May 4, 2015

Zucchini con Queso, Chicken & Zucchini con Queso

I love Mexican food almost as much as I love Cajun & Creole food.  When I lived in Texas, I loved eating at authentic, mom-and-pop, hole-in-the-wall joints.

Especially the little joint where I first tried guacamole salad, had true enchiladas and tacos with real Mexican cheese

where the owner/matriarch pointed to a table and said "you sit there!"  Even if it wasn't the table you wanted

where the owner/matriarch grabbed a chef's knife and stabbed her husband in the kitchen in the middle of dinner service.

But that's a story for another day.
Let's go with this story instead...

Zucchini con Queso | Ms enPlace

My favorite Mexican cookbook, The Border Cookbook: Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico by Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison, is full of authentic recipes.

Like this creamy, cheesy Zucchini con Queso.

Zucchini con Queso | Ms enPlace

It's not something I get to make often because it's time consuming for a side dish.

But chicken can be added to turn it into a meal.  Making the time it takes more justified.

Time consuming side dishes could turn me a little stabby, afterall.  And you can never be too careful with a chef's knife.

Chicken & Zucchini con Queso | Ms enPlace

If you are up for something different for Cinco de Mayo, Zucchini con Queso could replace those refried beans.

Chicken & Zucchini con Queso could stand in for tacos and enchiladas.

Either way, you can't go wrong.  Just keep that knife to yourself.

Print It

Zucchini Con Queso
adapted from The Border Cookbook

Vegetables:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs zucchini, cut in fat matchsticks
1 medium onion, sliced in thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bell pepper (any color), sliced in thin strips
2 Roma tomatoes sliced into thin strips
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup sour cream
4 oz grated pepper jack cheese

In a large skillet warm butter and oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until wilted. Stir in the bell pepper, tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until zucchini is very tender.

While the vegetables cook, make the sauce.

In a saucepan, warm butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour.  Cook and stir until bubbly.  Add the garlic, evaporated milk, and sour cream and heat through. Stir in cheese, cover pan, and remove from the heat. Stir again in several minutes if needed to melt cheese evenly. Keep sauce warm until serving.

Serve the zucchini mixture with spoonfuls of the cheese sauce.
6-8 servings


Print It

Chicken & Zucchini Con Queso
adapted from The Border Cookbook

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips
1 tsp dried oregano, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
2 lbs zucchini, cut in fat matchsticks
1 medium onion, sliced in thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bell pepper (any color), sliced in thin strips
2 Roma tomatoes sliced into thin strips

Sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup sour cream
4 oz grated pepper jack cheese

In a large skillet warm butter and oil over medium heat. Season the chicken strips with half of the oregano and half of the salt.  Brown the chicken, then add zucchini, onion, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until wilted. Stir in the bell pepper, tomatoes, and remaining oregano, and salt. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until zucchini is very tender.

While this cooks, make the sauce.

In a saucepan, warm butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour.  Cook and stir until bubbly.  Add the garlic, evaporated milk, and sour cream and heat through. Stir in cheese, cover pan, and remove from the heat. Stir again in several minutes if needed to melt cheese evenly. Keep sauce warm until serving.

Serve the chicken & zucchini mixture with spoonfuls of the cheese sauce.




More from The Border Cookbook...
Garlic Soup
Tex-Mex Truckstop Enchiladas
Frijoles de Olla (Pot Beans)











More Cinco de Mayo...
Cheese & Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos
Black Bean Quesadillas
Brava Steaks with Lazy Salsa
Beef Tongue With Tomato (Lengua Entomada)
















Linking with:
What'd You Do This Weekend
Yesterfood
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Lou Lou Girls Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Celebrate It!
Olives-n-Okra
My Turn for us
Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

Apr 27, 2015

Chips for Supper! {Taco Casserole}

I have a tendency to eat like a kid.

Taco Casserole | Ms. enPlace


Dessert is the best part of any meal.
Hand held food is always fun.
Cheesy is good.

Taco Casserole | Ms. enPlace

Get where I'm going?

Taco Casserole | Ms. enPlace


So if chips can be turned into a meal, I'm gonna give it a whirl.

Taco Casserole | Ms. enPlace


Taco Casserole is like a pan of layered nachos, all beefy, cheesy, sour creamy and with loads of green onion (my favorite part).  It's good as is but even better topped with lettuce, tomato, and jalapenos.

Taco Casserole | Ms. enPlace

This casserole doesn't hold up well as leftovers.
The chips get soggy. Who likes soggy chips?
No one, that's who.
For the three of us, I cut the recipe in half and make it in an 8 x 8 pan.

