Tag Archives: black olives

Grilled Nachos with Chicken and Chunky Guacamole plus Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

15 Jul
Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

It’s about time I had a new recipe, yes? Since I’m off camping (once again) this weekend, I’m posting mid-week so as not to leave you empty-handed. This time we are going to Clear Lake for an annual reunion to celebrate my uncle’s (dad’s side) birthday. This will be his 88th! Happy Birthday Uncle Joe!

Although we’ve cooled down the past few days, last week it was sweltering hot after we got back from our river camping trip. And when it’s that hot, I always fire up the grill for dinner. I thought some loaded chicken nachos sounded pretty darn good. I was going to grill the chicken, but decided instead to throw it in the crockpot with the seasonings then plug in the appliance outdoors on the deck. And then I shredded the chicken when it was done, mixed up some chunky guacamole made with a serrano pepper from my garden, assembled the nachos then slapped them on the grill! (OK I slid them, not slapped.) ūüėÄ

Serrano Pepper Plant

My Serrano Pepper Plant is Producing Awesomely!

This was a plenty filling dinner out on our deck on the patio table. I had leftover shredded chicken, black beans, and sliced olives so decided to make a Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza the next night. Hey you get several recipes this time! Olé!

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

For the chicken:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (recipe here, or store-bought)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lime, squeezed

Guacamole Ingredients

Guacamole Ingredients

For the chunky guacamole:

2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 serrano pepper, stem cut and deseeded and finely minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cilantro
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the nachos:

Tortilla chips
Grated block cheddar cheese (it melts better than pre-shredded)
Shredded chicken
More grated cheese
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced black olives, drained
Chunky guacamole (recipe below)
Sour cream
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Chopped green onion

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Add the chicken ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then set aside.

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Meanwhile, prepare the chunky guacamole. Add all the prepped ingredients to a bowl, then smash up and mix with a fork until desired consistency. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate.

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

Preheat the grill to high heat on one side. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then layer tortilla chips in one layer on the foil. Spread with grated cheese, then chicken, then more cheese, black beans, and black olives.

Preparing the Nachos

Preparing the Nachos

Slide the foil sheet onto the heated side of the grill then cover, grilling for about 10 minutes until the bottoms of the chips are crispy. Move the nachos to the unheated side of the grill then cover again, grilling until the cheese has melted.

Grilling the Nachos

Grilling the Nachos

Slide nachos back onto the baking sheet, top with chunky guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and chopped green onion to taste. Enjoy!

Now here is a recipe for what to make with any leftover ingredients you have from the nachos, depending on the size of your family or if your teenage daughter decides she’s going to a friend’s house for dinner instead of eating your excellent nachos. Just a couple of photos with this one and paper plates, it was that kind of night!

Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

10-inch flour tortillas
Oil spray
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Cooked shredded chicken (use deli rotisserie chicken or leftovers)
Sliced black olives, drained
Thinly sliced onion
Jarred sliced jalape√Īos
Grated Colby Jack cheese

First add the black beans to a blender or food processor, then drizzle in olive oil and process until creamy, scraping down the sides and adding oil as needed. Set aside.

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Preheat the grill to medium to medium-low, and spray the tortilla(s) on one side and grill for about 3 minutes, until crisp and starting to puff up on the top side. Remove to plate, then spray the non-grilled side with oil. Flip over, then spread the creamy beans evenly over the tortilla. Top evenly with salsa, shredded chicken, black olives, onion, jalape√Īos and cheese.

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Place back on grill, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. You might need to move it to the unheated side if it’s getting too crispy on the bottom and the cheese isn’t melted yet. Add a green salad on the side, and dinner is served!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Advertisements

Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

15 May
Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

Talk about a super-easy mid-week meal to make when life is busy and you’re craving Tex-Mex! I was hankering some spicy, per usual, and amazingly I had every single ingredient on hand for this meal. I guess that’s not entirely amazing, since I always keep a good stock of Tex-Mex spices and herbs on hand. I was really wanting to use my new Ninja food processor I got for Mother’s Day from my fabulous family to mix up some awesome homemade Ancho chile paste for this, as I also had dried Ancho chiles sitting around. However, time got the best of me so I used store-bought ground Ancho chile powder instead. (Actually, the label on the package says Pasilla chile powder, but Ancho chile powder is dried Pasillas peppers.) Either way, these easy casserole-style enchiladas were a hit, and we barely had enough leftover for two the next day. Double or triple accordingly!

Ground Beef Ready to Mix with Sauce and Spices

Ground Beef Ready to Mix with Sauce and Spices

Quick and Easy Stacked Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste
8-ounce can sliced black olives, divided
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1 8-0unce can no-salt tomato sauce
3 medium-size flour tortillas, torn into chunks
1 1/2 cups shredded blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup water
Cilantro, chopped green onion, sliced black olives, and sour cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium skillet (ooh look, my new red ceramic-lined skillet!), cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and pepper until the burger is browned. Drain any grease. Add about 3/4 of the sliced black olives and mix well. Now add the Ancho chile powder (you can sub with New Mexico Red, or regular chile powder in a pinch), the green chiles, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with oil, then line the bottom with half the torn tortilla chunks and very lightly spray the tops of the tortillas. Spread half the meat mixture over top, then half the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas and a light spray of oil on them, meat, and cheese. Drizzle the half cup of water around the edges of the casserole. Cover tightly, and cook for a half hour. Uncover and broil for a few minutes. Take out and let rest for five minutes. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, sliced black olives, and sour cream (any or all optional). I had this meal prepped, cooked, and on the table in one hour flat. Can’t go wrong with that! And plates were licked clean.

