Thursday, August 28, 2014

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Sticky sweet lime chicken and loads of shredded cheese are stuffed into warm flour tortillas, rolled, and baked in a creamy green sauce until bubbling. This weeknight meal is one of our favorite enchilada recipes to date!

I think I've eaten enchiladas 4 million times in my 30 something years on earth. We are Tex Mex addicts and enchiladas are just a staple in our diet. I really love them all. Sour cream, chili con carne, chili con queso, Tex Mex chili, ranchero, tomatillo, mole, red, boom boom (thanks, Chuys!)... any sauce you put on them, I'm gonna love it. This creamy green sauce is very mild and would be a hit even among picky eaters. Thanks to the use of prepared enchilada sauce, it's also super easy!

This recipe uses the greatness that is the grocery store rotisserie chicken. The chicken filling is simple and delicious - honey, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder. It creates this citrusy sweet and sticky chicken that is amazing alongside the slightly tangy sauce and gooey melted cheese.

Flour or corn tortillas? Corn is traditional for enchiladas - and amazing - but I don't have access to good corn tortillas here in North Carolina so I reach for (or make) flour tortillas. The upside is that they roll easier but the downside is that they are higher in calories. I think either way is a winner!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups boneless skinless rotisserie chicken meal, shredded
8-10 fajita size flour tortillas, or corn tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk

Whisk together the honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken and mix well. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (preferably longer!).

Preheat oven to 350.

Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.

Assemble the enchiladas by filling tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese. Reserve the remaining marinade and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. *if using corn tortillas, you'll need to wrap them in a kitchen towel and microwave in small batches to make them pliable for rolling. They will only need 15 seconds or so to warm enough but cool off quickly. 

Mix together the leftover marinade, remaining enchilada sauce, and evaporated milk. Pour over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy on top.

Source; adapted from Stephanie Cooks

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp with Israeli Couscous, Mango, and Zucchini

The perfect end of summer dish! Marinated grilled shrimp is tossed with Israeli couscous and grilled mango and zucchini. Only one pot needed and done in just minutes thanks to your grill!

This dish was by far my favorite meal of the past couple of months. The char on the zucchini and mango, the flavor burst in each shrimp, and my favorite carb - Israeli couscous - came together in one easy summer meal that tasted restaurant quality... and was beautiful to boot!

Ignore all the pumpkin posts rolling out in August - grab some fresh summer produce and savor the season before it ends! :)

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp with Israeli Couscous, Mango, and Zucchini
For the shrimp:
1.5 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the couscous:
2 cups Israeli couscous
1 mango
1 medium zucchini
Vegetable oil, for brushing
2.5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and place in a large ziptop bag. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the remaining shrimp ingredients. Pour over top of the shrimp, seal, refrigerate, and let marinate for 20 minutes (no more or your shrimp will turn into ceviche!).

Preheat your grill to medium-high.

In a medium pot over medium-low heat, toast the dry couscous, stirring often, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the toasted couscous to a small bowl and set aside.

Peel the mango and cut off slices each 1/2 inch thick (you should be able to get 4 slices). Slice the zucchini lengthwise into sticks about 3 inches long. Brush the mango and zucchini with vegetable oil on both sides and grill until charred and tender, 6-8 minutes. Let cool slightly and then cut into 1/2 inch chunks.

In the medium pot you used to toast the couscous, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the toasted couscous, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the diced mango, diced zucchini, butter, and parsley. Cook for 1 minute. Taste and add salt pepper if desired. Keep warm.

Skewer the marinated shrimp and grill until just cooked through, 2 minutes per side.

Serve shrimp on top of couscous.

Source: "In My Kitchen" by Ted Allen

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cajun Chicken Pasta (Chili's Copycat)

If you like Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta, you'll love this copycat version! Cajun spiced chicken is sliced and nestled in creamy Alfredo sauce - weeknight friendly and crowd pleasing.

Occasionally, we order Chili's take-out. It's convenient and frankly, darn tasty! I'm a total sucker for their chips and queso (my copycat version here!) but occasionally venture beyond the carb & cheese bonanza and order a dignified meal. Like cheesy pasta. Ha!

Their Cajun chicken pasta has been on the menu for years - and for good reason! It's tasty! My Chili's is now charging $11.29 for a bowl of this pasta and you can make it for the entire family for much less than that. And, it's quick and easy for a weeknight!

Not a fan of spice? Just decrease the Cajun seasoning - it'll still have loads of flavor. 

Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta
8 ounces dried penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and set aside.

Place the chicken in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag. Add Cajun seasoning, seal, and shake to coat chicken evenly.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add chicken and saute, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Remove from skillet and thinly slice.

In a separate skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in heavy cream and let cook until thickened and smooth, another 5 minutes. Stir in lemon pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. 

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir well. 

You can either add the cooked chicken slices right into the pasta (what I did) or top each serving with it. 

Serve with chopped tomatoes and shredded Parmesan on top. 

Source: adapted from

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cheesy Taco Stuffed Poblanos

I'm BACK!!

This summer has been especially wild and I can count on one hand the amount of dinners I cooked at home over the last 2.5 months. This humble blog is my hobby, born entirely out of my love for cooking and new recipes, so it sorta comes to a screeching halt when I don't have time to spend on cooking. My last major summer activity ended last week and I have loved being in the kitchen the last few nights.

These stuffed peppers was one of the few meals I made over the summer and man, were they are a hit! Mild poblano peppers are the PERFECT vehicle for taco meat and cheese. They are so tasty you won't miss the carbs!

Summer may be winding down but we have plenty of grilling weather left so crank up the grill and treat yourself to a plate of these. They aren't spicy - I promise - just flavorful and delicious.

Cheesy Taco Stuffed Poblanos
8 large poblano peppers
1 pound ground beef
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons taco seasoning + 1/2 cup water

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until the water has fully absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Carefully cut the top off each pepper so it can be put back on the pepper like a cap. Be careful to not cut into the pepper.

Remove and discard the seeds and membranes from inside the peppers and the cap.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly grease the grates.

Divide the cheese and meat into 8 equal portions. Layer the cheese and meat inside the peppers, ending with a layer of cheese. Put the cap back on each pepper and secure with toothpicks.

Grill the peppers, rotating every 5 minutes or so, until the exterior is well charred, the cheese is melted, and the flesh is soft.

Source: See Aimee Cook

See Aimee Cook

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