Mini Chimichangas

I like Mexican food, but let met tell you I was slightly suspicious when I saw this recipe. First, I should clarify.  Tex Mex food.  Most chimichangas are lots of fried tortilla and not as much delicious filling.  Plus, they seem a little complicated to make.  Lots of frying (which I don’t love doing) – all that hot oil.  Usually when I fry, I simply try not to start my apron on fire.  (successful . . . so far)

Well, these chimichangas are exactly what to expect from one of my favorite food bloggers – Spoon Fork Bacon.  They are deliciously crispy with a wonderfully melty filling.  The filling is really the star.  And the dipping sauce is a lovely addition.  You surely won’t be missing those oily, doughy versions of chimichangas.

These are the perfect little pocket of goodness for any event.  I made these for a get together with friends and they were a hit!  My friends especially loved the dipping sauce.  They are easily made vegetarian, too.  Just substitute chicken for beans or your other favorite vegetable.

From Spoon Fork Bacon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ red onion, diced
½ pepper, seeded and diced (Spoon, Fork, Bacon suggests poblanos.  I used green pepper and it was still great)
3/4 cup frozen corn
2 medium, cooked chicken breasts, shredded
¼ cup prepared salsa (of your choice)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

16 (5 inch) flour tortillas
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

sriracha dipping sauce:
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 lime, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oil to 375°F.  Pour olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, onion and pepper for 4 to 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add corn kernels and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.
Pour mixture over chicken and toss together.  Add the prepared salsa and cheese and fold together until fully incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.
Place a small amount of the filling into the center of each tortilla and fold up like a burrito and place onto a baking sheet, seam side down.  Holding the chimichangas together with tongs, carefully place and hold in the oil, for 2 minutes. Gently release the chimichanga from the tongs and continue to fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
For sauce: Place the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until fully incorporated. Serve with hot chimichangas.

Pulled Pork Tacos

For me, tacos are a standby.  Anytime I don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking, but I want a filling meal with lots of flavor, I make tacos.   This recipe in particular is a standby for me because it’s quick, easy and delicious.  I have been making these for years, but only recently it occurred to me that I should post them.

Thats right, they look delicious too!  This is another “one pot meal” I make.  In fact, I take it step further and make it even easier by cooking the pork in a slow cooker.  Delicious.  I’m also a little partial to this recipe because I only cook it with Iowa pork.  Every time I go home, my parents give me pounds and pounds of Iowa pork, because they know what I know – Iowa pork is best.  I am an Iowa girl and I get a little misty-eyed thinking of the hometown butchers, rich with fresh, quality meat . . .  ahhh memories.

Needless to say, when I have leftovers from the stock of pig I bring from home, I like to make tacos.  You can easily change the amount of seasoning and reheat some leftover pork roast to make this as well.  Pork roast or pork butt is the typical cut used for pulled pork.  I would advise using one of these cuts.  They fall apart when you cook them which makes it amenable to making tacos.  Any other cut just won’t be the same.  This recipe also makes a LOT of servings, so unless you have a family of 8, be prepared for leftovers.

Seasoning (from All Recipes)

2 Tbl chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 Tbl ground cumin

2 tsp salt

2 tsp black pepper

Tacos

2.5 lbs of pork roast or pork butt

2 10-ounce cans of diced tomato and green chile

corn tortillas

Pat pork with taco seasoning.  Turn slow cooker on to your desired heat and time.  I usually use a probe to cook it to the right temperature.  When its done, or about 30 minutes from being done, drain the fat and break up the pork.  Add it back to the slow cooker, or a large pan.  Add the tomato and chile.  Warm through.  It’s that easy!  I like to heat up the tortillas and top  with cheese, lettuce, and salsa.  Enjoy!

Red Enchiladas

I had an Oops moment recently.  I went to the store to buy some enchilada sauce.  Mainly because I love mexican food, but I’m a little shy about making it.  So when I cook, I take some short cuts.  This includes buying enchilada sauce rather than trying to make my own.

Unfortunately, when I got home to make the enchiladas, I noticed that I had bought red chile sauce instead of enchilada sauce.  I admit, I have very little knowledge of how red chile sauce is different from enchilada sauce, but I looked at the ingredients and realized that red chile sauce is essentially a puree of chile peppers.  So, I decided to add a little of this, a dash of that, and see what I ended up with.  Luckily, the results were excellent!  I know this does not have any tomato in it, so it is not your traditional enchilada sauce.  However, it is mighty tasty.

Filling:

1 lb of ground meat for filling (I used turkey)

1 small onion, chopped

1 Tbl of oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

2/3 cup of red chile sauce

Topping:

1 (28 ounce) can of red chile sauce

1 1/2 Tbl cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp garlic salt

1 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

corn tortillas

Get a 9×11 pan ready to place the assembled enchiladas.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Warm up the 28 ounce can of red chile sauce on low in a saucepan.

In a separate pan, heat oil in a pan on medium.  Add onion and garlic.  Heat through until fragrant, a few minutes.  Then add ground turkey, cumin, and add 2/3 cup of red chile sauce from saucepan.  Let this simmer until all ingredients are nearly cooked through.

While meat is simmering, season remaining red chile sauce.  Add cumin, oregano, garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste to the sauce.  Only warm through, then remove the sauce from heat.  Pour half of the sauce into a shallow dish to dip tortillas.

When meat is nearly ready, remove from heat.  To assemble enchiladas, take a tortilla.  Dip into seasoned sauce.   Then, place meat mixture in the center of the tortilla.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Roll and place, seam down, in the 9×11 pan.  Continue until meat mixture is finished and tortillas fill the pan.  Pour remaining red chile sauce over enchiladas.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place enchiladas in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!

Fish Tacos

An old friend recently requested more fish or seafood recipes on the blog, and I am happy to oblige.  It’s funny that I have not posted more about seafood, as it is a favorite of mine.  Whenever I go out to eat, I often order fish because it is so rare to get truly fresh seafood in the midwest.  That being said, I do like cooking fish, almost as much as I love eating it, so I suspect there will be more posts like this to follow. (Especially as summer arrives, and fish becomes a little cheaper to buy!)

I had recently bought some halibut that has been sitting in the freezer.  I had some ambitious plans for it.  I wanted to recreate an Iron Chef recipe I had seen.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken the time to note what I had seen, or how I planned on making it.  So, as the halibut sat in the freezer, I became anxious to have some, but unsure of what to do with it.

Finally, I decided to do an old standby – fish tacos.  I have made these before, and fish with a cabbage slaw makes excellent tacos.  It’s easy too!  I based my recipe from this website.

For Tacos:

1 teaspoon  ground cumin

1  teaspoon  ground coriander

1/2  teaspoon  smoked paprika

1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper

1/8  teaspoon  salt

1/8  teaspoon  garlic powder

For Slaw:

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/3 cup sour cream

2 Tablespoons mayo

1/2 tsp garlic powder

dash of salt

1 teaspoon of lime juice

Corn tortillas

1 Tablespoon of oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the fish in an dish sprayed with cooking spray.  In a separate bowl, combine the cumin, corriander, paprika, red pepper, salt and garlic powder.  Sprinkle this mixture over the fish.  Cook for approximately 9-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Thinly slice 1/2 to 1/3 of a head of cabbage.  In a bowl, mix mayo, sour cream, garlic salt, and lime juice and a dash of salt.  Add cabbage to mixture and combine well.

While fish is cooking, heat oil in a pan and fry one side of the corn tortillas.  This makes them slightly crispy, but still able to be folded to eat.

Assemble tacos and enjoy!