Funnily enough, I had all of the cupboard staples for this recipe. I also had some leftover rotisserie chicken and this recipe was a perfect use for it all. This is a great, hearty and healthy dinner that’s good for any fan of Mexican food. If you don’t have rotisserie chicken, use any cooked shredded chicken you want. This is a great dish for leftovers as well. If you have vegetarians, simply replace the chicken with some sautéed bell peppers. And if you can’t find creamed corn, you can always use a can of regular corn but be sure to add some milk to replace the moisture. Enjoy!
~2 cups cooked leftover chicken, shredded
1 package/can of ready Enchilada sauce
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can creamed style corn
~1/2 cup sour cream or milk
1 large egg
~1 cup shredded cheese
1 small can 4.5oz can Green Chilies
~1 tsp ground coriander
~1 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can black beans
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
~2 tbsp garlic, chopped
~1 tsp ground cumin
bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the corn muffin mix, creamed corn, chilies, sour cream, egg, cumin/coriander and half the cheese. Spray a large casserole dish and add the mixture. Bake about 15 minutes until it starts to set. Meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic and heat with oil in a small saucepan. Add the cumin and can of black beans (do not drain). Simmer for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Shred the chicken and heat through with the enchilada sauce.
Once the corn mix has set, remove the dish from the oven. Using a fork, poke several holes all over. Spread the beans all over, leaving a border. Next layer with the chicken mixture. Finish by topping it off with the remaining cheese (enough to sprinkle all over). Bake for another 15-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is puffed up. Finish with some fresh chopped cilantro and enjoy!
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If you’re looking to change things up over the Labor Day weekend or the UK Bank Holiday, why not try homemade caramelized onions and blue cheese burgers? It’s a lot easier than it sounds I promise! I was inspired by watching Sandra Lee on the Food Network. While she isn’t exactly a gourmet chef and doesn’t always use fresh ingredients, she does come up with some great quick recipes. Check out her Ale House Burgers with Red Onion Compote.
The onions are really easy to make and can be done ahead of time and reheated when ready. Sandra put the cheese inside the burger patties which results in a gooey burger, but I like to see my melted cheese. You can see I went with pepper jack in the picture below, but the red onion compote would go really well with some crumbled blue cheese. You could even go a step further and mix some blue cheese with mayonnaise for a spread. OR! in a small food processor combine some Gorgonzola, mayonnaise, splash buttermilk and freshly cracked black pepper. Then you’d have a nice spread that could also be a dip. You could even use leftovers to make a white pizza. If you’re going the blue cheese route, I’d suggest some arugula/rocket as the greens. Either way, this burger is sure to be a big hit!
PS. I apologize for the dirty plate. I was in charge of grilling and by the time I got to sit down I was starving.. barely managed to get a photo in before I inhaled this burger!
To go with that burger, I highly recommend my Corn Casserole. I won’t take all the credit on this one as I’ve simply added to Paula Deen’s recipe. But this is a classic and goes with any barbecue or roast dinner. You can either make it Paula’s way or add a bit of kick with two chopped (de-seeded) jalapeños and topping it with shredded pepper jack cheese. The most difficult thing about this recipe is being patient enough to wait for it to finish cooking! It’s slightly sweet but savory. If you can’t get your hands on ready made corn muffin mix, here’s a recipe to make it from scratch (US recipe or UK recipe). Simply use all the dry ingredients in these recipes and add to the corn casserole.
To finish it off, how can you go wrong with some fresh guacamole?? The key to really good guacamole is ripe avocados and good seasoning. You have to take into account that people will be dipping salty tortilla chips in too!
- The Avocados – slice in half lengthways, twist apart, squish the seed out or spoon it out, using sharp knife, gently cut slices lengthways and then across (to make squares), then scoop it all out into a mixing bowl, this makes it easier to mix.
- The Limes – it makes the biggest difference to have fresh lime juice. I usually use a whole lime for about two avocados, but add a half at a time until it’s flavored to your liking. Also if you have slightly firm avocados squeeze the lime juice over it immediately and smash together a bit. Then go onto other ingredients and let the juice soften the avocado.
- The Other Good Stuff - for me, guacamole must have these ingredients but some may disagree. I like very finely chopped red onion, de-seeded jalapeño, cherry tomatoes (must be cherry or grape) and cilantro/coriander.
- The Seasoning - if you can use kosher or good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This can easily elevate the quality of any guacamole.
Hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend or Bank Holiday for you Brits out there!
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Posted in American Cuisine, Asian Cuisine, tagged avocado, breakfast, cheese, corn, eggs, guacamole, Japanese, Mexican, scallop, sushi, tortillas on May 7, 2010 |
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There are two things I absolutely love to eat when I go to LA – sushi and Mexican food. It’s a Mexican breakfast that I often day dream about – some huevos rancheros, chilaquiles or a breakfast burrito. Growing up in California I obviously love Mexican food, but when I moved to LA I was delighted to find such a variety of good quality Mexican places from gourmet to hole-in-the-wall. Even better, it’s not just Mexican restaurants that have good quality Mexican food. Since the ingredients are so widely available and so many Californians have grown up with Mexican influence, you can eat pretty decent Mexican food at places that have “California cuisine” or “American cuisine”.
