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Archive for the ‘Ethnic’ Category

increduladaenchiladas

These Incredulada Enchiladas have gained quite a fan base. Once you scroll down and read the ingredients to the recipe I guarantee you’ll think, “Are you kidding me?” They are a splurge but always a crowd pleaser.

My mother in law introduced us to Incredulada Enchiladas and they are well, incredible. I’ve shared the recipe with friends, served them at parties, taken them to expecting mothers and they’re always a hit. What’s not to love about the creamy chicken filling topped with cream and cheese? Garnish with sour cream and salsa and you’re in for a treat!

Incredulada Enchiladas
(Recipe adapted from A Third Course: More Cooking with Class from Charlotte Latin School)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (about 3 chicken breasts)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1/4 cup diced jalapeno peppers
8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 (6 inch) flour tortillas (soft taco size)
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese (or your choice, this time I used the Mexican blend)
Cooking spray
Salsa
Sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sautee onions until they begin to soften and become translucent. Add garlic, chilies and peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour cream over enchiladas and cover with cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cream thickens and cheese is bubbly.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

increduladapan

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blackbeansrice250

Part two of last night’s delicious grilled shrimp taco dinner. This is pretty much my go-to black beans and rice recipe. I’m almost always guaranteed to have all the ingredients in my pantry and it’s simple, good and always a great side dish for Mexican night. And be warned…this recipe makes a ton!

Black Beans and Rice
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced
1 fresh pepper, seeded and diced (like jalapeno or habanero, or substitute diced canned jalapenos or red pepper flakes – use what you have!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until mixture is softened.

Stir in tomatoes, water, rice and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and then stir in black beans. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until water absorbed and rice is tender. Don’t peak until the 20 minutes are up!

Remove from heat and let stand about 5-10 minutes (still covered) before serving.

Yield: 6-8 side dish servings

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shrimptaco

First things first, let me apologize profusely for the quality of this picture. Unfortunately, dinner wasn’t ready until it was dark outside so I was forced to shoot these in the harsh, unflattering light of my kitchen. But these shrimp tacos were just too delicious not to share!

I have been craving shrimp tacos for the last couple weeks. I couldn’t really find a recipe that sounded perfect to me so I just kind of went for it. I decided to do grilled shrimp with a spicy jerk rub, shredded cabbage, salsa, cheese and this great Baja cream that I found on Epicurious. The combination turned out great. The flavors went together really well. The Baja cream balanced out the spiciness of the jerk grilled shrimp and the cabbage added just the right crisp to the tacos. And to top it off, they were pretty healthy!

I served these with black beans and rice (recipe to come on the blog soon!) and grilled corn. Perfect summer meal!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos
(A Bakin’ and Eggs Original)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
Pinch of salt
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Extra virgin olive oil
Jerk seasoning rub (recommended Dizzy Pig Jamaican Firewalk)
Skewers (metal or bamboo soaked in water)
Cooking spray
Taco sized flour tortillas
Your favorite salsa
Shredded cheese
Shredded cabbage

Directions:

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and salt for Baja cream. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let flavors develop.

Preheat grill to medium heat (around 400 degrees).

Place shrimp in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat lightly. Generously shake Jerk rub over the shrimp and toss to coat. Place shrimp on skewers. Spray grill grate with cooking spray and place shrimp and grill. Cook for about 2 minutes per side or  until pink and no longer translucent.

Wrap tortillas in a paper towel and heat for about 45 seconds in the microwave. Place grilled shrimp (I did about 4 per taco) on tortillas and then top with cabbage, salsa, Baja cream and cheese.

Yield: 2-3 servings

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cajuntilapia

I am always hearing the question, “What can I do with tilapia?” One of our all-time favorite tilapia preparations is this Cajun tilapia. For a while I kept this Cajun seasoning in the pantry and even gave it out as a Christmas gift in mason jars a couple years ago.

So I was looking for a way to jazz up  the Cajun tilapia. I usually just serve it with roasted potatoes (sprinkled with the Cajun seasoning) and a vegetable. I found myself with some peppers and mushrooms in the fridge and decided to saute them and serve the fish over polenta. It was great!

If you’re looking for a new idea for tilapia and you like a little spice, this recipe is for you!

Cajun Tilapia with Polenta and Peppers
(Recipe source: Tilapia – Cooking Light, Polenta – Joy of Cooking, Vegetables – a Bakin’ and Eggs original)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAJUN SPICE MIX
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons red pepper
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix everything together and store in a airtight container. You can use this Cajun seasoning on anything – poultry, pork, fish, vegetables.

FOR THE FISH
1 pound tilapia fillets
4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix (enough to coat fish fillets)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for coating fish
Sliced lemons (optional for garnish)

FOR THE POLENTA
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onions, finely diced
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Salt, to taste

FOR THE PEPPERS
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

FOR THE FISH
Coat each fish fillet in olive oil. Coat with Cajun seasoning.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully add fish fillets and cook about 3-4 minutes per side. Fish should be opaque and flaky. Internal temperature should read about 145 degrees.

