Chicken or Turkey Chilaquiles


Chicken or Turkey Chilaquiles
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8
 
I love Mexican-inspired dishes and this one is easy to make. When I bring it to potlucks, I am always asked for the recipe. It is also good for a home cooked meal, and can be mild or spicy to your taste depending on the canned sauce you purchase. All of the quantities are approximate as exact measurements are not critical. You can make this tasty dish out of roasted chicken or turkey leftovers (or planned-overs at our house) or a deli rotisserie chicken makes fast work of it too. I like to dice up the meat from a rotisserie chicken from Costco and that makes the dish especially easy because those chickens are well-seasoned. Since all of the ingredients have already been salted, you should not have to add any salt to the mixture. I haven’t tried it with canned chicken, but I don’t see a reason that wouldn’t work also. You can use shredded Cheddar cheese, a mixture of Cheddar and Jack cheeses or the packaged Mexican blend cheese available in supermarkets and Costco, which is what I used. I like Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, but other brands should work too. Recently, I discovered that this sauce is available in 28 ounce cans in mild, medium, and picante (or hot) levels of spiciness. My preference is the picante one, but I also recommend the medium one. We found the mild one to make a casserole that was a little bland. Instead of preparing the dish from fresh tortillas and having to fry them, I use packaged tortilla chips or strips to save time and effort and it makes a dish with good texture.
Ingredients
  • 5 cups of cooked, diced or shredded chicken or turkey (One rotisserie chicken from Costco gives you about 5 cups of meat.)
  • 2 cups Cheddar, Cheddar and Jack cheeses, or Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 4 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips or strips (measure after crushing)
  • 1 28 ounce can of Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (Las Palmas picante or medium sauce is good.)
  • Salsa, sour cream, guacamole and sprigs of cilantro for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 9x13 inch baking dish (Pyrex works well.) spread the diced meat. Cover evenly with 2 cups of the cheese. Cover with the 4 cups of coarsely crushed tortilla chips or strips. Stir the ingredients together carefully to make an even mix. Pour the can of enchilada sauce over and stir again to moisten all of the ingredients. Press lightly into an even layer in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the dish is heated through. You can sprinkle another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on the top and melt it under the broiler if you like that look. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole and cilantro if you like.

Strata Lorraine


Strata Lorraine
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 10 main dish servings
 
Strata is a fancy name for a casserole of bread, milk, eggs, cheese, and ingredients that flavor the custardy result, allowing you to make it in a different version every time. This is an excellent breakfast buffet item during the holidays because it can be assembled the night before, refrigerated and put in the oven about an hour before you intend to serve it. It is reminiscent of quiche, but without the high-calorie, time-intensive crust. It can easily be made in a quantity suitable for a large group. In this case, the well-known Quiche Lorraine was the inspiration for the dish. Reduced-fat Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, and bacon are the basis for preparing this flavorful casserole. Some recipes call for layering the ingredients, which is why it got the name “strata”, but layering is not necessary. Once again, this is a base recipe that you can alter to your taste and the occasion. You can switch out the type of cheese you use, the type of bread you use, the meat you choose (or no meat), the vegetables you add, the seasoning, etc. You can make the dish richer by using full-fat cheese or half and half to replace the milk. I especially enjoy a vegetarian version made with sautéed mushrooms and blanched broccoli. A Mexican-inspired version that reminds me of chiles rellenos can be made with green chiles and a mixture of Jack and Cheddar cheeses, served topped with a spicy tomato sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound loaf of bread (Butter-top wheat works well)
  • 1 pound Jarlesberg reduced-fat cheese
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 9 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish, such as a Pyrex 9x13 pan. Cut the onion into 1/4 inch dice. Sauté in the butter over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the onion caramelizes and becomes golden and sweet. While the onion is cooking, dice the cheese into small pieces (or grate it if it is a single piece) and place in a large bowl. Cut the bread into 1/2 inch dice and add to the bowl. Add the bacon bits and black pepper. Add the sautéed onions. Mix to distribute the ingredients. Pour into the baking dish.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Mix in the salt and the milk. Pour the liquid gently over the bread mixture and press the bread lightly into the dish to distribute the moisture evenly. At this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until the next day. Remove from the refrigerator and bake in a 350 degree F. oven until puffed and golden, about 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.

