Enchilada Quesadillas

I got the inspiration for this recipe from here

I also used this recipe to season the chicken breasts with

3 skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
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Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees

Then place the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, oregano and paprika in a bowl
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and mix it all together
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season both sides of the chicken breasts, very generously with the seasoning and place in a baking pan
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bake in oven for about 35-45 minutes or until the chicken breast reach the internal temp of 165 degrees, then pull the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes and let it cool a little as well.

after you have let it sit for a few, then chop the chicken up into small pieces, set aside
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for the dang quesa-dilluh! (Like how it’s said in the movie Napoleon Dynamite)

Flour Tortillas
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 whole Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
¼ teaspoons Salt To Taste
⅛ teaspoons Black Pepper To Taste
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped into small chunks
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, chopped into small chunks
1 small can of Enchilada Sauce
(the refried beans were for normy and his quesa-dilluh)
1 avocado, chopped into small pieces
1 tomato, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup Black Olives, Chopped
1/2 cup Green olives, chopped (I don’t feel these actually went, but adding them here because they are in the pictures)
1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
¼ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
jalapenos
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Start by heating the enchilada sauce in a small sauce pan to low heat, and while that warms up cook the onions and peppers. You can do the beans at this point too.

In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt and pepper to taste,
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cook the onions over medium high heat stirring every few minutes until the onions are translucent and browned on the edges a little, 10-12 minutes. When the onions are done cooking pull them out and set aside and use the same pan to cook the diced peppers in. I like my peppers still crunchy so I only cooked them for about 5 minutes. Then I added the onions back to the skillet and turn heat off. (I cooked the onions by themselves because I don’t know why? You can skip that step and just cook the onions 1st, then throw the peppers in).
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At this point, I have a panini press and I plugged it in and got it warmed up while I made my quesadilla

spread 1-2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce over each of the tortillas.
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then add the onions and bell peppers to half of the tortilla
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Then add the chopped chicken
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I didn’t measure, I just added what looked good to me

Then add the cheese
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and then the olives
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Then fold the other part of the tortilla over the part with all the yummies and place on Panini press, or you could bake it, or place it in a skillet and place another pan over it to help hold it together.
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I closed the Panini press and just cooked it till the cheese was melted and there are nice panini press (grill looking) marks on the tortilla. How I could tell the cheese was melted is I heard it melting on the press and heard it sizzling.

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Remove Quesadilla from Panini press and place on a plate and let it cool for a couple of minutes
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Then use a pizza cutter and cut into slices, big or small, whatever your heart desires
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I garnished mine with pickled jalapeno
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I did chop up cilantro, tomatoes and avocado to top mine with as well, I also had a little bowl of the extra enchilada sauce on the side to dip my quesadilla in as well.

You could add salsa and sour cream too. I skipped the sour cream, trying to eat healthy.

Ratatouille

I have ALWAYS wanted to make Ratatouille and I finally did!

I didn’t have a round dish, so I used scare!

I don’t really care for egg-plant but still ate it and didn’t mind it in this at all!

Recipe

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
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1 cup tomato puree
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant, such as Italian or Chinese
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 long red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish,
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approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves
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and chopped onion into the sauce,
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stir in oregano,
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crushed red pepper flakes,
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one tablespoon of the olive oil, and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
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Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Trim the top of the red pepper and remove the core.

On a mandolin, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
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Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
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Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper.
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Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
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Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (I used foil)
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Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
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Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

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here is that recipe for you again:

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant, such as Italian or Chinese
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 long red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, one tablespoon of the olive oil, and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Trim the top of the red pepper and remove the core.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe

For the soup:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large red onion, diced
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2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
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1 jalapeno pepper, diced
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1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can green chilies
1 (14.5) oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
32 oz low sodium chicken broth
Salt & Pepper to taste

for garnish
sliced limes
diced avocado
Tortilla chips
salsa
chopped fresh cilantro
shredded cheese
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt, oregano and paprika.
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Brush both sides of each chicken breast with light coating of olive oil.
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Sprinkle a small amount of the spice mixture onto both sides and each chicken breast
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and transfer to a non-stick baking sheet. Roast the chicken in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes,
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and then shred. (I cubed mine).
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While the chicken cooks, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven.
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Add the onions
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and garlic,
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along with a pinch of salt, and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions are very fragrant and they begin to soften. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno pepper,
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lime juice
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and zest and cilantro
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and stir well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Add the remaining spice mixture, black beans,
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green chilies,
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diced tomatoes
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and stir well.
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Cook for about 6 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth

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and add the cooked chicken
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and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve!

(I served mine with chopped tomatoes and sliced avocados)

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Adobo Salmon

So I make this rub (Adobo) for pork Roast and I’ve done it on chicken too, so I was like hmmm why not try it on salmon? so here we go…

Here is the recipe I use for Pork Roast, but this time for Salmon

I didn’t measure I just went with it…It wasn’t as good as it tastes on the pork. But it wasn’t horrible.

