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Posts Tagged ‘mexican’

Chicken Enchiladas with a Smoky Tomato Sauce

Fajitas are a popular dish in our household. In fact I’ve stopped blogging about them now because there’s only so many photos you can take of the same dish! I just adore the spicy chicken with the charred vegetables, salsa, sour cream..yum yum yum. However, Erika and I thought we’d try something different but still stay with the mexican theme, so turned to a recipe on our delicious for chicken enchiladas with a smoky tomato sauce, which we halved to serve both of us generously.

The recipe blurb suggests that it’s not too spicy and is suitable for kids. Not being a child I added a bit extra smoked paprika in order to get more of that smoky flavour across. I also dropped the cocoa powder as I thought the use of it would make the sauce taste a bit too hot-chocolatey. Furthermore we poached then shredded a chicken breast and used that instead of the shop bought stuff as I find that has absolutely no flavour whatsoever.

Overall – very good. Spicy sauce, tasty filling with the stringy melted cheese on top, all in addition to the wraps which go wonderfully crispy after coming out of the oven. I still prefer fajitas but I’d be happy to alternate between the two!

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Quesadillas - a quick and easy dinner

So we’re back after a month or so away. It took a while to get everything unpacked and also to get used to cooking in a new kitchen. What with all the stress involved with moving, Erika and I lost our appetites and our desire to try new things in the kitchen but I can safely say that the appetite has returned! This was confirmed today by spending much of the afternoon scoffing chinese food, hot chocolate and a deliciously sweet honeycomb and chocolate mousse at the Thames Festival.

After all that munching only a light dinner was required and quesadillas fitted the bill. They’re really tasty and take just three minutes each to make. Firstly, get your fillings ready in advance (I chose red onion, diced cooked chicken, sweetcorn and some red jalapeños; Erika had mushrooms, chicken and sweetcorn), grate some mature cheddar cheese then heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Spread a tortilla with some tomato purée, place it purée up in the pan then add your toppings as well as plenty of cheese. Top with another tortilla, then cook for around a minute, turn, then cook for a couple of minutes on the other side, giving it a good squeeze with a spatula to compress everything.

Slice into 6 then enjoy. We had ours with a simple salad.

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Mexican bean soup

A quick dinner tonight. Erika and I have been busy recently, so it’s nice to have something which tastes good but doesn’t take too long to cook. I’d also had a tasteless, watery chicken fajita for lunch from the work canteen which didn’t satisfy my craving for mexican food so was delighted when Erika suggested having this!

I used the same Mexican bean soup recipe as before, but used some leftover cooking chorizo instead of the bacon and left out the roasted pepper.

Once again it tasted lovely, although it did need a pinch of chilli flakes as the red chilli I used didn’t pack enough heat. There was spice from the chilli, paprika-y saltiness from the chorizo and heartiness from the beans and spaghetti. Next time I’d like to make a huge pot and take it for lunch at work to have instead of the awful canteen food!

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chicken fajitas

We weren’t intending to have fajitas tonight as I was meant to be out, but a change in plans meant a trip to the supermarket on the way home as the chicken we were going to use was still sitting in the freezer!

We used our usual fajita spice mix alongside two chicken breasts, three small peppers and two and a half red onions. The leftover half of the red onion was diced and mixed up with some more chilli, a couple of diced tomatoes, a dash of olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice and a teaspoonful or so of chopped parsley to make a zingy salsa.

Once again the fajitas were served with the salsa, tortilla wraps, sour cream, grated cheese and jalapeños. Scrumptious.

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Mexican Bean Soup

Erika and I went out for lunch today so when dinnertime came we weren’t very hungry. We went to the supermarket for inspiration and I found myself craving a thick, spicy, tomatoey soup. Attempting to remember what we already had at home, I put a can of mixed beans, a pack of lardons and some mixed chillis into my basket and walked back thinking of a recipe.

A quick google didn’t come up with anything useful so I decided in my head what I wanted the finished dish to look and taste like and set to work.

Mexican bean soup

Mexican Bean Soup (Serves 2)

100g bacon lardons/pancetta
1 onion, half sliced, the other half diced
1 red chilli, seeds removed, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tin of mixed beans
1 romano pepper, roasted, skin removed then sliced (optional)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
25gr spaghetti, snapped into small pieces
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp coriander seed
salt & pepper

Start by toasting the cumin and coriander in a non-stick frying pan. Once nicely toasted, crush with a pestle and mortar and set aside.

Next, fry the lardons in a saucepan with a little olive oil until browned then remove from the pan and set aside. Put the onion, garlic and chilli into the pan then cook over a low heat until the onion has softened. Add the spices, salt and pepper and cook for a minute before adding the beans, the cooked bacon and the pepper. Stir in the tomato puree, then leave for a few seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes, stock and spaghetti. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the spaghetti has cooked and the beans are soft. Check the seasoning just before serving.

If you like your soup smooth, blend it all. If you like it chunky, do nothing. If you don’t care too much (like me), blend half and stir through the remainder of the soup. Blending will change the colour from red to orange.

Considering this was made up as I went along it tasted delicious. It turned out more like a stew than a soup so a little extra stock would have made it a bit more soupy. Even Erika, who wasn’t going to have any, loved it (after picking out the bacon). The bacon didn’t really add too much to the dish so I’d be happy to make it without next time. I only added the pepper as we’d bought some earlier in the day and I think some thinly sliced carrot would be a good alternative.

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Chicken Fajitas

I absolutely adore fajitas. The crunchy peppers, succulent chicken, spicy jalapeños. The leftovers are just as delicious cold, sandwiched between two thick slices of bread with some iceburg lettuce. Erika is just happy with the sour cream; I reckon she could eat a tub without even noticing the fajitas! We used two chicken breasts, a couple of peppers and a couple of red onions.

Cooked chicken, onions and peppers ready to go into fajitas!

Spice Mix
1 chilli, finely chopped – more if you want them spicier
1tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice of half a lime

Place the sliced chicken into a bowl, add the spices, chilli, garlic and lime juice and mix well. Leave this for as long as you can stand – an hour is good. Meanwhile slice the peppers and onions thickly and set aside. I like to add some finely chopped chilli to the vegetables too.

When you’re hungry and have given up waiting, heat some oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Fry the onions and peppers for 5 minutes until browned then remove from the pan and set aside. Add more oil, allow the pan to heat up once more and fry the chicken for 5 minutes or until almost cooked. Return the vegetables to the pan and fry for a couple more minutes to heat them through and finish off the chicken. Serve with tortilla wraps, sour cream, grated mature cheddar, salsa and jalapeños.

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