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.
Oh man. Oh man, OH MAN! If you love tacos, or Tex-Mex, or…food; then you’re going to love these pulled pork tacos! Look no further, because here is the best darn taco I ever put in my pie-hole. Seriously! I’ve never been much on pork…it doesn’t do a whole lot for me, honestly. So naturally, I was a little unsure about these…but I’m so glad I didn’t wimp out and skip them – BOY, would I have missed out! Ok, ok, I’ll stop being dramatic – onto the facts. These seriously, couldn’t be easier to make – just throw everything in a dutch oven, let it cook for an hour and 45 minutes and you’re done! I made these Saturday night for our “Mexican Night” (which you can read about in the post below. Don’t miss out on the homemade salsa and guacamole, my friends!), and hubby and I had ourselves a GRAND time! I mean come on – pulled pork tacos, homemade salsa, guacamole and margaritas (Big Gulp, please!)? It just doesn’t get any better than that! Try these. Try them today. Then send me your hearty thanks for introducing you to the new love of your life. You’re welcome.
Pulled Pork Tacos
-adapted from The Neelys
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork loin (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into big chunks
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
dash liquid smoke
1 orange, halved and juiced
1 lime, halved and juiced
1 package corn tortillas, warmed
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
Season the cubed pork chunks with the spice mixture and put into a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, chicken stock, the tomato paste, honey, liquid smoke, orange and lime juice, and the juiced orange and lime halves. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Put the pot on medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, until the pork is tender and easily shreds, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Remove the meat from the Dutch oven to a cutting board. Set the Dutch oven over medium heat and reduce the liquid until it becomes slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the meat and add to a bowl. Drizzle the reduced cooking liquid into the pork and toss. Serve with tortillas.
*Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and cilantro
Don’t even think about serving these without some homemade salsa and guacamole! Scroll down a ways to get some great recipes!
We have “Mexican Night” at our house quite frequently. Pretty much anytime I see a commercial for a Mexican restaurant, or if someone is making Mexican food on the Food Network, or maybe the wind blows a certain way…I announce we’ll be having Mexican food for dinner. This happens A LOT. And my hubby loves it; simply because he gets a chance to make his (of course, I offer advice from time to time) homemade salsa. We’ve gotten to the point where we wouldn’t dare eat salsa out of a jar because we’re so spoiled to the homemade stuff. And with it being so darn simple to throw together, that’s an ok thing! We like to change it up a lot, but for the most part, it pretty much stays the same. Addictive, not-too-spicy and it gets better the longer it sits….perfect salsa!
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Jalapeno or Serrano chile, seeded and roughly chopped
1 handful chopped cilantro (however much you prefer- we like lots!)
juice of 1 or 2 limes, depending on how juicy they are
half an onion, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
salt to taste (start with a teaspoon and go from there)
Tony Chacherie’s Cajun Seasoning, to taste (just a little)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
Put all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is well mixed. Taste for seasoning and add extra seasoning or lime juice as needed. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours; overnight is best.
*This tastes fantastic with a couple of Chipotle Chilis in Adobo thrown in instead of the fresh Jalapeno – it adds a great smokey flavor!
Now for my personal favorite – the Guacamole! I could seriously sit down and eat an entire bowl of this stuff all by myself…heck, sometimes I do! There’s just something about the creamy, chunky, salty, tanginess that gets me super excited…this girl loves her guac, ok? To be perfectly honest, most of the time, I make my guacamole by throwing in a few spoonfuls of jarred Chipotle salsa, lime juice and garlic salt (don’t judge me, you guacamole snobs!) and it’s perfectly, wonderfully delicious. This time, however, hubby and I wanted to make the real deal. Fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, lime juice…the whole works. There’s a restaurant we go to with my parents a lot that makes excellent homemade guacamole and this really reminded me of it. It was gooooood.
2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, grated (I don’t want to bite into a big chunk of garlic or onion…I grate it on my microplane!)
1/4 an onion, grated
juice of 1-2 limes, depending on how juicy they are
handful of cilantro, finely chopped
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; slightly mash the avocado to make it creamier. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Serve immediately.
*A drop or two of olive oil will make it extra-creamy!
