Chicken Enchilada Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (we used hot red enchilada sauce)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 serranos, seeded and minced (we left the seeds in)
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Directions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Take a baking dish (we used an 8- x 8-inch baking dish) and spray the inside of it with nonstick cooking spray. Leave the dish off to the side for now.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the cream cheese, sour cream and enchilada sauce together until combined. Now mix in the chicken, serranos and cheese, reserving some of the cheese* to use as a topping later.
  3. Take the bowl mixture and spread it out evenly in the baking dish, topping it with that cheese you set aside earlier. Put the dish in the oven and let the dip bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese looks golden brown.
  4. Serve the dip immediately, topping it with cilantro and the chips on the side.

*We set aside ½ cup but it might be even better to set aside ¾ cup.

This is such a delicious cheesy dip ! We thought this was going to be really spicy between the serranos, enchilada sauce and pepper jack cheese but the dairy really tempers it down to a pleasant level of heat. While the cilantro is optional, we thought it brought a nice fresh component to the dish and the flavor from the cilantro pairs wonderfully with the dip.

We got this recipe from Chile pepper magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Chile pepper magazine.

Take care everybody !

Sugar M&M Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup (1 stick) butter flavor shortening
  • 2 eggs (we used large eggs)
  • ¼ cup corn syrup (we used light corn syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (we used vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • Sugar
  • Candy-coated chocolate pieces (M&M’s) (we used milk chocolate M&M’s)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a large mixing bowl out and add the 1 ¼ cups sugar and the shortening to it. Take a hand mixer and beat the sugar and shortening together on medium to high speed (we went with medium speed) until blended. Add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla into the bowl next, beating until it’s thoroughly combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the salt, beating it until everything’s combined.
  2. Take a container out (we used a paper plate) and spread a layer of sugar out on it. Use either a cookie scoop or a spoon to portion the cookie dough into balls the size of Ping-Pong balls (we used a rounded tablespoon). Roll the balls in that extra sugar, placing them on ungreased cookie sheets (we lined our sheets with aluminum foil) afterwards (we put 12 balls on each sheet). Take a flat-bottomed glass and flatten each ball of dough until they’re 3/8-inch thick. Press “lots”* of candy-coated chocolate pieces into each cookie (the candies will spread out as the cookies bake).
  3. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes (7 minutes did the trick for us). Don’t overbake the cookies, they should look “a bit dry but not browned” when they’re done baking (the top of our cookies still looked pale but the bottom was lightly browned).

Makes 36 cookies (we only got 33 cookies).

*We had no clue what “lots” was supposed to be but we could only get about 7 M&M’s on each cookie.

We don’t know about you guys but today was the first day of school here in our town and we thought these would be a great after school snack. The cookies were really easy to make and we think this could be fun for kids as well since they could make whatever design they want on the cookie. We loved the soft, chewy texture of the cookie with the little crispiness on the outer edge. The sugar on the outside of the cookies brings a nice texture to the treat. When you bite into the chocolate pieces, the chocolate flavor really comes through and works well with the classic sugar cookie flavor. We hope your kids enjoy eating these when they come home from school as much as we did when we took our first bite of this.

We got this recipe from MixingBowl.com.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote M&M’s or MixingBowl.com.

Take care everybody !

Shredded Chicken Tacos (Tinga De Pollo)

Ingredients

  • Chicken
    • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
    • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • ½ cup chicken broth (we used reduced-sodium chicken broth)
    • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
    • ½ teaspoon brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Tacos
    • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
    • 6 scallions, minced
    • Minced fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. For the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning it with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large Dutch oven, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add half* of the chicken in so it can get browned, letting it cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the browned chicken on a plate and repeat the cooking process with the other half of the chicken, adding the second batch of browned chicken to the plate as well.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, pouring the last tablespoon of oil into the Dutch oven afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it around frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion’s browned. Add the garlic, cumin and cinnamon into the Dutch oven, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until the mixture is fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and their juice, broth, chipotle and adobo sauce, and the sugar, stirring to combine and waiting for it to come to a boil afterwards. Once boiling, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom before moving onto the next step.
  3. Put the chicken back in the Dutch oven, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken registers 195 degrees, flipping the chicken after the first 5 minutes. Once the chicken’s fully cooked, take it out and place it on a cutting board.
  4. Transfer the remaining mixture from the Dutch oven into a blender and process it for 15 to 30 seconds or until smooth (we used the puree option on our blender to get the mixture smooth). Pour the smooth sauce back into the Dutch oven. Once the chicken’s cooled down enough for you to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces, returning it to the Dutch oven afterwards. Turn the heat up to medium and stir frequently for 10 minutes or until the sauce looks like it’s thickened and is clinging to the chicken**. Stir in the lime zest and juice at this point, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste afterwards.
  5. For the tacos: Spoon the chicken down the center of each tortilla, serving with the avocado, Cotija, scallions and cilantro as toppings and serving lime wedges on the side.

