Chicken & Bean Enchiladas

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Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-13-57-1[1] 05/08/2016

Taking the time to make your own enchilada sauce is so so worth it in this dish. If you’re going to the effort, why not double or triple it so you have some to refrigerate or freeze for another amazing mealtime? I don’t think authentic enchilada sauce actually has any tomato in it. It gets it’s beautiful redness from the amount of chilli powder so make sure you use the mild variety even if you like your spice. The sauce is unadulterated by refined sugars and additives that you’ll find in leading brand jars and instead, tastes fresh, vibrant and incredible smothered on top of chicken, beany, cheesy goodness. Try it, try it, try it!

Serves 2-4

Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. plain flour
  • 1 Tbsp. mild chilli powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ cumin
  • ½ oregano
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients bar the stock. Then gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened to your liking.
  2. Use immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

Chicken & Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • salt and pepper
  • Jalapeno chilli slices, drained
  • 1 can black beans or mixed bean salad (your preference)
  • 6 small flour tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce (see recipe)
  • chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-07-01-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-05-06-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-08-02-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-09-00-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-10-30-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-10-57-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-05-20-12-17-1[1] As easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Prepare your enchilada sauce, if making homemade.
  2. In large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook the butterflied chicken through, turning once, for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Shred into chunky strips then set aside.
  3. Add onion to the same pan and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the shredded chicken back to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl with the drained bean salad. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the enchilada sauce to the bowl and stir everything well to combine.
  4. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, bean and chicken mixture and cheese.
  5. Microwave the tortillas for a few seconds so they become maliable and don’t crack when you come to rolling them up.
  6. Lay out the tortillas and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of each.  Divide the bean and chicken mix between the wraps and spoon in a line down the middle of each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle on the grated cheddar cheese so there is a nice generous layer. Add pickled jalapenos with the cheese for an extra tasty kick.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh coriander if desired.
  8. This dish is great served with guacamole and salsa!
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Shredded Chicken Burritos

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IMG_20160406_081801[1] 06/04/2016

Crispy burritos filled with juicy Mexican shredded chicken with a rich sauce, Mexican red rice and cheese. These are MADE for freezing – a perfect standby meal! If you aren’t freezing the burritos, feel free to add other things inside such as avocado, fresh salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce and tomato! (These are not suitable for freezing which is why I have served them on the side).

Ingredients:

Chicken & Sauce:

  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless boneless
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika and garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mexican rice:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper / capsicum, diced
  • ½ cup tinned black beans
  • ½ cup tinned corn kernels
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 tbsp pasatta or chopped tomatoes (from the chicken recipe)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Guacamole:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest and juice of ½ a lime
  • Chopped coriander (optional)

Extras:

  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh coriander
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Salad

 

Method:

For the shredded chicken:

  1. Place the chicken & sauce ingredients into a medium saucepan. Simmer covered on medium low for 20 – 30 minutes, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken can be shredded with 2 forks.
  2. Shred the chicken using 2 forks and set aside. Keep fairly chunky for some nice texture.
  3. At this point, you can blend the remaining sauce to be really smooth but I like mine a bit chunky.
  4. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the shredded chicken in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When starting to brown and crisp slightly, add the sauce a bit at a time until a nice thick shredded chicken sauce is achieved. Add chopped coriander and lime and set aside.

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For the rice:

  1. Combine the Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 10 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onion becomes translucent – about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the black beans and corn. Cook for 1 minute just to heat through.
  5. Add the rice and sauce and stir quickly to coat the rice evenly.
  6. Season with black pepper. Set aside.

For the guacamole:

  1. Remove the avocado flesh from the skin. Chop then mash to a lumpy paste. Add all the other ingredients and mix to combine.

