Posts tagged ‘mexican’

February 8, 2011

Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Living in the most southern part of California has given us unparalleled access to great Mexican food. From Los dos Pedros taco shop on the corner with the best breakfast burritos EVER to Funky Garcia’s where we frequented all summer for $1 Taco Tuesdays, we definitely take advantage of the fact that SoCal has genuinely delicious Mexican cuisine.

Sometimes Quite often we get the urge to make our own Mexican meal. Quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, and tacos are all perfectly quick meals to satisfy our Mexican food cravings at home. We even put a healthy spin on ours this time around. One of the newest items on the shelves at Trader Joe’s is a tortilla filled with fiber (at only 120 calories per tortilla!).  Gotta love TJ’s.

Yesterday we combined two of our favorite Mexican meals: Quesadilla & Fajitas = Fajita Quesadilla

First you’ll need to slice up your veggies — onions and bell pepper. Then crack open that can of fiberlicious black beans.

Hmm, we really were getting our fill of fiber last night.

Toss the onions and bell pepper into a pan to cook them down, then add fajita seasoning.

Slice and season chicken breast and add that to the pan for your daily dose of protein.

Ok, it couldn’t all be so healthy. Sorry folks.

Add a hearty helping of Pepper Jack and Cheddar cheese on to the tortilla. Top with beans and green onions and add it to a pan over medium heat.

Let the tortilla crisp up then add your chicken fajita mixture and top it with another tortilla. Then, oh so carefully flip it over and crisp up the other side.

Little Yellow Note: Cheese and beans have a tendency to slip around or fall out during the big flip. No worries though, just squish everything around until its evenly distributed.

Grab your choice of dippings, hot sauce is a must on just about everything Mexican in the LYK. My most recent favorite is the corn and chile tomato-less salsa at TJs.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4-5 chicken tenders, sliced (or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup black beans, drained
  • 2 Tbsp fajita seasoning
  • garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • (2) whole grain tortillas
  • choice of hot sauce/salsa

Directions

Cook sliced bell peppers and onions until soft. Add half of the fajita seasoning and half of the green onion. Add sliced chicken breast sprinkled with the other half of the fajita seasoning. Cook through.

Put cheese, beans and the rest of the green onion onto a tortilla and cook in pan until cheese is melted and the tortilla is just slightly crispy. Top with the fajita mixture and another tortilla.

Flip the quesadilla over and cook until the other side is slightly crispy. Cut into fourths and serve with your favorite hot sauce and/or salsa.

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January 26, 2011

Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas

That’s right. Watch out, these cheesy fiends will enlarge your thighs! Ha, funny. But seriously, check these puppies out!

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FYI, this isn’t a totally unhealthy dish, it has tons of spinach in it and light cream cheese. Plus, the color comes from lots o’ yummy veggies: green onion, cilantro, spinach, and chiles.

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It’s been a while since the Fajita Fiesta for One so we thought it was time to re-release our inner urges to Americanize Mexican food. We just can’t resist things like California burritos (carne asada, avocado and fries), nacho cheese sauce from a push pump, and apparently green and creamy enchiladas. If American’s love of cream and cheese and Mexico’s love of tortillas and cilantro had a baby, this would be it.

I made this with my mom during the holidays and have been thinking about it ever since. It was clearly love at first bite.

Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas

Sauce

  • 1/2 12-ounce package fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1  teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Enchiladas

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and salsa to top it all off

How to:

Warm cream cheese and milk for 20-30 seconds and blend well. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture for about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream cheese and milk mixture. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cilantro, green onion, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree (or put into a food processor). Season with salt and pepper.

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Heat oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Dip tortillas in oil to soften, shake it off, and put onto paper towels to drain.

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Let’s just pretend the Italian wine in the background is a Corona with a snazzy little lime in it. Thanks.

Combine cheeses in large bowl; set aside 3/4 cups for topping. Combine onion and cilantro in small bowl.

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Place 1/4 cup cheese mixture in center of 1 tortilla. Spoon 2 teaspoons onion mixture over. Roll up tortilla. Place seam side down in large glass baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and onion, using 1/4 cup cheese for each.

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Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle the top with with a happy trail of reserved 3/4 cup cheese.

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Bake until the cheese browns a bit, about 25 minutes.

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Enjoy your Mean Green Chicken Enchiladas with LOTS of loved ones, because it can sure feed all of them + some.

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

December 22, 2010

CrockPot Chili Verde Con Carne

Its raining, its pouring…I’m sure there is someone out there snoring. The weather is terrible! Come on So Cal, since when do we have monsoons! In my mind, whirring winds + torrents of rain = California monsoon.

Anyways, since I have two weeks off work for the holiday season, and Lauren isn’t home-free until Thursday, my thoughts for a scrumptious and easy dinner includes some Crock Pot action. While Lauren was perusing recipes, and I was busy catching up on sleep, she brought this recipe to my attention: Chili Verde. YUM! I was definitely on board to trying this one out.