So I used 4 pieces of Salmon 2 8oz Pieces, and 2 6oz pieces 8oz for Normy and 6oz for me
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Started with 4 garlic cloves smashes and minced (one clove per piece of Salmon was my thinking)
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I added the garlic to a small bowl that had dried oregano (about a tablespoon) and some olive oil (guessing a couple of tablespoons)
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Then I added balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon), and salt (1 teaspoon), pepper, to taste and 1/2 a packet of sazon

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I mixed it all together and then rubbed it on the salmon pieces
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preheat oven to 425 degrees and place salmon on foil lined pan, and bake for 10-12 minutes, I like my salmon a little raw on the inside so you may want to check it after 12 minutes and see if its done enough for you.
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serve warm
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Fisherman’s Soup Recipe with Tilapia, Shrimp, Tomatoes & Capers

recipe

•1 tbsp grape seed oil
•1 medium onion, chopped
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
•1 large carrot, diced
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1/8 – 1/4 tsp dried (crushed) chile flakes
•1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
•1/2 cup dry white wine
•1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (juices included)
•3/4 cup vegetable broth
•1/2 tsp kosher salt
•1 1/4 lb. firm white fish (such as tilapia), cut into 1-inch pieces
•1/2 lb. medium shrimp, shelled
•2 tbsp capers
•Salt & pepper, to taste
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1.Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
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2.Add the onion,
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garlic, red bell pepper and carrot.
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Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

3.Add the oregano
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and chile flakes,
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and cook for 1 minute.
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Add the parsley
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and white wine,
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and cook for 1 additional minute.
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4.Add the tomatoes
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and vegetable broth,
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and bring to a simmer.

5.Add the tilapia pieces and cook,
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stirring occasionally, until the fish is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.

6.Add the shrimp
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and continue to simmer until the shrimp is barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
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Remove from heat, stir in capers
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and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
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Here is that recipe for you again:

•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 medium onion, chopped
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
•1 large carrot, diced
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1/8 – 1/4 tsp dried (crushed) chile flakes
•1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
•1/2 cup dry white wine
•1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (juices included)
•3/4 cup vegetable broth
•1/2 tsp kosher salt
•1 1/4 lb. firm white fish (such as tilapia), cut into 1-inch pieces
•1/2 lb. medium shrimp, shelled
•2 tbsp capers
•Salt & pepper, to taste

1.Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
2.Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
3.Add the oregano and chile flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley and white wine, and cook for 1 additional minute.
4.Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer.
5.Add the tilapia pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fish is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
6.Add the shrimp and continue to simmer until the shrimp is barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in capers and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Arroz con Gandules – Rice & Pigeon Peas, A Puerto Rican Feast for Fawn

On November 11, 2012 I celebrated my 35 years of life

So my friend Fawn was flying in from Kansas to spend my birthday weekend with me. She was flying in Friday the 9th. So I decided that I wanted to make her a Puerto Rican Dinner for her first night here! Because you know how I am, I HAVE to cook for whoever is staying at my house! So I made her: Roasted Pork Shoulder (Pernil) and Normy made Rice with Pigeon Peas – Arroz con Gandules and Fried Plantains (Tostones)

for the pork I use a LOT of garlic
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just wanted to share a few photos of how I made it
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and now for the Pork Shoulder! The best PORK!
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So on the way home from the airport from picking Fawn up, we stopped at the Liquor store
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Let’s get this party started!
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Fawn was REALLY excited to be in Denver!
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Look at my pork shoulder!
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and now for the recipe for Normy’s Arroz con Gandules – Rice & Pigeon Peas

1 tbsp. GOYA® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ lb. country ham, cubed
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½ green bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
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½ yellow onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
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2 packets Sazón
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1 tbsp. Minced Garlic

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. Oregano

1½ cups Medium Grain Rice
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1 can (15 oz.) Green Pigeon Peas
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4 oz. Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup Manzanillas Olives Stuffed with Minced Pimientos, sliced
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1. Heat oil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
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Add ham to pan;
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cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in peppers and onions; cook,
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stirring occasionally,
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scraping up brown bits from bottom, until vegetables are soft and translucent, 10 minutes. Add sazón, garlic,
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cilantro and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add rice to pan.
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Cook, stirring frequently, until coated in oil and toasted, about
1 minute.
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Stir in pigeon peas,

tomato sauce,
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olives
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and 1½ cups water;
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using a wooden spoon, stir once and bring rice mixture to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until water is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Gently stir rice from bottom up.

3. Lower heat to medium low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Gently fluff rice with fork. Cover pan and let stand 5 minutes.
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Don’t forget the Fried Plantains (Tostones)

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and now Normy will slice the Pork
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Dinner is served!
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Fawn can not WAIT to try her first Puerto Rican meal!

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Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta

Recipe

2 pounds ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 oregano sprig (I did dried)
Pinch chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chiffonade basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil
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and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of each tomato.
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In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water
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and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath.
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Peel the tomatoes
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and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside. (You can also use whole peeled canned tomatoes. Simply drain them, seed, and roughly chop).

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
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Add the thyme leaves,
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oregano sprig, and chili flakes
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and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes
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and the sugar
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and stir well.
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Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water
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until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.
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Add the Parmesan and basil
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and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl and garnish with Parmesan and basil sprigs.
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