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To assemble:

  1. Microwave the tortillas very briefly to warm them up (15 seconds or so). This ensures they don’t crack when you roll them.
  2. Place 1 tortilla on a workbench – cover the rest with a tea towel to keep them warm.
  3. Place cheese down the middle of the tortilla, then top with 2 generous spoons of rice and then 2 generous spoons of chicken.
  4. Roll the burrito up by tucking in two ends then rolling. Wrap in foil to hold it together.
  5. If you are serving it immediately, heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Cook the burritos for around 4 to 5 minutes on each side to make the tortilla brown and heat the inside through.
  6. Serve with the guacamole and fresh salad.
  7. If freezing, place in the freezer. To reheat, you can either bake from frozen (with foil on) at 180C for about 40 to 45 minutes, or thaw and cook in the skillet per above. You could microwave it (remove the foil) but I like my burritos a bit crispy!

Zesty Chicken Tacos with Guacamole and Roast Vegetable Salsa

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IMG_20150321_190101[1] 21/03/2015

I have included a recipe for homemade corn tortillas using masa harina which is a bit tricky to come by in the UK but is available in some international grocers or online. The flavour from this very fine cornmeal is unrivalled by anything you can buy in the shop and is totally worth a little extra effort. You can of course use shop bought tortillas – corn or flour – if you prefer.

The vegetables in the salsa are grilled to char them before blending which gives a sweetness to the onions and garlic and a deep flavour to the tomatoes.

Then there is the guacamole with creamy avocado and fresh citrus flavours. Splodged on top of zesty, spicy, smoky pulled chicken, what more do you need?

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the corn tortillas:

(Makes 12-24 depending on how generous you are)

  • 150g/5½oz masa harina
  • pinch salt
  • 100ml/3½fl oz cold water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Mix the masa harina and salt in a bowl. Add the water and olive oil and mix until a smooth dough is achieved. (If it’s too sticky add a little more masa harina, or, if it’s too dry, add a drop more water.)
  2. Divide the dough into 24 balls. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  3. Flatten the balls of dough with your hands – alternatively, use a tortilla press or roll them between two layers of cling film. Flatten to approximately 3mm thick.
  4. To cook the tortillas, lightly oil a flat griddle pan or frying pan and place over a hot heat.
  5. Cook the tortillas for approximately one minute on each side, or until lightly coloured.
  6. Cover in foil or with a damp towel until ready to serve.

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Ingredients:

For the spicy shredded chicken:

  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 limes, zest and juice only
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin removed

For the roasted tomato salsa:

  • 6 tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 fat red or green chillies
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • salt and pepper

For the guacamole:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 3 tbsp soured cream
  • ½ lime, zest and juice
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • salt and pepper

To serve (optional):

  • soured cream
  • Monterey Jack or strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • spring onions, finely chopped
  • fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh green salad

Method for the fillings:

  1. For the spicy shredded chicken, preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients and the lime juice and zest to a bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Pat dry the chicken thighs using kitchen paper and then place the chicken thighs into the bowl and coat in the spice mix.
  4. Leave the chicken to marinate for at least an hour. Remove the chicken from the bowl, place the coated thighs on a foil lined baking tray and cook for 35 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile make the roasted tomato salsa. Preheat the grill to high. Place the tomatoes, red onion wedges, chillies and garlic onto a baking tray. Lightly brush with oil.
  6. Place under the hot grill and cook until the tomato skins are blackened, approximately 10 minutes.
  7. Place all the charred ingredients into a food processor with the chipotle paste, coriander and lime juice. Pulse until a chunky consistency is achieved. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
  8. For the guacamole, cut the avocados in half and remove the stone. Remove the flesh from the skin and roughly chop.
  9. Place in a bowl and lightly crush using a fork. Add the soured cream, lemon and lime juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
  10. For the spicy shredded chicken, once the chicken is cooked set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred.                                                                                             IMG_20150318_220321[1]
  11. To serve, simply place a dollop of whichever fillings you desire (I recommend a bit of everything… yolo) into your corn tortilla and apply to face!