Shredded Beef and Mango Quesadillas

It’s no secret that I’m a Mexican/spicy/jalapeno-aholic.

But have I shared with y’all how giving your food a little kick can help jack up your metabolism?

Yep. I think it has something to do with the capsaicin – it may help your body burn calories. I’ve also heard that it helps your mood by releasing serotonin.

So, the next time someone asks you why you’re dousing an entire bottle of Cholula on your burrito, tell them it’s because you want to be a happy anorexic.

Kidding.

These yummies were made from the same batch of shredded beef I made these from. I loved them; the mango is such a great balance to the jalapenos…not to mention all the hot sauce on mine.

Shredded Beef and Mango Quesadillas

3 cups leftover shredded beef (approximately)

Taco seasoning packet

1/2 – 1 cup water

1 mango, diced

1 avocado, cut into chunks or strips

1 cup black beans

Pickled jalapenos (I have a feeling these would be great on them too!!)

Monterey Jack cheese

Flour Tortillas

Sour cream, lettuce and salsa to serve with

Freshen up the beef by putting in a skillet with about half of the packet of taco seasoning, and combine the two together really well over medium high heat. When it starts to sizzle, pour in 1/2 cup of water and incorporate. If the water quickly evaporates, add a little more at a time until you get enough for the beef to simmer in for a few minutes. You don’t want it soupy at all, but just enough. Turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Assemble your quesadilla by layering the cheese, beef, beans, mango, avocado and jalapenos. Sprinkle on more cheese and top it off with another tortilla. Grill in a panini maker or grill pan….you could even make it in a regular skillet.

Happy Thursday!

xoxo

 

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Chipotle Cheesy Olive Muffins

Let’s see…

How well can Dixie Chik write a food post right after working her first three 12 hour shifts in a row?? I’ll let you answer that.

And I want you to be honest. Seriously. I love you all for reading, by the way.

For now, I have to share a real quick rant with y’all…

I had two patients today that were not female. And they wore me out. However, I still felt so blessed to take care of them.

So, I just have to say….men are gross.

Yes.

Don’t get me wrong – obviously I get that not every female patient is perfectly clean and smells like roses. Who does? I know I definitely didn’t when I gave birth to my children….

Ok, so the following bitch fest excludes my husband – seriously –  in our 7 years of marriage he has always been extremely respectful of putting down the toilet seat, closing bathroom/bedroom doors and – he very quickly got used to my habit of running water in the sink when I go tinkle/do the-no-mentions.

Y’all know what I’m talking about when I say “the no mentions”, right? #2?  I absolutely refuse to let my husband be in ear shot of me doing such things.

I would absolutely die first.

I swear to God I better not be the only one.

It’s a habit I’ve had since I was a teenager, I can’t pee within earshot of anybody, which is why I run the water. I swear if I went to a bathroom without a working sink I probably wouldn’t be able to survive.

So, in my opinion, besides my husband – men can be just plain nasty. That’s why my original plan was to be a women’s health nurse practitioner. The plan still is in place (loosely). So, gotta get my bachelors and continue on.

Sorry, boys, ya’ll have a reputation with us girls. But we do love you!!

Oh Lord – now I’m supposed to follow up with my recipe.
 
My dear, sweet readers, please forgive me.  I’ll beg on hands and knees.

Let’s move onto to the food.

SOOO…..

These muffins are cheesy, olivey, almost corn muffin-like – although there’s no corn meal involved. They are buttery and crumbly. In my opinion, since this is the first time making them, they are PERFECT for something like a french onion soup or sante fe soup – to dip or EMERGE in.

They are seriously flavorful and can absorb like crazy. Lots of cheesy taste, moist and versatile.

Chipotle Cheesy Olive Muffins

Makes 36 muffins

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 chipotle cube – if your grocery doesn’t have, here’s a link, you will love them

3 eggs, whisked – at room temp

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

10 green olives, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray, or butter it up!!

In a stand mixer, combine flour, salt and baking powder and chipotle until incorporated. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, olive oil and milk; pour over the flour mixture.

Mix on low for about 2-3 minutes, until combined.

Add cheese and mix for another minute – the dough should be fairly thick.

Pour into muffin pan and sprinkle chopped olives on top. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until done! Check after about 1o to be on the safe side.

These can be wrapped in foil or plastic wrap to preserve for a few days.

Best in the first two days – melt a little butter on top and a drizzle of hot sauce.

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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Bacon Wrapped Poblanos with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Y’all are going to like these. Or love them, depending on if you make them or not.

