Mexican Nachos: Chicken, Black Beans, Salsa, Cheese, and More!

Mexican-bake-8-17-15

This finished dish never lasts more than two days in our house.  It’s that tasty.  It’s hard to even put it in the fridge, you just want more.  It’s a perfect meal: protein of the beans and chicken, carb of the tortilla chips, fat of the cheese (and optional sour cream), and veggies: salsa, green onion, and beans (which have fiber too).  It’s just perfect, believe me.  You can health it up by doing multigrain or high fiber tortilla chips.

—–I put some ground cumin on my raw chicken, pan-fried it with some olive oil (via the Misto), let it rest 5 mins, then I chopped it into bite-sized pieces.  I am not often a fan of shredding, it takes forever.

—–I used organic low sodium black beans.  If you only have regular black beans, drain and rinse them multiple times – it removes 40% of the salt!

Makes 6 servings

Prep Time 10 Mins.

Oven Time 15 Mins.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 oz. baked or regular tortilla chips (c’mon put some more in the pan, live a little. I did probably 10 oz.)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and DRAINED
  • 1 cup jarred salsa or Picante sauce (or add more!)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat or regular Mexican cheese blend
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (I used green onions)
  • Optional: sour cream as a topping right before serving
  • Optional variation: replace chicken and beans with 1/2 LB. coarsely chopped cooked shrimp and 1 can (8 oz.) drained crushed pineapple

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If you do not already have your chicken cooked and ready, cook it now.  Let it rest a few minutes before chopping or shredding.
  3. Line bottom of a 13x9x2″ baking dish with tortilla chips.
  4. Scatter cooked chicken and beans over the chips.
  5. Spoon salsa over the beans and top with cheese and scallions (or green onions).
  6. Bake at 350 for 15 mins. until heated through and cheese is melted.
  7. Serve immediately!  (Who could wait anyway?)

 

 

Grilled Margherita Sandwiches

 

Grilled Margherita Sandwiches Cooking Light

 

I saw this recipe in my newest magazine subscription – Cooking Light.  “This quick five-ingredient entree transforms a favorite pizza combo into a melty grilled sandwich.  To thinly slice fresh mozzarella with ease, freeze the cheese for about 30 minutes before cutting.”.

We all know Margherita pizza is just a culinary delight, so this sandwich is wonderful.  Next time I will, a) use the panini press, b) I think the recipe forgot to say to seed your tomatoes, a very important step to avoid a soggy sandwich.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium marinara (I just used my Newman’s Own spaghetti sauce)
  • 8 (1 ounce) slices of whole-grain bread
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded, cut into 8 thin slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara over 1 side of each of 4 bread slices.
  2. Top evenly with cheese and tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with pepper and salt.
  4. Top tomatoes with basil and remaining bread slices.
  5. Lightly coat sandwiches with cooking spray.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan, swirl to coat.
  7. Add sandwiches to pan, cook 2 1/2 minutes or until browned.
  8. Brush tops evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil.
  9. Turn sandwiches over, cook 2 minutes or until browned.
  10. Serve immediately.
  11. (Alternatively, after step 5 you could use your panini press.)  

 

 

Hoisin Chicken Wings

Hoisin Chicken Wings 6-2015

This is a super delicious recipe.  I have been meaning to post it

INGREDIENTS:

  • Marinade (see step #1)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce (look in the Asian aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons white rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (don’t replace it with anything else!)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, drumsticks and wingettes separated
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (optional)
  • My idea: Chopped green onions can be added to marinade for flavor – or decor once the dish is plated 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, five-spice powder, cayenne, salt, and chopped green onions, if using.
  2. Add the wings to the mixture and use your hands to toss and coat the wings with the marinade.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to marinate.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil.  I double lined it for drip security.  
  6. Remove the wings from the marinade, shaking off the excess and saving marinade for basting.  Arrange the wings in a single layer on the baking pan.
  7. Roast for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and baste the wings with the leftover marinade, and sprinkle the sesame seeds, if using, over the wings.
  9. Return the wings to the oven and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown and crispy (also do a temperature check, always!)
  10. Transfer to a platter and serve.  Sprinkle with chopped green onions for decoration, if desired.

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Muffins with Fresh Raspberries

muffin1 muffin2 muffin3

I had the pleasure of spending time with my sister-in-law and her daughter and baking this recipe with them.  It was pretty straight-forward and easy, as far as baking goes!  Her new mixer came in handy.  I have owned the same Kitchenaid Artisan mixer for years and it is very easy to use.  Two controls: one side is the lock, the other is the speed.  Easy and makes light work of something like kneading bread dough or whipping cheesecake batter that must be fully mixed or else.  Also, it’s a star at creaming butter and sugar.

This recipe yielded approximately 12 servings, but for us, it yielded about 15 muffins.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1cup butter, softened (a half normal sized stick of butter)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 8 ounces Ghirardelli white chocolate, chopped (a total of two 4 oz. bars)
  • 1cup fresh raspberries

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Grease 12 standard-size muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla; blend well.
  5. In a separate large bowl, combine the baking powder, 2 cups of the flour, and the chopped white chocolate; whisk to combine.
  6. Gradually add to the butter mixture; stirring just until combined.
  7. Gently fold in the raspberries–the batter will be slightly lumpy.
  8. (The original directions on the Ghirardelli wrapper did not say to gently fold in, so we mixed them in which crushed them.  Either way, it will turn out just fine, it depends on your preference).  
  9. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full of batter.
  10. In a small bowl, combine the 1 Tbsp. of flour and 1 Tbsp. sugar; mix thoroughly.
  11. Dust muffin tops with the sugar mixture.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center of a muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
  13. Cool for 5 minutes in the tins; carefully transfer muffins to wire racks and cool further.
  14. Serve warm or cool; store in an airtight container at room temperature.