Recipe: Petit Enchilada Casserole

 

Coming up with recipes is truly something that feeds my creativity.  I love when my manager asks me to “come up with a recipe”, because it sends me into my kitchen… one of my favorite rooms in our home.  This recipe came from a desire to create something using leftover chicken, yet have a meal that could be popped in the oven by whomever got home first that night.

As you can see, this looks like a “real” recipe, as opposed to most of my posts.  The reason is that I plugged this recipe into “My Recipe Builder” app so I could figure out the calorie count.  While I usually don’t do this when blogging, the written recipe will be included this weekend at James River Cellars’ Petit Verdot Vertical Weekend and I needed to have it look more official.

  • 12 ounces Salsa (I used Gunther’s Spicy Black Bean Dip)PetitEnchiladaCasserole
  • 10-1/2 ounces Soup, cream of mushroom (use your favorite)
  • 6 ounces Wine, table, red (I love the deep flavor of Petit Verdot here)
  • 15 ounces Beans, baked, canned, plain or vegetarian
  • 8 small tortilla (approx 4″ dia) Tortilla, corn
  • 1 Onions, sweet, raw, diced
  • 2 cups, chopped or diced Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, stewed
  • 2 cups, shredded Cheese, low fat, cheddar or colby

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Saute’ onion until softened, adding garlic if desired.
  2. Add salsa, undiluted soup, drained and rinsed black beans, and wine.  Stir in chicken and mix until flavors combine nicely.
  3. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Cut the corn tortillas in half, then slice each half into 4 pie-shaped bites.  Separate the tortilla pieces in half and spread half across the bottom of the baking pan.
  4. Layer salsa mixture on top of the tortilla layer, then top with half the cheese.
  5. Top cheese with the remaining tortilla pieces.  Cover the tortilla pieces with the remaining salsa and top with cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

I found this casserole to be really tasty.  I cut the casserole into 8-square shaped pieces and it was a really filling dinner.  As always, you’re welcome to swap out ingredients to suit the tastes of your family… that’s the best part of making your own dinners.  You can even make this into a vegetarian dish by using shredded zucchini or diced eggplant or tofu in place of the chicken.  Try this sometime and let me know how you, and your family, likes this dish.  We loved it!

Recipe: A new twist on Pizza

I love making pizzas with my family. I say pizza with an “S” because I end up making individual pizzas for each of us… I halve, double, or make regular portions of my version of a Weight Watchers whole wheat pizza dough recipe and go from there, depending on who’s having dinner with us that evening. For M, it’s ham and pepperoni… for D, it’s a cheese pizza… if we’re including E for dinner, it’s just pepperoni… but for me, it’s a special black bean and corn salsa pizza. Doesn’t this look delicious?

Here’s how I start. The pizza dough recipe is supposed to make eight servings. After trying to make individual pizzas from this single recipe, I’ve learned that I need to either make 1.5 recipes or double to make four large enough pizzas to feed my guys… it takes A LOT to fill them up… but I digress. Here are the directions to make my pizza dough:

WW Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Makes 8 servings

Sponge:

2 t active dry yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

¼ cup all-purpose flour

Pizza Dough:

½ cup fat-free milk

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

¼ t salt

2 pkt equal

1. To prepare sponge, in a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water; when the yeast looks wet, add flour and stir hard. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let stand at room temperature for about 40 minutes.

2. To make the dough, stir the milk into the sponge. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt and equal. Add to the sponge and stir to blend.

3. Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Turn out the dough; knead until it become elastic and resilient, 10-12 minutes. *This is important… dough needs to be kneaded thoroughly for this to work.

4. Spray a large bowl with Pam, place dough in bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 45-60 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch down dough, lightly sprinkle the work surface with flour and roll out dough to a 14” circle. Transfer dough to a baking sheet, arrange toppings and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Per serving: 3 PointsPlus (1/8)

My NOTE: I make this dough into four individual pizzas that are rectangular and approximately 7”x14” (?). The pizzas are very thin, but I can cut them into 6-8 individual slices and be able to have my own pizza using 6 points for the dough. Totally worth it, imho…

Once the dough is done, I form each person’s pizza. For mine, I roll it into a rectangle (as noted above) and then spray with Pam and sprinkle garlic powder on top. I’m now ready to mix up my version of black bean and corn salsa. Using The Force, I mix a can of drained/rinsed black beans, an equal amount of fresh corn off the cob (or a can, drained and rinsed), mild salsa, some taco seasonings and some Cabernet Sauvignon. I like to also add a spoonful of pesto to add some depth to the taste and use about 1 cup of this mixture to top my pizza. The pesto recipe that I like best is one that my niece created and posted on her blog, PB Fingers and called Sunflower Seed and Walnut Pesto (http://www.pbfingers.com/2012/06/26/sunflower-seed-and-walnut-pesto/). If you want to read her blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, use this link and follow her for some terrific new recipes and great fitness ideas (http://www.pbfingers.com/). I would read this blog every day even if she wasn’t my niece!

After topping the pizza with your salsa, add your favorite cheese blend and follow the cooking directions as noted above. I used a blend of Asiago and Parmesan cheeses in the pizza I made the other night. Here’s how yummy it looked when I pulled it out of the oven.

I like to cut my pizza into 8 pieces and eat it with a knife and fork. There’s so much on top of this pizza crust that it’s just impossible to pick up and eat any other way. I hope you’ll try this pizza dough recipe sometime and play around with different toppings on your own pizza. There are franchises out there that make big money creating bizarre blends for pizzas… take a chance and create something that’s totally yours. You might be stunned at how well it all turns out!

Recipe: Mexican taco cheese dip

I had to bring an appetizer to work… and I work at a winery…. so I needed to come up with something yummy. I also needed to come up with a dish that could be made quickly and warmed up later. Jeez…. So many parameters within which to work. Could I do it??

Over the years, I have found that people who love wine seem to also be people who appreciate tasty food, so sharing something with them needed to be great. My darling hubby had pulled a package of ground turkey out of the freezer earlier, so that’s where I started.

I browned the package of ground turkey until it was toasty brown. I could have added onion and garlic, but I was a bit pressed for time this morning. Once the meat was thoroughly cooked, I liberally spread taco seasoning on top and then added the quarter bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that was resting in my fridge. A few more minutes in the pan was all it took to turn plain turkey into a spicy concoction worthy of a finicky foodie, such as myself.

My next step was to add some salsa. I poured from the jug (yes, generic and mild, I admit it) and mixed until well incorporated. The last addition was a package of Velveeta cheese. This stuff melts extremely well and handles reheating beautifully, so it was the perfect “go to” for this treat. I popped my dish into the microwave and heated it up, minute by minute, until all the cheese was melted.

Tasting it was a delight… Unfortunately, it was only 11am and I wasn’t going to serve this until after 6pm. Thankfully, the ingredients I used here are very forgiving. My dish warmed up well in the winery’s microwave, I served it with some scoop able tortilla chips, and had nothing left to bring home.

There’s something so satisfying about bringing home an empty dish. Try this recipe for your next get together and see if you don’t have the same great result!

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