Chicken or Turkey Chilaquiles


Chicken or Turkey Chilaquiles
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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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.

Turkey and Potato Curry Pockets


Turkey and Potato Curry Pockets
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish, Entree, Snack
Prep time: 
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Yield: 12 pockets, Serve 2 per person
 
These pockets turn leftover turkey or chicken, mashed potatoes and perhaps even leftover vegetables into a meal you would enjoy even if you had to start from scratch. The curried potato mixture is similar to what you might find in an Indian samosa, but these are baked in a pastry pocket instead of being fried. You can make your own pastry or use the packaged ones you find in the refrigerator case in the supermarket. You can store the unbaked pockets in the freezer for up to 2 months by placing them on a baking sheet and freezing them until they are firm enough to transfer to a freezer-weight plastic bag. Bake the frozen pies at 375°F for 30 to 45 minutes.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced or chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups diced roasted turkey or chicken
  • 3 refrigerated rolled pie crusts
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone sheet such as Silpat or parchment paper. Heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is golden brown and softened. Take off the heat. Add the mashed potatoes, peas and turkey.
  2. Unroll the pie crusts and cut each into 4 quarters. Divide the potato/pea/turkey mixture into 12 portions and place them on the dough, covering one half of each piece of dough. Fold the dough over the filling. Use a fork to press the edges to seal them and leave a decorative edge. Put the pies on the baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cabbage Ramen Salad

Cabbage Ramen Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Salads, Tofu, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Yield: 18
 
My family loves this salad. It is a great dish for taking to potlucks as you can feed a lot of people without spending a lot of money. I have doubled and even tripled the recipe for parties and it always seems to disappear. Cabbage is one of the superfoods that should have a bigger role in our diets. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which is associated with a reduced incidence of a number of cancers. You can buy coleslaw mix, but cutting your own cabbage will give you a fresher salad and save you money. If you are concerned about nut allergies, toasted sunflower seeds make a substitute for the almonds. If you are serving vegetarians, you can use Top Ramen brand Oriental flavor, which contains no animal products. To turn this into a full meal, add shredded roasted chicken or sautéed tofu cubes (dredge in corn starch to get them to brown well) to the salad. This makes 4 generous servings as an entrée.
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cabbage, grated or sliced thinly* You can use a mixture of green and red cabbage for variety. (2 - 2 1/2 lb. cabbage = ~9 cups)
  • 4 whole green onions (scallions), sliced into thin rings
  • 1 3-ounce package ramen noodles with chicken flavor seasoning packet
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, but white vinegar is fine too.)
  • Black pepper
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)
Instructions
  1. I love almonds, so I use the larger quantity. Toast the almonds in the oven, microwave, or while stirring in a small heavy pan on the stovetop, but watch them carefully as they can burn easily. If you are using a 350 degree oven, it will take about 8 minutes and you can reduce the chance of the nuts burning by placing them on a silicone sheet such as Silpat. Set aside to cool.
  2. Crush the ramen noodles while they are in their original bag. A small mallet, hammer, or meat pounder used gently does a good job. It helps to put the ramen noodle bag in a larger plastic bag to avoid getting noodles all over the place if the bag breaks.
  3. For the dressing, dissolve the sugar and the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles in the vinegar in a small jar. Add the salad oil and black pepper to taste and shake to mix.
  4. The cabbage and onions can be prepared the day before, mixed together and refrigerated in the serving bowl or a plastic bag. The almonds and noodles can be prepared the day before and mixed together and stored in a plastic bag at room temperature. The dressing can be made the day before and refrigerated in a small jar.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together shortly before serving. If you like cilantro, don’t forget to add it now. This salad will still taste good on the second day, but the cabbage and noodles will soften after storage with the dressing on them.
  6. *To slice cabbage, cut it in half through its core. Put the flat side down and cut in half once again through the core. Holding one of the quarters vertically, slice the tough core part out down the length of each quarter. Put one of the flat sides of the cabbage quarter on your cutting board, and make very thin slices across the wedge. Start making slices at the pointy end and continue making slices until you finish at the core end. Now you can use your knife to slice the pile three or four times across all the slices to make smaller pieces.

