Mexican Benedict

April 27th, 2011

We have been away from home for the long holiday weekend.  While at my Daughter-in-Law’s sister’s home, Kim made a wonderful brunch for the crowd.  She and I poached the eggs for her Mexican take on eggs benedict.  It is a challenge to poach 12 eggs, but by the time we had gotten to the twelveth egg we were pros.  We poached 6 eggs at a time in a large skillet.  The 1/4 cup vinegar called for is enough for any number of eggs.  Vinegar in the water helps the egg whites stay together.  To make it easier to drop an egg into the simmering water, break it into a small shallow bowl first and then slip it into the water.

The recipe for the Mexican Benedict came from The Blue Plate Diner in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Dried black beans are cooked and seasoned before the dish is put together.  If you are in a hurry canned black beans could be substituted and seasoned according to the recipe.

Everyone enjoyed this and there was no pesky hollandaise sauce to deal with.  The topping of picante sauce and cheese was just right.  Kim topped the finished dish with sour cream, cilantro and guacamole.  The mojitos hit the spot also.


For 1 serving:
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 eggs
1 English muffin
1/4 cup Blue Plate Black Beans, heated
1/4 cup picante sauce, heated (such as Pace)
3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons shredded provolone cheese
1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons sliced black olives (optional)
2 sprigs cilantro
1 tablespoon guacamole

1. Fill a deep skillet with water ( 3 inches deep ), add vinegar and bring to simmer over medium heat.  Heat broiler.
2. Crack eggs into simmering water and cook until desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Split and toast English muffin.  Place on an ovenproof plate.
4. Remove poached eggs from water with slotted spoon and place one egg on each half of muffin.
5.  Spoon black bean mixture over eggs.  Spoon picante sauce over black beans.  Sprinkle top with shredded cheeses and place under broiler until melted.
6 Remove from broiler and garnish with sour cream olives, cilantro and guacamole.


1 cup dry black beans
3 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles
1/4 cup diced white onions
1/4 cup picante sauce (such as Pace)
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place beans in a colander and rinse well.  Place in large saucepan, add water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.
Makes 2 cups

Printable recipe

Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa

January 18th, 2011

I would make this dish again just for the charred tomato salsa.  We have been eating light since the first of the month, but every once in a while I get a desire for Mexican food.  Most of my recipes for Mexican dishes are heavy on the cheese and sour cream.  My good friend Maxine has been passing on her Cooking Light  magazines to me and I found this recipe for a lightened up Mexican casserole.  It add lots of vegetables, a homemade tomato salsa, chicken instead of beef and less of the cheese and corn tortillas.

I did make some changes to the recipe.  I had two turkey thighs that I simmered in some water and taco seasonings instead of the chicken breasts.  If you were pressed for time you could even substitute a rotisserie chicken.  The recipe also calls for 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese which is not one of my favorites so I eliminated that and added a little more of the Monterey Jack.  I used black beans instead of corn only because I had no corn in the freezer like I had assumed.

The charred tomato salsa uses plum tomatoes which are easy to find this time of year, a jalepeno pepper, onion and garlic.  It is easy to assemble and would be good on it’s own with tortilla chips.  For the original recipe you can go to the Cooking Light website.  Here is my version.


8 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 seeded jalapeno pepper, quartered
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh or frozen corn ( I used black beans)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken ( I used turkey thighs )
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

I halved this recipe successfully.

Preheat broiler.  To prepare salsa, combine first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once.  Remove from oven; cool slightly.  Place tomato mixture in a food processor; add cilantro, lime juice, and pepper.  Process again.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.  Add 1 cup onion, zucchini, and bell pepper; saute 6 minutes or until tender.  Add black beans and chicken and next five ingredients; saute 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa ove the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange half of tortillas over salsa.  Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas.  Top with 3/4 cup salsa.  Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese.  Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas, and ending with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Yield; 8 servings. 

Printable recipe 

Tex-Mex Calzones

October 11th, 2010

For an easy Sunday night supper these calzones were great.  David got home from his two week motorcycle trip a few pounds heavier, even though he had little opportunity to stop at his Diners, Drivers and Dives.  We both decided that lighter fare was in order.  I adapted this recipe from one in Cooking Light magazine.

