Thursday, November 29, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Green Chile Pot Pie with Jalapeño Jack Cheese Cornbread Topping

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As I may have said before, in my house I am famous for my chicken enchiladas, so why am I showing you a Southwestern chicken pot pie? Simply because, I only make the enchiladas when my family visits and there are no photos or recipe as the entire dish gets demolished. One thing I love about the chicken enchiladas is the velvety green chile sauce that is poured over the dish before topping with cheese. I have tweaked this sauce over the years and thought it would also make a great sauce for a Southwestern chicken pot pie. One day, I will post my chicken enchiladas, but today, I offer you a slightly spicy chicken pot pie for your comfort food repertoire.

A homemade chicken broth seasoned with garlic, onion and cumin is essential to this pie's success. To make this broth and to cook the chicken for the pot pie, I use large bone-in breast halves with the skin on, plus the aromatics and plain water; boil until the chicken is done, remove it to cool, then strip the meat off. The flavorful broth is strained and reserved to make the green chile sauce for the pot pie. This can be done a day ahead, both covered and refrigerated. I usually moisten the cooked chicken with some of the broth as it keeps the chicken from having that leftover taste after being refrigerated. This recipe serves 4 generously. 

For the Broth

2 large bone-in chicken breast halves, skin on
1 medium white onion, peeled and halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
5-6 black peppercorns
Salt to taste
Cold water to cover

In a large heavy pot, place all the ingredients and water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming the scum from the top. Lower heat and cook gently until chicken has cooked. Remove the chicken from the broth; cool and remove meat from bones and roughly chop. Strain broth, discard vegetables. You should have at least 4 cups. At this time, you can cool both and refrigerate separately until you are ready to make the sauce for the pie.

For the Pot Pie

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups hot chicken broth
1 small can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 cup chopped cooked carrots
1/2 canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, diced large
Jalapeño Jack Cheese Cornbread Topping, recipe below

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add onions and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Increase heat to medium, add flour, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add hot broth gradually, stirring until sauce is smooth. Add drained chopped green chiles. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Add corn, carrots, black beans and chicken. Cook several minutes to heat all the ingredients. Pour into 4-10 ounce ramekins, leaving 1/2 to 3/4-inch space for the topping. Top with jalapeño jack cheese cornbread batter.

Jalapeño Jack Cheese Cornbread Batter

3/4 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal mix-I used House of Autry Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded jalapeño Jack cheese

In a small bowl, combine cornmeal mix, egg, vegetable oil and 1/2 cup milk. Add shredded cheese and stir. If more milk is needed to create a batter consistency, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk until consistency is achieved. Preheat oven to 400° F. Divide batter among the 4 ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking pan. Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until cornbread has cooked through and sauce is bubbly and hot.

This is my contribution to Monthly Mingle, created by Meeta of What's For Lunch, Honey and hosted this month by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. The theme for this month is Pot Pies.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pinto Bean and Corn Salad with Smoky Citrus Dressing

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Continuing my devotion to Southwestern and Mexican cuisine, I bring you a spicy pinto bean and corn salad in a jar, perfect picnic fare or for dining on the porch. Jarred roasted red peppers, canned pinto beans and frozen corn kernels make this an easy out of the pantry salad for winter or when pushed for time, but in the summer when fresh corn, plum tomatoes and peppers are abundant, I would suggest you take advantage of seasonal produce.

This tangy bean salad is coated with a smoky chili powder vinaigrette, chopped fresh cilantro leaves stirred in at serving time and topped with cubed jalapeno jack cheese. Optional additional heat comes from Chipotle Tabasco Sauce or your favorite hot sauce.

Pinto Bean and Corn Salad with Smoky Citrus Dressing

2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
2-15.8 ounce canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 small red onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
4-6 tablespoons Smoky Citrus Dressing-recipe follows
2 teaspoons, Chipotle Tabasco Sauce, or your favorite hot sauce
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cubed jalapeño jack cheese
Combine roasted red bell peppers, beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add enough smoky citrus dressing to coat along with the Tabasco sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the cilantro leaves and cubed jalapeño jack cheese. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Smoky Citrus Dressing

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Smoky Chile Powder, recipe follows
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients with salt and pepper to taste in a jar. Cover with a lid; shake to blend. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Makes 3/4 cup.

Smoky Chili Powder Mise En Place
Smoky Chile Powder
Great as a rub

2 tablespoons ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer to a covered container until ready to use. Makes 1/2 cup.

