Thursday, April 28, 2016

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Ok, I know it's been a while between posts these days, but I do feel the need to apologize for the Mexican-centric posts that I can't seem to stop making.  Sorry, these meals are weeks apart I assure you that much.

Moving right along....

Sometimes you find yourself home alone and you've got some time off of work and you are running out of ways to entertain yourself and you really need dinner to be a project to soak up some time.  This is why I took it upon myself to whip up a batch of homemade tortillas.

Corn Tortillas- Makes 20 6 inch tortillas
From The Kitchn

2 cups masa harina
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup hot water

1. Mix the masa, salt, and water together.  Knead the dough for a minute or 2. The dough should be smooth and be able to form a ball.  Mine was a bit sticky, but it turned out fine.  If your dough is too crumbly add water, a little at a time. Let your dough sit for 15-30 minutes while you get the rest of your stuff set up.

2. Take a ziplock bag and cut it down the 3 closed sides.  You will use this to roll your tortilla between.  You will also need a heavy skillet and a rolling pin.

3. Once the dough has rested take about 2 tablespoons of dough (think ping-pong ball size) roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball between the prepared ziplock bag.  Use a skillet to evenly flatten the dough.  Flatten tortilla further with the rolling pin until it's about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Just make it as thin as you think is tortilla thin-ness, don't get out the ruler.

4. To cook the tortillas heat a griddle or skillet over high heat.  The tortillas take 1-2 minutes per side. When a tortilla is finished cooking, place it in under a clean kitchen towel to keep warm while you cook up the rest.

*I halved this recipe and it worked out well.

I filled these corn tortillas with fried fish, lettuce, carrot, onion, and this delightful chipotle cream sauce (recipe here).

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mexican Pasta Salad

I had an abundance of cilantro left over from a few recipes (quesadilla pie being one of them) that I didn't want to go to waste.  That led me me make cilantro pesto. Which then led to a need to put said pesto to use. Which then brings us to the creation of a pasta salad the likes of which you have never before experienced!

Mexican Pasta Salad


for the pesto:
2 cups cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil (you can just add more olive oil)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

for the chipotle cream: (totally optional, but I was using it for another recipe that week)
2 chipotle peppers
1 cup sour cream

for the pasta salad
1 lb pasta, your choice
1 cup corn
1 cup cheddar, grated
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1 cup olives, sliced

1. Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Place pesto in a bowl until pasta is ready.  Don't bother cleaning out the blender to make the chipotle cream.  Blend peppers and sour cream until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, or the drained pasta pot, mix pasta, pesto, and about a tablespoon of chipotle cream (save the rest of taco night). Stir in remaining pasta salad ingredients.

This is a totally customize-able recipe.  Want meat in there? Perhaps, some shredded chicken? Go for it.  A fan of beans? By all means bean it up! Throw in a dash of salsa. Toss in an avocado.  Get nuts!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Quesadilla Pie

Here ya go friends, this dinner comes together in less than 30 minutes.  As long as you have some cooked chicken on hand...

Quesadilla Pie
From The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 10 inch tortilla
2 cups shredded chicken*
1/3 cup diced jalapenos, I bought a lil' can and used about half of it
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
salsa, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Soften your tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds and place it in a greased 9 inch pie plate.
2. Mix chicken, jalapenos, cilantro, 1 cup cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Place in pie plate.
3. Mix eggs, milk, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl (use the one you just had the chicken in). Pour over filling. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is browned and melted.
4. Let cool 5 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve with salsa on the side.

*I despise when recipes have cooked chicken as an ingredient.  Who has cooked chicken just laying around the house?!  I do...  I cooked up 5 chicken breasts, shredded them and bagged them up for times like this.  I highly recommend you do the same on a lazy Sunday. Each breast is about 2 cups of chicken.

You are definitely going to want to have some salsa with your slice of the pie.  It needs a bit of flavor punching, guacamole would be nice too.  I think next time I will put some salsa into the pie as well.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lasagna Soup

Hi, I think we can all agree that spring has not quite sprung yet.  I made soup the other night while wearing a sweater and boots. In April. It was horrible because all I really want is an iced coffee i.v. and to sit out on my back porch.

FYI, it wasn't really horrible. It was delicious.  I can't wait to eat the leftovers.  It will make you a little bit glad that there is still a chill in the air. P.S. I had a cheese rind in the freezer just waiting for a soup like this! If you happen to be this lucky, plop that rind right in the broth.

Lasagna Soup
Adapted from Pinch of Yum

1 head of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup zucchini, diced
2 cups pasta, I used radiatore
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried parsley
several leaves of fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a little off the top off the garlic head, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil.  Wrap in foil and roast for 30 minutes.
2. In a large pot heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste.  Stir well to incorporate and cook 3-4 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, broth, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
4. Take a few ladles of the soup and put into a blender with the roasted garlic. Blend until smooth and add back into the soup.
5. Add pasta and zucchini, cook until pasta is tender.
6. In a small bowl mix ricotta, parmesan, lemon juice, parsley, and basil.
To serve: drop a few tablespoons of ricotta mixture into bowls of soup

Warm up these chilly April nights.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

One Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

This recipe is perfection.  Absolute perfection.

Here are all the things it has going for it:
1. one pot
2. pasta
3. crunchy topping
4. cheeeeeeese!!

One Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
From Yellow Bliss Road

1/4 cup oil, plus 2 tbsp
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion, diced
16 oz marinara sauce
2 1/2 cups dried pasta
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Coat chicken with flour, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder.
2. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven with 1/4 cup oil. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides.
3. Remove chicken and wipe out skillet.  Add 2 tbsp oil and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, pasta, broth, sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.   Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes, until pasta is cooked. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese and cubed chicken.
4. Top with remaining mozzarella, parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, and bread crumbs. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are browned.
5. EAT UP!

I just don't know why I haven't made this again.  This is the stuff dreams are made of.