Saturday, March 28, 2020

Tortilla Coated Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about chicken enchiladas, but didn’t want the traditional style chicken filling in the tortilla....


Then it hit me.  Pound the chicken thin, and fill with cheese.....a low/no carb lovers dream....then I was like....coat the chicken with ground tortillas!!! (Cause I refuse to jump on the carb haters train!)


After deciding the ingredients that I wanted in the enchiladas.  I wrote them down, and emailed one of my “recipe reviewers” to which I was immediately met with, “there’s no amounts”. Ugh.  I was in phase one of the recipe, once that was understood, she asked when she could come over to help test.  So I placed it on the menu, and invited her over.  While I was making the recipe, she took notes for me, and of course offered suggestions. Here is what we came up with:




Tortilla Coated Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded very thin
  • 2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
  • Dry enchilada seasoning (see below)
  • 10 oz cotija cheese, grated
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (loosely packed)
  • 1 (7oz can) diced green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 28 oz enchilada sauce

ENCHILADA SEASONING:

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

Directions

  1. Mix together dry enchilada seasoning, set aside.
  2. In a food processor, finely grind tortilla chips. Toss ground chips with 2 tbsp dry enchilada seasoning in a shallow bowl.
  3. Mix cream cheese with cilantro, green chilies, a few pinches of enchilada seasoning, cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the crumbled cotija. 
  4. Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and lightly pound chicken until very thin(1/4 inch). Place 1/4 of the cheese mixture on one end of the chicken breast. Roll up breast and coat with tortilla mixture. Continue with the remaining chicken breasts.
  5. Place a light coating of enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 9x13 pan. Place the prepped chicken breast on the sauced pan and spoon a small amount of sauce on top of each breast. Top with cotija cheese. 
  6. Bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. 
  7. Serve with rice and beans, if you choose. 
   


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Instant Pot Chicken Pho

Instant Pot Chicken Pho 



About 5 years ago my husband went to Vietnam with a charity organization. After about 5 days into his month long trip, he was sick of the noodle soup they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We all know this as Pho (Fa). He quickly switched to French bread and Brie. And that became his morning routine. Now understand, he really isn’t a soup fan, which kills me, as soup is one of the best food groups. 


Having lived in Seattle for 20 years, it was only about 6 months ago, after I had moved back to Portland, that I became obsessed with Pho. And according to recommendations, I tried the best in Portland first. I just can’t get enough of this delicious soup. The smell. The taste. I am in love with Pho. 


So fast forward to last weekend, I was searching my blog-mosphere and found an Instant Pot Pho recipe. It was Paleo (which doesn’t matter to me either way), and I decided to try it for dinner. I knew Craig wasn’t going to go for it, so I wrote “Chicken Soup” on the menu calendar. 


Only after dinner, did I tell him that it was Pho, he was like it was “very good”. Now, He keeps those glowing reviews to a minimum, as I’ve put previously “raved reviewed” recipes on the regular rotation and spoiled a good thing. 


Here is the recipe I used: (inspired by Nom Nom Paleo)


Instant Pot Chicken Pho


Ingredients

For the broth

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 inch fresh ginger peeled, thickly sliced, and bruised (I used a good squirt of squeeze ginger)
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and thickly sliced
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 small red apple peeled, cored, and cut into thumbnail-size chunks
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • A few light splashes of Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sambal Oleck (garlic chili paste) 
  • Cheese cloth

For the bowls

  • Glass noodles, or thin Asian spaghetti. 
  • ½ small yellow onion thinly sliced against the grain and soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • Carrots, Julienned (1/4 cup per bowl)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Toss the coriander seeds and cloves in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot (or place a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat) and toast the spices for several minutes, shaking or stirring, until fragrant. Throw in the ginger and onion and stir everything until aromatic, 45 to 60 seconds.
  2. Pour in 4 cups of the water to stop the cooking process. Carefully place the chicken in the cooker, breast side up.
  3. Add the apple, cilantro, salt, and remaining 3 cups water.
  4. Press the Cancel/Keep Warm button, lock the lid in place, and make sure the valve on top is in the sealed position. Press the Manual button and set the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 14 minutes.
  5. When done, turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure decrease naturally for 20 minutes. Set a timer and if the pressure hasn’t completely released when it dings, turn the valve at the top to quickly vent the remaining. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  6. Wait another 5 minutes before using tongs to transfer the chicken to a large bowl; if parts fall off in transit, don’t stress. Add cold water to cover the chicken and soak for 10 minutes to cool and prevent drying. Reserve the water to fill the pot when reassembling the broth, partially cover, and set the chicken aside to cool.
  7. Skim some fat from the broth, before straining it through a cheese cloth lined strainer positioned over a large bowl. Discard the solids. You should end up with about 7 cups broth. Replace broth back in IP pot. 
  8. If using right away, season the broth with the fish sauce and Sambal Oleck. Turn the cooker on slow cooking for 4-6 hours, or pressure to bring back up to temp. Or, partially cover the unseasoned broth and let cool, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months; reheat and season before using.
  9. Use a knife or your hands to separate the breast meat and legs from the chicken. Set aside half of the chicken for another use. Reserve the remaining chicken for pho bowl assembly. The chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature to use.
  10. Prep and assemble the bowls. Cut or shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Discard the chicken skin. 
  11. Divide the noodles among four soup bowls. Top the noodles with carrots and shredded chicken.
  12. Check the broth flavor once more, adjust as needed. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl.
  13. Then garnish with onion, green onion, cilantro, basil, and sriracha if desired.  You can squeeze on fresh lime juice, too. Serve immediately!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wraps

I get asked all the time, “what do you cook in an air fryer?” And I’m usually a little stumped, because you can cook ANYTHING in an air fryer. Basically it’s a small convention oven. You can fry, roast and even bake. 

