Monthly Archives: December 2013

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

I’ve been pretty neglectful of my blog the past week but its been a hectic week!

There are some great posts I have waiting for me to write! If only I could blog instead of sleep, I would get everything done I wanted! HA!

This chicken and rice dish has been in my back pocket (not literally…) since we had some good friends over for dinner after Thanksgiving. I wanted to make something that was pretty far removed from stuffing and turkey and the like. This really hit the spot with the fresh peppers and corn and creamy rice. They brought over a really delicious salad to go with and we had a great meal!

Luckily I had an excellent helper to make it more fun!

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

3 TBL butter
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half cream
4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (2 lbs)
1 1/2 cups white rice
8 oz jack cheese, shredded (I used my food processor)
1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 limes, juiced
Tortilla chips, crushed to crumbs
cooking spray

Black Bean Chicken and Rice Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Melt butter in a large pot (with a lid) over medium high heat.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Add bell peppers, onion, jalapenos and salt. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Stir in garlic and cumin and warm through, about 30 seconds. Add in flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until slightly browned.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Whisk in broth and cream, stirring slowly to incorporate. Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Add the chicken breast, cover and bring to a simmer.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is cooked completely or thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 15-18 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Remove chicken to cool and add rice to broth mixture. Stirring often, cover rice and cook until cooked, about 22 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Shred chicken when cooled enough to handle. Remove pan from heat and stir in following ingredients: shredded chicken, grated cheese, drained black beans, corn and lime juice.

Black Bean Chicken and RiceBlack Bean Chicken and Rice

Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 13 x 9 dish. Spread out the crushed tortilla chips on top of mixture. Spray with cooking spray all over top. Cover with foil. Place in 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until bubbling. Remove foil and bake until crumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

This makes a huge amount of food and its really great leftover! If you have a small crowd, I would recommend freezing half or double it and freeze. Just thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and bake as above.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Black Bean Chicken and Rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 TBL butter
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (2 lbs)
  • 1½ cups white rice
  • 8 oz jack cheese, shredded (I used my food processor)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Tortilla chips, crushed to crumbs
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pot (with a lid) over medium high heat.
  2. Add bell peppers, onion, jalapenos and salt. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cumin and warm through, about 30 seconds. Add in flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until slightly browned.
  4. Whisk in broth and cream, stirring slowly to incorporate.
  5. Add the chicken breasts, cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is cooked completely or thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 15-18 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken to cool and add rice to broth mixture. Stirring often, cover rice and cook until cooked, about 22 minutes.
  8. Shred chicken when cooled enough to handle. Remove pan from heat and stir in following ingredients: shredded chicken, grated cheese, drained black beans, corn and lime juice.
  9. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 13 x 9 dish. Spread out the crushed tortilla chips on top of mixture. Spray with cooking spray all over top. Cover with foil. Place in 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until bubbling. Remove foil and bake until crumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes.
  10. This can be frozen and defrosted overnight in the fridge. Bake as above after defrosted.

 

Please let me know what you think about the Black Bean Chicken and Rice. I would love to hear any and all comments!

Italian Risotto

Italian Risotto (and more!)

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away! Ack! What’s exciting about our December is my husband’s birthday is December 11th, then our wedding anniversary is December 23 and then Christmas comes 2 days later. Gift giving gets real this time of year!

So I will try to keep this short and sweet as I have gifts to buy (some to make!) and then wrap!

Anyways, this is what I made in a rush since I had butternut squash, chicken and sausage to make but struggled with not wanting to put all of them in 1 dish. So I made this: Seared/Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash Mash and Italian Risotto. I call it Italian since 1:it has Italian Sausage in it and 2: its a take on Giada De Laurentiis recipe but I made so many tweaks, I don’t think she would recognize it!

Italian Risotto

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used more of my leftover turkey stock)
2 TBL butter
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup arborio rice (I had to use long grain but I recommend the shorter arborio)
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
2 TBL parsley, chopped

Warm the broth (espcially if its been in the fridge) in a saucepan or in a measuring cup in the microwave. In a large pan or skillet, melt the butter on medium heat and brown the sausage, breaking apart. Once browned, about 5 minutes, remove and set aside.

Italian Risotto

Add onion, bell pepper and garlic to the same pan. Saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.Italian Risotto

Add the rice and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Add the wine and simmer until its been evaporated.

Italian Risotto

Start adding broth in 1/2 to 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly so that all broth is absorbed before adding the next. This should take 2-3 minutes in between each batch.

