Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

I made these tonight and they were oh, so good!  I recommend these to anyone who likes buffalo wing sauce as much as I do!  Mmm, we'll definitely be making these more often!
Time: About 40 min

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
14 ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/3 cup [I used about 3/4 c, but I like spicy!!] buffalo wing sauce [I use Frank's]
5 chopped green onions, divided
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 large whole wheat tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese [I personally don't like bleu cheese, so I used a lot less]
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 glass dish with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together enchilada sauce and slowly mix in buffalo wing sauce... stopping to taste and adjust as you go.  I used about 3/4 cup wing sauce, but we like it spicy! Use as little, or as much as you like.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together shredded chicken, half of the green onions, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce mixture and stir until combined.

Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the prepared glass baking dish and spread mixture to the edges.  Working with one tortilla at at time, fill with 1/4 of the chicken mixture.  Roll the tortilla and place it seam-side down in the dish.  Once all tortillas are filled, pour the remaining enchilada/buffalo sauce on top of tortillas and add the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce its bubbling. Immediately after taking enchiladas out of the oven, top with gorgonzola cheese, cilantro, and the remaining onions.

Serve immediately!

[Store any remaining sauce in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, and use if reheating leftover enchiladas.]

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

These are so heavenly!  A combination of my favorites-- strawberries and cheesecake.  Oh wow, I could really eat a million of them!  So good!  Although I would advise eating them soon after making them [or at least the same day].  The second time I made these, I saved quite a few for the next few days, and even just the next day, they weren't nearly as good.  Definitely best fresh!  Mmm...
Time:  About 20 min

1 lb large strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat)
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar (4 tbsp for a sweeter filling)
1 tsp vanilla extract
graham cracker crumbs

Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry.  Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, if necessary (some may already be hollow inside).  Prep all strawberries and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy.  Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or ziploc with the corner snipped off.  Fill strawberries with cheesecake mixture. Once strawberries are filled, dip the top in graham cracker crumbs.  If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving. 

Frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Pie

Can I just tell you...  This is even better than it looks.  Oh my goodness.  I made this with a friend for another friend's [his gf] birthday and we had a blast making them!  They are really fun to make, and even more fun to eat!  Makes either one 9 inch pie or three 4 inch mini pies.  Yep, I'm definitely making these again this weekend...
Time:  About 25 min [NOT including freeze time!]

24 oreo cookies, crushed
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ cups Cool Whip
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup confectioner sugar
½ cup crushed Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Oreo Crust
Place Oreos in a food processor or blender and pulse until cookies are finely crumbed. Alternatively, place Oreos in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Mix in the melted butter and then firmly press crumbs into pan to create a crust. Bake crust at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes.

Reese Peanut Butter Pie Filling:
Place peanut butter and confectioner sugar in a pan over low heat and stir until combined and peanut butter is melted. Set aside for five minutes to cool. Gently fold in peanut butter mixture into Cool Whip until combined. Gently fold in crushed Reese’s pieces into peanut butter Cool Whip mixture. 

Pour mixture into Oreo crust and freeze for 3 hours. Garnish with caramel and chocolate drizzle (for added decadence rim with chopped Reese’s pieces).

Penne Pasta w/ Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce

We loved this pasta!  I'm not a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes but I really liked this recipe.  And so super easy too!  We'll definitely make this again.
Time:  About 20 min

2 cups (8 oz.) dry penne pasta 
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (about 1/3 cup) 
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded Italian-style four-cheese blend 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions, adding sun-dried tomatoes to boiling pasta water for last two minutes of cooking time; drain.

Meanwhile, combine evaporated milk, cheese, basil, garlic powder and pepper in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to cheese sauce; stir until combined. 

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Seriously my all time favorite grilled cheese sandwiches...  I mean, EVER!  They're a little more complicated and take a little longer than an average grilled cheese, but I swear to you, they are so worth the time!  Mmmmmmmmm.......
Time: About 40 min

Ingredients [for ONE sandwich]:
2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled

Place the peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.  Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 8-14 minutes.  Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.  Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.

Butter the outside of each slice of bread and spread the cream cheese on the inside. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the cream cheese of one slice of bread, top with the jalapenos, crumbled tortilla chips, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add the sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I made this soup for a nice Sunday dinner with a friend and it was way good!  You can't really go wrong with chicken enchilada soup.  And the jalapenos made it that much better!  Definitely a fan of this one.  And although I made this on the stove top, apparently you can make it in the crock pot... So even that much better!
Time: About 1 hour 30 min (on stove top)

3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

In a large pot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken, shred into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Stove top: Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer about 30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add cotija cheese and half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup and cook about 20 more minutes until desired consistency.

Crock pot: To cook in a crockpot, add all ingredients (including the chicken stock you used to cook the chicken, but besides the cooked chicken itself and cheese) to the crock pot and cook on low; the longer the better, but at least 3 hours. Add chicken and cheese about 30 minutes before serving.

If soup isn't as thick as desired, you can add strips of flour tortillas. They will dissolve into the soup to thicken the broth. Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved pepperjack cheese and cilantro if desired.

Penne with Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Butter

I made this tonight...  And I can absolutely say this might be one of my new favorites!  It is SO good!  The roasted asparagus I really could have eaten by itself, it was so good and salty...  MMM!  And if you like balsamic vinegar, you'll like it even more. The only things I would have changed would to maybe not put quite as much salt (and I like salt), and put a LOT more asparagus in!  ;)
Time: About 30-40 min.

1 pound asparagus 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper 
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar 
1 pound penne 
1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces 
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving 

Heat the oven to 400°. 

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.

Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.