Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

April 11th, 2015

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 1

Mexican meals are so easy.  The ingredients are predictable; taco seasonings, cheese, sour cream, avocado, black beans, tortillas and tomatoes.  We have had a few warm days and a refreshing Mexican salad sounded like a great idea.  I found an excellent recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook.  It has a creamy dressing made with chipotle chile, lime juice, cilantro, seasonings and light sour cream that mellows the heat from the chiles.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 2V

The salad ingredients are simple.  You could use a rotisserie chicken if time is short.  But I had two boneless chicken breasts that I dusted with taco seasonings and sauteed until cooked through.  Also in the mix to dress the lettuce are red onions, cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans and corn.  I served a few corn chips on the side to be crumbled over the salad.

We are making progress on the cottage.  It makes me nervous when my surroundings are in chaos.  I like to be in control and am easily overwhelmed by the need to do everything at once when things are in disarray.  But I saw the light of day (literally) earlier this week and spent a sunny day with my blogging buddy Penny of the Comforts of Home.  We antiqued. . . . . . .

Screen Door 2015 1

It is always fun to visit The Screen Door in Asheville.  Love this vignette.  I am thinking of using chalk paint to transform one of my dressers like the one shown here.

Screen Door 2015 2

This is one of my favorite booths.  Lots of French linens, topiaries and antique posters.  After antiquing we dined . . . .

Fig 2015 1

 

It is a rite of passage for us to have lunch at our favorite French Bistro “Fig”.  We always try to eat on the patio.  The green grass is such a welcoming sight after a grey winter.  As is that lovely glass of Riesling.

Fig 2015 2

What a luncheon feast.  The other Penny (TOP) had PEI mussels with steak frites.  I had chicken schnitzel with white beans and greens in a flavorful red sauce.  We caught up with everything that has happened since we last saw each other last season.  It was a fun day under the warming sun.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 3

Hopefully we will all be experiencing warmer weather soon.  This salad is a good way to sit back and enjoy it.

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TACO SALAD (Cooking Light; the Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook )

Dressing:
2/3 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 2 breast halves)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked and cooled

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.  4 servings.

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Taco Pizzas

March 26th, 2015

Mexican Taco 1

This is my farewell post from Florida.  We are heading back to North Carolina on Friday.  It is a time for cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry.  It is also time for simple easy meals.  This recipe came from a new book by Ellie Krieger called Weeknight Wonders.  I love Ellie’s recipes because they are healthy and fairly uncomplicated.

Mexican Taco 2VI loved the crispy corn tacos, bean mixture and seasoned ground turkey.  I had to skip the corn called for because the freezer yielded only a sorry package of peas.  This has been a great meal to have on hand.  It has made one dinner and several lunches.

When we were in Sante Fe, New Mexico several years ago, we walked into an antique store and saw a whole set of Mexican pottery dinnerware.  I fell in love with it.  The platter pictured here is part of the set.  It was made in Patzcuaros, Mexico.  It is glazed so that it is food safe.  Now that we are selling the house I will have to part with the whole set.  Let me know if anyone is interested.  It will more than likely be a part of an Estate sale that we will have next year.

Mexican Taco 3I am looking forward to seeing you some time next week with news and recipes from Lake Lure.  Spring in the mountains is one of my favorite times of the year.

 

TACO PIZZAS (Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger)

8 small corn tortillas (6 inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 scallions
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound lean ground turkey
1 ear fresh corn or 2/3 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup canned low-sodium pinto beans
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 ounces pepper jack cheese (3/4 cup grated)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush the tortillas on both sides lightly with 1 tablespoon total of the oil.  Place them on 2 baking sheets and bake until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven, leaving the tortillas on the trays.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Thinly slice the scallions, keeping the dark greens separate, and mince the garlic.  Add the scallion whites and light green parts to the skillet and cook until translucent, 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute more.

Place half of the scallion-spice mixture in the bowl of a small food processor and set aside.  Add the turkey to the remaining scallion-spice mixture in the skillet and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until it is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, if using an ear of corn, cut the kernels off. Add the corn kernels and tomato sauce to the skillet, with the browned turkey and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain and rinse the pinto beans and add them, along with the broth, to the food processor.  Pulse until smooth, scraping the sides once or twice if necessary.  Grate the cheese.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture on each tortilla and top with about 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture.  Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of cheese on top and bake until the bean puree is warmed through and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with the scallion greens.  Cut each pizza into quarters with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and serve each with a dollop of the sour cream.

Printable Recipe

Warm Avocado and Corn Salad

July 13th, 2014

Avocado and Corn Dish 6 H

 

I have been missing in action for a while I know.  The family is here for a two week visit and we have been spending our time on the water, at the park and activities in Asheville.  We have been doing a lot of cooking but I have been too distracted to take pictures.  Last night my DIL Kristen made a Southwestern feast with chicken and bean tacos, guacamole, Mexican rice and this warm avocado and corn salad.

Avocado and Corn Salad 4CV

 

Friends of our kids are here with their three children for a few days.  Christobal is a well known wedding photographer and took the above picture for me.  We were working with incandescent lighting but his impressive camera compensated well.

Avocado and Corn Dish 3C

 

Kristen used fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, green onions and cilantro in this refreshing warm salad.  It was delicious with the tacos.  I am entering this salad in the Food 52 avocado recipe contest that is going on right now.  You may want to go to their site for some very interesting avocado recipes.