With all this salsa and guacamole around, make sure you’ve got plenty of chips! The super-thin kind are our absolute favorites!
We’re expected to get some snow and ice tomorrow, apparently. I don’t know what it is about me, but everytime I hear that there’s snow or bad weather in the forecast, I automatically think “soup”. I guess a lot of people do, really. In my opinion, really bad weather calls for really good soup. In this case, Mexican Soup. It’s one of those convenient “throw it all in” types. I saw this recipe in the newspaper recently and knew it would be just delicious. Sure enough….it really was!
1 cup water
1 cup instant rice
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes
1 14-ounce can chili beans
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 package fajita seasoning
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
Bunch of cilantro, chopped
Shredded Mexican cheese blend, for garnish
Heat water in a large pot over stove and add rice. Turn down heat to low while preparing other ingredients.
Add all other ingredients except cheese and heat thoroughly. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese and more cilantro, if desired.
*I boiled my chicken (I used 3 breasts) for about 30-45 minutes, until the meat was extremely tender; then used the cooking liquid instead of the water called for in the recipe. I also added a few tablespoons of Velveeta cheese for extra cheesiness.
This was a really good, thick, cheesy soup – and super easy, to boot! We really, really enjoyed it and thought it seemed to get even better the next day! If you’ve got bad weather in your forecast, or maybe you just need something comforting, give this soup a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Ok, these are really terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pictures BUT I just had to post this recipe because it’s just that good. I’ve had it saved for several months now, but for some reason just now got around to making it. Let me just say that I have now made these twice within a week. They’re that good. Freaking awesome, in fact. The recipe is Josh’s Famous Burritos – a recipe found in the New York Times a while back. Go to the store tomorrow and buy some steak – you need to make these. As soon as possible.
You’ll notice that these don’t really look like burritos – more like fajitas, in fact. This recipe needs the giant sized tortillas, but all I had on hand was the regular sized, so it didn’t quite fold like it should’ve…oh well- it still tasted the same. It’s really important to cook the meat at least an hour so it can get nice and tender and the liquid can cook down. The first time I made these (that’s when the pictures were taken too) was definitely the best batch – I made them again tonight (for my parents, in fact) and they weren’t quite as good as the first time – still freaking awesome, though. This famous Josh knows what he’s doing, I’ll say that. I made just a few changes to the original recipe – it’s one of those recipes that can be easily adjusted to your tastes; you can add or take away anything you want. I added a little of my favorite liquid steak seasoning to add a little extra flavor. I cut the recipe in half and had just enough for 4 people.
Josh’s Famous Burritos
2 pounds skirt steak
2 pounds hanger steak (if hanger is not available, substitute additional skirt steak)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, or as needed
3 tablespoons mild taco sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, diced
2 yellow peppers, diced (I omitted)
4 medium jalapeños, with seeds, diced
6 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped, 1 tablespoon sauce reserved
1 package Wick Fowler’s 2-Alarm Chili Kit (I just used chili powder and cumin)
1 1/2 bottles Dos Equis Amber beer
1/2 cup prepared salsa, more for serving
flour tortillas, for serving
1 cup (lightly packed) chopped cilantro leaves, for serving
2 cups four-cheese shredded Mexican blend, for serving
2 cans refried beans, heated, for serving
1 box Spanish rice pilaf, prepared according to instructions on box, but made with 2 tablespoons salsa along with spice packet, for serving.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat both sides of steaks with garlic powder and taco sauce. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 10 minutes. Turn steaks, sprinkle again with garlic powder, and roast for another 10 minutes. Cut meat into 1-inch slices and set aside.
Place oil in a very large skillet (14 inches or larger) over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers and jalapeños. Sauté for 1 minute, and add chipotle chilies and sliced steak. Add all packets from Wick Fowler kit except masa and onion-and-garlic packets. Stir to coat well. Add beer, 1/2 cup water, reserved adobo sauce and 1/2 cup salsa.
Cook uncovered at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and sauce has thickened and coats meat, about 1 hour. Serve buffet style, allowing guests to assemble burritos in tortillas, filling them as desired with meat, cilantro, shredded cheese, salsa, refried beans and rice. For a classic burrito, fill tortillas, roll, then fold ends underneath.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Again, please forgive the terrible pictures – I just couldn’t keep this recipe from you, though! Do yourself a favor and make these burritos this week!
