Mini White Chichen Enchilada Deep Dish Pizzas!

I first found this recipe for White Chicken Enchiladas from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I made them and LOVED them.  I ate the entire dish of enchiladas in like 3 days.  I gained 2 pounds.  I was sad, but it was kinda worth it.  Currently, I am trying to work off those 2 pounds, but NEEDED to have to enchiladas again.  That's when a great idea popped into my wee little head.  Portion control!  Yes.  This is what I needed.  Therefore, deep dish white chicken enchilada pizzas were born.

Here's the step-by-step:

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and line with Gyoza wrappers.

Cook 2-3 chicken breasts (I poached mine) and shred.  A neat trick for shredded chicken is putting warm chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached.  Turn it on low, and it shreds the chicken perfectly!  Thank you Pinterest for your infinite wisdom.



In a separate bowl, mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese and 2, four ounce cans of green chiles.

Put the cream cheese mixture in with the chicken and add a can of rinsed and drained black beans.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoon of butter.  Add onion if you'd like, and saute until soft.  My husband LOATHES onions and would divorce me if I put them in...so you will see no onions.  It's a major marital issue, because I really enjoy onion, but I digress.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter and onion and whisk to combine.  Cook for another minute to get rid of that raw flour taste.

Add 1/3 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup milk to the roux and stir until smooth.  Mine is already very thick, but if yours is not (due to the proper use of onions) let it come to a bubble and lower heat.  Cook for 4-5 minutes until it thickens.

Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and 7 ounces of canned green chile enchilada sauce.  Stir to combine...this is what it should look like.  Except yours will look even better because it will most likely include onion.

Put about a tablespoon of enchilada sauce and a tablespoon of the the chicken mixture on the bottom of the Gyoza wrapper.  Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Top the chicken mixture with another Gyoza wrapper...making a little enchilada pot pie.

Top the second Gyoza wrapper with another tablespoon of the chicken mixture, a tablespoon of enchilada sauce, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Put in a preheated 375* oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the edges of the Gyoza wrappers turn a golden brown.

Deep dish paradise!
Mini White Chicken Enchilada Deep Dish Pizzas
48 Gyoza wrappers
For the chicken mixture:
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked
2, 4 ounce can of green chiles
1, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
For the enchilada sauce:
2 T butter
1/2 yellow onion
2 T flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
7 ounces green chile enchilada sauce
1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese
*  Preheat oven to 375*.
*  Line a muffin pan with Gyoza wrappers.
*  Cook and shred the chicken breasts.
*  In a separate bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese and green chiles.
*  Add the cream cheese mixture to the chicken.  Add the black beans and stir to combine.  Set aside.
*  In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Cook the onion in the butter until soft.
*  Add the flour and cook for about a minute.  Add the chicken broth and milk slowly and whisk in with the butter, flour, and onion.
*  Take the sauce off the heat and add the sour cream and enchilada sauce.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Bring to a bubble and turn heat to low.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened (if necessary).
*  Add a tablespoon of sauce and a tablespoon of the chicken mixture to the top of the Gyoza wrapper.  Top with a little cheese.
*  Put a second Gyoza wrapper on top of the chicken mixture and press down a little...making a little pot pie.
*  Put another tablespoon of chicken mixture on top of the second Gyoza wrapper.  Top with a tablespoon of sauce and cheese.
*  Put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the Gyoza wrappers turn golden brown.
*  Let cool and remove from the muffin tin with a fork.



Pedro's Salsa!

What exactly is Pedro's Salsa, you ask?  If you grew up in Chowchilla, you know exactly what I am talking about.  To me, Pedro's salsa is the salsa to which all other salsas have to live up to.  I have searched far and wide for another restaurant that has such good salsa, but to my despair, none have been found.  Sure, I have found good salsa, but none compare to Pedro's.