This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair #53, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted the month of November by Simona of Briciole.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sautéed Rice with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Fragrant with cumin and enhanced with the addition of a homemade pumpkin seed pesto, this sautéed rice dish is perfect to serve as an accompaniment to a grilled meat meal or with a chili dish, a white chicken chili comes to mind. According to Chowhound, sautéing  the rice first gives it a toothier texture, maintains the integrity of the grain and adds depth to the flavor of the rice.  I learned this years ago when making Mexican rice and it's become a standard when cooking rice for many dishes. 

Pepitas also play a starring role in my Mexican and Southwestern kitchen, either roasted for a snack or ground for a green pozole with chicken. I can see that this pumpkin seed pesto will also become a favorite pesto to serve over pasta, as part of a salad dressing or in guacamole. Redolent with garlic and cilantro, the toasted pumpkin seed pesto comes together quick and easily using a food processor to grind the ingredients. The pesto keeps well for two days, its surface and bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap and  refrigerated. I actually froze my batch of pesto and time will tell if the pesto holds up after freezing. 

For your information, pepita is derived from "pepita de calabaza" meaning "little seed of the squash" and is harvested from many varieties of squash. Most of our pepitas come from China now, but pepitas from Mexico are my favorite. I prefer to buy them raw and roast them myself.   The seeds are a good source of protein and can be made into an oil for salad dressings or as a cooking oil.

Sauteed Rice with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Serves 4

1 cup white rice
2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot chicken broth, or water
3 tablespoons pumpkin seed pesto, recipe follows

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add rice and stir until it becomes lightly golden. Add onion and cook until it is golden. Add cumin, broth,salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in the pumpkin seed pesto and keep hot until serving time.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Original Recipe-Epicurious
Makes about 2 cups

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups, unsalted, hulled green pumpkin seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook pumpkin seeds with salt and pepper to taste, stirring constantly until seeds are puffed and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Do not let all of them brown. Add garlic and cook, stirring about 1 minute. Transfer pumpkin seed to plate and let cool completely.

Pulse seed mixture with water, cilantro, green onions and remaining 4 tablespoons oil until mixture forms a coarse paste.  Transfer to a bowl:stir in lime juice along with salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately, or cover surface and bowl with plastic wrap. Keeps 2 days refrigerated.

This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging #361,  the Italian and the English edition hosted this week by Brii of Briggishome. Weekend Herb Blogging was created by Kalyn and is now organized by Haalo.

The black and white photo of the pepitas is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #60, hosted by Haalo and now managed by Cinzia.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Herb Blogging #360 Roundup

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Why not add one of these comfort food dishes to your Thanksgiving or winter holiday celebration meal.  I present  four tantalizing savory dishes for your perusal.Welcome everyone to Weekend Herb Blogging #360, the roundup. In this post, I share with you a brief description of the dish and author specifics, such as name, blog title and link to the dish described. Also, as other hosts of WHB have done, I will include a quote from the actual post which I hope will entice you to read more regarding the dish.

Blogging at  The Taste Space, Janet prepares Warm Balsamic Rosemary Cabbage Salad, but also entertains us with her answers to "You know you are a food blogger if-", list. 
"Onions and garlic are pan-fried along with cabbage that is gently cooked to remove some of its bite. Granny Smith apples add  tartness and sweetness along with raisins. Tossed with rosemary and balsamic vinegar, you have a simple salad that is more than the sum of its parts."

Haalo from Cook (Almost) Anything Once prepares Leek and Zucchini Risotto with a Vialone Nano rice variety aged 22 months and  regarded to be the best rice for risotto. 
"The theory behind aging the rice is that it retards the development of starches which means that the grains will absorb more liquid without losing texture. The end result is a perfectly creamy risotto."

Cinzia  from Cindy Star Blog prepares a warming Chestnut Soup utilizing her leftover chestnuts from her St. Martin's Dinner. "You can use any sort of chestnut you like: fresh, dried, frozen and of course even roasted leftover--The soup is also nice if served cold. If sweetened with sugar, it becomes a dessert     (but I haven't time to try, not a spoon left :-)."

As host of WHB  #360, I prepared a very easy appetizer,  Avocado with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
"--this simple avocado appetizer decorated with ribbons of an ancho chile roasted red pepper sauce has loads of flavor. The contrast between the slightly spicy sauce and the buttery smooth avocado was a delight to my palate."

I would like to thank Haalo for her expert management of Weekend Herb Blogging and a special thanks to its creator, Kalyn. Enjoy!

