Here’s another winning recipe from my sweet coworker, Janna. She hosted us all for a Christmas party this year and served ALL KINDS of delicious food- including this black bean pie. I have to admit, when she first told me about it, I was a little curious about the ingredients; I wasn’t sure it sounded like something I’d like. However, after one taste, I was hooked! It’s the easiest dish in the world to whip up- canned black beans, salsa, cheese, tortillas and pie crust- that’s it! This is one of those perfect weeknight meals for when you need to feed your family in a hurry. It would be a new and fun alternative to “taco night”! It’s delicious and we both love it! Thanks, Janna, for another delicious recipe!
Black Bean Pie
2 9-inch pie crusts
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa (your favorite store-bought brand or homemade)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 flour tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press one of the pie crusts in the bottom of a pie plate.
In a large bowl, combine the beans and salsa. Spread 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the pie plate. Top with 1/3 of the cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro, then one of the flour tortillas. Repeat with another 1/3 of the bean mixture, cheese and cilantro and tortilla. Finally, spread the last of the bean mixture, cheese and cilantro. Top with the 2nd pie crust and seal the edges. Make 4 small slits in the center of the crust with a small knife.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro, if desired.
Recipe source: my friend Janna, who got it from her mother
I’m one of those people that loves breakfast-for-dinner. For me, it’s like a special treat getting eggs or pancakes or biscuits and gravy at dinner. I used to love it when my mom would make breakfast for dinner – she’d fix a huge cast iron skillet full of scrambled eggs, a big plate of biscuits, sausage gravy, jelly and coffee. My dad is the pancake maker- as long as I can remember, he’s always been the one in charge of pancakes, which we’d also have for dinner a lot. YUM! I seriously LOVE breakfast-for-dinner! What a concept! So, naturally, I like to make it myself as often as possible. The other night, neither of us could decide what we wanted for dinner, so I rummaged around in the fridge and came up with this knock-out recipe. It’s one of those lovely “throw it all in” recipes that I just adore so much. You can put in whatever you like! Onions, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes…the possibilities for dish like this are endless! A perfect breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner meal!
4 flour tortillas
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled into pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 slices jarred jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salsa, for serving
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes, until slightly crisp. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until homogeneous. Stir in the cooked bacon, peppers and salt and pepper. Pour into hot skillet and stir continuously until eggs are completely cooked and scrambled (about 5 minutes).
Lay two tortillas on each plate. Top with the scrambled egg mixture, shredded cheese and salsa. Serves 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
I really love quesadillas. They’re so versatile- you can just throw in whatever you have on hand for a delicious meal! Have leftover grilled chicken? Throw it in! That’s the beauty of quesadillas; they transform ordinary leftovers into a whole new meal! However, the ingredients I used for these quesadillas were definitely not leftovers- I specifically bought them with this recipe in mind because I just couldn’t wait to try them! It wasn’t very cold outside, so I had Joel grill up some chicken breasts lightly brushed with barbecue sauce, then I sliced them thinly and paired them with sliced tomatoes, avocados, Monterrey Jack cheese and a little cilantro- WOW, what a quick, delicious meal! These were so good, I made them again the following night! I served them with some oven baked sweet potato fries and it was the perfect meal. One I’ll be making on a regular basis.
Chicken, Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas
-my own recipe
4 flour tortillas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
barbecue sauce, for brushing
salt and pepper
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese (depending on how cheesy you like them)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then brush with barbecue sauce and grill over medium-high heat, until fully cooked (approximately 6 minutes on each side). Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place two of the tortillas on a baking sheet and top each with half of the cheese. Top with the chicken, then sliced avocado and tomato. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese and the cilantro. Place the other two tortillas on top. Brush the outer edges with a little water to keep them from turning up during baking (you can even do this with your finger).
Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes, until cheese is fully melted. Cut into quarters and serve.
Here’s another one of my mom’s recipes. She’s made this one for as long as I can remember and my family has always loved it! Mexican Casserole. It’s super easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. If you ever need a dish for a large crowd, I’d recommend this one- you can double or triple the recipe and even make it ahead of time. My mom makes a big one and freezes the leftovers- it keeps beautifully! Perfect for potlucks, Mexican-themed dinner parties or even Sunday Night Football!
My Mom’s Mexican Casserole
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
sour cream and salsa for serving
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.
Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!
I always, always, always have cans of black beans, diced tomatoes and Mexi-corn in my pantry (Mexi-corn is just canned corn with chopped red and green peppers). They can transform pretty much anything into a spicy, fun, Tex-Mexy meal- which we just love. The other night I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts that were really tasty and I wanted to use them up. This dish was born. It started out just a way for me to use up leftovers and pantry staples, but ended up being one heck of a delicious meal- we couldn’t get enough of it! In fact, I can’t wait to make it again- it was SO easy and really, really delicious. The Ranch dressing really give it a fantastic flavor! If you find yourself in need of a recipe to use up leftover chicken, steak, ground beef, or whatever you have- this is for you! Give it a try!
