Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

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I know I am not alone when I say that it is a huge annoyance when I click on a Pinterest recipe only to receive a 20-page annotated essay. For the sake of everyone’s nerves, I’ll keep this short. This enchilada recipe is incredibly simple, with few ingredients and no need for a ton of elbow grease. For me, this dish feels like “comforts of home.” You’ve got a thick flavorful sauce, stringy cheese, and a bit of protein wrapped up in a corn tortilla… What more can you ask for? I suggest that you make this at the start of the week and have left-over lunch or dinner for a few days (depending on the size of your family.). Credit goes to Kristyn from Lil Luna. It was her recipe that inspired me to cook these babies up!

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe adapted from Lil Luna

Cheese Enchiladas with Spanish Rice

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Perry has been asking me to make enchiladas for a few weeks now so when he told me a few of his band mates were coming over for dinner I had to make them for him. I’ve made chicken enchiladas before, but I personally hate the way chicken tastes when it reheats. I used the excuse of having a vegetarian coming for dinner as a reason to skip the chicken and go right to cheese. I’m SO glad I did because these came out amazing. Everyone enjoyed them which not only makes me happy but also proves I made the right decision going 100% bean and cheese. These bad boys were filled with creamy deliciousness and covered with a cheesy tomato sauce. I’m not going to lie, I surprised myself with this one 🙂 The rice was just your typical Spanish rice. Nothing too special but it really complimented the enchiladas perfectly.

Serves: 6-8      Calories: 364/2 enchiladas   157/half cup         Time: 35 minutes for Enchiladas    30 minutes for Rice

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese + 1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese , divided
  • 2 (11 oz) cans of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp canned green chilies

Directions for Enchiladas:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Over Medium heat add pinto beans to a large pan. Mash the beans a little bit then add butter and water. Simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add salt, pepper and onions. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Add green chilies and 1/2 lb of grated cheese. Mix well.
  5. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and pour one can of enchilada sauce in bottom of pan.
  6. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in pan
  7. Pour remaining can of sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Spanish Rice:

  • 1 (15oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1.25 cups of rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions for Spanish Rice:

  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done.
  4. Enjoy!

*Both original recipes can be found at http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me

Slow Cooker Carnitas

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I experience much stress/anxiety when cooking pork and that is why it has taken me so long to try a pork recipe. I was extremely nervous and half expected this recipe to be a complete disaster (think zombie apocalypse in my crock pot). Long story short, this pork came out so good that we ate the whole thing in the matter of two days… 2 lbs. of pork GONE in 48 hours! We were able to make tacos, nachos and quesadillas with just this one recipe. Once you try it, this recipe is a lot of fun to experiment with. I’ve tried adding other citrus and many variations of hot peppers. Follow this recipe exactly once than refine it to your own tastes. I think that’s why I love cooking so much as it is quite a creative outlet.

Serves: 10+      Calories: 440/serving      Time:

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6 because I love garlic)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
  • If you like heat also chop up a Serrano pepper and throw it in. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Directions: 

  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper it liberally.
  2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, and olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Place pork in your slow cooker.
  3. Top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Squeeze the juice of the orange halves over the layers and add the two halves to the pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low and had amazing results).
  5. Once the meat is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and let it cool for a few minutes before pulling it apart with a fork (This is important because if you don’t let it rest you’ll loose the juices of the meat leaving you with dry nastiness)
  6. In a large pan heat the canola oil over high heat. Add the carnitas and cook until crisp on one side. Add back to the crockpot and stir it around to mix in the slow cooked onions and jalapeño.
  7. Make tacos, nachos, quesadillas or anything you crave!
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com

Chicken Tortilla Soup


California weather is so weird to me. It’s now November and last week our temperatures were in the high 80’s. I’m dying to be back east watching the seasons change and sipping hot soup on cold (sometimes wet) winter nights. I was pretty excited when it rained yesterday and I had all the fixings for chicken tortilla soup. It really hit the spot and made me feel like I was home. Instead of cutting up tortillas I used Masa Flour and it made mini tortilla like dumplings which were a fantastic touch. I still crunched tortilla chips on top though 🙂

Serves: 8-10 Calories: 381.5

Ingredients:

– 1 cup of diced carrots

– 1 cup of sliced celery

– 1 medium chopped onion

– 2 tsp minced garlic

– 1/8 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp pepper

– 2 tsp cooking oil (I used canola)

– 4 15-oz cans of reduced sodium chicken broth

– 1 15-ox can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)

– 1 10-oz can of Rotel tomatoes and chilis (Rotel is actually the brand not the type of tomato… hard lesson learned haha)

– 1 packet of taco seasoning (I found reduced sodium and used that)

– 1 cup of Masa Harina (Masa flour.. can be found in hispanic food aisle. Get the biggest one they have so you can make enchiladas also 🙂 I’ll put that recipe up next week)

– 12 ounces of chicken

– 1 cup of milk

– 12 ounces of mexican cheese blend

– Bag of tortilla chips to crumble on top

Directions:

1.) Saute carrots, onion, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper in the cooking oil until tender.

2.) Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

3.) Add tomatos, rotel. taco seasoning, and chicken.

4.) Add Masa Flour and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. (Don’t worry if your Masa Flour clumps up. Just don’t let the clumps be too big. Make them mini dumplings so you can share the love with the rest of the soup 🙂 )

5.) Reduce heat and add 8 oz of cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes

6.) Add milk and simmer 10 minutes more.

7.) Garnish with crushed tortilla chips and cheese (optional.. I found the soup to have enough cheese in it so I didn’t garnish with the cheese)

8.) Enjoy!

*Original recipe found at http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original taken by me

Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust (This is the best dough I’ve ever made!)

Growing up on the east coast in close proximity to New York and with my hometown making the best pizza EVER (Croydon Pizza… Check it out) I’ve come to appreciate a good slice. In all my attempts these past few years to impress my husband with “dough spinning skills” I’ve never been able to make a good pizza dough. I have had the bagels with corneal out here in California and thought they were the best bagels I’ve ever tasted so I figured it would be the same with pizza dough. I was on the money with my hypothesis because I am confident in saying this crust is even better then that of Croydon Pizza.. Blasphemy I know…If you don’t like the toppings chosen for this recipe still try the dough because I believe it would taste good no matter what you put on it. Get creative and let me know what worked for you 🙂

Serves: 6-8       340 Calories/slice

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-1 tablespoon sugar

– 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

– 1/4 tsp salt (coarse sea salt is best if you have it on hand)

– 3/4 cup of warm water

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1/3 of cup cornmeal (Keep a little extra on the side)

– 1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese

– 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breasts

– 1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes, drained

– 1/2 yellow bell pepper

– 1/4 cup sliced green onion

– 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1.) Heat oven to 450 degrees

2.) In mixing bowl combine 3/4 cup of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Stir in the water and olive oil. Beat about 2 minutes and stir in 1/3 cup of cornmeal and the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to make the dough ball.  

3.) Sprinkle a little flour on the surface you want to knead the dough on. Knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 10 minutes.

4.) Spray a cookie/baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with additional cornmeal. Press dough into a rectangular shape, and pinch with fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes (until edges start to brown)

5.) After dough is baked sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Top with chicken, tomatoes and bell pepper. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese. Bake for an additional 6-8 minutes until cheese is melted.

6.) Top with green onions and add cilantro.. Cut.. Serve.. Enjoy 🙂

**All photos are originals taken by me**

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.eatbetteramerica.com**