They are sinful.

These are close to your typical chiles rellenos – which are poblanos stuffed with cheese – but they aren’t breaded, nor fried.  I cannot stand fried chiles rellenos. I know that’s how they are do it traditionally and all, but that’s just straight up gluttonous.

Please don’t remind me of that statement if I bread and fry something filled with cheese later on. I’ll so deny that I said that.

Anyway, I stuffed these with Monterey Jack cheese, wrapped them in bacon and baked them. I made a cilantro ranch dressing that’s just a tee-nytsy spicy to drizzle on top. You don’t know what tee-nytsy means? It means “a little” in Southern.

Need an example?

“Belinda’s skirt is so tee-nytsy! That whore is always lookin’ for attention…bless her heart.”

*Giggles*

I got this idea a couple of days ago when I had a craving for jalapeno poppers, at the same time trying to think of something to do with some poblanos I had in my fridge. I originally bought them for a chicken idea I had – but that’s for later. Pretty much, the poblanos needed a purpose.

This morning I woke up early, as usual, and definitely was in blog mode – and the poblanos got their purpose. Although I have other posts almost ready to share with y’all, I was excited about this one. If you know me, you will understand that I have no patience.

Let me take a minute to explain “blog mode”. As food bloggers, we definitely have a passion for what we do….the cooking, photography, writing, etc. However, if we aren’t in the mood, it’s pointless. I had to figure this out on my own, and I still fight myself at times, but I’m glad I have discovered not to fake it just to generate posts. If you push yourself to do something you really aren’t mentally or emotionally present for, you will not get results. I know that it’s really hard for us to have our blogs and promote them like we do – then to have that feeling of having no drive to write or post  – whether its a week, a month or whatever. It makes us feel like we aren’t maintaining what we set out to do.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter. Our readers are there, and will continue to be there even if we take a break. If it feels like work, well, what’s the point. This is our hobby. It shouldn’t be a bad kind of work…. it’s a good kind of work, but we love it.

So, being in blog mode and all this morning at 6 am, I made these. Have I mentioned I’m a morning person?

Bacon Wrapped Poblanos with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

4 large poblano peppers, washed

2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/2 pound bacon (give or take – depends on your preference)

1 cup Ranch dressing

1 handful fresh Cilantro, chopped

Cholula hot sauce- about 3-4 drops

Preheat oven to 400°.

Using a sharp knife, slice an opening in the poblanos, with the opening not being at either ends, we want to keep the cheese from bubbling out of the peppers as they bake. Stuff with cheese, then wrap tightly with bacon. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is done and crispy.

While the peppers are in the oven, mix the ranch dressing with cilantro and hot sauce, then refrigerate.

When the peppers are done, drizzle with the ranch.

After you taste it, just go ahead and pour the ranch into a bowl and dunk each and every bite into it. You will want to do this – the ranch is just that good.

These made a fantastic breakfast, by the way.

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

 

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Warm Asian Chicken Salad

If you like Chinese/Asian food – you’ll like this one.

That is unless you only like the fast food deep fried Chinese food that makes you sick after you eat it. And then hungry again.

See, I really don’t like that kind of Chinese food – just to let you know –  so this is not that kind of recipe.

Well… I do like eggrolls.

And I guess I do like crab rangoons.

Anyway.

I do love Japanese and Thai cuisine, and thanks to my hubby, I love sushi. I also love to make dumplings.  Go here to see my last dumpling post. As a matter of fact, I just got a copy of Asian Dumplings. You should really check it out; it’s a great book. I have the next 27 Saturday afternoons scheduled to make some of these recipes.

Just kidding.

Ok, maybe I have just a few scheduled.

The day I made this I had been craving something Chinese-ish-y, had worked all day, was ravenous and fending for myself. The kids were off out with friends and my husband was working late. For some reason I was really leaning towards a slaw/salad type dish; I didn’t want anything heavy or fried.

This is almost like a mu shu (or is it moo shu?) chicken without the chinese pancake to wrap around it. I didn’t miss it.

Chicken

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil (have I ever mentioned how sexy this stuff smells? – it’s downright seductive)

1 tsp ginger (I used jarred)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salad

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp minced ginger, (yes, jarred)

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped

12 oz angel hair slaw (cabbage)

14 oz can bean sprouts (you can find this on the Asian aisle)

Soy sauce

Dressing

Remaining marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp rice wine

1 tsp sesame oil

For the chicken, whisk everything for the together but the chicken. Obviously. 

