Friday, February 18, 2011

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 large or 6 medium sweet peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 C white rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 jalapeño, minced (or a small 3oz can of mild green chilies)
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 to 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, to taste
1 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 1/4 C jack or pepper jack cheese, divided
3 to 4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides.  Bring 4 quarts water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.  Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften.  Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Add rice to boiling water and cook until tender, about 13 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add corn, beans, green onions, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper.  Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes.  Place peppers in a baking dish. Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro.  Stir to combine well and give it a taste.  Add additional salt, pepper, and chili powder to your liking.  Then evenly divide mixture between peppers.  Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Notes: Delicious!  I found this recipe on Our Best Bites.  Apparently our peppers weren't large enough because we had a lot of leftover filling.  (The filling by itself was tasty, too, when eaten with tortilla chips.)  I don't think this recipe would work as well with green bell peppers.  Much better, in my opinion, than Croation Stuffed Peppers.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese
small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
3. Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.
4. Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.
5. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
6. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Notes: Brittany found this recipe on a blog called Our Best Bites.  As you can see from the photos, our tortillas cracked.  These were really quite tasty.

Spaghetti Pie

4 oz. dried spaghetti
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, drained
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain.
2. Return spaghetti to warm saucepan.  Stir butter into hot pasta until melted.  Stir in egg and Parmesan cheese; set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet cook ground beef, onion, sweet pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain.  Stir in tomato sauce and oregano; heat through.
4. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.  Press spaghetti mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie plate, forming a crust.  Spread cottage cheese on the top and up the sides of pasta crust.  Spread meat mixture over cottage cheese.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.  To serve, cut into wedges.

Notes: This was actually quite tasty, and reminded me somewhat of lasagna.  It comes from the Better Homes and Gardens 12th Edition cook book, and is one of their "Best Loved" recipes.  Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Tacos

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup lemonade
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 bay leaf
1 (12 oz.) package corn tortillas
1 head lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) jar salsa
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chicken, lemonade, olive oil, lime juice, and Worchestershire sauce.  Season with garlic powder, onion powder, and bay leaf.  Simmer until chicken is no longer pink, and juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave until soft.  When chicken is fully cooked, transfer to serving bowl.  Place lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and sour cream in serving dishes.  Each person can create their own wrap, using their preferred ingredients.

Notes: We didn't have lemonade, so we used limeade.  Lemonade would probably have been better.  We also used flour tortillas instead of corn.  We liked this recipe but didn't think it was anything special.  It didn't really taste anything like what I expect a taco to taste like.  My sister-in-law has a chicken taco recipe that we like much better that we will have to make some time in the future.  Brittany found this recipe on  Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce

1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried sage, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 (4 oz.) boneless pork loin chops
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). In a small bowl, combine crushed thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Rub evenly over pork chops.

2. Melt butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Cook pork chops for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove from skillet and keep warm in preheated oven.

3. In the skillet, combine raspberry jam, orange juice, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to desired consistency (sauce will thicken as it cools). Spoon sauce in a pool onto a serving plate, and top with pork chops. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.              

Notes: Brittany's sister, Kim, shared this recipe with us, and she found it on  We obviously didn't follow the directions exactly, since our pork is bone-in, our raspberry sauce has seeds in it, and we put the sauce on top.  Still, very tasty.  I think this is only our second pork chop recipe on the blog, but we prefer this one to Pork Chops and Orange Rice.