 

Eggplant Ricotta Bake

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplant Ricotta Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian, Entrée
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 servings
 
In early Fall, there is an abundance of beautiful, shiny, purple eggplants in the markets. I like to make one of my favorite eggplant dishes that I adapted from Martha Stewart. It is classic comfort food and reminds me of lasagna, but without all the pasta carbs. It is great made the same day, but it might be even better reheated the next day…At least that is what I found when eating the leftovers! This casserole serves 4, but you can double the ingredients and use a 9x13 dish instead of the 8x8 dish. Using Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (freshly grated with a microplane and pressed lightly into the cup) will give you especially rich flavor. You can use your favorite pasta sauce. I made mine with Prego mushroom sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants (1 1/4 pounds each)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to season the eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese (1 2/3 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (divided use)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 16 ounces store-bought or home-made pasta sauce (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 3/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets lined with aluminum foil or non-stick silicone liners such as Silpat. Brush lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the slices over and oil and season the second side. A silicone pastry brush makes for easy application and clean-up. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the eggplant is tender and golden, turning halfway through to brown both sides.
  2. While the eggplant is baking, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil.
  3. Divide the eggplant slices into 4 similar quantities for layering. It is fine if you need to cut some of the pieces. Place one layer of the eggplant slices into the bottom of the oiled dish. Spread with 1 cup of pasta sauce. An offset spatula can help make the layers even. Place another eggplant layer. Spread with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with a ricotta layer. Distribute the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese over the top. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until bubbling and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving with the chopped basil leaves garnishing each portion.

 

Pantry Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

 

 

 

 



Pantry Chicken Tortilla Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup, Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 servings
 
This is a very easy recipe for a hot meal in a bowl that turns out looking like it took a lot more effort than it did. It is a good recipe to share with children because it is so simple, but keep in mind that the tomatoes with jalapeños give it a little zing that some small children might object to. The soup ingredients might very well be sitting in your pantry right now. Whether this becomes a last-minute meal or a campout treat cooked on a propane stove, you can feed a hungry group quickly. The can sizes are not critical and you can make this recipe your own by adding more or less of any of the ingredients. If you have leftover shredded, roasted chicken in the house, that can replace the canned chicken. The tortilla strips give the soup a pleasant crunch, and if you are pressed for time you can use tortilla chips out of a bag. You might want to crush them a bit if they are large. I like to start the tortilla strips baking while I prepare the soup. You can make this meal fancier with condiments. In my house, we especially like to use diced avocado and shredded cheese.
Ingredients
Soup
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 12.5 ounce can chunk chicken, drained
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with jalapeños
  • 1 15 ounce can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
Condiments
  • 6 small corn tortillas or packaged tortilla strips or chips
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Mexican toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Shredded Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • Diced onion (green onion, white or red onion)
  • Sprigs of cilantro
Instructions
  1. To prepare the soup, open the cans of chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chicken, black beans, and corn. Drain the chicken. Rinse the black beans and the corn and drain off the water. Pour everything into a medium-sized saucepan. Warm on medium heat until all the ingredients are heated through. Serve in soup bowls with the condiments you choose.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To prepare crispy tortilla strips, brush both sides of each tortilla with vegetable oil. Stack the tortillas and starting at one edge, cut through all the tortillas making 1/4 inch slices across the whole tortilla. Cut the middle strips that are very long in half. Spread the slices on a cookie sheet or shallow pan lined with aluminum foil or a non-stick silicone liner such as Silpat, making sure that the slices are not stuck to each other. Bake until the strips are golden brown.
  3. Serve the soup in bowls with whichever condiments appeal to you.