Put the chicken in a large zip lock bag and pour in the marinade. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but a day would be great.

Remove the chicken and grill/bake/broil, whatever your favorite way to make chicken is, until done – but make sure to save the marinade.

Cover chicken with foil and set aside.

In a large pan over medium high heat, add the oil, garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant, then add onions and mushrooms. Stir around for about a minute or two, until the onions and ‘shrooms are getting a little brown and it starts to sizzle a little. Turn the heat down to medium and add the slaw and bean sprouts. Get everything good and mixed up and drizzle a little soy sauce on top, then mix again. No, I didn’t measure the drizzle.

I feel pretty confident my readers know what a drizzle is.

Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t get too dry or starts to stick. If it does, drizzle a little more soy and turn the heat down a little. You just want it good and wilted, and for the flavors to come together nicely.

While that’s cooking, make a little dressing. (BTW I forgot to put the dressing on mine when I shot the pics – please forgive me – but it’s really, really good and you will want this).

Add the marinade to a sauce pan and add the soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. Bring to a rolling boil for about 3 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for about 25 minutes. We want to get rid of all that nasty salmonella. If it starts to scorch, turn the heat down a little.

To assemble, cut the chicken into strips. Put a big mound of salad on a plate and add the chicken on top. Drizzle with the dressing.

Yum?

Yes.

Y’all – please don’t forget the dressing.

xoxo

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Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Linguine alla Carbonara

Goat cheese  – where have you been all my life?? I know I’ve had you here and there.…on a crostini, in a dip; maybe in a recipe that I wasn’t quite sure if you were there or not.

But I haven’t had you here.

This kids….

is Goat Cheese de-luciousness.

That’s right, I said it.

It’s a word.

After I made this dish, and was completely excited by how perfectly the flavors blended together, how the goat cheese complemented the peppers so well….and how the chicken was sufficient but yet the bacon added an extra kick that took it from great to fantastic. So, I was reminded of a book. Not just any book.

Yes, we are going down memory lane. Stay with me – come on…just for a minute!

My son’s very favorite book when he was little was Dr. Seuss Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!. I can recite the entire book by memory because we read it so much. This book is about thinking…what I’m getting to here is creativity.

By the way, he will be turning 16 in August. Good Lord.

Wait…that means he’ll be driving a car by himself. Jesus, that’s two months from now. I’m not ready!!

{deep breathing}

{gets a glass of chardonnay}

Anyway.

There are certain lines from the book that stand out to me:

“You can think about red. You can think about pink. You can think up a horse. Oh, the thinks you can think!”

See…that is a great example of how vast your creative mind can be. I know I don’t use mine to the greatest capacity, but I would love to. So many times I have this ingredient, that ingredient, a full pantry…but can’t fully get a hold of my creativity no matter how much I want to. I hate that!! I so want to be creative and just play but my brain will not cooperate. Maybe we should take a time out and read Oh, The Thinks You Could Think.

I really think we all have the ability to dig in deep and use the creativity we know we have – however finding/using it is the hard part. Sometimes. For this particular recipe, and other random ones before it, it was so easy to pull from within and use it.

So, I want you to find the Think you can Think!

Oh, the thinks you can think if only you try….if you try you can think of a Guff going by….”

WTF is a Guff?

Email me if you happen to have this confidential Dr. Seuss information.

So now let’s move on to the recipe….

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Linguine alla Carbonara

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled (or baked, or broiled, or whatever), cut into chunks

1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup whole cream (whipping cream)

1/2 cup milk (I actually used fat free – all I had and even though I felt heavier milk was warranted – I was not about to run to the store)

2 oz goat cheese

Roasted red peppers – I used about 1 to 1/2 peppers according to size (these were from a 12 oz jar) – feel free to use more

Parmesan cheese

1/2 lb. linguine, cooked

Ok, you will have your chicken and bacon prepared and ready to go into the pasta, right? And the pasta boiling? If not, do that.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and garlic until you can really smell it. Add the goat cheese, cream and milk and whisk to make sure the cheese melts and gets incorporated. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and remove from heat.

Add the sauce, peppers and parm in a food processor and process until smooth. Or almost smooth.

Your pick.

Pour over pasta and mix well, salt and pepper to taste. Top it off with more parm.

If this looks borderline pornographic I apologize. I know it’s a close shot. I just want y’all to see the sauce, cheese, bacon, chicken…

Up close and personal.

It was truly divine.

Back to orientation at the hospital in the AM!

xoxo

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