Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken and Cheddar Stuffed Poblanos

When I saw these on a Debby's blog, A Feast for the Eyes, I knew that they would be making an appearance at my house...and what a great idea!  They are delicious.  I have always liked stuffed peppers but had only stuffed bell peppers.  I have been missing out!

I had some leftover chicken and only had to cook a little rice, chop a little tomato, onion and cilantro and grate some cheese...very easy and quite tasty.

Chicken and Cheddar Stuffed Poblanos
A Feast for the Eyes and Fine Cooking, December 2008

4 large poblano chiles
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1 tsp ground cumin
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken, preferably dark meat
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2 cups rated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 7 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (including some tender stems)
1 Tbs lime juice

Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Slit the chiles from stem to tip and set on the baking sheet.  Broil, turning every few minutes, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes.  Let cool slightly, peel off the skins, and cut out the seed cores, leaving the stems on. (I used a spoon to scrap out the seed cores.)  Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out.  Return the poblanos to the baking sheet.

Puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the puree and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks thick and pulpy, 8 to 11 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the chicken and rice, and then 1 cup of the cheese, the cilantro, and the lime juice.  Season to taste with salt.  Divide the filling among the peppers, wrapping the sides of the peppers up and around the filling, some of which will still be exposed.

Broil the peppers until the cheese is melting and the top is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.  Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and broil until the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.


I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm and Foodie Friday hosted by Diane at Simple Living.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Enchiladas Verde

Ahhhh....turkey leftovers.  Are there any leftovers that are better?  I don't think so.  We prepare two turkeys at Thanksgiving.  Why?  We enjoy leftovers...turkey sandwiches especially.  We enjoy sending home turkey with our guests so that they can enjoy a sandwich or two also.

Mr. T. always prepares one turkey on the barbecue.  This year, he put the turkey on the smoker for a few hours and then moved it to the barbecue.  It was delicious.  I now have a very large dish filled with turkey!  Thinking that I might turn into a turkey sandwich I decided to make Turkey Enchiladas Verde.  This is a regular meal at our house when there is leftover turkey.

I tried a new recipe this year and we really enjoyed it.  I did use a jar of Mrs. Renfro's Jalapeno Green Salsa as I am easing back into the kitchen after last week's marathon.  I did make a discovery....I purchased two packages of 10 count Mission Yellow Corn Tortillas today. Each package contained nine tortillas. I think they need to change their packaging or include ten tortillas!  I did email them regarding their new math.

Turkey Enchiladas Verde
inspired by The Border Cookbook, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Yields:  10-12 enchiladas

2-3 cups shredded turkey
2 cups Chile Verde Sauce (I used a jar 16 oz., Mrs. Renfro's Jalapeno Green Salsa)
1 cup Creme fraiche
Vegetable oil
10-12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped green onion
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat over to 350° F.
Grease a large baking dish.

In a shallow bowl or dish, combine the sauce with the crema.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture thinly in the baking dish.

Mix the turkey, green onion in a bowl.  Add enough sauce to bind.

Heat 1/2 to 1 inch oil in a small skillet until the oil ripples.  With tongs, dunk a tortilla in the oil long enough for it to go limp, a matter of seconds.  (Don't let the tortillas turn crisp.)  Drain the tortilla on paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Dip a tortilla into the sauce.  Top it with about a large spoonful of the turkey mixture and then about a tablespoon of grated cheese.  Roll the sides up snugly and place the tortilla seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remainder of the tortillas and filling.  Do not pack the enchiladas tightly in the baking dish.  Top the enchiladas with any remaining green onion and pour the sauce evenly over them.  Scatter Monterey Jack cheese over the tops of the sauce.

Bake the enchiladas for 15-20 minutes, until they are heated through and the sauce is bubbly.  Serve the enchiladas immediately.

Serve with sliced avocado, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream!

1.  Be careful, if you used too much mixture or roll the tortilla too tight, the tortilla will split.
2.  Leaving space between the enchiladas enables you to serve them without accidentally tearing them.
3.  A rotisserie chicken could be used instead of the turkey or you may wish to cook your own chicken.


I had to giggle at Mr. T. who thought that I had used chipotle in the sauce...then he remembered that the turkey was smoked!

I am sharing at On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable and Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Oranges

As I mentioned earlier I have a tendency to mess with the basic Thanksgiving menu through the cranberry!  I usually have two or three choices on the menu.  This year I tried a new simple recipe and I am bringing back a chutney that I haven't made in a long time.

I have always loved chutneys and I like this one because it is not extreme in its flavors.  It is a perfect balance of sweet and tart.  The recipe makes five cups and since I do not need five cups of chutney, I shared with my neighbor so they will also be enjoying this tasty dish on Thanksgiving.

Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Oranges
Bon Appetit, November 1999

Makes 5 cups

2 1/4 cups packed golden brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I used Cranberry Juice Cocktail.)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 12 oz packages cranberries
2 Tbsp orange zest
2 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, sectioned
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup dried apricots

Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat, bring to a boil.  Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is thick.  Stir occasionally, about 40 minutes.  Cool completely.