What’s for dinner this weekend? Need a good meal idea? Here’s all you’re gonna need: chicken, barbeque sauce, onions, cheese and tortillas. Have this stuff in your fridge? Good – now, do your husband (or wife…there might a few fellas reading) a big favor and make the following recipe.
Texas Chicken Quesadillas. Miiiiiiighty tasty, in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t really know what makes these “Texan” – I guess the BBQ sauce; everybody knows we Texans slather it on everything we eat…right?? Um, no, not really. But whatever – let’s just go with it for now. This recipe has been really making the rounds in the food blogosphere – and every single foodie that’s made it has just raved about it. So I thought it was about time for me to give it a whirl. I’ll just come right out and say it – these are delicious. Melt in your mouth, cheesy, gooey, spicy, sweet…DELICIOUS. I don’t even like onions, but their so nice and carmelized, they take on a new, sweet flavor that I really dig…..really, really. And drizzled with a little homemade ranch dressing, these babies are pretty hard to beat! So, if you had any doubts about your Friday or Saturday night dinner – doubt no more. Make these quesadillas. Your hard-workin’ man (or lady) will thank you – trust me.
Texas Chicken Quesadillas
2 TBSP of oil
1-1/2 onions sliced into rings
1 TBSP honey
2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 Cup shredded Mexican cheese
8 ten inch flour tortillas
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize. Mix in the honey and stir until it is golden brown. Remove and set aside. Place the remaining oil in the pan and add the chicken. Cook through over a medium high heat. Stir in the BBQ sauce to evenly coat the chicken. Place the chicken, onions and cheese onto a tortilla, top with the other tortilla and cook in your quesadilla maker about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. ENJOY!
Here’s yet another winner from Renea over at Sweet, Savory, Southern- I think this is something like the fourth or fifth recipe of hers that I’ve made and loved. This time around, it’s her Mexican Casserole – we had it last night with homemade guacamole and raspberry margaritas…a very pleasant meal, indeed! The recipe made enough for us to have it again tonight – yippee!!
-Sweet, Savory, Southern
1 lb lean ground turkey (I used really lean ground beef)
1/2 an onion, diced (As always, I used onion powder)
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen) *I also added a can of black beans
1 bag Mintute rice
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own with chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder and paprika)
10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
14 oz can enchilada sauce (small can)
shredded mexican cheese
6- 8″ tortillas
Preheat oven to 375. Begin by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground meat to the pan. While the meat is browning, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside. Once the meat is browned, drain any fat or liquid from the pan. Add the corn kernels, taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, make a layer with two tortillas. They should overlap a little. Add a layer of the meat mixture and then 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes with chilies. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add two more tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas. Top with the additional enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
YUMMY! Like I said earlier, this goes great with some homemade guacamole and a big ‘ol pitcher of margaritas (just don’t take the plastic pour spout-thingie off your tequila bottle…because then the cap wouldn’t fit back on and you’d have to duct tape it so it would stay on. Makes no sense to you? Yeah, me neither, but somehow it happened….) Enjoy!
These stacked enchiladas come from my great-grandmother; but not Baba, the one who’s recipes I post so often – my other great-grandmother (my Daddy’s grandmother). I probably owe a lot of my culinary curiosity to Grandmother. There were three things I always wanted to do when I visited Grandmother- 1. put on one of her long, comfy nightgowns, 2. root around in her jewelry boxes, and 3. get in her kitchen and make a giant mess. She would let me put practically anything I wanted in her frying pan and “cook” my own little recipes (under her supervision, of course…I probably would’ve burned the house down had I been left alone. I was that kid) – one time in particular I remember making an epspecially large mess with a tub of marshmallow fluff. There was nothing I enjoyed more than having free reign in a grown-up’s kitchen. Good times….
Anyway, on to the enchiladas. When I was first married, my mother gave me a stack of hand-written recipes (all of her favorites) in my stocking at Christmas. A lot of the recipes have little stories written along with them, explaining where they came from or how they got to be so loved. Here is the story my mom wrote on the back of the recipe card for these enchiladas:
“Grandmother would call us and say, ‘I’m making enchiladas” – usually sometime after Christmas when Mexican food tastes so good after all the rich Christmas food, or the first really cold day in Winter. She never had to ask twice; we couldn’t get there fast enough!”
The best thing about these enchiladas (besides the taste, obviously) is how easy they are. They’re made with simple stuff you probably already have in your pantry. I like to use ground turkey and turkey chili to make them a little healthier. They’re just perfect when the weather is really cold and you need a quick, comforting dinner. They also make a great Super Bowl meal – a couple of years ago we had our friends over to watch the game and I served these along with hubby’s homemade salsa, guacamole and margaritas. That was one successful Super Bowl party.
Grandmother’s Stacked Enchiladas
1 pound ground beef
1 – 2 tablespoons minced onion (I use onion flakes or onion powder)
1 teaspoon salt (you can also add a little cayenne pepper if you like extra heat….I do)
2 tablespoons flour
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can chili (we like the kind with no beans…these ain’t no “Yankee enchiladas”!)
1 can tomato soup
corn tortillas (I use flour)
shredded cheddar cheese for topping
Brown meat in skillet and drain fat; stir in onion, salt and flour. Add enchilada sauce, chili, tomato soup and one can full of water and stir over medium heat until combined. Cook for 2 or 3 more minutes then turn the heat off. On oven-safe plates, layer one tortilla, then the meat mixture, then another tortilla and more meat mixture, then top with cheese and place in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted. * If you don’t have oven-safe plates, I’ve found just popping it in the microwave will work just fine too. Some good toppings are sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro…whatever you want! Enjoy!
Well, Renea over at Sweet, Savory, Southern hits another bullseye! I’m telling you folks, this has quickly become one of my favorite food blogs! I catch myself making her recipes all the time, and to top it off, everything of hers that I’ve made has been a huge hit! The woman can cook, I’ll tell you that! Well, this latest recipe was no exception – light and fresh and just plain delicious (not to mention, easy!)!
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
by Renea at Sweet, Savory, Southern
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 ounces chicken breast tenders (I diced up the chicken into bite-size pieces before cooking)
1 cup chopped red onion (I omitted)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup salsa
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas (I used 2 soft taco sized flour tortillas)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used cheddar)
(I also added a can of black beans, drained and rinsed)
Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini (and beans-if using) to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.
Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately. (I also topped mine with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes)
Ok, ok, I’ll admit it – when I had heard people talking about this recipe, I was a little skeptical – even snobbish, if you will. The title just doesn’t sound very appetizing to me – “Crockpot Salsa Chicken” – I always imagined it as throwing chicken in the crockpot with some jarred salsa and letting it go. Blech. Then I read the actual recipe – chicken…salsa…taco seasoning…cream of chicken soup…wait, WHAT?! Cream of chicken soup?!…..with SALSA?? Double blech!! But THEN I actually saw a picture of the stuff on Annie’s blog, Cooking For Fun and it looked creamy and delicious! How could something that sounded so unappealing look so very enticing and comforting?? Well, I decided I just had to find out for myself if this was as delicious as it looked on Annie’s blog! To get a second opinion, I even called up my sister and gave her the recipe and the idea to make it for her family’s supper too! (we would compare notes later – that’s what sisters do, right?) So she made hers and I made mine; the result: SUCCESS!!! It was completely delicious! Hubby gobbled it up over rice, and my sister’s hubby ate his with tortillas and chips. I was surpised at how moist and flavorful the chicken was. My sis and I both agreed that this would be an excellent filling for enchiladas. I’ll admit, even as I was combining the ingredients, I was still a little wary of it, but as it cooked and the smell starting filling my apartment, I knew it was going to be darned tasty! So thanks a heap, Annie – you convinced me! Next time, I’ll think twice before turning my nose up at a recipe!
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
-Cooking For Fun blog
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa-Fresh
1 package taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup (condensed) or cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
Add chicken to slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken. Mix salsa and soup (this was the part that looked a little iffy, but persevere! Its well worth it!); pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken with a fork. Stir in sour cream until heated, then serve over rice or tortillas. I topped mine with cheese. De-lish!!