August 14, 2013

Stacked Verde Chicken Enchiladas

I don't even know where to start with this recipe you guys. A few weeks ago, I cooked a completely different stacked enchilada recipe that consisted of roasted vegetables and red enchilada sauce, which was alright, but I knew I could do better.
My roasted vegetables weren't quite up to par, the red sauce was too spicy for me and all my husband wanted was some meat (as per usual). So then I got thinking, how could I make this dish better? I loved the concept, but we needed something different.
Enter in five simple ingredients that made this dish simply irrestistable: corn tortillas, shredded chicken, verde enchilada sauce, black beans and cheese. Holy moly we have a winner!
My husband and I could not get enough and even our one-year-old was loving it! 
To make your wildest dreams come true, please top it with a LARGE dollop of sour cream. The dish will then become creamy, cheesy, spicy and even more delicious.

Stacked Verde Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4-6
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
10-12 small corn tortillas
2-3 cups verde enchilada sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease an 8x8 square baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
3. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortillas, to completely cover the bottom of the pan. (You might have to cut the tortillas to make them fit.) Top with 1/3 of the chicken/bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, enchilada sauce, chicken/beans, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken/beans, and cheese. (If you’d like, make a final layer of tortillas, enchilada sauce and cheese to finish it off.) Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.
4. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the enchiladas are bubbling. Remove enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares, top with sour cream and serve warm.

August 12, 2013

Belgian Cinnamon Liege Waffles - Bruges Waffles and Frites Copycat Recipe

Two summers ago, while hanging out in downtown Salt Lake City after a concert, a few of my family members and I happened upon Bruges Waffles & Frites. Famous for their dessert waffles, fries, gourmet fry sauces and the infamous machine gun sandwich, Bruges intrigued me.
Soon after taking one bite of the fluffiest, thickest, waffle swirled with caramelized sugar and cinnamon, topped with strawberries and ice cream, I knew I was done for. These were unlike anything I've ever seen or tasted and I knew I was going to become an addict.
And while I continued to purchase Bruges' waffles, my wallet was depleting, so I set out in search of a copycat recipe. It took a bit of research before I found out that Bruges' waffles are liege waffles and call for Belgian Pearl Sugar. Unfortunately, this sugar is pretty impossible to find in any store so I ordered some from good old Amazon. It seems a bit pricy at first, but in comparison to buying one $7 waffle at Bruges, it is worth it. Plus you can pile on as many toppings as you please without the extra price.
Here is a picture of the dough with the pearl sugar folded in, just so you're not alarmed. The dough needs to rise and gets to be the consistency of a bread dough, unlike normal waffle batter. And you can only imagine how good those sugar pearls are caramelized, right? So yummy.
Be sure to pile on the toppings and enjoy this decadent dessert like I did in place of a traditional birthday "cake."

Belgian Cinnamon Liege Waffles
Source: Lars
Makes 8 Waffles
1 Tbsp. yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 sticks butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. Belgian pearl sugar (the Lars pearl sugar comes in 8 oz. packets)
Any kind of berries, ice cream, Nutella, chocolate, cookie butter, etc.

1. Warm milk in microwave for 15-20 seconds (until warm to touch - not hot). Dissolve the yeast into the warm milk and let sit 5 minutes.
2. In stand mixer with dough attachment, add the flour, salt and cinnamon; mix together slightly.
3. Add the milk/yeast mixture, butter and eggs. Combine well. Lastly mix in the vanilla.
4. Scrape batter into a bowl (making sure dough is fully incorporated), cover and allow to rest and rise for 30 minutes. Note: Dough is sticky and nothing like normal waffle batter.
5. Preheat Belgian waffle iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. When ready to cook waffles, fold 8 oz. of pearl sugar into the dough-like batter. Scoop out heaping  ½ -1 cups of the batter into the middle of the waffle iron, close, and cook until lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes per waffle). You can use as much dough in the iron as you like to make them bigger.
6. Top with toppings of choice and serve warm.

August 8, 2013

Southwest Pasta Salad

If you are looking for a perfect pasta salad for your next neighborhood barbecue, this is it. This pasta salad is so different than your standard every day mayo-based salad and so tasty. We actually ate this for dinner and it was completely filling.
I don't know what it is about Southwest flavors, but they are just my kind of jam. I can't get enough.

Southwest Pasta Salad
Adapted from Our Best Bites 
6 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 3 small, juicy limes)
1/4 cup white wine or rice vinegar
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Pasta Salad
Zest from 2 limes
1/2 lb. bowtie pasta, cooked according to directions
1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced red onions
1/2 cup fresh corn, cooked
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup queso fresco or feta cheese

1. For the dressing: Process lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and sugar in a blender until smooth. With the blender running on slow speed, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Turn off the blender and add cilantro. Pulse 5-6 times so cilantro gets broken up but some pieces still remain intact.
2. For the pasta salad: Zest limes and place zest in a large salad bowl. Place cooled, cooked, drained pasta in a large salad bowl with lime zest.
3. Add beans, tomatoes, pepper, onions and corn. Toss with dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. For best results, chill 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top.

August 6, 2013

Banana Bread Muffins - Toddler Approved

Since I'm currently smack dab in the middle of trying to figure out what my own toddler will eat, I decided to start a little series of easy "Toddler Approved" food that is healthy and homemade. 

I'm not sure I've met a toddler who doesn't love bread/muffins of any kind. My little boy loves the taste of bananas, but he won't eat them anymore so I decided to grind them up and trick him into eating them again.
He loves these muffins and to be honest, so do we. They taste exactly like banana bread and are pretty irresistible. 
Something else I've found pretty irresistible are these silicone muffins holders. The muffins are much easier to remove from the liner than the standard paper ones, the muffin tin stays clean and of course I love that they are reusable! I got mine at Marshall's, but you can find some here.

Banana Bread Muffins
Adapted from All Recipes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or line 16 muffin cups.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Mix bananas, white sugar, canola oil, brown sugar and egg together in a separate large bowl; fold banana mixture into flour mixture until just incorporated. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.