After throwing everything into the pot and letting it do its business, I thought I was the only one enjoying the fragrant Chili Verde aroma filling the house… little did I know that I was sharing the wealth with my neighbors too! This was confirmed by both Lauren and Heidi as they followed their noses up the stairs, through the front door and straight to the kitchen!

Throw all this in the Crock Pot, kick your feet up, and relax.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pound chuck roast,
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 tomatillos
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sage (we used fresh)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 jalapeno (de-seeded)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Slap that trimmed meat into the 5 (or 6, we don’t judge) qt crockpot. Add diced bell pepper and onion.

Peeled, whole, sliced & diced!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomatillo time!!…This is the first time that I can say that I have purchased, chopped, and cooked these little green wonders. I must say, they are pretty snazzy. All you have to do is peel the leafy covering, take off the stem, and get slice ‘n’ dicin!

Pour in the diced green chiles and can of diced tomatoes. Add garlic, jalapeno, sage, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Stir it up, to get the flavors worked in and around the meat. Add chopped cilantro to the top, cover and let Mr. Crocky do the next 6 hours of work, on high.

Pre-shred some meat for easy taco assembly.

Serve shredded beef deliciousness atop warm corn tortillas, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and a dash of hot sauce and they will be devoured before you know it!

 

Cheese and rice would be great additions!

I’d say that from the reports of the Chile Verde dinner party attendees (uh hum, Lauren and Heidi), this recipe venture was well-worth it!

 

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

–Chrissy

December 17, 2010

Fajita Fiesta for One

Let me just clear up one thing, while we do love our little yellow kitchen it is definitely not the yellow kitchen you see in our header. Our kitchen is much smaller, with jam packed drawers of utensils and cookware collected over four years of living together, much of which has been stolen from our mother’s kitchens over the years. Our mixer and food processor sit on top of our fridge. Our crock pot is on top of the microwave which is on top of closet shelving taken from our previous dwelling. This all resides in our kitchen where a dining room table would be, if we had room for one. To give you an idea of what were dealing with, here is our spice drawer:

Yikes.

BUT our kitchen did come with a handy dandy little rack above our oven that can hold the spices we use most. Not going to lie…this little rack (as well as the blue walls and yellow counter in the bathroom) really sold us on the place.

It dates back to 1970...at least.

Last night Chrissy had dinner with friend, who is a boy. I stopped at Henry’s on my way home to pick up some items for a little surprise we will have in a later post and noticed steak was on sale (gotta love Double Deal Wednesday’s there). Remembering the mass amounts of limes we have from Chris’s lime tree, along with a stolen-from-moms-kitchen avocado I had on hand, I decided I needed fajitas y guacamole.

Chris's mom made this gorgeous dish, and gave us the limes!

Who hates that you have to buy 20 tortillas at time in the grocery store? I do. So I stopped at a fabulous little taco shop I drive by everyday and asked for two corn tortillas, they gave them to me for free! So I dropped a tip in the bucket, swooped some salsa from their salsa bar and went home to cook.

Fajita Seasoning:

  • 2 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin (I love cumin so I added a pinch more)

Fajitas:

  • 1 Bell Pepper cut in strips
  • 1 white onion cut in strips
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Steak, chicken, shrimp — or whatever protein you want

Season the strips of meat with 1 tsp. of the fajita seasoning. Saute the onion and bell pepper in olive oil until soft and add another teaspoon of the fajita seasoning to the veggies. Add the meat and cook through. Add into a warmed tortilla with a dollop of guacamole, a dash of hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime.  Then, enjoy your inexpensive, healthy and homemade Mexican dinner!

I always add an absurd amount of lime, I love lime 🙂

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

December 13, 2010

Cuddle up with this: Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Since I’ve been home this weekend Christmas shopping with my mama, the homemade meals in the Little Yellow Kitchen were temporarily paused. I did however make a great Ancho Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup in my mom’s kitchen that I have to share with you all! Strangely, we went to three different Mexican restaurants this morning after church and none of them were serving up the chorizo breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros we were dying to eat! So, tonight we kicked the craving with a homemade tortilla soup. The variety of spices and smokiness of this soup work perfectly together and really made a great winter meal (even though it was 81 degrees today, what the heck?). Here’s the recipe which was adapted from Rachael Ray’s Ancho Chicken  Tortilla Soup. I included a couple of substitutions and additions–my own zest :).
Your shopping list:
  • 6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 large ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed


    Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (this touch was delicious!)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 2 ripe avocados, for garnish
  • Smoked Gouda cheese, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish

 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips and scatter on large baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake until golden and crisp.

While the tortillas crisp up, add the ancho chiles and the chicken stock to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce and simmer until the chiles are tender.

While the anchos simmer, heat a medium soup pot with vegetable oil over high heat. Add the corn and saute until charred at the edges. Reduce the heat a little, add the onions, jalapeno, and garlic. Season with cumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Saute for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes. Puree the anchos/stock mixture in a food processor (we used an immersion blender, it worked great), then add it to the soup pot. Stir in the honey, the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Zest and juice 1 lime and add to the soup pot. Garnish with the tortilla strips, diced avocado, cilantro and the smokey cheese. As Rachael would say, YUMMO!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren