Go Green: Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes

Mmm, I love the green enchilada sauce, to me it is so much better than the red. I love the tart, tangy flavor of the tomatillos. If you are unfamiliar with tomatillos, check out a previous post I wrote Tomatillos 101.  I don’t know why I don’t use them more often. I made this dish using a store bought rotisserie chicken to save me time and effort, a great weeknight cheat. These would also be great with any left over shredded meats like pork or beef.

Enchiladas Verdes

1 lb fresh tomatillos, husks removed an quartered

1 Jalapeño pepper halved with seeds and membrane removed

1 onion peeled and cut into 1/8s

1 T olive oil

1 t chopped garlic

1 T fresh cilantro 

1/2 t cumin

10 corn tortillas

4-5 c shredded or chopped chicken

1 c shredded Monterey jack cheese

Optional for garnish

1/2 c crumbled queso fresco cheese

chopped onion

chopped cilantro

sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, place tomatillos, onion and jalapeno pepper on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with oil. Bake for 15 min or until soft and blistered in areas. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Scrape mixture into a food processor or blender bowl, add garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Puree until almost smooth, I like a little bit of chunk in my sauce. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Add 2 T sauce to the bottom of a 9×11 baking pan. Then take a tortilla and spread a light coating of the sauce with a spoon or spatula on top, add chicken on top (about a 1/4 c) and roll up, place the tortilla seam side down in the baking pan. Continue with the remainder of the tortillas and chicken.

Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes

Top with remaining sauce and cheese ( you may want to reserve a small amount of the sauce to top finished enchiladas with. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Let cool for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to serve. Top with any remaining sauce, onion, queso fresco, chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Enchiladas Verdes

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Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

Summer is almost gone but there is still time for POPSICLES, especially ones with tequila. These are yummy and refreshing and great for a cookout. I made these for book club, our book was Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen. A fun Summer read whose main character eats a lot of popsicles, so I decided to go with that but jazz it up with a little booze. Be careful when adding tequila or any other alcohol to your popsicles, if you add too much they will not freeze.

Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

6 c Simply Limeade ( found in the produce/juice section of your grocery store)

1-2 T agave syrup ( you could use sugar)

1 t lime zest

1 T chopped cilantro ( optional)

1/4 t salt

1/2 c tequila

sliced strawberries

add all ingredients, except strawberries to a pitcher and stir to incorporate. pour into popsicle molds or small paper or plastic cups. Place in freezer.

Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

Check after about 1 hr and every 1/2 hour after that. When the mixture is frozen to a slushy state. take out and add 2 sliced strawberries to each pop. Push them down with a popsicle stick or butter knife to desired position.(If you add them at the beginning they will float to the top and won’t be as pretty)  Then place a popsicle stick in each pop and place back into the freezer for a couple of more hours. 

Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

 

 

 

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Make your plate a little more colorful with this Purple Potato and Bean Salad. Great as a side or a light meatless Summer meal.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

4 cups small purple potatoes, quartered ( I left the skins on)

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c red onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

2T red wine vinegar

1 T chopped  fresh cilantro ( or basil)

1/2-1t salt

1/8 t black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add bean, tomatoes, onions,  toss with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cilantro and stir.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Chill and serve.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

 

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

4 chicken breasts

1 c mexican creama, found in the dairy section  ( or 3/4 c sour cream and 1/4 c mayo mixed)

2 chipotle chilis in adobo chopped

1 1/2 c queso fresco (mexican cheese found in the dairy section), crumbled

 

Preheat oven to 350, mixed chopped chipotle chilis with crema in a shallow bowl/dish. Crumble queso fresco onto a plate or shallow dish. Dredge chicken breast in creama mixture, then dredge into cheese and place in a baking pan.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken in no longer pink ( use a meat thermometer)

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

 

A great accompaniment to this dish is a Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad. Mix one bag cooked frozen corn with 1 c chopped cherry tomatoes and 1/2 chopped avocado. Add 1 T chopped cilantro. Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the top and add salt and pepper.

