Thursday, August 27, 2009

Italian Chicken Pasta Bake and Alternative Chicken Enchiladas

Italian Chicken Pasta

1/2 cooked chicken
1 1/2 - 2 cups small pasta - macaroni or small shells (I use the whole wheat pasta these days)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (diced tomatoes with juice can also be used but the fire roasted have really good flavor)
1 can roasted garlic flavored tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup Italian cheese blend- or mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper

You will need to begin by boiling a chicken..this recipe only uses 1/2. Boil your chicken and add whatever flavors you like to flavor your chicken..I used whatever I have, onions, lemons, celery, carrots. Debone chicken move on to preparing the rest of the dish.

Cook pasta for 5-6 minutes until just tender, drain and set aside. Pour olive oil in saute pan and cook onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes until tender. Add crushed tomatoes and sauce and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles and cooked chicken followed by 1 cup of cheese. Pour combined mixture into buttered baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan(fresh is best) and sprinkle over top. Cut 2 tbs butter into small bits and scatter over breadcrumbs. Baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Another Chicken Enchilada Recipe

1/2 cooked chicken
1 pkg cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz salsa - Pace or whatever you have. I used Arriba Fire Roasted salsa from Costco...if you care :)
flour tortillas - I used HEB homemade ones...I do not like regular grocery store tortillas, but they would probably be fine too.
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbs oil
1/2 pkg fresh mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp cumin (optional)
1/8 tsp comino (optional)
3/4 lb Velveeta
1/4 cup milk

Begin by cooking the chopped bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms in oil over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, melt cream cheese over low heat and then add soup and 1/2 the salsa. Add spices and stir to combine. Add cooked veggies to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.

To make your enchiladas, take a flour tortilla and add chopped chicken topped with cream cheese mixture. Roll and place in greased baking dish seam down. Repeat. Melt Velveeta over low heat and add milk to make a creamy cheese sauce. Pour over enchiladas and cover with foil sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Pour remaining salsa over the top and serve HOT.

Note: I did not use all the cream cheese sauce. I had about 1/3 left. It tastes pretty good on chips as a dip if you don't want it to go to waste. Or go ahead and use it all in your enchiladas by either using more chicken and making more enchiladas or putting alot of sauce in each. I hesitated to do this so they wouldn't be too rich. They were still moist and tasty without using it all. Hey, you go wild and see what happens....hopefully you will like the results as I did.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fried Pickles and Fried Shrimp-deep fried delight!

Tonight I decided to fry pickles since we were already firing up the fryer for some venison backstrap.

Here is the recipe I used and they turned out very tasty! Now I didn't measure the spices exactly, so feel free to adjust to your taste.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup beer
2 tsp paprika - mixture should be a light pink/orange color
1 1/2 tsp cayenne - more or less if you like hot or mild
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
several shakes hot sauce
dill pickle slices - I love Best Maid

Dry pickles in paper towels to remove excess juice. Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Dip pickles in batter and fry at 375 for 2 about 2 minutes. Don't overcrowd fryer for best results. Serve with ranch dressing.

How about a closer look at this deep fried goodness?

The BEST Fried Shrimp Recipe Ever
1 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
4 egg whites - beaten
1 sleeve Saltine crackers-crushed
Combine flour and garlic powder. Dip de-veined and butterflied shrimp in flour mixture, then beaten egg whites and then cracker crumbs. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown. I promise this recipe is better than any fried shrimp you will get in a restaurant. It is well worth the effort for a special occasion or anytime meal! This is a great appetizer to serve guests.


Those are oven baked steak fries and good as french fries any day..and much healthier...just toss in olive oil, season salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 425 for about 45 minutes. Turn 1/2 way through cooking.