Enchilada Sauce Ready for Casserole

Enchilada Sauce Ready for Casserole

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

22 Jul
Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

It was a pretty warmish day here yesterday, so I thought a summer salad meal was in order for dinner. I used to make this a lot when I was in college, but it’s slipped from my repertoire in the past many years and figured it was a good time to dredge it back up.¬† I had intentions of making home-made Italian salad dressing for this, but after all the chopping, slicing, and dicing I decided bottled dressing would do the trick just as well. I had a “light” bottle of Ken’s Steak House Italian with Basil and Romano, and I’m sure I couldn’t have done much better with what I had around in the kitchen. I have also made this salad with Kielbasa sausage, but but since we just had Smoked Sausage earlier in the week I decided to use the spicier Pepperoni.¬† The Pepperoni gives it a good tang so didn’t have to load it up with extra spices beyond black pepper. This makes a really large bowl of salad, and is perfect to take to potlucks and parties. No party here last night, but it made a refreshing dinner on the back porch.

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

1 box of tri-colored pasta
1 cucumber, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large green onion, diced
1/3 large red onion, diced
1 small can of sliced black olives
4 oz. sliced Pepperoni, quartered
Cubed Colby Jack cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
Black pepper to taste

Chopped Veggies

Chopped Veggies

Cook the pasta according to directions, and cool under running cold water. Set aside to drain while prepping the veggies. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding the various cheeses, salad dressing, and black pepper to taste. Just keep mixing in until it “tastes right.” You’ll want to prepare this a few hours before eating and store in the refrigerator so that the flavors can meld. When ready to eat, serve with a side of fresh fruit and bread, and you have a simple, delicious summer meal!

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

11 Mar
Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

…or, How to Use as Many Pots, Pans, Bowls, and Utensils as Possible for a Single Dish. Seriously, this is a sink filler-upper. But ohhhh, the flavor is just delectable and restaurant-worthy, in my humble opinion. Actually, the first time I made this for my husband, he got so excited that he wanted to open a restaurant right then and there! Alas, that was only a pipe dream of his (thank goodness!) but that has not stopped me from cooking these tasty crepes on a periodic basis. Since the dish is so time-consuming, I would guess we have this less than once a year. But the wait is so worth it!

The original recipe comes¬†‚ÄĒ once again¬†‚ÄĒ from my trusty Better Homes and Garden book. While most of the recipes I use from it have been transformed over the years, this one has never needed many changes aside from using chicken instead of turkey. Turkey meat has such a strong taste that I’ve always opted for the lighter taste of the smaller fowl.

My sister is in town visiting from Austin, and we tackled this masterpiece together, which made the process not only much shorter, but a heck of a lot more fun! I taught her how to make the crepes (and she was a natural at it) and she taught me a trick to make a no-fail white sauce. Win-win! Another time saver was cooking half a chicken the day before to make the chicken broth and cubed meat as called for in the recipe.

Chicken Tetrazzini Crepes

6 to 12 crepes (see recipe below)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, quartered or halved
6 tablespoons butter or substitute
1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sherry or white wine
2 cups cooked chicken meat, cubed
8 oz. can of sliced black olives

If you don’t already have cooked chicken on hand, it’s best to start this process the day before, or start cooking in the afternoon as this will take some time. First, begin preparing the crepes according to recipe below. I put my sister on this duty after I showed her the trick to getting them to come out perfect. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of the butter or substitute in a medium saucepan. My sister wanted to use real butter for the entire recipe, but she conceded to let me use Smart Balance to saut√© the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has released and reduced down, about 10 minutes.¬† When the mushrooms are done, pour them into a bowl and set aside.

Crepe, mushrooms and new owl spatula!

Crepe, mushrooms and new owl spatula!

In the same saucepan used for the mushrooms, melt the other three tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook for about three minutes on low heat but don’t let it start to brown. My sister says cooking the flour for a few minutes will release the oil in the butter and make for a creamier sauce.¬† I do believe that worked! Next add the chicken broth and cream and cook on medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring often. Add the cheese and sherry or white wine and stir until the cheese melts. Keep on very low heat while you do the next steps, occasionally stirring.

Spray a casserole dish with vegetable oil and place in a strategic area for crepe assembly. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, olives, mushrooms and one cup of the sauce. I save some of  the olive slices for the top of the crepes.  Next, spoon some of the mixture down the center of the unbrowned side of a crepe, and roll up. Place the crepe seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until you run out of mixture. We were able to fill seven crepes for the size we made, and had four crepes leftover. Plus we ran out of room in the dish.

Last, pour the remaining sauce evenly over the crepes, and decorate the top with the reserved olive slices. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Take out and let rest for a few minutes. We served this with steamed asparagus. My sister toasted some sliced almonds for her serving, but my husband and I preferred the dish without them. Bon Appétit!

Crepes

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Dash of salt

Assembled and ready for sauce

Assembled and ready for sauce

In a bowl, combine the flour, milk, eggs, oil, and salt. Beat with a rotary mixer until well blended. Heat a lightly oil-sprayed skillet for a few minutes. Remove from the heat then pour about a quarter cup of batter into the center, and tilt and swirl the batter around until it’s spread evenly in the bottom. Return the skillet to the heat and brown on one side only until the edges begin to curl up a bit.¬† To remove the crepe, turn the skillet upside down onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the skillet lightly between crepes. Set them aside until ready to fill.

%d bloggers like this: