Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Enchirito lasagna

I usually plan out my menu at the beginning of the week, typically sunday, but sometimes monday. Unfortunately for me I didn't plan my weekly menu. One thing I regret on days like today. I get a brain (excuse my language) fart. I usually have a very difficult time thinking what to make for dinner, when I've been so busy all day with my school stuff, the kids school stuff, housework, and running errands and the list goes on and on... I'm hopeful some of you can relate :) Well, Today I stood in my kitchen and had this blank stare on my face when the kids asked me what was for dinner. I couldn't think of anything, then I open the fridge and start saying things that are easy like spaghetti, meatloaf, spaghetti with meatballs, and one of my son says GRILLED CHEESE... I think to myself... that would use all the bread I've allotted for the boys lunches till payday. So NO... He then says "but we haven't had that in a LLLOOONNNGG time..." (picture puppy dog eyes and a big fat lower lip) of course I still said NO but I knew that he still wouldn't be too happy, so I turned and walked to the pantry. Trying to avoid the conversation as to why not. So I start thinking of what I have in the fridge and what I have in the pantry, and then what I have in Food Storage. What can I make...? I think and think and think. Then I decide on Enchirito's Well, I didn't want to use country sausage or turkey sausage, and then I remembered I had bbq pork, (which might be good) or chicken from the baked chicken from Thursday last week. or was it friday... anyways, it's still good. So I decide on chicken. So we are going to have chicken enchirito's... Then I remember my sister makes this layered enchilada stuff instead of rolling the tortillas. So I had an "AH HA!" moment... I will make a layered enchiritio with refried beans, a chicken mixture with cheese and enchilada sauce. Now doesn't that sound yummy.... All the while I'm trying to see what I can add to the dish to increase the vegetable intake without having to make a side dish. (too many dishes already dirty) I need a one dish meal. So I scrounge up some onions, a can of rotel tomatoes with green chili's, and mushrooms. I thought about some fresh spinach or celery, but then thought, it's a mexican type dish, these don't really go. So I ditched those two items. YEAH me... I think these would be good.  Well, I at least hope they will be good, if not it's still dinner.

So bare with me as I threw stuff in a bowl, and I didn't measure. these are estimates, you can use less if it looks like too much of one thing, and more of something if it looks too little.  Sorry, That is how I cook sometimes, by sight, taste and smell.

aprox. 3-4 cups cubed already cooked chicken
1 can rotel tomatoes with green chili's
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can refried beans with chili's and lime
1/4 of a red onion, diced (or minced) personal preference
4 button mushrooms no stems chopped
4 bella portabello mushrooms, no stems chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 -3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
14 flour tortilla's 6 inch (small) tortillas

In a medium bowl, mix together the cubed chicken, tomatoes, red onion, chopped mushrooms, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. mix well, incorporating all ingredients.

Next, in a 13 X9X2 inch pan, spray with non stick cooking spray, and pour 1/2 of the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Then, spread some of the refried beans on tortilla's and layer on the bottom of the pan, enough to cover the bottom. * NOTE: you may need to rip some of the tortilla's in half to cover the bottom, I had two full tortillas on the bottom and 4 halves. Place the refried bean side down in the enchilada sauce.

Then spoon half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese.

Repeat one more layer, Refried bean on tortilla, refried bean side down on the cheese, then spread the chicken mixture on top of the tortilla, then cover with cheese.

Now, layering 6 flour tortillas on top of the cheese (no refried beans should be left in the can). Then top with the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Cover with foil, sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake in a 350F oven until heated through aprox 45 minutes, then remove the foil, and bake another 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese.

Let set about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwich with fresh spinach

Today was my first day subbing at my children's school. I didn't want  the ham and cheese I was sending my children with for lunch today, so I made myself some chicken salad with fresh spinach. I had leftover chicken from my chicken cooked last night. I thought it would make a great chicken salad sandwich.

Makes 2-3 sandwiches

1/2 a slice of red onion - diced
2 dollops of salad dressing/mayo
1/2 - 3/4 cup cooked chicken, chunky diced
1-2 Tbsp Ms. Dash
8-10 leaves of fresh spinach
4-8 slices roma tomatoes
2 -4 slices of bread (any type)

In a small bowl, combine the diced onion, mayo, chicken, and ms, dash. Lightly toss, incorporating all ingredients while leaving chicken chunks. On 2 slices of bread spread some of the chicken salad mixture. Next layer the Roma tomatoes, and spinach. (use the spinach in place of lettuce). Place another slice of bread on the top of the tomatoes and spinach and cut in half, and enjoy! this is a tasty and healthy alternative.

