Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas



Hey there?


I heard you calling me but I just couldn't get to you. I'm sorry. I promise I wasn't standing you up. I just had prior commitments (aka work related things) that were taking up my every waking moment. Truthfully, I have lots to be doing right this minute, but I've been slacking on this part of my life for too long... umm hello? 3 posts in March and I'm just getting a 4th April post in on the last day. Don't worry though. I haven't been surviving solely on coffee and popcorn (although they have been staples in my life), I've still been cooking lots of yummy dishes. You just wait. You'll see.

Exhibit A: buffalo chicken enchiladas. I mean, should I really say more? You should already be slipping on your shoes and heading to the store for supplies. As always, buffalo anything rocks my world. Let it rock yours too.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (breast and/or thigh)
1/2 cup finely diced orange pepper (or yellow or red)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
10 oz can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola (or other blue cheese)
6 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat a 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl combine the enchilada and buffalo sauces. In another bowl, combine the chicken, pepper, red onion, 1/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and 1/4 cup gorgonzola. Add about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce and mix completely.

Pour a small amount of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Fill each tortilla with a few tablespoons for the chicken mixture and roll, placing in the dish seam side down. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the rest of the Monterrey Jack.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the rest of the gorgonzola cheese. Garnish with additional parsley and red onions and sour cream.

Serves 2-3.

You say hello and I say goodbye.... just hopefully for not as long this time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Garlic Breadsticks

Remember that garlic-infused olive oil I told you about? Remember how I also talked about this garlic salt I purchased? Well, I've been playing around with it a little bit and let me tell you, mix it into some butter, spread it on some toast and you'll be in heaven! Alternatively, use it for this breadstick recipe and it will be garlicky goodness reminiscent of those soft pillows of carbohydrates you eat by the basketful at that one Italian restaurant chain.*

They are A to the MAZING straight out of the oven! 

They are even G to the REAT after spending the night in a ziploc bag and being reheated in the toaster oven!

They are P to the ERFECT to round out a spaghetti night!

Garlic Breadsticks (adapted from Simply Scratch)
For breadsticks:
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup warm water (about 115 F)
1 rounded tsp yeast
about 2 cups all-purpose flour (maybe a little more)
1/2 tbsp thick granule garlic salt (or 2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

For topping: 
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
2 tsp thick granule garlic salt (or 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp garlic powder)

Combine the honey, warm water and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or alternatively in a large bowl) and allow to sit for 5 minutes and bubble up. Add the flour, garlic salt and melted butter to the mixer. Mix on low until a ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5-6 minutes (alternatively you can knead by hand). Separate the dough into 8 equal pieces and form into breadstick shapes by rolling between your hands. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix the remaining 2 tbsp melted butter with the garlic salt and stir to combine. Brush over the top of the breadsticks. Bake for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with more garlic butter. Bake for an additional 6-8 minutes. Brush with more garlic butter when you remove from the oven.

Serve warm. Makes 8 breadsticks (easily adaptable to make 16 if you double the recipe).

*I'm not claiming that these are copy-cat breadsticks only that they taste similar in my opinion.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pork Zuppa (Slow Cooker)

Today I have been rocking my bright reddish orange spring jacket. It is my way of showing Mother Nature that I'm enjoying the sun and the slightly warmed weather. And hopefully expressing my opinion that we can move on to spring, forget about the foot of snow that stormed into town last week and never look back.

The soup I'm sharing with you today could work for the winter or the spring no matter what the weather is doing. It is light but chalked full of good nutrients from the potatoes and kale. The original recipe called for a full pound of ground pork but I had a quarter pound in my freezer so I used that. I don't think it needed more meat but if you are looking for a meat and potato-type of a soup, feel free to step it up. Additionally, you could certainly skip the pork altogether for a vegetarian option. And as I say with many crockpot recipes, this hearty and delicious meal will welcome you home gladly after a hard day at work.

Pork Zuppa (adapted from Diabetic Living Online)
1/4 lb ground pork
1 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (homemade or low sodium store bought)
12 oz red new potatoes, quartered
12 oz can fat free evaporated milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups kale, torn into pieces and stems removed
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the pork, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the meat is brown, about 5-7 minutes. Drain fat. Add the oregano and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Combine the meat, broth and potatoes in a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high 4-5 hours).

Turn to high heat. Stir the cornstarch into the evaporated milk and add to the slow cooker. Mix in kale. Cover and cook for another 30-60 minutes until bubbly.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Corn, Tomato, Avocado Salsa

"I put my hand upon your hip when I dip you dip we dip" -- that song reminds me of 7th grade-- the Red Hot Chicken Wings (our "team" name for the a third of the 7th grade class for these little competitions and stuff we had). For some reason whenever I hear (or think of) that song it takes me back to my end of the day class and the girls I used to sit with. To tell you the truth, I don't even know the rest of the lyrics just the hand and the hip and the dip part. Sounds awkward-- just like I was in 7th grade when I was trying to grow out my bangs and dealing with all the middle school drama.

Maybe if we had eaten more homemade dips at Northeast Middle School (instead of just singing about them) there would have been less of the wonderfuls vs the nerds. Who knows. But I can tell you that this salsa will make you happy now. It is so quick and easy to whip together, there is no excuse not to do it.

Corn Tomato Avocado Salsa
1 8.5 oz can corn, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (choose whatever kind you want, I used quartered grape tomatoes)
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix together the corn, avocado and tomatoes in a bowl. Add the lime juice and stir to coat. Stir in the salt. Taste! Add freshly ground pepper and more salt, if necessary, to your liking.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.