Can be made three days ahead.  Cover and chill.


This is a great addition to your holiday menu!

I am participating in Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce

I have strict orders not to mess with the Thanksgiving menu.  A basic traditional menu is what is appreciated at our house.  You know the basics:  turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce... I always make the basic menu but I wouldn't be me if I didn't throw in a few new side dishes along the way.

Nobody ever seems to mind if I "mess" with the cranberry sauce...such a little berry with such great flavor!  Over the years I have made so many different  types of sauces and of course a few cranberry chutneys and a conserve or two....and what is a conserve?  It is preserving fruits with sugar or a mixture of several fruits cooked to jam-like consistency with sugar and often garnished with nuts and raisins.  I guess you could say that I really mess with the cranberry sauce! 

I wanted to add a simple recipe for cranberry sauce to the menu, so I am trying, yet again, a new recipe!  This is one that I saw in this month's Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2012.  Fine Cooking is my very favorite cooking magazine. I was pleased that I could make the cranberry sauce in advance and I am not disappointed!

Orange-Maple Cranberry Sauce
Fine Cooking, October/November 2012

1 12 oz. package of fresh or frozen cranberries (picked over and rinsed)
1 cup PURE maple syrup
1 medium orange, finely grated to yield 1 tsp zest, then squeezed to yield 1/3 cup 

Combine the cranberries, maple syrup, and orange juice in a 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the cranberries burst, about 5 minutes.  

Remove from the heat, stir in the zest, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.  (The sauce will thicken as it cools.  It may be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

I have been sampling all is really tasty!  You won't be sorry if you add this simple cranberry sauce to your menu!


Pasta Al Forno Con Pomodori E Mozzarella

It is Secret Recipe Club time!  You remember, it's where participating bloggers are assigned a blog with the challenge of identifying a recipe, preparing it and then posting on a designated day.  I was really excited to be assigned Lavender and Lime!  Tandy says that she "loves to read about food, cook food and of  course, eat food!" That is quite evident when one is perusing her blog!  She is an accomplished, published, award winning cook with a wide variety of recipes from which to select.

I have been in a pasta mood of late so her dish, Pasta Al Forno Con Pomodori E Mozzarella caught my attention right away.  It is a very simple recipe yet packed with flavor.   She made it when she set a cooking challenge for herself of using at least one recipe from her stack  of cookbooks.  That would be daunting for all of us, to be sure....Tandy approached her personal challenge with this recipe from Jaime Oliver in his book, Jamie's Italy.

She used a very basic....tomato pasta sauce (your choice) layered with pasta and Parmesan cheese and then top it off with Mozzarella cheese (I used fresh Mozzarella).  Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.  I used Tandy's basic tomato sauce recipe.  How simple is that?

Tomato Pasta Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried basil
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup red wine
A splash of red wine vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.
Add the wine and vinegar.
Simmer for at least an hour.
Break apart the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
Adjust the seasoning and serve. 

The dish was quite flavorful...unfortunately, I had too much pasta for the amount of sauce that I had made.  Next time, and there will be a next time, I will know better!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding....Dressing!

This month's cooking challenge was a real challenge...not because it was difficult but because I have been out of the country for almost three weeks.  I have gotten used to having my "every meal" prepared for me.  I have gotten used to choices at each meal, my bed being made and when I returned to reality last Wednesday I expected the pampering  to continue....instead, I spent 24 hours unpacking, doing laundry and trying to recover from  jet lag....only to come down with a super duper migraine!  After three days in bed I knew that this month's cooking challenge was going to look a little different for me.

The November Crazy Cooking Challenge fare, please.....stuffing!  Of course, stuffing means that I must actually stuff something.  So, I am taking a little cook's license (kind of like literary license...) and making a side dish that could be called a dressing except the ingredients don't match that definition, because of the cream.  It is more like a bread pudding.  But, who says that your dressing cannot have cream?

The recipe I selected comes from Cathy's blog, Noble Pig.  She has absolutely fabulous recipes and if you haven't visited her, you are really missing out on a super blog!!

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding
inspired by Noble Pig

Serves 8-10

8 cups bread cubes from a rustic country loaf, 1/2" dice (I used a rosemary garlic bread)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced (I used four thick slices, about 5 ounces)
4 cups sliced leeks white and green parts (about 4-6 leeks)
1-1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced (I used 1 pound)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/4 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh-flat leaf parsley
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, divided

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes until dried out and lightly browned. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large 12" skillet saute pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in leeks and cook over medium for 10 minutes, until they are tender. Stir in mushrooms, sage, white wine, 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook for 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the parsley. Pour mixture over bread crumbs on baking tray to cool down slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, chicken stock, and half of the Gruyere cheese. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid . Stir well and pour into a 3 quart gratin dish (13 x 9). Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.

This was an amazing side dish!  Mr. T. loved it and asked why we couldn't have that for Thanksgiving...I cannot think of a reason that this cannot be on our table!  Totally delicious!!

I am also participating in Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.