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Mango Quinoa

Mango Quinoa

 

Quinoa is a food trend that is delicious and healthy. It is as versatile and as easy as rice. This recipe is a perfect side dish to a spicy entree like jerk chicken, Hot wings or Spicy Lime and Honey Chicken. Try incorporating it into some of your weekday dishes. For ease and clean up I make mine in my rice cooker.

3 c water

1 1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 c chopped mango

1/2 t chopped garlic

1/4 c chopped cilantro or parsley ( I used a combination)

1/4 c crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese or Feta

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

2 t olive oil

Add water and quinoa to the rice cooker and turn on, when quinoa is finished pour into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, stir and serve.

 

Mexican Corn Salad

Mexican Corn Salad

A smokey, sweet, fresh and zesty side to go with steaks or grilled chicken.

Mexican Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn on the cob,husks and silk removed

1 T olive oil

1/4 c crema ( a mexican sour cream found in the dairy section) or 3 T sour cream and 1 T mayo

1/4 t smoked paprika

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco ( mexican crumbling cheese) you could substitute Parmesan or Feta but use less as they are stronger cheeses

1 T chopped parsley or cilantro

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 Drizzle olive oil over corn and rub in ensuring all sides are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes or until corn starts to char.

IMG_8771

Let corn cool so you are able to handle it and remove niblets from cob with a sharp knife. Mix together with remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

* you could grill the corn as well, that was my intention before it started pouring down rain.

Lebanese Please: My New Favorite Food

Lebanese Please:Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing and Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

On a recent trip to London I was amazed by all the great food. It is not just the land of Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash. They are utilizing fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients creatively. Also there are many ethnic restaurants that span the globe. I was intrigued by the amount of Lebanese restaurants we found around Kensington. So being the foodie I am we had to try one. After reading about the 5 freshly squeezed lemonades on the menu I was hooked and had to try Comptoir Libanais. I think it might have even been a chain restaurant but it still was delicious. My friend and I shared a Falafel Wrap and Salad, Baba Ghanouj, and a dish called Lebanese Fries. I also had the fresh squeezed Apple, Ginger, and Mint Lemonade. (It is the glass full of green stuff) It was all delicious and so fresh and tasty. The potatoes and the salad were my favorite, though the pickled turnip on the falafel wrap was pretty darn good too. So I came back inspired and wanted my husband to be able to get a hint at the taste and feel of the food.

Comptoir Libanais in South Kensington

I gave it a try and even if it was totally wrong it had the same fresh feel with the emphasis on fresh herbs and citrus which is what I was looking for. Perfect for Summer, I will be making these again and again.

Lebanese Style Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

4-5 cups diced potatoes, I used Yukon Gold

1/2 stick butter

1 lemon juiced

1 t red pepper flakes

2 T fresh cilantro chopped

1 t salt

Melt butter in a large pan over med high heat. Add potatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir and cook 15 minutes more or until golden and crunchy on the outside.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes and toss to coat, cook about 5 minutes more over med heat. Then toss with cilantro and serve.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Tossed Salad with Herbs and Lemon Coriander Dressing

Lemon Coriander Dressing

2 T lemon Juice

1 T olive oil

1 t ground coriander

1/4 t black pepper

1/4 t salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve over salad.

Tossed Salad with Herbs

4-6 cups of fresh crisp torn greens ( I used hearts of romaine and spring mix)

1/2 c thinly sliced radishes ( Soak the radishes in ice water after slicing that will remove some of the bitterness and make them crisp)

1/2 c grape tomatoes

1 cucumber peeled and sliced

2 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T chopped fresh mint

 

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately, I topped with grilled chicken and served with warm pita bread.

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing

Red Thai Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Red Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Yes I am jumping on the quinoa band wagon too. Why not, it is easy to prepare, full of protein, and cholesterol and gluten-free. It even tastes better than rice. What is quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), it is actually a seed but is easily prepared as a grain, like rice. In fact I made mine right in my rice cooker, same amount of water and time as rice too (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water).

quinoa cooked in a rice cooker

It came out, light and fluffy, like a cross between couscous and rice. I added some salt a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro.