2 fully cooked chicken breasts, diced into small pieces
1 can black beans
1 can Mex-corn (regular corn would work just fine too)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion, diced
handful chopped cilantro (reserve some for the top)
1 packet taco seasoning (I didn’t use the entire packet, but if you feel like you want more spice, add the whole thing)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese (reserve some for the top)
2 large or 4 small tortillas
jarred pickled jalapenos
*Feel free to add in any additional vegetables you have on hand- bell peppers would work great, or even zucchini or potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the diced onion until translucent; add the chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, taco seasoning, sour cream and cheese. Stir to combine. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet; bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp.
Top the tortillas with the skillet mixture then drizzle with ranch dressing. Top with jalapenos, cilantro and cheese. Serves 2-3. Enjoy! We sure did!
I just want to start off by saying, there are tons and tons of food blogs out there. Many with better pictures than mine, better writing skills, and just better overall food-blogginess; yet you’re here right now, reading mine. So thanks. Thanks for sticking with me and reading my silly posts and taking the time to comment- it really makes my day. My pictures may not be crystal clear and totally flawless, but you know what? I sort of like them that way- that’s exactly how our food looks before we sit down and dig in. I don’t spend an hour adding tiny pieces of parsley, or taking a cloth and wiping away stray crumbs or melted cheese that doesn’t belong. I like stray crumbs. And I like my blog. And I’m thrilled beyond words that you like it too. So again, thanks. Thanks for being really fantastic readers. I really, really love you all.
Ok, now that I’m done being sappy- here is a fantastic recipe for quesadillas. We made these this weekend and ate like big-fat-pigs! I was originally going to make these (do those not look insanely delicious?! I can’t wait to try them!), but didn’t have any bbq sauce. Then I remembered how much we adored the chicken kabobs I made a few weeks ago, and decided to just make quesadillas out of them (Good call, Amy!). These were cheesy, slightly sweet, a little spicy….a totally delicious meal! Can’t wait to make them again!
Grilled Chicken, Pineapple and Veggie Quesadillas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Lime Ponzu, plus more for brushing (If you don’t have this, just use soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a little lime juice)
fresh pineapple, sliced (you’ll only need about 1/4 of the whole pineapple)
1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
1 red onion, sliced into rings
1 jalapeno pepper
Place the chicken in a large ziploc bag with 1/2 cup of the ponzu and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
After 2 hours, grill the chicken over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes on each side). When the chicken is nearly done, add the peppers, onion and pineapple to the grill and brush with the additional ponzu while cooking. Turn only once and remove as soon as the chicken is done cooking.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice diagonally.
To assemble: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle a little pepperjack cheese on two tortillas (as much as you like- I used about 1/3 cup for each), then top with the sliced chicken, pineapple, peppers and onion. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro then place another tortilla on top of each. Bake for about 5 minutes, just long enough for the cheese to melt.
Cut quesadillas into 4 pieces. Serves 2.
*To keep the edges of the tortillas from curling up on the sides, dip your finger in a little water and brush along the outer edge of the tortilla just before baking.
First off, I want to thank you all for the birthday wishes! I feel like my readers and my food blogging buddies are my real life friends- it means so much to be able to share my special day with all of you! I had a fantastic birthday; my sweet hubby treated me like a queen and I loved every minute of it (you gotta take advantage of it whenever it comes around, girls!)! And the piece of chocolate cake that was as big as my head (seriously!) that I had at dinner was the cherry on top of a great day!
Now on to the good stuff- fajitas! Sometimes I feel like the only Tex-Mex I ever fix anymore is fajitas; but we just love them so much it’s hard to stray away from them! Normally when I make fajitas, I use steak and cook them in a large skillet with beer, salsa and a few other “secret” ingredients- they’re pretty hard to beat, if I do say so myself! However, when we go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Joe T. Garcia’s, I always, without fail, order their chicken fajitas. They’re slightly sweet, spicy and amazingly tender and juicy. So when I saw this recipe for grilled chicken fajitas that called for brown sugar, I knew I had to try them! The finished product was excellent and we really enjoyed them- they weren’t quite as good as Joe T’s, but hey, no one could EVER live up to Joe T’s standards! I suggest you give these chicken fajitas a try next time you’ve got a hankering for good Tex-Mex; you won’t be disappointed!