You can use low fat mayo and even cut it in half. The spinach adds a nice flavor and gives you more essential vitamins than lettuce.  This was a satisfying lunch sandwich that really was tasty :) I really enjoyed the flavor.  I forgot to take a picture of it as I was running late. And lunch was rushed... If you try it, submit a picture of your sandwich. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak

I had bought some cube steak this week. I thought they were fairly cheap, and if I could find a new recipe to use then I'd be a real winner. I think tonight is a winning recipe. At least my family thinks so. I searched online for cube steak recipes. Then a friend of mine said that she makes stroganoff and chicken fried steak with cube steak. That got me thinking, I Love chicken fried steak, but I have never made it from scratch. I read a few recipes of how others made chicken fried streak. Then I was off after my husband got me some buttermilk. That seemed to be the common thread with most of the recipes. So I hope you like what I made for dinner tonight, my husband and my kiddo's loved it!

2 lbs of cube steak
2-3 cups of flour plus 3-4 Tbsp for gravy
2 cups of buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp Seasoning of choice
10 dashes of tabasco sauce
1 quart milk (whole or 2%)

Let the cube steak come to room temperature. Have a container that you add your flour and seasoning. Mix to incorporate the seasoning and flour set aside. Pour the milk in a container to dip the cube steak in.  Set a thick bottomed skillet on high heat with about 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom to fry the cube steak in. You'll know it's ready for your steaks when you drop a droplet of water in the oil and it "dances" around. You want to make sure the oil is nice an hot, we don't want the oil to be too cool, then it just soaks in to the meat and doesn't brown the batter on the steak. While the oil is getting hot, dip the cube steak in the flour, then the buttermilk, then the flour again. Set aside until the oil is hot enough. then add as many of the battered cube steak to the oil that will fit in your pan at one time, I was able to cook 3 at a time. You may only be able to cook 2 at a time. Once both sides are browned, set on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil. If your cooking the steak in batches or ahead of time you can store them in the oven at 325 for about 10 minutes to keep them warm, while you make the gravy or finish up the rest of your dinner.

After you have cooked all of your cube steak. Drain off most of the oil, trying to keep most of the bits and pieces in the pan for the gravy. Once you've drained the oil, set back on the fire, adding the Tbsp of flour and stir around to mix all together, cook the flour a little to take the flour taste out of the dish, then gradually pour in the milk, stirring frequently, until thickened and the drippings incorporated in the gravy.

Remove the fried steak from the oven, pour the hot gravy on top, and enjoy! so delicious.


My husband and kids loved it, I even had one piece left and my middle son said he wanted to take it as leftovers for school lunch tomorrow (eating it cold). I'd say it was a huge hit! So this might just be a new addition to our monthly menu, it may be on there more than once a month :) Enjoy!

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Broccoli Cauliflower Artichoke Casserole

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I can hardly believe that it's March already. I love the color green. I am part Irish, and I love thinking of today as GREEN DAY! :) I love that band too. :) Well, I'm trying my hand at theme cooking. I know shocker! I don't usually do anything for St. Patricks day except wear green. Today however, I feel more in the spirit of St. Patricks Day so today I am having a Green Meal planned for dinner tonight. Well, all except for the meat, it's marinated chicken legs (store bought). I participate in something called Bountiful Baskets and I got some green colored cauliflower and I thought to my self, what am I going to do with this? I had bought some broccoli earlier in the week so it was still good. Realizing today was GREEN DAY! I thought, "why don't I make a green dish for dinner". So that's just what I did. I searched online for broccoli casseroles, I didn't find one that I thought I had everything for, so I combined two with ingredients that I already had on hand. So here's hoping it turns out. I also made a green jello cake for dessert. Fun huh!? I think so.

2 heads of fresh broccoli
1 head of cauliflower (mine was colored green)
1/4 of a red onion (I would have used yellow if I had any)
1 can artichoke hearts (rinsed and chopped)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of broccoli cheese soup
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1/8 tsp celery salt
2 tsp butter (melted)
2 cups herb stuffing mix or (8 oz)

Boil the broccoli and cauliflower to desired tenderness, then chop. Add the chopped red onion, artichoke hearts 1 cup cheddar cheese sour cream, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower. In a 9X9X2 pan, spread mixture in the pan.

Then melt the butter and stir in the stuffing mix to incorporate, the sprinkle or spread on top of the broccoli mix the stuffing and butter mixture.

Bake in preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of stuffing mixture and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve warm.