Pedro's Place is a small Mexican restaurant in Chowchilla, and it is an institution.  It is the first restaurant I can remember going to as a child, and I think everyone in town has eaten there.  My favorite thing from Pedro's is the chips and salsa.  It is just sooo good.  There isn't anything fancy about it, but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

My version of Pedro's famous salsa
After moving away, Pedro's wasn't within my reach.  This made me want to recreate Pedro's salsa on my own, so I would be able to have a little taste of "home".  One time when I was eating at Pedro's in Madera (my second home when I lived in Fresno) I got up the nerve to ask the waitress how they made their salsa.  She was a little hesitant, but told me that they roasted the jalapenos, peeled the skin, and put everything in the blender.  Well, that was a start, but I still needed the rest.  So my quest began....

Without further adieu, here is my recreation of Pedro's famous salsa:

Preheat oven to 400*.  Wash and dry 3-4 jalapenos (you choose how many depending on how hot you like your salsa) and put on a roasting pan.  Place the jalapenos on the top rack of the oven until the skins are brown.  I used a convection oven and it took about 20-30 minutes.

This is how the jalapenos will look after roasting.  Let them sit until they are cool to the touch.

 Once cooled, cut off the top of the jalapenos and then peel the skin off.

 Next, you'll need a quarter of a sweet yellow onion, 1 large clove of garlic, and one large can of HUNT'S Whole Peeled Tomatoes.  I have used various brands of tomatoes (even my favorite "Cento" San Marzano tomatoes and Hunt's are the best for this salsa).

 Put everything in the food processor (or blender) with quite a lot of salt (I just added it, but it was approximately 2-3 teaspoons) and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon).  Pulse until you get to the desired consistency.

 Viola...Pedro's salsa!

Pedro's Salsa

*  1 can HUNT'S whole peeled tomatoes
*  3-4 jalapenos, washed and dried (depending on how hot you like it)
*  1 large garlic clove
*  1 quarter sweet yellow onion
*  Approximately 2-3 tsp. salt, or to taste
*  Approximately 1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste

*  Preheat oven to 400*.
*  Place jalapenos on a roasting pan and place on the top rack of the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the skins have browned.  You might want to turn them once during roasting.
*  Cool the jalapenos until you can comfortably touch them.  Take the tops off and then peel the skin off. 
 *  Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, roasted jalapenos, salt, and pepper in the food processor or blender and pulse until you reach the desired consistency.
*  Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to marry (if you can wait that long).


Mini Taco Cups!

Hello Everyone!  I have the perfect game day snack for you just in time for the Super Bowl....Mini Taco Cups!  Not only are these absolutely adorable, but they are also delicious and perfect for portion control.

Here's the easy, peasy step-by-step:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef in a large skillet, drain excess fat.  Add 1 taco seasoning packet, 2/3 cup water, 1 can of black beans, and 1 large can of diced green chiles.

Spray a muffin tip with non-stick cooking spray.  Line each muffin tin with 1 gyoza wrapper or wonton wrapper.

Add a little ground beef to the bottom of each gyoza wrapper and top with cheese.

Top the meat mixture with another gyoza wrapper.

Spoon more meat mixture over the top of the second gyoza wrapper and top with cheese.

Bake in the oven at 375* for 20-25 minutes or until the gyoza wrappers turn a golden brown.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.  Carefully remove each taco cup from the muffin tin with a fork and top with your favorite toppings.  SOOOO GOOD!

Mini Taco Cups
24 gyoza wrappers
1 pound ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans
1 can of green chiles
1 cup of shredded Mexican style or cheddar cheese

*  Preheat oven to 375* and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
*  Brown the ground beef in a large skillet and drain excess fat.
*  Return the ground beef to the stove top and add the taco seasoning packet and water.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the black beans and green chiles and simmer until heated through.
*  Put one gyoza wrapper in each muffin tin.  Top the gyoza wrapper with a spoon full of ground beef.  Top with cheese.
*  Put a second gyoza wrapper on top of the ground beef mixture.  Press down a little to make a little mound.  
*  Put another spoon full of ground beef on top of the second gyoza wrapper and top with cheese.
*  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the gyoza wrappers turn golden brown.  Let cool for about 5 minutes and then carefully remove the taco cups with a fork.  Top with your favorite toppings.



