got lots of tours, blankets, and meal certificates.  But every tour included breakfast and at every breakfast they had chilaquiles!  Oh my did I love this side dish and I love the way its pronounced chila-key-less.  I had a few friends over for dinner some time ago and my one friend loves mexican (as do I) and I was looking in my cookbook and came across this recipe so I decided to make it.  However I failed to take pictures of the dish as I was making it so the only picture I have is what is printed from the book. 

Adapted from perfect Mexican

Green Chili and Chicken Chilaquiles

Serves 4-6

  • 16 stale corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • salsa verde (I got this from a local international store)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon mexican oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 16 oz queso blanco or queso fresco cheese
  • 16 oz chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375F.  Place the tortillas in a pan and lightly brush with the oil.  Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden.  Cool and tear into medium size pieces.

Cook chicken, my preferred method is in the crock pot filled with water until chicken is falls apart.  Shred chicken.

Arrange half the chicken in a 9×13 pan.  Sprinkle with half of the salsa, and the cilantro, oregano, garlic, cumin and 1/3 of the cheese.  Top with half the tortilla pieces and repeat layers.

Pour stock over the top and then sprinkle the remaining cheese.

Bake in oven at same temperature for 30 minutes.

Serve with fresh guacamole, sour cream, green onions and fresh pico.


Cantelope Sorbet

24 Sep

Larry is always bringing home fresh fruits and vegetables.  I think he buys too much and can’t eat it all.  I try to utilize what he brings home but sometimes it does go to waste.  He brought home a cantelope so I decided to make some sorbet with it.  I would just ordinarily eat it but Mariya had gotten a large Edible Arrangements from her fiancee that included melon.  I can only eat so much!  I must say that cantelope was the best tasting I have had for this season and it was almost a shame to not just eat it.  Almost! So I got my Vita Mix blender ready to puree some cantelope and made sure my bowls were in the freezer for the ice cream maker. I just threw this together.  While it was churning I went outside with the puppies to let them play.  I was sitting in the hammock and I can see directly into the kitchen.  I saw Larry stealing a taste of the sorbet while it was churning.  He’s one of my biggest fans. We love this sorbet, it is so refreshing.   The cantelope was pretty large so I had to use both my freezer bowls to mix this, it really made alot which is good for us as Mariya can tear this stuff up!

Cantelope Sorbet

  • 1 cantelope
  • 1/2 cup sugar or more if the melon is not very sweet
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 melon liquor

Slice melon.  Remove seeds and cut away from the rind.

Puree the melon in the blender.  Add remaining ingredients.

Place in bowl and put in refrigerator until chilled.

Churn in ice cream maker as per manufacturers directions.

Freeze until firm.

Gruyere-Chive Popovers

19 Sep

Where I live in Charlotte my favorite grocery store is Harris Teeter.  They have a lot of great stuff and in the better neighborhoods the selection is, better!  Everytime I go however I have to browse the gourmet cheese section.  I love to squeeze the soft cheeses, I can’t help myself.  I browse for the specials because a few days before expry date they mark the items down to 1/2 price.  I have picked up some fabulous cheeses and butter from France that are truly outstanding.  The best part is I can freeze it for later use to cook with or just cheese and crackers with a nice bottle of wine when Larry is home.  When I was at a craft store earlier in the week and they had some cookbooks marked down.  I don’t buy as many cookbooks lately but if it’s special, ie. nice pictures, awesome recipes and on sale I will get it.  I got several cookbooks because they were only $3 a piece and picked up some for Mariya but I did keep one for myself.  So on my latest trip to the Teeter I picked up some gruyere cheese on special and when Larry was home one Saturday I made these.  The recipe makes 24.  You will need a mini muffin pan non-stick preferred.  I think Larry ate about 16 of these.  They are small and very tasty.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Small Plates

Gruyere-Chive Popovers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely snipped
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 4 oz gruyere cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 450F.  Generously oil 2 mini muffin pans or spray with Pam.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and chives.

In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and butter.  Add the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.  Some lumps will remain which is ok.

Fill the prepared muffin cups to about 1/4 inch of the rim.  Place a teaspoon of the cheese on top in the center.

Bake for 10 minutes without opening the oven door.  Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 and bake until popovers are brown, crusty and puffed 10 minutes longer.

Transfer to a plate and serve warm.

