Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Green Chilaquiles with Chicken (Chilaquiles Verdes Con Pollo)

This is my take on a traditional Mexican dish, Chilaquiles. These are like salsa drenched nachos topped with nothing but yummy goodness.

Serves 2-3

Salsa Verde:
1/2 lb tomatillos, husks removed
1 jalapeno, deveined and seeded
2 garlic cloves
Homemade tortilla chips

1 can of black beans
1 cup of shredded chicken
Sour cream
Red onion, minced
Avocado, sliced or roughly chopped
Cotija cheese
Cilantro, chopped

Salsa Verde:
Add tomatillos into a saucepan, cover with water and boil for 5 minutes, until tomatillos have changed color and are soft. Use slotted spoon to remove tomatillos into a blender. Add jalapeno, garlic cloves and a cup of the cooking liquid. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Add salsa to a saucepan and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes. Add tortilla chips to the salsa. Gently turn over chips until they are all well coated. Remove from heat.

To assemble chilaquiles:
To serve chilaquiles, make a bed of black bean on your plate, top with salsa coated chips, chicken, a dollop of sour cream, onion, avocado cheese and sprinkle with cilantro.

·         Use red salsa instead of green
·         Serve for breakfast and top with an egg instead of chicken
·         Serve for dinner and top with carne asada instead of chicken

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuffed Chicken over Almond Pesto

A nice dinner for my hubby's Birthday: I started off with a Caprese Salad and then this main dish of sundried tomato and spinach stuffed baked chicken over homemade almond pesto pasta.

Stuffed Chicken:
2 chicken breasts
Freshly cracked black pepper
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
¼ cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out, split in four parts
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped, split in four parts
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Almond Pesto:
2 cups of packed basil leaves
¼ cup of slivered almonds
2 garlic clove
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Juice from one lemon
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

½ lb pasta (bow tie or tube)

In a blender or food processor, add basil, almonds, garlic, salt, pepper, cheese and lemon juice; blend and slowly add EVOO while blender is on. Blend until smooth. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary to taste. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice each chicken breast in half and pound until about ¼” thin. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Layout out filets, add a slice of cheese, ¼ forth the spinach and tomatoes on each filet and roll up; secure with toothpicks.

In a sauce pan over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO and brown all sides of the rolled chicken. Then bake for 15 minutes, or depending on thickness, until cooked all the way through.

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Then drain and toss with pesto sauce.

Serve pesto pasta with sliced chicken. Drizzle chicken with remaining juices from pan. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tuna Poke and Avocado Stack

Yesterday, my husband’s coworker asked him if we liked tuna. Of course! Then she went on to tell him her brother just came back from a fishing trip with several pounds of fresh Bluefin tuna. Would we like some? Again…OF COURSE!  And this was how this little beauty was created!

Top layer:
¾ lb Bluefin tuna (or Ahi), cubed
¼ cup soy sauce
2 green onion sprigs, chopped
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (I used both black and white)
1/2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce

Middle layer:
½ red bell pepper, minced
1 ½ Tbsp minced red onion

Bottom layer:
1 avocado, diced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
Juice from one lime

Thinly sliced cucumber
Extra sesame seeds

In a small bowl, combine cubed tuna with the rest of the ingredients for the ‘top layer’. In a separate small bowl, combine bell peppers and onion. In a third small bowl, combine ingredients for the ‘bottom later’.

Using a greased cylinder shaped measuring cup or 2 1/2” circle ring, add a layer of tuna mixture and gently press down with the back of a spoon. Then add a thin layer of bell peppers and onions. Lastly, add a layer of avocado and gently press down.

Take a small plate and layer a circle of thinly sliced cucumbers. Place the tuna and avocado stack in the middle of the plate and gently tap out. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve with homemade tortilla chips.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jalapeno Crab Stuffed Salmon

I wanted to do something different for dinner with my salmon, so I opened up my cupboard to see if any brilliant ideas would jump out at me. A can of crab and a can of diced jalapenos caught my eye. I love crab stuffed jalapenos, so I wondered what would happen if I stuffed that inside of salmon. Viola! Jalapeno crab stuffed salmon…delicious!

2 salmon filets
1 can of white lump crab, drained
2-3 oz of canned diced jalapenos
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 green onion sprig, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine crab, jalapenos, cheese and green onion, but do not over mix. Set aside.

Season filets with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the middle of each filet. Stuff filets with crab mixture. Place filets on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn to broil, move fish to the top of the oven and broil for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Helpful tip: To know if your fish is cooked, it should easily flake with fork and no longer be translucent in the center.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grilled Shark with Summer Relish

This grilled fish dinner has a Latin flair and uses fresh summer ingredients.

2 Thresher shark fillets
Fish seasoning: Cajun, seasoned salt or lemon pepper

¼ cup corn (roasted and cut off the cob)
About 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ large avocado, diced
1 Tbsp diced canned jalapenos (or one fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced)
1 green onion sprig, diced
Juice from one lime

Rice & Beans:
½ cup rice
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ can of black beans

In a rice cooker, cook rice in broth and EVOO.  Once rice is cooked, stir in beans to heat through.

Meanwhile, season and grill heat over med-high heat. Depending on thickness, grill for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked all the way through.

While fish is grilling, make relish. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and set aside.

To plate, create a bed of rice and beans, top with fish and spoon relish over fish.

Helpful hint: Make sure you rub the fish with oil before seasoning or spray the grill to prevent the fish from sticking.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pesto Vegetable Pasta Salad

A great pasta to bring to a BBQ and serve with  grilled chicken.

1 lb bowtie pasta
1 small jar of marinated, quartered artichoke hearts
½ red bell pepper, diced
About 10 asparagus spears, steamed and cut into 1”pieces
2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, diced
2 green onion spears, diced
4 oz. of jarred pesto
Feta cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on packaging. Drain and toss with the rest of ingredients. Serve warm or cool the next day. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.