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Avocado with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Styling sliced avocados has to be a food stylist's nightmare. No wonder I saw so many photos of only whole, halved or avocados combined with other fruits or vegetables, or typically made into guacamole. Working with the slippery little slices took much longer to style and photograph than to eat and I did end up eating my many mistakes. Even though avocados have "good" fat, it's fat, nevertheless! Anyone reading this have any tips on styling sliced avocados, I'd love to hear from them. I finally gave up on the slices and chopped them seen in the first photo below. Despite the issues with styling, etc., this simple avocado appetizer decorated with ribbons of an ancho chile roasted red pepper sauce has loads of flavor. The contrast between the slightly spicy sauce and the buttery smooth avocado was a delight to my palate!

Avocados are readily available year round, but this winter fruit is cheapest beginning in February and becoming more expensive in the Fall months.  Most of the avocados in the USA come from California  with the  Hass  (rhymes with "pass") variety the more well known of the many varieties. Pear shaped with crinkled skin, one can see why the Hass avocado is often called an alligator pear.  Inside lies a small to medium seed nestled between light green creamy textured fruit. Usually bought rock hard and unripe, the avocado will ripen very successfully at room temperature within 3-5 days. At this point, the avocados can be refrigerated for about 5 days.

Avocado with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 ripe, but slightly firm Hass avocados, (see below-how to peel an avocado)
2 roasted and peeled red peppers, homemade or bottled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder, or for a spicier sauce, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder and 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Quarter, peel and slice the avocado, see below. Add the remaining ingredients to the jar of a food processor or blend. Puree into a smooth sauce, stopping the machine as needed to scrape down the jar with a spatula. Transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle. Refrigerate several hours to improve the sauce.

When ready to serve the sliced avocados, place ribbons of the roasted red pepper sauce down the avocado slices. Serve immediately.

How to peel and slice an avocado:
Halve each avocado, unpeeled, remove the pit and slice in half again. Peel the quarters by slipping your thumb between the flesh and skin, just sliding down to separate the two. Now slice each piece into 4 slices lengthwise. Place on a plate.

Recipe adapted from The Feast of Santa Fe by Huntley Dent

This is my contribution to WHB #360 hosted this week by yours truly. Weekend Herb Blogging was created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and is now managed by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mushrooms Triptych

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Mushrooms Triptych

Original image on left, center image (screenshot below) and final black and white image processed in Topaz BW Effects utilizing a coffee dynamic filter, some subtle grain, a slight vignette applied, and lastly, a thin black border. Texture French Receipts Overlay and Paper Textures from Flypaper Textures.
This is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #58, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and now organized by Cinzia of CindyStar. This month's host is Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Herb Blogging #360 Announcement

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It's always a treat to host Weekend Herb Blogging, which most of you know by now was created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and is now organized by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once. This cool logo marks the beginning of the seventh year of WHB and I'm proud to be the 2nd host of this new and exciting year. 

The rules are simple and can be found here. Your posts may be written anytime this week, just email the following to lynnylu AT gmail Dot com by Sunday 3pm Utah, USA time, November 18, 2102.

Your Name
Your Blog Name/URL
Your Post URL
Your Location
Attach a photo 400 px wide

The roundup will be posted Monday, November 19, 2012. Looking forward to your entries. Simona of  Briciole has posted the roundup of WHB# 359. Check it out. 

Please do not use images or text without my permission.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Spicy Slaw Sliders-Homemade Forty Minute Rolls-Secret Recipe Club

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Fresh, hot from the oven homemade yeast rolls in 40 minutes-start to finish! I had to try them! My blog assignment for this month's  Secret Recipe Club was to visit Jennifer's awesome blog, Peanut Butter and Peppers. A very cool blog title for a site that has so many delicious recipes that as usual, I pondered on what to make. Yeast breads are my forte, so when I saw Shredded Barbecue Chicken and Homemade Rolls, I knew I would love the rolls. Often I use my bread machine for preparing yeast dough, but upon further reading, I saw that there was 2 tablespoons of yeast in the recipe and the dough did not go through the raising phase before baking-hence the 40 minute time. The BBQ chicken looked fabulous, too, but I only had a pork tenderloin ready to use. Several years ago, I bought W. Park Kerr's, Burning Desires cookbook and it was in this book that I found the recipe to make these sweet hot glazed pork tenderloin sliders topped with a spicy BBQ slaw. Perfect for Jennifer's quick and easy rolls. 
I might add that Jennifer's weight-loss story was inspiration for me to eat healthy and exercise more.

