Thursday, January 30, 2014

Creamy Chicken Verde Enchiladas

Creamy Chicken Verde Enchiladas
Adapted from Joyful Mommas Kitchen

Chicken Filling
2 lbs. chicken breast
1/4 diced onion
salt, pepper, taco seasoning

White Sauce
3 T butter
3 T flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. sour cream/greek yogurt
1-4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 or 2 boiled and diced jalapenos

2-3 generous handfuls Monterrey Jack cheese
9-10 flour soft taco tortillas

1. Saute chicken breasts in butter/olive oil with onions.  Season with taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. When chicken is cooked through, shred it with forks or an electric mixer. Set aside until you assemble enchiladas.

2. Prepare enchilada sauce by first making a roux with 3 T butter and 3 T flour.  Melt butter over medium heat.  Add in flour.  Allow the butter and flour to cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the real "flour-y" taste. Do not let roux burn--it should just get slightly golden and bubbly.  Whisk in chicken broth.  Allow the sauce to thicken a bit before adding in sour cream, diced green chilies, and jalapenos.  (For the jalapenos, I boil them whole until they are fork tender.  When I remove them from heat, I let them cool for a few minutes before seeding and dicing them. The added jalapeno makes these enchiladas much more flavorful.  For spicier enchiladas, I would dice with seeds still intact.)

3. Assemble the enchiladas in a 9x13 baking dish.  Fill tortillas with shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and a drizzle of sauce.  Roll tightly, placing seam-side down.  Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas.  Top with cheese.

4. Bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Broil on Hi for the last 2 minutes so cheese can get toasted and browned.  Serve with Tomato-Salsa Rice, a vegetable, maybe some corn, or perhaps avocado drenched in lime?  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

UGLY Chicken A La Christine

I named this chicken after my beloved boyfriend's mother.  She made this once over the summer when I was in Virginia and it wasn't like anything else I had ever eaten!  I was surprised by how tasty it is, especially because it's not the most visually appealing food--as shown in these pictures!  It doesn't get the UGLY in front of it's name because of Christine--she is actually a bombshell.  (Normal 50 year olds shouldn't be allowed to look as fantastic as her!)  It gets the UGLY in front of it's name because people are sometimes a little hesitant to taste it because it's so ugly!  Despite its appearance, however, give it a taste and you won't be disappointed!

Tastes WAY better than it looks!

It is made with an ingredient that I find particularly odd--dried beef!  Yikes! "Dried" and "beef" in the same product name, under any normal circumstances, make me worry.  Who wants beef that's dried out and comes in a little jar that doesn't expire for months?! Well, maybe I just think it's weird because my family never consumed dried beef while I was growing up.  I'm sure my mother would have had no idea what to do with it!  Or, perhaps it's more of a southern-type ingredient--you know, it's used in Cream Chipped Beef.  Either way, this dish makes excellent use of dried beef--it adds a nice saltiness, and now I'm not as skeptical of it!

I found this in the store by the tuna, Spam, etc.

Browsing the internet, I learned that this isn't solely a creation of Christine's.  But, she gets credit for introducing this to me.  Since this summer, I've made it for my family, and they've also enjoyed it as much as I do! The chicken is tender and slow-cooked, the cream sauce is divine and tastes great with mashed potatoes, and the bacon and beef give it lots of flavor.

STEP ONE: Line the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish with dried beef.  No need to grease dish.  You can also use like a glass casserole/hot dish.

STEP TWO: Wrap 6 chicken breasts with 2-3 slices of the dried beef and 1 piece of bacon.  I had two extra pieces of bacon so I also threw those in there!  

OPTIONAL: You can definitely throw in some mushrooms!  I put some sliced white button mushrooms on 1/2 only, because I knew my brother wouldn't touch this with a 10 ft. pole if it had visible 'shrooms!

STEP THREE: Combine 8 oz. (1 cup) of sour cream with 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup.  Spread atop chicken and mushrooms.  

STEP FOUR: Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake @275 for ~3 hours.  I like to take it out at the halfway mark just to mix the sauce because it separates a bit. I also stir it again, then cook uncovered for the last 15 minutes or so.

***This will be very soupy if you make it in the slow cooker! NO BUENO!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Honey-Nut Encrusted Salmon Fillets

  Lately, my family has been partaking in Salmon Sunday, which is great because salmon is good-tasting and good-for-you. Salmon is right up there with chicken, in terms of versatility. There are countless ways to prepare salmon.  Lately, we've been doing lots of experimenting to discover new recipes.  This is one of our new recipes--found in Taste of Home.  I really love this recipe because of how easy it is!  It gives you some mild tangy-sweetness, isn't too mustard-y, and has an awesome crunchy coasting to complement the tender-flakiness of the fish.  Mmmmmm.... 

Honey-Nut Encrusted Salmon

2lbs salmon (slab from Costco, cut into 4-5oz. fillets)

2.5 T honey
2.5 T dijon mustard
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

2 slices wheat bread, toasted then processed into crumbs
4 T finely chopped walnuts
1/2 t dried thyme
2 t olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine honey & mustard in a small bowl.  Pour over fillets.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, walnuts, thyme, and oil with a fork.  Press the crumb mixture atop the fillets.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.