FOR THE POLENTA
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil.

While the mixture is coming to a boil, mix together 1 cup water and 1 cup cornmeal. Gradually stir into the boiling water and then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cornmeal is thick and leaves the side of the pans when it is stirred. About 25 minutes. Add extra water or chicken stock in small amounts if necessary while cooking the polenta. Season with salt to taste.

FOR THE PEPPERS
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmers. Add sliced peppers and mushrooms and cook about 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

YIELD: 4 servings

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lasagnaveggierollfgts

I’m visiting my grandmother for a few days. When I arrived this afternoon she had planned Veggie Lasagna Rolls for dinner. My grandmother definitely shares my sentiment that not every meal has to include meat. I was really excited that she had chosen this dinner after indulging in lots of July 4th burgers and hot dogs yesterday.

She had prepped all of the ingredients so all I had to do was assemble everything. How nice is that? I would like a full-time sous chef please! These rolls are definitely much easier to prepare than traditional lasagna. You could do anything you are feeling with the filling. I think a traditional ricotta/Italian sausage combo would be excellent in these too. I personally loved the veggies and recommend you try these!

Veggie Lasagna Rolls
(Recipe adapted from Kroger My Recipes)

Ingredients:

7-8 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained (number needed will depend on your roll size and filling amount)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
Cooking spray
2 cups marinara sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 11 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of mozzarella, Parmesan, egg white, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and saute red pepper, zucchini and mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add chopped spinach and stir until wilts. Remove from heat and let mixture cool.

Combine vegetables with ricotta. Spread the cheese mixture over noodles in a thin layer, working one at a time. Like so…

lasagnaveggierollexample

Roll up and place in prepared baking dish, seam side down. You should have anywhere from 6-8 rolls. Spoon marinara sauce over each roll and cover with foil. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Yield: 3-4 servings (if you’re piggy like me and eat 2 per serving!)

lasagnarollspan

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moroccanchicken

I’m not going to lie when I tell you that the inspiration for this dinner was my husband requesting sangria this week. Yes, when I said “what do you want for dinner this week?” his answer was, “something that goes with sangria.” Nice. Off I went in search of something Spanish or Moroccan flavored. It doesn’t take much to encourage me to seek out tasty new ethnic recipes. I looked and looked and kept coming back to this recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives from Epicurious.

I love making dishes like this. There’s something about browning the chicken, cooking the onions, adding the spices and simmering everything together that just makes me happy. The house smelled amazing and I didn’t even have to turn on the oven on this hot day.

This was delicious and according to Epicurious, healthy and relatively low in fat. I thought the flavors were really fresh and great for summer. I also love this method of preparing chicken because it always turns out so tender and flavorful.

Moroccan Chicken
(Recipe heavily adapted from epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, thinly slice
2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup green olives, sliced in half

Directions:

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until browned. Work in two batches if necessary. Do not crowd the pan. Remove chicken from pan and place on plate.

Add onions to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add in garlic, lemon wedges and spices and cook for about 1 more minute. Add in chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add chicken browned chicken pieces back to the pan, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 2o-25 minutes, or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 when measured close to the bone.

Remove chicken from pan and place on plate. Add olives to sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve. I recommend serving over rice or cous cous.

Yield: 4 servings

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chickengyropita

If you read my blog regularly you’ve probably noticed that I love Greek foods and flavors. When I read Annie from Annie’s Eats rave about this being her new favorite recipe I knew I had to try it.  We don’t do a lot of sandwichy things for dinner so this was a nice change for us. I love tzatziki sauce and smothered my pita in it (which is why you probably aren’t seeing the chicken in the photo above).

The only complaint I had was not having time to make homemade pita bread and all they had at the grocery was very wheaty and dense pitas. I look forward to trying this again with a more traditional pita.

Chicken Gyros
(Recipe heavily adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE
16 ounces plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of about 1/4 a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE CHICKEN
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons plain lowfat yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced

TO ASSEMBLE
3 pita bread rounds
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:

FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE

If you want a thicker tzatziki sauce you can strain your yogurt. I actually prefer mine a little thinner (I know I’m in the minority here) so I skipped this step.

Finely shred the cucumber and wrap in paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Whisk together yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

FOR THE CHICKEN
Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the sliced chicken and coat well with marinade mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the broiler to high. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray over a jelly roll pan. Line chicken slices on rack. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and flip chicken. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.

TO ASSEMBLE
Heat pitas (by wrapping and placing in microwave or oven). To serve, layer a few chicken pieces over pita, drizzle (or in my case drench) with tzatziki and top with tomatoes and cucumber.

Yield: 3 servings

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