Then I do it all over again another night.
Chips for supper twice in one week!

Print it

Taco Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning (1.25 oz)
1/2 cup picante sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
7 oz can chopped green chiles
8 oz sour cream
1 bag tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup green onion
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 chopped roma tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped jalapeno
1 lime (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13 x 9 baking pan.

Brown the ground beef.  Stir in the taco seasoning and picante sauce.  Whisk together the broth and flour and add to the beef mixture.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beef mixture has thickened.  While this simmers, mix together the green chiles and sour cream in a separate bowl.

Place half of the tortilla chips on the bottom of the pan.  Spoon half of the beef mixture over the chips.  Then spoon half of the sour cream mixture, half of the cheese, then half of the green onion.  Repeat with the remaining chips, beef, sour cream, cheese, and green onion.  Bake for about 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes.  Top with shredded lettuce, tomato, and jalapenos.  Squeeze lime juice over the top (optional) and serve.


More Cinco de Mayo...
Bacon & Tomato Guacamole
Fajita Shredded Beef
Frijoles de Olla (Pot Beans)
Avocado Dressed Shrimp
















Linking with:
What'd You Do This Weekend
Yesterfood
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Lou Lou Girls Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Celebrate It!
Olives-n-Okra
My Turn for us
Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds

Apr 21, 2015

Chile Relleno Burgers. Because You Need Them.

I could tell you that I'm actually ahead of the game for once.
That this is all about Cinco de Mayo coming up in a couple of weeks.
Chile Relleno Burgers | Ms. enPlace

But you know that's a big fat lie, right?
Chile Relleno Burgers | Ms. enPlace

The only holiday I'm ever really prepared for is Mardi Gras.
Even then it's iffy.
Chile Relleno Burgers | Ms. enPlace

These chile relleno burgers come from two places.
1.  When my friend Evelyn busted out Hatch Green Chile Strips w/ Honey Teriyaki Dipping Sauce back in October, I knew I needed them.
2. A couple of years ago, Sonic offered a "Ragin' Cajun" burger which had fried onion strips on top.  I needed that too.

So why not fry up green chile strips like Evelyn and put them on top of a burger like Sonic?
Yeah, why not?

The add some Monterrey Jack cheese and chipotle mayo just for fun.

Chile Relleno Burgers | Ms. enPlace

 I've tried these a couple of different ways.  Frying large pieces of roasted pepper--about the size of the burger patty.  I like the strips better.  The extras double as french fries.

I've also dressed these burgers with pico de gallo, a tomato/avocado salad, or lettuce, tomato, and avocado.  No preference--it was all good.

Chile Relleno Burgers | Ms. enPlace

How to roast a pepper


Print It

Chile Relleno Burgers

for the chiles:
(adapted from http://www.myturnforus.com/)

2 large poblano peppers, roasted, skin and seeds removed
oil for frying
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water
1 egg white
additional salt (optional)

for the burgers:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
salt and black pepper
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
lettuce (optional)
tomato (optional)
avocado (optional)
or pico de gallo (optional)
4 hamburger buns, toasted

for the chipotle mayo:
Can be made ahead

8 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp chopped chipotle peppers in adobo
juice of 1/2 lime

For the chiles:
The chiles can be roasted, skins and seeds removed ahead of time.  Store covered in the refrigerator.  Cut each pepper into long thin trips.

Pour vegetable oil almost halfway up the side of a skillet.  Heat over medium high.

Combine the ingredients for the batter in a deep bowl or container.  Drop a small amount of batter into the hot oil.  If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

Place a handful of chile strips into the batter. Remove and allow excess batter to drip off.  Place the battered chile strips into the hot oil on at a time.  Do not overcrowd.  Fry until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with additional salt (optional).

For the burgers:
Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet.
Shape the ground beef into 4 hamburgers.  Liberally season both sides with salt and black pepper.  Grill or cook burgers to your prefered doneness.  Just before removing them from the pan or grill, place 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on top of each burger.  Cover with lid or aluminum foil to melt the cheese.

For the mayo:
Mix all of the ingredients.  Store covered in the refrigerator until use.

Divide the mayo between the four bottom buns.  Place a burger on each bun.  Top with a pile of fried chile strips.  Serve with pico de gallo, or lettuce, tomato, and avocado (optional).


More Burgers...
Muffuletta Burgers
Cheese Stuffed Burgers w/ Spicy Scallion Mayo
Beef & Chorizo Burgers w/ Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce








Linking with:
What'd You Do This Weekend
Yesterfood
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Lou Lou Girls Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Celebrate It!
Olives-n-Okra
My Turn for us
Share your recipes on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds