Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slow-cooked Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

Like Mexican food? Great! You'll love this recipe then! It's basically your typical enchilada only amped up A LOT. It's creamy, cheesy and tasty.

Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb chicken, cut into large chunks
8oz cream cheese
½ cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 jar of salsa, after poured into crockpot fill jar about ¾ of the way with water and add to crockpot
¼ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion
Black pepper to taste

Handful green onions, chopped
Handful cilantro, chopped

8 Flour tortilla shells
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream

In a crockpot, combine chicken, cream cheese, cubed cheese, salsa, water and spices. Cook on low heat for at least four hours or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken chunks from sauce and shred. Return shredded chicken to sauce and continue to cook on low for another hour or so.

When you are ready to make the enchiladas, cut up the green onions and cilantro. Add to chicken mixture.

Preheat oven to 375. Set aside a 9x13 baking pan.

With a slotted spoon, add a spoonful or more of the chicken mixture to one side of the flour shell. TIP: let the sauce run through the slotted spoon before adding it to the shell.

Roll the shell and place into the pan. Make 8 rolled shells. Pour the remaining sauce and chicken over the rolled shells.

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 My slow-cooked refried beans are the perfect side this Mexican dish. Top beans and enchiladas with sour cream and you are good to go. You’ve got yourself a good gut-stuffin' plate of deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (Pinterest Copycat)

I'm sure a lot of people have seen this pin on Pinterest. It's been pinned/repinned about a bazillion times. The pictures made me drool so I added the recipe to the top of my must-try list. I finally got around to making it last night. I cut the recipe in half because I knew my boys would reject the meal. They just don't understand good food sometimes.

This meal was very tasty. It was creamy and quite filling. I might play around with the sauce a little next time. While it was good, I think it could be even better with a few tweaks. For example, I think a sauce similar to Alfredo would be great!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

1 lbs chicken, slow-cooked or boiled then shredded
1 can chicken broth

10-12 slices very thin honey ham
5-6 slices thin baby swiss cheese

For sauce:
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 garlic powder
2 tbsp sour cream

For topping:
3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup panko crumbs
1/3 tsp season salt
3/4 tsp dried parsley
(next time I would double this)

Clean and trim chicken. Cut chicken into chunks. Add it to the crockpot along with the broth and cook for 4ish hours. Shred the chicken once it is fully cooked.

Preheat oven to 350. 

Add chicken to baking pan. Cover shredded chicken with some broth. Just enough to wet the chicken.

Add a layer of ham, tear it up a bit first.

Add cheese.

For the sauce:

Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and stir well. Slowly add milk. Stir until flour mixture is well combined. Add lemon juice, mustard, salt, paprika, white pepper and garlic. I split the original recipe in half and then being the absent-minded person I am, I forgot and added the full 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika. Doh!!!! To fix this I added sour cream to the sauce before pouring it over the cheese. I think it really added a creamy texture and will do it again when I make this dish in the future (I'll also use the correct amount of paprika).

Again, if you follow the recipe correctly, your sauce won't be this orange
Pour sauce over cheese.

For topping:

I also split the recipe for the topping in half. I thought it wasn't enough topping though so I would definitely double this recipe next time. Melt butter in microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Add Panko crumbs and seasonings. Stir together and sprinkle over sauce.

Add the Panko topping

Bake dish for about 45 minutes. Eat, enjoy and get a full tummy. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Banana Blueberry Muffins (adapted from: The Live-in Kitchen)

7 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 or 3 overripe bananas, smashed

Crumble topping:

3 tbsp butter, cold
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a muffin pan with muffin/cupcake cups.

I followed Lindsay's instructions on how to brown the butter:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It will melt, froth, and begin to crackle. The crackling will subside and the butter will froth again and begin to brown. Remove from the heat when the butter solids become a medium brown color and the butter smells slightly nutty. Immediately pour hot butter into a small bowl to prevent further cooking and burning. 

In a small bowl, stir together milk, eggs and vanilla. Add the melted butter to the milk mixture. 

In another bowl, hand-mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Make a flour well by making a hole in the middle of the flour. Pour the butter mixture into the hole and gently fold it all together. Mix by hand to avoid over mixing. Gently stir in smashed bananas and blueberries. 

Pour mix into the prepared muffin cups. For the crumbly topping, combine butter, flour and brown sugar. Squish the ingredients together with your fingertips. Sprinkle the topping on each muffin.

Bake muffins for about 18-20 minutes. To get a nice lift on your muffins avoid opening the oven for at least 10 minutes. Muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

My friend, Kristal, raved about this cheeseburger soup recipe the other day. Since we're in the bitter cold winter season I figured I needed to give it a go. Here in the Midwest, life has been colder than necessary. I can handle snow, I'll even go so far to say I love snow, but when we have days and days in a row of below zero temps (that's below zero in Fahrenheit, people. Just for fun, if it's -2F that would be almost -19C).... let's be honest, Mother Nature, that's taking it a bit too far. This is the kind of weather that chills you to the bone and the only way to really thaw out or warm up is live in a Snuggie.

Needless to say, soup is excellent on a cold winter's day. A few weeks ago, my husband made an awesome Baked Potato soup and we ate it out of bread bowls. Talk about yum! I think I'll ask him to make it again and we'll do a post about it. Sometimes that man can really surprise me with his culinary skills.

This recipe for Cheeseburger Soup is great. It's hearty but yet light enough you don't feel like a cement statue after you've gobbled it down. Another great thing about soup is that you can add or take away any ingredients you want. Making adjustments is very easy and also suggested, make it to your family's likeness.

1 lbs ground beef, turkey or chicken
3/4 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3/4 cup celery (we opted out)
6 small-medium unpeeled potatoes, diced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
8 oz shredded cheese (we used cheddar)
1 1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup green onions, chopped
Sour cream, optional

In a stockpot, add ground meat, onions and carrots. Cook together until veggies are tender. Stir in basil and parsley. Add potatoes and broth, bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are tender. Mix the melted butter and flour in a separate bowl. It's a goopy glob but don't panic. Add this glob to the soup and stir well until soup begins to thicken. It doesn't thicken too much. If you are looking for a thick soup, reduce the broth from 5-6 cups down to 3 cups. After the flour has been stirred in, add cheese, milk and salt and pepper. If you haven't already, reduce heat to low so the milk doesn't curdle. Allow the cheese to melt and it's ready!

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with green onions and add slice of french bread.