I’ve done all the fried things, tots, fries, wings, fish for tacos, even a boneless turkey breast. Last summer Craig and I were working in the yard and I was thinking what’s a quick lunch I can throw together?  Then it hit me Buffalo Chicken Wraps. Now it’s a regular lunch on our days off!!

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wraps 
(Makes 4)

Ingredients:
  • 4 fully cooked frozen chicken tenders
  • 4 tortillas
  • 4 leaves of green leaves lettuce, cleaned and cold
  • Frank’s Buffalo wing sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Shredded cheddar
Instructions:
  1. Warm tenders in air fryer, until golden brown. (Shake basket to ensure consistent browning). Lay out tortillas and place cold lettuce on right hand side. 
  2. Place cooked chicken tender in a bowl and lightly cover with buffalo sauce (as you like). Toss to coat. 
  3. Place coated tender on lettuce, sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with ranch. 
  4. Fold tortilla over chicken lettuce mixture, then fold lower edge up and continue rolling to close. 
  5. Serve immediately. 





Tuesday, January 21, 2020

“Sous Vide” Egg Bites

We’ve all bought those little delicious Egg Bites at our favorite coffee shop on the corner or in our grocery store. They are so good, but man they cost a small fortune. Here is the recipe I use to recreate these morning tasty treats. 



Sous Vide Style/Instant Pot Egg Bites 

INGREDIENTS
4 Large Eggs
4 Bacon Strips, or 6 T of sausage (precooked is great!)
1.5 Cups Favorite Cheese 
½ Cup Cottage Cheese (can substitute sour cream)
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
½ tsp. Salt
Optional: Dash of Hot Sauce
Special equipment: Baby Food Mold (see pictures below)

INSTRUCTIONS-
Baby food mold method:
Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot followed by the trivet that came with your pot.
Cook the bacon utilizing your favorite method to cook bacon. Crumble and evenly distribute into the 7 forms. 
Add the eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, cream and salt to the blender and blend until smooth (about 15 seconds).
Add a dash of hot sauce if desired and blend for a few more seconds.
Divvy the egg mixture evenly into the 7 forms. 
Cover loosely with foil and place gently on the trivet in the Instant Pot.
Place the cover on the Instant Pot and select "Steam" and set to 8 Minutes.
NPR (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes and then quick release (QR) the rest.
Carefully remove the egg bites from the Instant Pot and let cool down for a few minutes.
Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to a week! Can also be frozen and microwaved to rewarm. 

INSTRUCTIONS-
Mason jar method:
Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot followed by the trivet that came with your pot.
Cook the bacon utilizing your favorite method to cook bacon. Crumble and evenly distribute into 4 mason jars.
Add the eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, cream and salt to the blender and blend until smooth (about 15 seconds).
Add a dash of hot sauce if desired and blend for a few more seconds.
Divvy the egg mixture evenly into 4 mason jars.
Cover each mason jar loosely with foil and place gently in the Instant Pot.
Place the cover on the Instant Pot and select "Steam" and set to 8 Minutes.
NPR (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes and then quick release (QR) the rest.
Carefully remove the egg bites from the Instant Pot and let cool down for a few minutes.
Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to a week!

Combination options:
Jarlsberg/Bacon
Monterey Jack/Chorizo
Feta/Spinach
Goat cheese/Chopped bell peppers






Friday, January 17, 2020

Chicken Chow Mein

I’m a huge fan of Asian cooking. All my life we’ve eaten Chinese Food, as I have gotten older, I’ve developed a fondness for Japanese food, Vietnamese and Thai.  Only recently have I tried Pho for the first time. I know, strange huh? And I LOVED it!

Anyhow, I always like to go back to what I would consider “the basics”. While I don’t usually follow a recipe, as I get a feel for the flavors I want and just go from their. Craig always asks me to write down what I do, or change in case he really likes it and wants me to make it again. So here is my version of Chow Mein.  

made with Tofu

Chicken Chow Mein 

Ingredients

Sauce and Marinade

2 tablespoons oyster sauce oyster sauce
3-4 tablespoons light soy sauce (not low sodium)
1-2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon low/no sodium rice wine vinegar 
1/8 teaspoon ground schewan pepper
1-2 tablespoons sambal Oleck
1 tablespoon water or more as needed to thin out sauce

For the noodles
6-8 ounces fresh chow mein or egg noodles
One boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs about 1/3 lb., cut into 1” chunks
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 garlic cloves minced
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage mixed cabbage slaw, bok choy or snap peas would work as well
1/3 cup shredded or julienned carrots
2 green onions cut into 2-inch length
1 can sliced Waterchestnuts, drained
1 can baby corn, cut
Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Measure out 1 tablespoon and drizzle over chicken in a separate bowl. Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package instructions and set aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok over medium high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until lightly brown. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for about 1 minute. Add cabbage and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted but still slightly crispy.

Add the noodles into the pan; give the reserved sauce a quick stir then pour over noodles. Use tongs to toss noodles to coat with sauce. Season with more salt, pepper or Sriracha and add more water to thin out sauce, as needed.

Stir in green onions, stirring for 30 seconds to combine then dish out and serve hot topped with sesame seeds.

For meal prep - divide into even portions in containers and store in fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat any leftovers in microwave or on stovetop.

Recipe Notes

*Chicken can be swapped out for turkey, beef or tofu.

*Broccoli, spinach, snap peas or bok choy can be used instead of cabbage