Monday, 30 September 2013

Chicken and Orzo with Goat Cheese

So it's the Wednesday night before Dee's wedding (which was, by the way, a completely wonderful day - she looked perfect, and only the slightest hiccup of mis-placing her bouquet) and my brother turns to me and says "Watcha making for dinner on Sunday?".

Hmmmm.....  I had kind of an idea - but I had to look it over again.

And settled on this delightful looking recipe from Shawnda over at Confections of a Foodie Bride.

After a very busy weekend, I needed a fairly simple recipe that I could just whip up and this recipe looked like it would be really simple.

Especially when I read the word....  "low maintenance"


Let's do this.  It's going to be quick.

In a 2.5 - 3 quart casserole dish add the chicken.

Then add the orzo.

And the sun-dried tomatoes.

The goat cheese.

Thyme and lemon juice.  I gave everything a little stir.

In a large pot, mix together the chicken broth,

butter, water,

salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

I would just like to say that I tried out this PC Blue Menu chicken broth and I nearly dropped dead with excitement.  It actually smelled REAL.  I will be using that AGAIN.

Pour the broth mixture into the chicken mixture and stir a little to combine everything.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  I took the dish out and stirred it a little.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the parmesan and bread crumbs.  Then add in the melted butter and stir until well combined.

Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top of the chicken mixture, return to oven and bake for 7 minutes more until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

Two things you need to know here.

Number 1.  I'm terrified of salmonella.  TERRIFIED.

I suppose I could have dug out a piece of chicken to check to see if it was cooked through, but instead I left it in the oven for a few extra minutes, then a few minutes more because I thought it looked too soupy.

Then I topped it with the bread crumbs and baked it some more.

Secondly, I was kind of slow to start the oven and it took FOREVER to get to 400 degrees F.  I got ahead of myself and added the broth mixture to the chicken mixture and it kind of just sat together for like 10 minutes until the oven got to temp.  Which I think contributed to a lot of the liquid starting to go sooner than anticipated.

The end result wasn't as creamy or saucy as I had anticipated, but I definitely think that was my fault.

Please refer to item Number 1 in the list above.

And the second item.

However.  It was pretty darn good.  And healthy too!  No cream, no milk, the smallest amount of cheese.

And, like Shawnda said - low. maintenance. 

Okay - so it's two words.

Thanks to Shawnda for a healthy, easy recipe that everyone enjoyed!!!

And before I go I need to share a picture that my niece, Dannika, insisted I take.  And I feel obligated to share it here.

She's the sweetest thing.

xoxo - the Cane girl

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Chicken Chimichangas

The day I made these AWESOME Shrimp Enchiladas, I also had to make another main dish.

I had 5 grown up mouths and 1 little girl mouth to feed - I suppose I could have made double the amount of Shrimp Enchiladas, but I really wanted to do a couple of different things.

I wanted to make chicken chimichangas, but the ones I wanted to make were fried and they were quickly given the red light.

I knew someone had to have something that would work.

Sure enough, Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything saved the day with a chimichanga that's baked, not fried.  (yes.  I realise that's a catch phrase from something else.)

Just a quick note - run over to Christy's blog and wish her congrats on the arrival of her gorgeous baby girl, Bailey Rose!

Cooked chicken breast.  I seem to want to do it a different way every time.  This time I cooked the chicken in a slow cooker with water.  Once it was done I shredded it up.

Then add in the cheese.

And the salsa.

The cumin and oregano.

And the green onions.

Mix it all together.

Then start filling the tortillas.  Place the chicken filling in the center of the tortilla.

I kind of shaped the chicken mixture so that the resulting rolled chimichangas would be nicely shaped.....  But I'm kind of strange - so feel free to do what you you please.

Here's a little tutorial to help you roll up the chimichangas.  Yep - those meathooks belong to me.  The camera really does add 10 pounds doesn't it.