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
-The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Cooks Illustrated
1/3 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
table salt and ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (do not separate rings)
1 large red bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, and seeded
1 large yellow bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, and seeded
8-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, Worcestershire, brown sugar, jalapeno, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in a small bowl; set aside. Add another teaspoon salt to the remaining marinade. Place the chicken in the marinade; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Brush both sides of the onion rounds and the peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it smooth side down on the grill over medium-high heat; discard the remaining marinade. Place the onion rounds and peppers (skin side down) on the cooler side of the grill. Cook the chicken until it’s well browned, 4 to 5 minutes; using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it’s no longer pink when cut into with a paring knife or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers about 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes longer.
Separate the onions into rings and place them in a medium bowl; slice the bell peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips and place them in the bowl with the onions. Add 2 tablespoons reserved unused marinade to the vegetables and toss well to combine. Slice the chicken into 1/4-inch strips and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons reserved marinade in another bowl; arrange the chicken and vegetables on a large platter and serve with warm tortillas. Serve with rice, refried beans, sour cream, grated cheese, salsa and additional cilantro if desired.
What exactly is “Ponzu”, do you ask? Well, to quote the good people of Kikkoman, “Ponzu (or citrus seasoned soy sauce and dressing) is the latest Japanese flavor to reach the American supermarket shelves. It has the perfect balance of salty, tangy and sweet to enhance a wide variety of foods.” That’s what it is. And they sent me some to try. I just can’t say no to free stuff. Or food. Especially free food. When Foodbuzz asked me to try the newest Kikkoman product- Lime Ponzu – of course I was more than willing. I’m really glad I did, too- this stuff is wonderful! It’s basically just a really flavorful soy sauce, and it goes GREAT on chicken. I can’t wait to try it on shrimp, either! One of the suggestions they made was trying the Ponzu on Tex-Mex. Wait, wha?? However, they didn’t lead me astray – these burritos were delish! The Ponzu adds so much delicious flavor to the chicken. We really, really enjoyed them!
Lime Ponzu Chicken Burritos
1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons Kikkoman Lime Ponzu
1 cup white rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
chopped fresh cilantro
shredded cheddar cheese
large, burrito-sized tortillas
Place the chicken and Ponzu in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours). After cooking, shred chicken (be sure not to throw out any of the leftover cooking liquids- just mix it in with the shredded chicken) and keep warm in the crockpot.
Cook rice according to directions on the package. Cook beans over medium-low heat until heated through.
Place 2 or 3 tablespoons of the shredded chicken on the tortilla, top with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and cilantro (and anything else you want!) and fold into a burrito. Be prepared for a big, fat, messy, drippy burrito – Freebirds Style! Oh yeah!
I realize that lately, I’ve made quite a few recipes that I claim to be “the best ever”. I guess I’ve just been really lucky with my choice of recipes here lately…what can I say? Apparently I have great taste! And here’s another one to add to that “Best Ever” category; the Homesick Texan’s Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas…these are pure gold, my friends. Pure. Gold. I have to be honest, when it comes to sour cream enchiladas, I’m not a big fan. They just always seem really bland to me, and I almost never order them at restaurants. But when I spotted these on The Novice Chef, something about them was just reaching out to me…“make me, Amy; make me!”. Thank the good Lord I did; after just one bite, hubby and I both deemed these the BEST enchiladas we’ve EVER had. That’s a pretty serious statement, y’all. Tex-Mex isn’t something we take lightly down here…it’s serious stuff. But these are seriously good enchiladas. I will most assuredly be making these over, and over, and over again.
Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas
-seen on The Novice Chef, originally from the Homesick Texan
4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I cooked mine in the crackpot for about 5 hours)
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was still insanely good)
16 oz jar Medium Salsa Verde
1 & 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
12 flour tortillas, small fajita size
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
1/2 medium onion, diced
Preheat the oven to 350. Melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onions and Jalapenos until soft and then add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and let cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth and let cook until bubbly. Stir in the sour cream, salsa, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cilantro until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
Spray/grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add chicken and cheese to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, top with leftover cheese, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbling.
Yields: 12-15 enchiladas
I know, I know – more Mexican food. But hey, we can’t get enough of the stuff, ok? Back when we had my family over for the Super Bowl, my Nana brought these chicken empanadas and MAN, where they good! Not too spicy, full of flavor, and the best part – they’re baked instead of fried so you can feel better about eating a lot! Luckily, I had made some homemade guacamole – they were perfect together! We all loved these- they got gobbled up pretty fast! Luckily, I managed to save a couple for my lunch the next day, and the good news is, these re-heat perfectly. I’ll definitely be making these again! SO glad Nana decided to bring these over! Give ‘em a try – they’ll be perfect for your next “Mexican Feast”!
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.