The main change I made to the recipe was using a block of extra sharp cheddar that I grated myself.  So many recipes call for pre-grated cheese and I really don’t like buying cheese this way.  It doesn’t have as much flavor and it does not last as long.

It calls for a tube of thin pizza crust and I do find this useful when I don’t want to bother making my own pizza dough.  It uses lean turkey breast meat and lots of flavor is added with spices and salsa verde.  I will be making this again and I see lots of opportunites to play with the ingredients.  Give it a try.


8 ounces ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add ground turkey to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble.  Add onion and next 5 ingredients to pan;  cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring mixture occasionally.  Remove turkey mixture from heat; stir in salsa.

Unroll dough; divide into 4 equal portions.  Working with one rectangle at a time, spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture on one side of dough.  Top with 3 tablespoons of cheese; fold dough over turkey mixture, and press edges together with a fork to seal.  Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Repeat procedure with remaining dough and turkey mixture.  Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.  Serve with the sour cream.

Taco Salad with a Difference

March 13th, 2010

This has got to be the most refreshing salad I have ever tasted. Most taco salads are loaded with fat from all the cheese and ground beef. There is no cheese in this salad and it calls for ground turkey instead of ground beef. To be honest with you, I can live without the cheese. I have never been a big cheese eater and most of the time I find myself in a distinct minority. In place of the cheese you have a wonderful yogurt dressing flavored with lime juice and cilantro. The salad is further enhanced with mango, black beans tomatoes and corn. Taco salads are usually served in a huge taco shell and although I love the taste of the shell it is usually way too much to eat. In this case, corn tortillas are cut into wedges and baked until crisp. They give just the right amount of bite to the dish.

The only complaint I got about the dish from David was that he would have preferred it for a lunch instead of Friday night dinner. He is kind of like Ina Garten’s Jeffery; Friday night dinner should be a roast chicken or some other special treat. He is getting his roast chicken tonight.

I found this recipe in The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook; The New Classics. The cookbook was $6.99 at T.J. Maxx. I’m glad I found the cookbook and the recipe. It is a keeper and I will definitely be making it often for lunch and light suppers . . . just not on Fridays.


1 cup of frozen corn, cooked
3 corn tortillas, each cut into 16 wedges
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 limes and their zests
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 thick wedges
1/2 red onion, sliced ( I put the slices in ice water for a while to eliminate the strong onion taste)
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes

Cook the frozen corn in a small saucepan with a little water until done. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the tortilla wedges in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until crisp, turning once about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; let cool, and set aside.

Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, juice from 1 lime, zest of 1 lime, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium nonstick skillet, brown the turkey over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, juice of other lime, and lime zest. I added a little salsa just to keep it moist.

Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the lettuce, beans, tomatoes, onion, mango, and reserved corn. Toss to combine well. Drizzle with yogurt dressing and top with tortilla wedges. Serve immediately.

Serves 6. 233 calories. 4 Weight watchers points.

Easy Taco Casserole

November 20th, 2009

Life has been a little busy around here lately. We have had company. We have family coming next week for Thanksgiving and after being closed up for six months, the house needs attention. There has not been much time for creative cooking. One of my favorite easy meals is this taco casserole which has variations which I have blogged about before. It is one of those recipes that you can make your own and throw together at a moment’s notice. You can buy a Taco kit, but this is just as quick and much better for you. Make any substitutions that you want and you will be happy that you did not have to rely on a packaged mix.


1 lb ground turkey ( Or substitute ground beef)
1 onion, chopped
1 8 oz can Tomato Puree
1 8 oz bottle Taco Sauce
1 envelope reduced sodium Taco seasoning
Chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin to taste
4 8″ whole wheat flour tortillas
6 oz or more cheese of choice, shredded

Brown turkey in a little olive oil with chopped onion until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomato puree and taco sauce. Season with herbs and spices. Cook for 1/2 hour on low heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 9 ” pie plate with cooking oil. Add one flour tortilla and cover with 1/4 of sauce. Top with 1/4 of cheese. Repeat three times. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, or anything that you like.

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