Tuna Casserole

19 Sep

This is another recipe I have been making for many years.  Not sure quite when or how I came up with it but I have been making it for over 30+ years now.  It is the best tuna casserole I have ever eaten and even Mariya is now making it for the family.  It uses all convenience/canned items that is easily thrown together but everyone who has had this really likes it.  In fact, when I was first dating my current husband,Larry, he had worked at a frozen daiquiri shop where we lived in New Orleans.  He had to work and he called me inquiring what I was making for dinner.  I told him I was making my tuna casserole and he told me he really did not like tuna casserole and would pass.  So he calls me shortly after that and says he’s really hungry would I bring him some.  I brought him some to work and after I get home I get another call and its Larry telling me that was the best tuna casserole he ever had, enuf said!  Oh, and this is a real kid pleaser!

Tuna Casserole

  • one package Kraft deluxe mac and cheese, or Velvetta cheese and shells, or Pasta Roni shells and white cheddar
  • 1 5 oz can tuna packed in water
  • 1 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 14.5 oz can green beans, regular cut or french style
  • velvetta cheese sliced
  • 1 3 oz can french fried onions

Make the mac and cheese according to package directions.

Drain the tuna and green beans.  Add to mac and cheese along with the soup.  Stir.

Spread half of the mixture into a 6 cup casserole dish.

Top with a layer of Velvetta cheese.

Spread remaining mac and cheese mixture over the velvetta and place in 350F oven for 25 minutes.  Top with the french fried onions.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes til the onions are lightly browned.

Let cool for 5 minutes.

Fresh Peach Margarita

19 Sep

I admit Mariya got me hooked on watching Jersey Shore on Thursday nights.  This is our guilty pleasure night and we decide on a drink for the show and sometimes a snack.  This particular night I bought some nice avocados from the Super G market.  Its the best international foods market that I’ve been to.  You can find everything there and I feel like I’m a kid in a candy shop everytime I go.  The ideas are swimming in my head.  Not only can I get alot of the items here that we usually buy when we are in Mexico but they have Asian, Jamaican, European foods etc etc. This place is huge and has it all!  Now that I can readily find these items I can make even more authentic dishes so stay tuned in the future.  Anyways back to our drink du jour, my husband brought home some fresh peaches and left them behind when he went back on the road.  Oh the peaches smelled so good so our drink would be a margarita utilizing the fresh peaches.  I searched on the internet and I preferred Martha’s recipe. 

Adapted from Martha Stewarts Frozen Peach Margaritas

Fresh Peach Margaritas

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup orange Patron or Cointreau
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

This was served with the Blender Guacamole.  Muy Bien!!

Blender Guacamole

19 Sep

For about 2 years now I have been looking at the Blendtec and Vitamix blenders but I could never decide which one was better and if I truly wanted one.  I did alot of research and the people who had both prefered the Vitamix hands down.  I knew Costco did demostrations on both blenders so I checked their schedule and told my family that for mothers day I wanted a Vitamix.  Mariya and I went to a demo and we were sold.  The blender came with the wet container and I immediately purchased the dry container.  I had a nice cookbook from them with all kinds of recipes to include anything from soups to ice creams to drinks etc.  I made the guacamole for Cinco de Mayo.  I normally mash the avocado myself and add some fresh pico de gallo but since I had this expensive blender I decided to follow their directions for the guacamole.  This makes it so unbelievably creamy, it was the best guac we’ve had yet.  The only issue is cleaning up the blender is a pain but so worth it.  I’m sure however, this can be made in other blenders.

Blender Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium tomato, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Pit and peel avocados.

Place all ingredients in the blender in order as given.

Turn on blender to medium speed and blend for 15-20 seconds til onions and tomatos are chopped.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken

19 Sep

I have owned a crock pot for as long as I have been on my own.  I’ve gone thru quite a few of them.  When my last crock pot needed to be replaced I bought Euro-Pro crock that came with a small crock pot that was perfect for appetizers.  I love this crock pot as it cooks the food not just warming it!  I have made so many wonderful meals and stews with it and any type of meal that requires the meat to be shredded I will cook it in the crock for the tenderest, juiciest meat for my meals.  I was looking thru crock pot recipes and came across a few I liked and just incorporated ingredients together.  I like to serve this over angel hair pasta with veggies and a nice bottle of white wine.

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken
  • 1 package Italian salad dressing mix
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 10 1/2 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup marsala or other white wine

Cut chicken into pieces.

Place chicken into crock pot.  Sprinkle the italian seasoning and melted butter over chicken.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Watch that the chicken does not burn or get dry.  If it starts to get dry then add a little bit of wine to moisten.

Mix together the cream of chicken soup, cream cheese and wine.

Add the soup mixture to the crockpot.

Cook on low for an additional hour.  Serve over pasta.