For lunch one day in LA, Adi took me to Toast Bakery Café on 3rd Street. I had driven past this place a lot and the line was always around the block for brunch. So I was excited to finally try it. I was really torn between the breakfast burrito and the Oscar (thin strips of chicken, guacamole, fresh salsa, eggs over medium and melted cheese, sit atop grilled corn tortillas), but I didn’t want to eat too heavily so I went for the Oscar. It was the perfect portion size. Every ingredient tasted incredibly fresh and natural. The corn tortillas tasted authentic and the dish in general wasn’t over salted. It made me really consider getting that tortilla press I’ve been thinking of… Because so far I’m capable of making everything that goes into a Mexican breakfast except for fresh tortillas. And I know when I go back to the UK, I won’t have easy access to homemade tortillas like I do in Arizona (a little corner shop 2 minutes down the road).. Ah well you make do with what you have right!? Maybe that’ll be a Christmas present from Mom and Dad?
The Oscar @ Toast
** For all my former NBCU friends working on the Universal lot, please have a breakfast burrito at the commissary for me, with extra salsa.
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Posted in American Cuisine, Latin American Cuisine, Sandwiches, tagged breakfast burrito, cauliflower, cheese, chicken, cilantro, comfort food, corn, crostini, eggs, fajitas, garlic, salad, salsa, sandwich, sausages, spinach, sprouts on February 27, 2010 |
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This time around I decided to stop being redundant and put up my recipes first. This way on my posts you can look at the more important thing – the pictures
Next up in my cooking for one was a spinach salad. Spinach just happen to be on sale the other day, so I bought two huge tubs of it and it lasted me more than a week. Basically I’ve been super loaded up with iron these days. But I never get tired of it somehow. I love it in a salad, or sandwich or sauteed. And I might just stop using frozen spinach if I can help it. The flavor just isn’t the same. Anywho – you can find the recipe here.
This time I tried something a little different and made my super basic balsamic vinaigrette with white wine vinegar instead. As you can see I’m not super creative when it comes to salad dressings. I stick with my basics because normally when I feel like a salad, it’s a last minute thing and I want it to be simple. I also used some of the leftover chicken I bought on sale (and used in the last post). Because I didn’t want to mess up my Dad’s grill, I decided to just quickly pan “grill” it. I pounded it thin since I find it cooks faster and I like to take little bites. Seasoned it with garlic salt, black pepper and chili flakes. After cooking, I sliced into strips, used some in my salad and saved the rest for another day.
Healthy chicken fajitas
Chris arrived the next day and because I had so much darn chicken I decided we were going to have fajitas! In the spirit of being healthy, I decided I would make my own seasoning since it’s pretty easy to look up online and allowed one less ‘store-bought’ thing in our meal. I didn’t really measure and kind of just threw in an assortment of ingredients I found in various recipes online (the basics really). Find the recipe here.
For veggies, I decided to go a slightly different route since I’ve been reading lots about how bell peppers give you heart burn (aka make you gassy, not exactly romantic). Even though it is a summer squash, I’ve recently read about the benefits of eating zucchini (or known in the UK as courgette). It’s low in calories and a good source of vitamin A.
Healthy, homemade chicken fajitas
I also used mushrooms since (1) Chris and I both love them, (2) they also have great health benefits like being low in calories and a good source of potassium, and (3) we were at Costco and decided to get a huge box of them.
As you can see, we had a corn salsa with our fajitas. I decided to omit the black beans and bell pepper this time to make it a little lighter.
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Posted in Italian Cuisine, Latin American Cuisine, tagged black beans, cheese, cilantro, coriander, corn, Cuban, Feta, orzo, pasta, pork, salsa, sausages on February 8, 2010 |
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While I’m not a crazy football fan, as a foodie the superbowl is always a great excuse to pig out. However, in the past few months I’ve been trying to eat a healthier diet while allowing myself to still splurge a little. So last minute eats on the big game day included:
Don’t get me wrong – I was dying for some buffalo wings and potato skins! However, our snacks were equally satisfying. Click on the links above for the recipes. Unfortunately I haven’t asked Bac Oanh for her recipe of Cuban pork, but the other recipes are very simple and just something I threw together. You can eat the salsa with fajitas, tacos or burritos or even on top of some grilled chicken. My recipe doesn’t include avocado, but if you have some around throw it in! The orzo can be made with many variations. It can also be made with whole wheat penne too. Maybe add some spinach in as well. A good trick for using spinach (frozen or fresh) with pasta is to put it in the bottom of your colander and drain your cooked pasta over it. This way your spinach is defrosted or wilted and you can mix it all together easily. Add some toasted pine nuts for crunch!
Hope all of you who splurged on barbeque and creamy dips had some for me!
Ingredients for the salsa
Corn and black bean salsa - usually made with cherry tomatoes but didnt have any that day
Orzo with feta, olives, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, yellow bell pepper and spicy smoked sausage with jalapenos!
My aunt's Cuban-style pork!
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