Monday, February 27, 2017

Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder

A take on corn chowder using quinoa instead of potatoes, and with a spicy kick!

On Christmas Eve we were hanging out with family at my parents' house. My cousin handed my daughter a gift that she immediately started to open. When she got some of the paper off, she saw the American Girl logo on the box and started to get really excited. Meanwhile, we are all sitting there thinking "oh no, she thinks it is a doll." There is no way it was a doll, it was a flat, square box. 
She continues to rip off the paper as we all hold our breath. Well, once she saw that the box contained her own set of cooking utensils, she screamed "YES!!!!" over and over and kept jumping up and down. BEST reaction EVER, and my cousin wins the prize for best gift ever! 

In addition to the cooking tools, we gave our daughter a set of plastic chopping knives, so she now has her own drawer in the kitchen with all of her tools. Every time she is ready to cook with me she pulls out every single tool, even if she only needs a knife and a spoon, grabs her stool and gets to work. 
The last time we cooked together we made this Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder - a hearty yet healthy soup using quinoa in place of potatoes, and only a touch of cream. 
I like a bit of kick in my corn chowder, so the minced jalapeno adds just the perfect amount. I round it out with some chili powder and cumin for that smoky flavor. The next time you want a chowder, try using quinoa - it worked so well in this soup and one cup was a delicious and filling lunch. 
Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 sm can creamed corn
  • 3/4 c frozen corn
  • 1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tsp each chili powder and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 4 c low sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 c light cream
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven
  • Add the carrots, celery and onion; saute 2 minutes
  • Add the jalapeno, garlic and red pepper; saute 2-3 minutes
  • Add the frozen corn and creamed corn; stir
  • Add the quinoa and spiced, stir to combine
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and let simmer 15-20 minutes until quinoa has cooked through.
  • Add the cream and stir. Adjust seasoning if necessary

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Oven Baked Chicken Burritos in a Creamy and Cheesy Roasted Jalapeno Sauce

Easy shredded chicken in the crockpot for oven-baked burritos topped with an out-of-this-world creamy and cheesy roasted jalapeno sauce

I love enchiladas and could probably eat them daily. The soft tortillas, different fillings, all smothered in a delicious sauce.. I think it's the sauce that gets me. I'm not the biggest burrito fan because of the lack of sauce, so when I spotted a recipe for smothered burritos I was all over it. 

This recipe is SO easy because your chicken cooks in the crockpot all day, so it's really just making the sauce (which can be done in advance) and then assembling the burritos and baking them. This is definitely easy enough for a weeknight.

The original recipe called for canned green chiles for the sauce, but I really prefer the smoky and fresh flavor from roasted jalapenos. The canned ones tend to be a bit tangy, in my opinion. If you have a gas cooktop it's really easy to roast your own jalapenos. Alternatively you could char them on an outdoor grill or even a fire pit. All you need is open flame. 

My advice - make extra!!! These were so, so good that I was so excited to have leftovers the next day. The chicken was so tender and flavorful. The tortillas were nicely crisped in the oven, and the sauce MADE these burritos. Smoky and full of a subtle heat, creamy, salty and just spoon-licking good. Seriously, I was licking the spoon. And leftover sauce is the perfect nacho topping! 

I will absolutely be adding these to my rotation... you should too!

Oven-Baked Chicken Burritos in a Creamy & Cheesy Roasted Jalapeno Sauce
Loosely Adapted from: Carlsbad Cravings

Shredded Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c salsa (I prefer hot, mild or medium would work too)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 14.5 can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 Tbsp each: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
  • 1 tsp each salt, black pepper, chipotle chili powder

    Shredded Chicken Directions
    • Rub chicken with olive oil and place in the bottom of your crockpot
    • Add the salsa, brown sugar, jalapenos, tomatoes, and all spices
    • Cook on high 2-4 hours or low 6-7 hours until chicken is cooked through. 
    • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks OR use your stand mixer to shred chicken on low speed (my favorite use for my KitchenAid mixer!)
    • Return chicken to the crockpot and keep warm until ready to assemble burritos.

    Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Sauce Ingredients
    • 2 jalapeno peppers
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 3 Tbsp flour
    • 2 c low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 tsp each salt, black pepper, cumin
    • 1/2 c sour cream
    • 1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • Hot sauce to taste (optional)
    Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Sauce Directions
    • Roast your jalapenos - place the jalapenos over an open flame until all of the skin is completely charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. After 10-15 minutes, peel off the charred skin (you may want to wear gloves!). Cut off the top of each jalapeno and slice down one side to open the jalapeno flat. Scrape away the seeds and then chop the jalapenos.
    • Heat olive oil and butter in a sauce pan. 
    • Whisk in the flour and stir until combined and slightly bubbling, about 3 minutes
    • Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the chicken broth and add the spices. Continue to stir for about 3 minutes. 
    • Remove from heat and stir in the chopped jalapenos, sour cream and cheese. Taste and add hot sauce if you want more heat. 
    • You can make this a day in advance and then slowly reheat it on low, stirring often, when you are ready to make your burritos.
    The Burritos
    • 4-6 flour tortillas (burrito size)
    • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
    • Cooking Spray
    • Toppings (tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, etc)

    • Line a cookie sheet with foil and top with cooling racks.
    • Fill your burrito with chicken (drain the chicken from the liquid first, or just use tongs to pull out the chicken - you don't want liquid in your burrito), top with some cheese, and roll by folding in the sides and rolling as you continue to tuck in the sides. Place seam side down and spray with cooking spray (both sides).
    • Cook on 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Turn on the broiler at the end to quickly crisp; flip burritos over and crisp other side. 
    • Serve topped with the warm sauce and toppings.