Italian RisottoItalian Risotto Italian RisottoItalian Risotto

When the last 1/2 cup of broth is added, also add the sausage back into the rice.

Italian Risotto

Stir in the cheese and parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve along with extra parmesan.

Italian RisottoItalian Risotto

I also seared and roasted chicken breasts as well. The easiest way to do this is pat the chicken dry and season. I added salt, pepper and Italian seasoning blend on each chicken breast, flipping over to season other side as well.

Italian Risotto

Sear on each side 3 minutes, just until color starts to develop.

Italian Risotto

Move to sheet pan and place in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches at least 160 degrees. (I love my digital thermometer!)

Italian Risotto

Butternut squash in the oven is super easy and really simple. Wash squash and cut in half, trimming ends off as well. Scoop out flesh and seeds. Place in large pan and fill with water 1 inch up sides.

Cover with foil and place in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Take out and let cool until able to handle. Scoop out flesh into bowl and mash by hand with fork or masher. Add salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cream or milk and 2 TBL butter.

Italian Risotto

If you make all of these at once, they can be made simultaniously. Just make sure the little ones are occupied!

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This is a snapshot of one of the kids’ bowls and our plates. It was gobbled up!

Italian Risotto Italian Risotto

Please let me know what you thought about the Risotto or any of these dishes!

Mexican Vermicelli (Sopa Seca)

Mexican Vermicelli (Sopa Seca)

We had an awesome Thanksgiving! There was so much food but we got to eat leftovers just enough times to make me appreciate it… and now they are gone! Thanks to all the Morgans for sharing a wonderful holiday with us!

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Before we had our big Thanksgiving dinner, I planned and cooked and prepared for a few days in advance. At the end of one such afternoon, I had been doing a lot of cooking and I still needed to make dinner. I took some left over porkchops and made this mexican Vermecelli dish. It comes together so easily that even after a day of cooking, it was no sweat! It was so helpful to have the leftover protein to use the next night. I love when things like that work out! I served it right out of my skillet too!

You could really make this with anything leftover: grilled chicken, shredded chicken, pork tenderloin, or turkey! (As if you want more turkey right now!)

Mexican Vermicelli (Sopa Seca)

8 oz vermicelli (or spaghetti)
2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chipotle sauce (more if you want it super spicy!)
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb cooked porkchops, sliced thinly (or chicken or turkey)
3 oz shredded Mexican cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin

Instructions

Break the vermicelli in half. I find it easiest to break when rolled in a paper towel and split by pushing the middle over the edge of the counter.

Mexican Vermicelli

Toast the vermicelli in 1 TBL of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, until golden brown. Stir often and should take about 5 minutes.

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Remove to paper towel lined plate (can use the paper towel from before). Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, chipotle, salt and pepper to the skillet and cook until onion is softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the whole can of tomatoes and stir.

Mexican Vermicelli

Add the broth, black beans and vermicelli. Cover and cook over low heat, until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid vermicelli sticking. Season with salt and pepper. (I had to use another pan since my large one doesn’t have a lid!) The mixture is hard to stir at first but when the noodles start to soften, you can really start mixing it all up.


Mexican Vermicelli
Mexican Vermicelli

Mexican VermicelliMexican Vermicelli

Stir pork, cilantro and green onions into dish and cook until heated through. (Taste test pork as needed.)

Mexican Vermicelli Mexican Vermicelli Mexican Vermicelli

Take off of heat and sprinkle on cheese.

Mexican Vermicelli

Delicioso!

Mexican Vermicelli (Sopa Seca)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
This delicious one-pot dish with a Mexican twist with black beans and tomatoes.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz vermicelli (or spaghetti)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chipotle sauce (more if you want it super spicy!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb cooked porkchops, sliced thinly (or chicken or turkey)
  • 3 oz shredded Mexican cheese
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Break the vermicelli in half, rolling it lengthwise in a few paper towels and split by pushing the middle in half over the edge of the counter.
  2. Toast the vermicelli in 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, until golden brown. Stir often, cooking about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, chipotle sauce, salt and pepper to the skillet and cook until onion is softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and stir.
  4. Add the broth, black beans and vermicelli. Cover and cook over low heat, until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid any sticking. Season with salt and pepper. Noodles will be stiff at first but will soften after a few minutes.
  5. Stir pork, cilantro and green onions into dish and cook until heated through.
  6. Take off heat and sprinkle on cheese.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment and let you know what you think about the Mexican Vermicelli!