First, the recipe for the rolls with my edits in parentheses

Forty Minute Hamburger Rolls
Original Recipe-Taste of Home

2 tablespoons active dry yeast (not bread machine yeast)
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons warm water ,110° to 115°- (1 cup)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar (1 tablespoon)
1 egg (1 jumbo egg)
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar, let stand 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.

Turn out on a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 (16 for sliders) pieces. Place 2-3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F.

Bake the rolls 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to wire racks to cool.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Slaw

1 cup Orange Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 cup sweet salad dressing,
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
3 pork tenderloins, about 3 pounds total
2 cups wood smoking chips, soaked 30 minutes
Homemade slider rolls, split and toasted if desired

In a small bowl, stir together barbecue sauce and hot pepper sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the salad dressing, 1/2 cup of the orange barbecue sauce and the mustard. Add the cabbage, stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, the slaw should be very spicy. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile trim any tough silvery outer membrane off the pork tenderloins. Preheat a gas grill to medium. Wrap the soaked chips partially in foil, creating a packet that is open from the top. Set the packet on side of the grill rack. Cover the grill. When the wood chips are smoking, place the tenderloins on the grill, cover and cook 5 minutes. Brush generously with some of the remaining barbecue glaze, turn grill, covered for 5 minutes. Continue brushing and turning the tenderloins every 3 minutes or so until they are well-glazed and done (just lightly pink at the thickest part), about 2 minutes. If you like your pork more well-done, continue to cook until desired temperature is reached. NY Times Article on cooking pork tenderloin.

Remove from grill to a cutting board, let rest lightly covered 10 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Place sliced pork on the bottom of the rolls. Generously top the pork on each bun with a mound of slaw. Place the tops of the rolls on the slaw and serve immediately. Makes 16 sliders

Orange Barbecue Sauce
Great for Chicken and Shellfish, too!

(Double for extra sauce to drizzle on prepared sliders before adding bread tops)
1/2 cup hot, spicy tomato-based barbecue sauce
1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate indefinitely. Makes 1 cup.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tomatillo Guajillo Salsa

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Somehow the grocery store near me always has beautiful tomatillos which surprises me because much of the produce at the same store elemental in making a traditional salsa is not very fresh. The jalapeños are shriveled  and have black stems, the serranos, the same and the cilantro is hit and miss. However, I can always find dried chiles and it is with these that I have fashioned my tomatillo guajillo salsa. Roasting the tomatillos  under the broiler brings out the sweet tart flavor of the fruit while toasting the  dried chiles deepens the intensity of the chile flavor resulting in wonderful melding of flavors.

Also called Mexican green tomatoes or husk tomatoes, tomatillos belong to the same nightshade family as its cousin, the red tomato. The subtle flavors of apple, lemon and herbs make the tomatillos perfect for salsas. The green fruit is enclosed in a papery husk which needs to be taken off and the tomatillo rinsed before using. Tomatillos can be used either raw or cooked.  Always choose unblemished tomatillos that fill the husk. Store loosely wrapped in the refrigerator.

Tomatillo Guajillo Salsa

2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, split and seeded
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 small red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
salt to taste

Preheat the broiler, then preheat a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the chiles in the skillet, pressing down on them with a heat-proof spatula for about 20 seconds to lightly toast them. Turn over and toast the other side an additional 20 seconds. Remove the chiles from the skillet and place in a bowl. Pour hot water over the chiles, cover with a plate and soak for about 30 minutes or until completely hydrated.

While the chiles are soaking, place the tomatillos on a foil-lined baking pan and place until broiler. Broil about 5 minutes, or until softened with some blackened spots. Turn and broil an additional 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place in the food processor. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven heat to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chiles from the soaking liquid. Discard the liquid and roughly chop the chiles. Add to the food processor bowl.

Place the sliced onions and smashed garlic on a foil-lined baking pan. Place in the oven and roast 5 minutes. Stir around to redistribute for even cooking. Roast an additional 5 minutes, or until onions and garlic are lightly browned and softened some. Add to food processor.

Blend the tomatillos, chiles, onions and garlic until fully combined and thick. Remove to a bowl and add chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

More Tomatillo Info:
Salsa Verde Carnitas-Simply Recipes
Gourmet Sleuth- All About Tomatillos
Oven Roasted Tomatillo Salsa-Andreas Recipes

This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging #359 created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and now managed by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once. WHB #359 is hosted this week by Simona of Briciole.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
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