Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
cooking spray

Directions

Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro. Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚F. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

From Annie’s Eats

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Chicken Chow Mein

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
1 red pepper, diced
2-3 blocks egg noodles
100 g beansprouts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Cook the noodles as directed on the pack, rinse and drain well. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-sided frying pan. Stir-fry the chicken for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and red pepper and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the beansprouts, soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil and noodles. Mix the ingredients well, heat through and serve.

From Sharwood’s

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

8 ounces, weight jumbo pasta shells
30 ounces, weight whole milk ricotta cheese
8 ounces, weight parmesan cheese, grated, divided
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 whole egg
12 leaves basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 whole medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
1/2 cup red wine or beef stock
1 28 oz. + 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Directions

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

From The Pioneer Woman

 

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups long grain rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter and olive oil in a hot skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper; cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelized.

Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter and olive oil. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, Stir in the parsley and fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

From What’s Cooking, Chicago?

Roast Chicken and Gravy

Ingredients

1 whole chicken
salt
pepper
olive oil
thyme
half an onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken stock

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450ºF and roast the chicken at this high temperature for the first 10 – 15 minutes and the last 10 – 15 minutes.  The rest of the time the chicken should be roasted at 375ºF. As a general rule, calculate a total cooking time of 20 minutes per pound of meat plus an additional 10 – 20 minutes.

Start preparing the chicken by thoroughly cleaning and rinsing it under a cold running tap. Patt dry with a kitchen towel. Place the chicken on a wire rack set in a shallow roasting pan and grease the skin of the chicken with either butter or olive oil. Then season the bird with salt, pepper and thyme. Place half and onion and some garlic into the body cavity and begin cooking.

Every 20 minutes while the chicken is cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and pour or brush the fat and juices that have accumulated in the roasting pan, over the bird. If you find that the chicken is browning too quickly during cooking, then loosely cover the breast of the bird with a large piece of aluminium foil until it is done.

Roast the chicken for the correct amount of time and then use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked. The temperature must read 180ºF (83ºC) for the chicken to be cooked all the way through. When properly cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and leave it to rest for 15 – 20 minutes on a carving board to allow the juices to settle.

To make the gravy, pour the juices and grease from the chicken into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and whisk in flour until it forms a thick paste. Add chicken stock and mix together. Turn down the heat and simmer on low for a few minutes, whisking continuously, until gravy thickens to desired consistency.

From Help with Cooking

Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients

7 oz jar roasted red peppers (about 1 cup diced)
4 cups grated pepper jack cheese (3/4 lb)
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. You want to make sure they are dry so they don’t add moisture to the dip. Then dice them.

In a bowl, soften cream cheese in microwave. Add in mayo, onion, garlic, and dijon. Stir to combine and then add in the grated cheese and the diced peppers. Place in an 8×8 dish or a pie plate. At this point you can pop it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it later. You can make it a couple of days ahead of time. Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of the dish you make it in. It will start to bubble and brown on the outside edge, and you will know it’s done when it is bubbly all the way through to the center. It will be nice and golden brown on top, especially around the edges.

Serve immediately. If the dip is done and you’re not ready to eat it, just keep it warm in the oven. If you’re eating leftovers, or you cooked it ahead of time, reheat in the oven (not the microwave). You can serve it with just about anything – tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or baguette slices. My personal favourite is homemade pita bread.

From Our Best Bites

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

For the potatoes:

1.5 pounds potatoes, washed and chopped roughly
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

For the meat:

1 pound ground beef
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, if needed
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
3/4 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can cream corn

Directions

To make the potatoes, place the potatoes in water and bring to a boil, allowing to boil for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. When cooked, drain and mash together with the butter, milk, garlic powder, onion salt, cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the beef, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour. Stir and cook the beef in a large pot until no longer pink (but don’t overcook it). With a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a separate bowl and set aside.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in the pot, if needed, then add in the diced onions and carrots. Cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and add in the wine if desired, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Re-add the beef, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced significantly. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

When the meat is reduced, remove from heat. Spoon the mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Spread the potatoes on top, fluffing a bit with a fork if needed and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath