Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My version of King Ranch Chicken

I have Nannie's original recipe which uses canned chicken and mushroom soups, and cheese Whiz. I always make my cream-of-soup though, and I use velveeta instead of Cheese Whiz. So here's my actual recipe that I made today. I think it taste at least as good as the original, though it may take more time? If you're in a hurry, or don't enjoy cooking as much as I do, you can substitute canned soups for the sauce I tell you how to make. I will include additional instructions below for how I would handle it if I use my usual ingredients with canned instead of homemade soup.

King Ranch Chicken
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or chicken pieces, or 1 whole chicken)
cream soup (recipe below)
1/2 bar velveeta cheese
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 large onion chopped

2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
3 c water or milk
1 small can diced green chiles
1/2 c cheddar cheese

1 pkg corn tortillas tortillas

cheddar cheese to taste

First I boil my raw chicken with carrots, celery, onions, salt, pepper and 8-12 cups water. This makes broth, which I use for the tortillas in this dish and I save the rest for soup or something else.

Cool, de-bone (if you didn't use boneless) and save broth.

*Cream Cheese Sauce:
Melt butter in skillet on medium high-high. Whisk in the flour, until butter is absorbed. Turn flame to high, pour in liquid (milk or water) and keep whisking. I use a flat whisk, but a regular whisk will work the same. When it starts boiling and thickening, add 1/2 bar ov velveeta cheese and 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and canned chiles; and keep whisking until cheese is melted and sauce is thick and smooth. Turn down heat to medium low. Add rotel and chopped onion to the sauce. Taste it. If you like it hotter, add more chiles or red pepper flakes or jalapenos.

Grease your 9x13 casserole dish. Soak corn tortillas one at a time in reserved chicken broth (use canned broth if you didn't have to boil your chicken). Place layer of tortillas in bottom of greased 9x13 casserole dish. Layer chicken, then sauce, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Repeat starting with tortillas, chicken, sauce, cheddar cheese. I make three layers. If you don't have corn tortillas, you can use corn chips.

Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes until bubbly and cooked through. Remove cover, add more cheese on top, and bake another 10 minutes or so. Enjoy!

*If you don't want to make homemade cream sauce: You can combine 1 can cream of mushroom + 1 can cream of chicken soups in a microwavable bowl if that's where you want to heat it up, or in a sauce pot for heating on the stove. Add can of rotel, chopped onion, canned chiles and 1/2 bar chopped velveeta cheese and heat in microwave (or on stove) until it's warm and velveeta is melted. Mix in cheddar cheese and start layering.

Chewy Brownies from the Jr League

I'm thinking I'll go ahead and try this brownie recipe from the Jr. League's cookbook. I haven't had a whole lot of luck with homemade brownie recipes. I mean, they're chocolate and I'll eat them. My boys will eat them, but remind me that they "don't taste like brownies". We'll see how it goes.

Chewy Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

6 tablespoons baking cocoa

2 cups sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I left them out!)

Directions: Combine the butter and baking cocoa in the top of a double broiler over simmering water (or use two different-sized pans if you don’t have a double broiler). Cook until the butter is melted, stirring frequently. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the sugar and eggs quickly. Fold in the flour, vanilla and nuts. Pour into a buttered 8X8 inch or 9X9 inch baking pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes; do not overbake. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Cut into squares.

Makes 12 servings.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crockpot Green Enchilada Chili?

It's not freezing here, but I am cold. And it's damp if not out right raining. The high today is 50-something, but I'm not optimistic I'll warm up. So here's what I'm doing for dinner tonight. It's technically "movie night" at our house. We've gone from pizza-movie night, to taco-movie night. Since D doesn't eat any real food anyway, I'm thinking B and I will not be upset that we're having this instead of traditional tacos. =)
Crock-pot Green Enchilada Chili Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds chicken
1 1/2 cups Las Palmas green enchilada sauce
(or a large can)
2 (14.5 oz) cans chopped or diced tomatoes
4 cups pinto or kidney beans (or mixture of both)

1 onion, diced (or 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes)
1 TBSP garlic
1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cilantro
1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder

Pour enchilada sauce and canned tomatoes into the bottom of a 6 quart (or larger) crock-pot. Add beans, onion and spices. Stir to combine. Place chicken on top.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until flavors have combined. When the chicken is cooked through and tender, you might need to pull it out and tear it into bite-sized pieces (depending on what kind of chicken you started with). Or you could shred it- which is my FAV- but B doesn't like it that way.

I'm planning to serve with flour tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. I'll try to remember to take pictures and update the recipe!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baked Tilapia

Found some frozen tilapia filets in my freezer, and I'm thinking we need to eat them. I was leaning toward parmesan fish, but hubby doesn't particularly care for parmesan at all.

tilapia filets (I'm using 4 that were frozen)
2 cups rice (I used brown rice- I had to cook it ahead of time)

chopped or sliced carrots
broccoli florets
cauliflower florets
sliced onion
(or those bags of mixed veggies in the freezer aisle at the grocery....)

1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
Lousianne Cajun Seasoning (or whatever you like best)

Inside a casserole dish place a 24" or so piece of aluminum foil. You might want to spray the foil, like with spray olive or canola oil, or pam or whatever you normally use). Put rice on the bottom inside the foil. Then place steamed mixed vegetables on top, and drizzle with olive oil and minced garlic. Next lay the fish filets down, and drizzle fish on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with cajun seasoning (or whatever spice you choose). Close up aluminum foil into a sealed packet. I was thinking mayo instead of olive oil might be nice too, but my hubs doesn't like mayonaise. So I went with the olive oil. I also added lemon pepper,garlic salt and a TBSP of butter to the rice when I cooked it.

Bake in oven at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or on grill at low temp for 20 minutes (until fish is white/flakey/cooked all the way through). I'm excited to try it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Macaroni Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1-2 cups elbow macaroni noodles
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce
1 small can mushrooms or 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small chopped onion
crushed garlic if you have it
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese (or mozzarella, or whatever you have)

Brown hamburger meat w/onions, salt, pepper and garlic until brown. Drain the fat off, add dry macaroni noodles and all the other ingredients. Put it in a casserole dish, cover and bake at 350° for 45 mins - 1 hr 15 mins (until it's hot and bubbly and the noodles are cooked/soft). I usually uncover it after about 30-40 mins and add more cheese to the top. =) I can't remember adding extra water, but several people have mentioned cooking the noodles first- but I'm certain I don't do that. I'm making it tonight and will see if I need to add a cup or 2 of water for the noodles to absorb....