Spicy Crockpot Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice

Spicy Crockpot Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice and Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa

This Recipe is so very easy and full of great Mexican flavors.  The chicken can be made with either fresh or frozen chicken breasts.  Each type results in very tender shredded chicken.  It requires very little (to no) chopping, so it's easy to throw in the slow cooker before you head off to work.  All you need to do is shred the chicken with two forks about an hour before serving.  

The homemade salsa is fresh and flavorful...you may never buy jarred salsa again!  The salsa recipe makes a ton, so get those fresh tortilla chips ready.

So, I'm sure that you've been to Chipotle and have had their AMAZING cilantro lime rice.  Well, this rice recipe tastes just like theirs!  As a matter of a fact, if you top the rice with the Spicy Crockpot Chicken, you'll have a great burrito bowl!  Get ready people....

Spicy Crockpot Chicken
1 pound of chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of salsa (homemade recipe below)
1 14 oz. can of black beans, drained
1 lb. frozen corn (optional)
1 tbs. chile powder
1/2 tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tbs. mined garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

*  Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine.
*  Make sure that the chicken is covered with liquid.  If necessary, add a cup or two of water to ensure that it is completely covered.
*  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  
*  About an hour before serving, shred the chicken with two forks and return to the slow cooker.
*  Serve with sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa, etc.

Cilantro Lime Rice
2 cups white rice
3 cups water
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
Juice of one lime
6 tsp. vegetable oil

*  Combine rice, water, 2 tsp. oil, and salt in a rice cooker or a pot on the stove.  Cook rice until tender.
*  In a bowl, combine cooked rice, remaining oil, cilantro, and lime juice.

Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa
28-ounce can whole tomatoes (peeled) with juice
2 10-ounce cans Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalepeƱo, quartered and sliced thin
½ cup cilantro
Juice from ½ a fresh lime
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

*  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until it reaches your desired consistency.
*  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.



Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

I ran across these bars on Pinterest, and I just couldn't help making them.  They are easy and delicious.  Luckily for my waistline, they (well most of them, anyway) are going to work with my husband tomorrow!

Here's the step-by-step, the recipe will follow:

Melt 1/2 cup butter and 2 oz. of dark chocolate in the microwave.  Stir until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring.

Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until combined.

Add 2/3 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Mix just until all the dry ingredients are combined and there are no traces of the dry ingredients.

Pour into the parchment lined baking dish.  Spread into an even layer.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir until creamy.

Dollop the cheesecake mixture on top of the batter.

Swirl the batter and cheesecake with a knife.  Bake in a 350* oven for 35-40 minutes.


For the red velvet:
*  1/2 cup butter
*  2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
*  1 cup sugar
*  2 large eggs
*  1 tsp vanilla extract
*  1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
*  2/3 cup all purpose flour
*  1/4 tsp salt

For the cheesecake:
*  8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
*  1/3 cup sugar
*  1 large egg
*  1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*  Preheat oven to 350*.
*  Line an 8" baking dish with parchment paper.  Make sure to leave some extra parchment paper over the edges to easily lift the bars out of the pan to cut.  Butter the parchment paper.
For the red velvet:
*  Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl for about one minute.  Stir until smooth.  Let cool for a few minutes.
*  In the meantime, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until creamy.
*  Add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
*  Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined and there are no traces of dry ingredients.
*  Pour the mixture into the parchment lined baking dish.  Smooth into an even layer.

For the cheesecake:
*  In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until creamy.
*  Dollop the cheesecake on top of the batter and swirl until the red shows through.
*  Cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
*  Cool completely on a wire rack and then put in the refrigerator to chill.  This will make it easier to cut into bars. 
*  Cut into bars and ENJOY!
Recipe courtesy of sweetpeaskitchen.com