Friday, September 21, 2012

Crispy Beef & Black Bean Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce

We both loved these baked burritos! I loved that they were super easy and fast to whip up. This recipe also makes quite a bit so it stretched into leftovers easily. Because they are are baked until crispy, the leftovers don't get soggy and they hold up well to the sauce. While poblanos can be spicy, they have a great smoky flavor that I love. By removing the seeds, and pairing them with a cool sour cream sauce, you come away with the flavor of the poblano without burning your mouth off.

The burrito filling is really versatile and you really can throw in anything you like in your burrito. Use ground turkey instead, or pinto beans, throw in some corn, whatever you like!

Crispy Beef & Black Bean Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, or cheese of your preference
Flour tortillas (I used a package of 12 burrito size)
Cooking spray
2 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons butter
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup chicken broth (preferably room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ and lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through, then drain off any fat if necessary. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Stir in the beans, water and spices and add salt to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Place about 2 tablespoons of cheese at the end of each tortilla. Top with a generous amount of the beef and bean mixture. Roll into a burrito by folding the left and right sides in and then rolling away from you. Place the burrito seam-side down on the baking sheet and repeat process with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling. Lightly spray with cooking spray, then bake for about 20 minutes until the tortillas are golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Roast the poblanos, either directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, until the skin is charred. Place in gallon size food storage bag until cool enough to handle. Peel the peppers, remove the stem and seeds and dice.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once butter has melted, whisk in flour and cook for an additional minute, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then add the poblano peppers. Continue to simmer, whisking frequently, until sauce has thickened. Stir in the sour cream and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, then spoon sauce over the burritos.

Source: Cook Like a Champion

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Canned tuna is way underrated. It's almost like people are embarassed they like it. Though I'm not sure why... I adore a good ol' tuna salad sandwich. Canned tuna really is more versatile than just a cold salad sandwich ingredient. Matter of fact, not too long ago I made a fried tuna po boy that was delicious! This was the first time I've used it in a pasta dish and it was delicious!

This recipe is a really great weeknight meal. It's hearty, easy, inexpensive, and fast. The original source of this recipe is actually from an italian cookbook from the 60s!

If you like tuna, I think you'll like it featured in this pasta dish.

*be sure you use tuna in olive oil, not water!

Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 pound pasta shells
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 6-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
A generous 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat and add the can of tomatoes, including the juice. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Once the sauce is cooking, heat a large pot of well salted water to a strong boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook at a vigorous boil, uncovered, until al dente (cooked through but still a bit firm to the bite). Drain and set aside.

Pour off the excess oil from the tuna can and stir the tuna into the tomato sauce. Add the ricotta cheese, and add salt to taste. Turn off the heat. Mix the sauce with the pasta in a large bowl. Mix in the basil.

Pour the pasta into a 2 to 3-quart casserole dish and top with the parmesan cheese. Put under a hot broiler for 4-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Source: Simply Recipes

Friday, September 7, 2012

Melon Mojito Fish Tacos

I was frantically trying to capture the last few minutes of the setting sun and while I was successful in getting a picture, thanks to the lack of sunshine, it doesn't appear near as colorful and appealing as it does in real life. It's human nature to be attracted to "pretty" foods and this one doesn't disappoint! Purple and green are always gorgeous together, and even more gorgeous when you can take a bite out of it!

If you're a fan of mojitos, I guarantee you'll love these tacos. Bright, fresh, colorful, and perfect for a warm summer night. The fact that you can throw it together quickly is the icing on the cake!

Melon Mojito Fish Tacos
For the fish:
1 pound firm white fish (I used cod)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa: 
1 cup finely chopped honeydew melon
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon light rum
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:
Corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage (1/4th of a large cabbage)

Place fish in a small baking dish. Whisk together garlic, rum, lime juice, lime zest, mint, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over fish, spooning the herbs and garlic on top of the fish. Set aside and let marinate 10-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare salsa by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and stirring together.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Spray grates with cooking spray.

Place fish on grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, covered, turning once. Fish is done with it flakes easily and is opaque in the center. Remove from grill and wrap with foil to keep warm.

Place tortillas on the grill and cook for about 60 seconds per side, until browned and slightly crisp.

Slice fish into pieces and divide among the warm tortillas. Top with cabbage and salsa.

Source: Cara's Cravings

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Honey-Rum Baked Black Beans

Over the summer, I traveled to Honduras on a mission trip with 30+ other church members. It was an amazing and hard week. I shared about it in two parts (so far) if you want to check it out here and here. And while we did eat a lot of chicken, rice, and beans, these beans aren't Hondurian in any way, shape, or form. However, I still think of that trip when I think about this recipe because I read it in a magazine on the plane there, snapped a pic, and passed on the magazine to another person to enjoy. And since that trip, everytime I got through my phone pictures and see it there, waiting for me to make, I'm transported back to that flight.

Totally random, I know, but that's how my brain works.

Back to the beans. Baked beans, by nature, take awhile to make and usually a couple of steps (unless you cheat and go with canned instead of dry). But in my experience, they're always worth the effort. This is my first time making (or eating!) baked black beans and they were delicious! The chorizo adds a Mexican flare and a bit of spice.

The next time you're looking for sides at your BBQ, consider these for a change!

*Note: This recipe won't work with canned beans without changing the liquid amounts significantly.  

Honey-Rum Baked Beans
1 pound dried black beans, picked over
2 links chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 large Spanish onion
2 medium carrots
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup dark rum
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
In a large bowl, place beans and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Soak for 8 hours.
Drain beans, place in 8 quart saucepan, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer 1 to 1.5 hours or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Drain beans and place in large bowl.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Meanwhile, cut onion and carrots into a small dice. Finely chop garlic.

In a large skillet, heat oil on high. Add chorizo and cook until browned. Remove the cooked chorizo and add onion and carrots to the skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add rum and cook 3 minutes or until reduced by half.

Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the beans and add the honey, molasses, brown sugar, broth, barbecue sauce, chorizo, and 1/3 cup cilantro. Mix gently to combine and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a deep 2 to 2.5 quart baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover and bake 45 minutes longer.

*If at this point there is still too much liquid, transfer the mixture back to the stove top and let simmer until more of it cooks off.*

Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving.

Source: Good Housekeeping Magazine

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Stop! You, right there, about to click away because you don't like spicy foods! Don't blow this dish off due to fear of burning tastebuds. I feel your pain (quite literally, on many occasions). I'm a big spice wimp who steered clear of jalapeno poppers for years because I thought they were spicy. But they aren't. Really. Jalapenos, when removed of their ribs and seeds, are very mild and flavorful. And jalapenos stuffed with cheese and more cheese? Amazing.

Now, take the flavor of those little nuggets of goodness and stuff it into chicken that is breaded and baked. You want to try it now, right?

You definitely should.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese
1 tsp olive oil
4 jalapenos, chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
1 1/4 cup Panko
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp dry parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1 egg
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a cookie sheet with light spray of non-stick spray.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapenos and cook until softened. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cream cheese and shredded cheese, stir to combine.

Cut a pocket into the each chicken breast. Stuff each pocket with the cream cheese mixture. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

In a shallow dish, whisk the egg. In another shallow bowl, mix the Panko, taco seasoning, parsley, oregano, and salt. Dip each chicken breast in the egg then the Panko. Place the breaded chicken breast on the prepared cookie sheet. To help give the breading a deeper color, you can give each breast a little spray of oil.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear.

Source: Sunny Side Up

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