Avocado and Corn Dish 5C

 

Enjoy!

WARM AVOCADO AND CORN SALAD

5 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 large avocados, cubed
Optional additions; 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, smoked paprika, or pickled red onions

Heat butter and olive oil in skillet.  Add corn kernels and white parts of the green onions and cook for about 7 minutes.  Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice of the lime and remove from heat.  Add the cubed avocados.  Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green parts of the green onion and serve.  This is especially good with the addition of crumbled crisp bacon.

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Tortilla Pie

July 17th, 2012

I plan to continue my travel posts but decided to intersperse them with some recipes.  For you see, I am on a  mission.  We have a very busy Summer and Fall happening at the lake.  We have lots of company coming, including our large family for the Labor Day Weekend.  I am researching recipes that can be done ahead of time, can be frozen, are good in the crock pot, and just generally easy for me to prepare.  I am trying to eliminate chaos in the kitchen so that I can enjoy being with our guests as much as possible.

For an example, every Labor Day my DIL and I make BLTs for lunch.  When you have 14 plus people to feed that is a lot of bacon to fry, bread to toast and assembly to do.  This year I am making a big crock pot full of  pulled chicken with barbecue sauce.  Everyone can help themselves.  I will warm some buns and put out coleslaw and chips.  The  test chicken is in the crock pot right now.  I will post the recipe if it is a winner.

Another blogger is cooking for guests.  Mary of One Perfect Bite is visiting with her family which includes children.  This whole month she is featuring kid friendly, easy recipes to feed a crowd.  I have been following closely.  Mary always post great recipes.  This tortilla pie she featured on her blog is a winner.

This would make a great entree for the family coming with our Son and DIL later in September.  I can make several versions of the pie and pop them in the freezer.    This version is great with ground sirloin, corn, baby spinach and Monterey Jack cheese.   The Mom in the family is a vegetarian so I will make one of them with black beans instead of meat.   Served with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and lettuce it will be easy to get on the table after a busy day on the lake.

Thanks for a great recipe Mary.

TORTILLA PIE (From One Perfect Bite inspired by Martha Stewart)

4 four tortillas (10-inch)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 package (10 ounce) frozen corn kernels (shoepeg corn if possible)
1- 6 ounce package fresh baby spinach, torn into pieces
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan (use bottom of the pan as a guide).  For some reason my tortillas fit perfectly in the pan without trimming.  Lightly oil bottom and sides of pan.  Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cumin, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste.  Raise heat to medium-high; add beef and garlic.  Cook, breaking up meat with a spoon until no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add corn and spinach; stir until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.

3. Place one tortilla in the prepared pan.  Spreading evenly, top with 1 1/2 packed cups beef mixture, then 1/2 cup cheese.  Repeat with two more layers.  Top with last tortilla, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

4.  Bake pie until top is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.  Run knife around edge of pan; remove sides.  Using two wide metal spatulas, lift pie from bottom of pan, and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into wedges.  If desired, serve with cilantro and sour cream.  Yield 4 to 5 servings.

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Albondigas Soup

December 12th, 2011

I have been on a quest for new soup ideas this Fall and Winter.  I did a Spanish Cocido here and a Tortilla Soup here.  Now I have tried an Albondigas soup.  It is a Mexican meatball soup.  Albondigas means meatballs in Spanish.  The meatballs can be made from  ground beef alone, a combination of ground beef and chorizo sausage, or in this case, ground beef and ground pork.   They have cooked rice and bread in them to stretch the portions.  According to some sources fresh mint is a necessary flavor in the soup.  The broth is made from chicken stock flavored with vegetables such as carrots, onions, zucchini and tomatoes.  It is a very satisfying combination.

Speaking of vegetables,  I am so happy to be in Florida right now.  I went to the Flagler Beach Farmers’ Market last Friday.  Here are some of the images.

Colorful Peppers.

Local Farmers.

Red Bell Peppers priced at 2 for $1.00.  I spent $10.00 total and came home with 2 peppers, 5 ears of corn, 1 head of lettuce, 1 pound of green beans, an acorn squash, 3 tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, 5 limes and 2 lemons. 

You can add any vegetables that you have to this soup, but in this case, I followed the recipe from My Recipes for Grandma Salazar’s Albondigas Soup.  My fennel breadsticks went very well with it.

ALBONDIGAS SOUP

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup short-grain rice
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion, divided
1 1/4 cup white bread crumbed
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 tespoon salt
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground sirloin
2 large egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomato (or canned tomatoes, chopped)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth  ( I used more )
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pour water over rice, and let stand 20 minutes.  Drain.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add 1/2 cup onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse until couarse crumbs form.  Measure out 1 1/4 cups.  Combine rice, cooked onion, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cilantro, oregano, and next 5 ingredients, stirring well.  Shape mixture into 29 (1 inch) meatballs.  Chill 20 minutes.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add 10 meatballs, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.  Remove meatballs from pan; drain well on paper towels.  Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel.  Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining meatballs.  Return pan to heat.  Coat with cooking spray.  Add 1 1/2 cups onion, carrot and garlic to pan; saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in tomato and broth, bring mixture to a boil.  Add meatballs and mint to pan.  Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes.  Add zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan.  Cook 10 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.