Chicken with Honey and Bread Crumbs

Chicken with Honey and Bread Crumbs
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Chicken
Prep time: 
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Yield: 6
 
This baked chicken resembles pan-fried chicken and gets its crunch from Japanese panko bread crumbs or fresh crumbs made by pulsing bread in a food processor. It has a hint of sweetness from the honey and balsamic vinegar. When pounding chicken breasts to an even thickness, I prefer using a Ziploc bag rather than plastic wrap. The heavier plastic of the bag protects the chicken better, doesn’t move around or stick to the meat pounder like plastic wrap sometimes does, and you always know which is the clean side and which is the chicken side of the bag.
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 to 6 oz each)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (or fresh bread crumbs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil. Spread the oil over the bottom and sides of the aluminum foil-lined pan.
  2. In a shallow bowl that will fit a chicken breast, mix the honey and vinegar together with a fork, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the honey is dissolved. Put the panko or bread crumbs in a second bowl or flat plate.
  3. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. If the chicken breasts are of different thicknesses, put each breast in a Ziploc bag and pound with the flat side of a meat pounder to even the thickness. For children, you can cut the breasts across into strips to make nugget sized pieces. Working one at a time and using tongs, dip each chicken piece in the honey mixture to cover both sides and allow any excess to drip off. Place it in the crumbs and cover the whole surface with bread crumbs, pressing them lightly in place. Put the chicken in the oiled, foil-lined pan and continue until all pieces are coated.
  4. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 35-40 minutes turning halfway through to brown both sides, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. The surface of the chicken should be golden brown. If some of the crumbs aren’t brown enough, you can put the dish under the broiler briefly to finish browning them.

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.


Eiko Ahuna’s Sukiyaki

Eiko Ahuna’s Sukiyaki
Author: 
Recipe type: Beef, Chicken, Tofu, Entree, Vegetarian, Dinner Party
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6
 
When I started work at my very first “real” job, I met a wonderful woman of Japanese descent who came from Hawaii. She was a great cook who was happy to share her expertise with friends, including me when I was a newly married young woman transplanted from the east coast to the west. This dish is the version of sukiyaki that Eiko taught me to make to wow dinner party guests. The ingredients can be arranged attractively on a tray or platter and cooked at the table in an electric skillet in front of your guests. It is actually very easy to prepare. A rice cooker can steam rice while you are preparing the dinner. Serve the sukiyaki with steamed rice (white or brown), a salad (with Asian-style dressing from a bottle or homemade), and a pickled vegetable such as Asian-style pickled cucumbers with sesame seeds. The sukiyaki can be made vegetarian by using only tofu as the protein component. You can eliminate the step with the meat and increase the amount of tofu used later or cut the additional extra firm tofu into cubes, dry them on a dish towel or paper towels, dredge them in cornstarch (pat off the excess) and sauté them in hot oil in a non-stick pan until they are golden brown on all sides. Continue with the recipe with the sautéed tofu in place of the meat.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs tenderloin or rib eye beef, sliced thin or 3 chicken breasts sliced thin
  • Oil for sautéing the meat
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots (approximately 8 ounces)
  • 1 can of water chestnuts (approximately 8 ounces)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (tops included), cut in 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 bundles of dry rice noodles (~ 6 ounces total)
  • 1 pound of bean sprouts
  • 1 pound Extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • Several large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium or “light” soy is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine or mirin
Instructions
  1. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, and wine in a small cup, pitcher, or bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the electric skillet or large pan and add some vegetable oil to film the bottom of the pan. Add enough meat to fill half the pan. Sauté quickly until the meat no longer looks raw. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Move the meat to one side of the pan and add the vegetables, tofu, and noodles, ensuring the noodles are in the liquid to soften them. Cook for 10 minutes or until done.
  3. Serve with rice, a green salad and a pickled vegetable for a complete meal. Serve tea at the end of the meal.
  4. Notes
  5. The easiest way to slice the meat thin is to freeze it for a while first so that it doesn’t move with the knife strokes. If you have a food processor, that is effective for slicing the slightly frozen blocks quickly. Just make sure that you cut the meat against the grain so that it will be tender. You can also buy the meat already sliced at Asian grocery stores or have your butcher do it, but it tends to be very expensive that way.
  6. You can use any vegetables that appeal to you and except for including the sauce, most ingredients are optional and to your taste. Spinach leaves wilt down to almost nothing very quickly, so don’t worry about putting in a lot even if you have to do it little by little because of the size of your pan.
  7. The rice noodles come in small bundles of about 2 ounces. They are the white crinkly ones you see fried in some Chinese dishes. In this recipe, they turn soft and glassy.