Since we love curry at my house I made red curry with chicken and served over the top.

Red Thai Curry with Chicken

1 lb chicken cutlets, sliced into thin strips

2-3 T oil

2 c chopped broccoli

1 c match stick or sliced carrots

1/2 c peas

1/2 onion sliced thin

1 t chopped garlic

2 t red curry paste

1 can coconut milk

2 c quinoa

4 c water

2 t cilantro chopped

juice of 1 lime

salt

add quinoa and water to rice cooker and turn on.

Heat a large skillet over med high heat, add 2 T oil, add chicken and onion and cook until browned, add garlic, broccoli and carrots, cook 2 minutes, scoot chicken and veggies to the sides of the pan, making a well in the middle. add curry paste and cook 1 minute, add coconut milk and stir to combine. lower heat to low add peas and cover for about 3 minutes.  When quinoa is done cooking, add lime juice salt and chopped cilantro, serve curry mixture over quinoa.

Red Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Try some quinoa in place of rice or pasta in your favorite recipe.

Banana and Chicken Curry

 

Ok I admit it, I love cooking reality shows. My favorites are Chopped, Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef. I love to see the cheftestants think on their feet and see what creative dishes they come up with out of the mystery ingredients. I was so inspired by Chef Nate Appleman on episode 1 of this season’s Iron Chef Redempition. The ingredient was bananas and he came up with a banana curry. Why didn’t I think of that? I love curry, I have made pumpkin curry, coconut curry, sweet potato curry etc… Bananas seem like a no brainer, but I have never seen it before. Now I had to try my hand at this. Next trip to the store I bought a bunch of bananas and the game was on. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be, my kids didn’t even know there was banana in it, they get weird when I put fruit in savory dishes, but they ate every last bite of it. Now what else can I put bananas in…

Banana and Chicken Curry

3 bananas peeled

2 T Olive Oil

1/2  t salt

3 chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

1 t chopped garlic

1 T minced ginger

1 1/2 T curry powder ( I used a Sri Lankin mix but any would work)

1 jalapeno chopped

2 c chicken broth

1 c diced carrots

1/2 t cayenne papper ( optional)

2 T chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400

Place bananas on a baking pan and drizzle with 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt, cook for 7-10 minutes

 

In a large pot or dutch oven add 1 T olive oil, chicken garlic, ginger and jalapeno, cook until chicken is brown. Add cooked bananas, and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash. Add curry powder, cayenne, carrots and chicken broth, stir together, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stir in chopped cilantro and serve over rice.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

 

Try this new twist with ground meat, Turkey , Beef, Chicken or Pork would work. A great alternative to the ho-hum Hamburger Helper, this dish tastes fresh, light and a little spicy. Adjust the heat to your liking by the amount of jalapeno you use.If your not an eggplant fan try zucchini or butternut squash instead.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

2 T Olive Oil

1.5 lbs ground meat (Turkey, Chicken,Beef or Pork)

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed

3 cups cubed eggplant, ( skin off or on)

1 jalapeno minced (adjust to your spice preference)

2 T minced ginger

1T minced garlic

1-2 T green curry paste (found in Asian section of supermarket)

1 can coconut milk

1t lime zest

1T lime juice

1 T chopped mint

1 T chopped cilantro

Brown ground meat in a large pan over high heat, add 1 T of olive oil if using turkey or chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while browning. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 T oil to the pan, add eggplant, green beans, jalapeno, ginger and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Move vegetables to the sides of the pan and add green curry paste to the middle. cook for about 2 more minutes. Add can of coconut milk, and lime juice and zest and stir.

 

Add ground meat back in and stir. Simmer with cover on for about 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and eggplant and beans are tender. Add fresh herbs (Mint and Cilantro) and stir. Serve with lime wedges and more fresh herbs if desired.

*If using zucchini, cook time will be shorter, if using butternut squash cook time will be longer.