*We had to do more than just 2 batches in order for the chicken to get browned rather than steamed. We also added more oil into the Dutch oven for the other batches when the bottom seemed to be void of oil.

**Because of the blender, our sauce was already thicker and was coating the chicken so we only cooked the sauce and chicken until they were both heated through.

You’ll be coming back for seconds when you try this taco ! The sauce initially was nothing to write home about but once we added enough salt to it, we really tasted the smokiness from the chipotle and some of the other components in the sauce. It tasted so good that we started trying to think of ways to use that sauce in other dishes, we loved it that much ! All the components together work so harmoniously in this taco. You get that spice from the sauce, the creamy avocado, the funky (in a good way) flavor of the Cotija cheese, the freshness from the green onion and cilantro and a sharpness from the green onion all in this taco. We’d be happy to make this again and hopefully you will too !

We got this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cook’s Illustrated.

Take care everybody !

Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boys

Ingredients

  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced miniature sweet red peppers
  • ½ cup sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning (we used Zatarain’s blackening seasoning)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 pounds jumbo fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 (6- to 8-inch) loaves French bread, split lengthwise (we used 16-inch loaves and cut it into  8-inch portions)
  • Rémoulade sauce
    • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
    • 3 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 3 teaspoons Creole seasoning (we used Zatarain’s)
    • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (we used Frank’s RedHot Original)

Directions

  1. Start by making the rémoulade sauce: take a medium-sized mixing bowl out and add all the rémoulade ingredients to it, stirring to combine. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Take another medium-sized mixing bowl out and add to it the cabbages, sweet pepper slices, green onion, vinegar, honey and salt together, tossing to combine. Put a lid on the bowl and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the po’ boys.
  3. Take a large mixing bowl out and stir the blackening seasoning, oil and lemon juice together in it. Add the shrimp into the bowl, tossing it around in the bowl to coat.
  4. Take a large nonstick skillet out (we used a large cast iron skillet) and get it preheated over high heat (we only went to medium-high heat). Once the skillet’s hot, add the shrimp in batches to cook for about 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and firm.
  5. Once all the shrimp’s cooked you can start assembling the po’ boys. Take the bottom half of the French bread and place the shrimp on it, followed by adding on the slaw and drizzling on the rémoulade sauce. Eat right away.

All the components together make this a tasty sandwich ! For us, one serving was enough to keep us full for the rest of the night. Although this was delicious, it was a bit on the salty side but that might have been due simply to the brand we used for the blackening and creole seasoning.

We got the po’ boy recipe from Louisiana Cookin magazine and the rémoulade recipe came from Paula Deen’s magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Zatarain’s, Frank’s RedHot, Louisiana Cookin or Paula Deen’s magazine.

Take care everybody !

Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Sorry we didn’t post a recipe yesterday. Our battery charger stopped working a few days ago and we couldn’t get a new charger until today.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Creole or spicy brown mustard (we used Zatarain’s Creole mustard)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (we used smoked paprika)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3-to-4-pound) boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 links andouille sausage (we used Roger Wood brand andouille)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 soft sesame buns
  • Pickle slices and potato chips, for serving (we used dill pickle slices and Lay’s Original potato chips)

Directions 

  1. Add the water, vinegar, ketchup, ¼ cup mustard, molasses and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to a 7- to 8-quart slow cooker, stirring until combined.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork, placing it in the slow cooker afterwards as well as adding in the andouille. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  3. Take the pork and sausage out of the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board (or something else big enough to fit the pork and sausage on) to cool down a little bit. Skim off the fat from the cooking liquid before you strain it over a large skillet. Turn the heat up high enough for boiling to occur, letting it boil for 15 minutes or until the liquid’s been reduced by one-third (we had about 2 cups worth of liquid left after reducing).
  4. Shred the pork using forks and coarsely chop the sausage. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the meat to moisten it, seasoning the mixture with salt afterwards if you think it needs it.
  5. In a small bowl (one-cup capacity is all that’s needed) mix the mayonnaise and remaining mustard together, spreading it on the buns afterwards. Fill with the pulled pork mixture and pickle slices. Serve potato chips on the side.

We love eating pulled pork and we love andouille so naturally we had to try this recipe ! This was delicious, the meat itself is good but it’s the sauce that really turns up the flavor on the pulled pork and andouille. The meat mixture can be a little heavy so it’s nice having that acidity from the pickles and the tanginess of the creamy spread to cut through that heaviness.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Zatarain’s, Roger Wood or Lay’s.

Take care everybody !