Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chicken and Bacon Nacho Mac and Cheese

I was in the mood for a big plate of Nachos for today's football game(GO SEAHAWKS!) but I didn't have chips and didn't want to make corn tortillas so I decided to make it  mac and cheese nachos.

8 oz chicken breast, cooked and shredded
5-6 slices bacon, cooked and sliced small

16 oz pasta, cooked al dente


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour OR 3 TB corn or potato starch
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup beer
1 recipe or commercial packet taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheese(cheddar, pepper jack, mexican blend, any kind or mix you like)
1-4 oz can diced green chilies
(If I had it I would have added 1/2 cup chopped red bell too)


1 cup tomato salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Melt butter in a deep sauce pan, add flour and whisk smooth. IF using starch whisk it directly into the cold milk.
Add milk to the butter and add beer, stir until smooth and thickened.

Add taco seasoning and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Add green chilies and cooked chicken and bacon. (and red peppers if you like!)

Stir well then add to cooked pasta, toss to coat well.

Pour into a large casserole dish.

Cover with foil and bake at 350  for 30 minutes

Mix salsa with sour cream, uncover the macaroni and spread salsa mix evenly over the pasta.... sprinkle with green onions and more cheese if desired.

Bake 15 minutes more until hot and bubbly.

Individuals can add more hot pepper or other nacho toppings as desired(my husband suggested olives)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mexican Cream of Tomato Soup

I wanted something to pair with my Mexican Chicken Waffle Sandwiches....what goes better with a good sandwich than tomato soup? So I took that and ran with it!

2 cups peeled diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB special dark baking cocoa
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk or heavy cream (heavy cream is much better but milk is fine to make it lower fat)

Combine all ingredients except baking soda and milk in a saucepan, set over medium heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes, onion and bell peppers are tender.

Run an immersion blender through it to a puree.

Add in  baking soda then pour in  milk or heavy cream.

 Stir well and serve with a sprinkling of cilantro.

Mexican Chicken Waffle Sandwiches

I really like the savory waffle recipe I used in my Waffle French Dips. I decided to adapt it for a Mexican flavor. I served it with Mexican Cream of Tomato Soup.

1 cup water
1/2 cup polenta(coarse cornmeal works fine too) 
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter 
1 cup milk 
1 egg

2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch 
3 TB tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

OR sub the above 4 ingredients with 1 cup all purpose flour 

1 tsp baking powder 
1 TB dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 cup roasted, peeled and diced and Anaheim Peppers
 OR 4 oz can diced green chilies

In a pot heat water to boiling, add polenta and stir vigorously until thick.
Add, garlic and butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add milk. 
Set aside 

In another bowl combine the flour mixtures and seasonings. 
Add egg to milk and beat well then carefully mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently fold in peppers.

Cook according to your waffle maker instructions.

1 lb boneless chicken (breasts or thighs are great!)
3 TB olive oil
1 TB chili powder
1/2 TB oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375
In a roasting pan place oil , then add chicken and turn to coat. Sprinkle on the seasonings and toss together well.

Roast for 25-35 minutes(depending on thickness of the pieces) until an internal temp of 165 is reached.

Remove from oven and allow to cool until easy to handle.....shred well and set aside

Remaining ingredients:
Cheese(I used pepper-jack)
Re-fried Beans(homemade or canned)
Sour Cream
(any taco topping would work)

Spread a decent amount of refried beans on one waffle.

Add chicken and cheese, place under a broiler and broil until heated through and cheese is melted.

Dress with remaining ingredients as desired.

(toast the top waffle in the toast while you are waiting or stick them in the hot oven to heat, just watch they don't burn)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with Creamy Pomegranate Topping

No words.... just 

No progress picture because I had TONS of other cooking and baking going for Turkey Day.

1 1/2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 TB brown sugar
5 TB  melted butter

24 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree(approx 1-15 oz can)
1/4 cup bourbon
1 TB vanilla extract
1 TB cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs

1 cup sour cream
2 TB sugar
2 TB bourbon
1/2 TB cornstarch
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 325

Combine gingersnap crumbs with hazelnuts( I do this all in a food processor, it makes it easier in my opinion) and sugar. Slowly add melted butter and pulse until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan. Press firmly into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Set a deep pan of water in the oven on a lower rack to begin steam build up.

Filling (again I do this in a food processor, but you can use a mixer or by hand if you must)

Beat the cream cheese with sugars until very creamy. Add in pumpkin puree, bourbon, vanilla, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Beat until well combined and not lumpy.

1 at a time beat in the eggs beating each until just combined. Don't over beat after adding eggs!

Pour into cooled crust.

Place pan on rack above the pan of water. Bake for 60 minutes( plus or minus) until puffy and just set in the middle.

Remove from oven and with a thin knife carefully slice around the edges(to prevent cracking)

Combine sour cream, sugar, bourbon, cornstarch and pomegranate seeds. Mix well.
Spread over the cake and return to oven for 10-15 minutes until topping is bubbly and lightly browning.

Remove from cake, chill completely in the fridge before removing spring form.