First, fold over two sides of the tortilla to make the ends.  I realise that tortillas are round and don't have sides, just humor me.

I find it easiest to start rolling from the end closest to me.  I kind of do a fold-and-roll type of thing where I fold the end over, then kind of roll the whole thing over.

So it looks like this.

Thanks to my sister-in-law Victoria for taking pictures for me while my hands were dirty! 

Continue until all the chimichangas are rolled.  I put mine into a 9 x 13 baking dish, but I think you could put these on a baking sheet also.  I lucked out and had just enough chicken mixture to make a smallish chimichanga for the little girl mouth I had to feed.

Now.  I missed a step when I made these, and remembered a few minutes into the bake time.

Make sure you brush the tops of the chimichangas with melted butter.  I imagine the reason this is done is to prevent the chimichangas from splitting open and the filling going everywhere.  You can see that I remembered the butter after I noticed the one splitting open.

Don't forget the butter part.

The reviews were as follows:

"These are awesome!"  "Are there leftovers?"  "Are you putting this up on the blog?"  "Can I have the recipe now?"

With only one chimichanga left at the end of the meal, Victoria scooped it up before anyone noticed and stashed it in the back of the fridge so she could have it all to herself as a snack later on.

And sure enough, later on that evening, someone DID have that last chimichanga as a snack....  But it wasn't Victoria!  And when she busted Gary stuffing his face, he didn't even look guilty or sorry for stealing it from her.

Which definitely means it was good.

If you're on the prowl for a healthy, simple, and delicious chimichanga recipe - this one fits the bill perfectly.

Until you smother it in sour cream and guacamole and refried beans like I did.  Lettuce and tomatoes are also an acceptable topping.

Thanks to Christy - you really are fantastic!

xoxo - the Cane girl

Friday, 6 September 2013

Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas

I'm finally back!  I'm so excited to tell you that I've finally found a house and I take possession of it today! 

And to celebrate, I desperately want to tell you about these enchiladas.  They are SO SO good!  I've been dying to tell you about them!

Ages ago, we talked about Salsa Verde - which is so wonderful and easy to make it's unbelievable. 

Today, we're going to address the ACTUAL purpose of the Salsa Verde, other than creating an "argument" between my Mom and I.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - sometimes I come across recipes that I know will be a hit and must be made as soon as possible.

I knew this one from Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything would be a winner in every way.

And guess what?  So simple.

Start making the filling by melting some butter in a pan.

Then throw in the onion and red pepper.

Cook the onions and peppers for a few minutes then add in the garlic.

I know what you're thinking....  The picture above and the picture below are the EXACT same picture.  Heather is trying to dupe us.  I swear I'm not!  If you look very closely, there is minced garlic in the picture below.

Stir and cook for another minute or so, then add the shrimp.

Cook just very briefly, the shrimp should JUST be starting to turn pink.  Then add the spices.

And add the cilantro and lime juice.  Stir everything together, remove from the heat and set aside while the sauce is coming together.

Now start the sauce. 

Start out by making a roux by melting some butter in a pot.

Then add some flour.

Whisk the flour and butter together then slowly add the chicken broth and cook until thickened.

Then start adding the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until melted.

Then stir in the sour cream.

And then the salsa verde.

Stir it up until well combined.

Some of the sauce is going into the filling.

Stir up the filling, roll it into tortillas, and place the filled tortillas into a 9x13 pan.

Pour the remaining sauce over top.

Bake until golden.

Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.

Honestly - I have no idea where to start to describe to you how awesome these enchiladas are.

The sauce.....  Not a standard cheese sauce, but still so creamy and light all at the same time.

The filling.....  Complex and light from the lime, cilantro, and spices.

The enchiladas were devoured.  Inhaled.  Annihilated.  Gone.  My 3-year-old niece, who takes FOR.EVER. to eat her dinner, pretty much licked her plate clean.

All I can say is that you should really make them immediately.

You're welcome.

xoxo, the Cane Girl