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


  • 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


  • 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)


  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


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


  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!