Baked Chicken Taquitos

Getting creative with weeknight meals takes a little bit of planning ahead. This is a habit I learned early on from my Mom. She often would cook some foods, such as beans or chicken so they would be ready for other meals. The chicken would most often be transformed into enchiladas, tacos or taquitos. My favorite of the three would have to be taquitos. Crispy rolled tacos topped with that wonderful avocado tomatillo salsa and mexican crema. You seriously had to keep track of how many you ate, because before you knew it, 3 could turn into half a dozen! Lol! But lucky for us, there would be red rice, beans and fresh salad on the side to round out the meal.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

 

The key to cooking a great taquito, whether you fry them or bake them is a good quality soft corn tortilla. And I will never forget my dad insisting that tortilas must be cooked on the comal (griddle) otherwise they would fall apart.  My Dad was very knowledgable when it came to tortillas. As I have mentioned before, he used to build the commercial tortilla machines used in many of the large tortilla factories. The tortilla is cooked, but when you warm them on a hot surface, that was really like the last step in the cooking process.  I have proved this point when I am in a hurry I steam the tortillas in the microwave. The microwave steams them which adds too much moisture, in my opinion,  causing them to tear. If you are only preparing a few taquitos that will be fried right away, this will work. But if preparing a larger batch, the longer they sit after being steamed, the more fragile they become. If you live in an area that sells tortillas like they make in Mexico, then you are darn lucky, ha, ha, ha! No seriously, if they are good quality, you will be able to roll them tight without them tearing. For today’s post, I decided to bake them instead of frying them. They are still crispy and satify that taquito craving that never seems to go away! Enjoy!

Baked  ChickenTaquitos

Ingredients
18 corn tortillas
2  1/2 cups of cooked chicken ( I used grilled chicken)
Toothpicks
Oil of choice, I used grapeseed oil

Tips~ When choosing a filling, you want one that has the least amount of broth or salsa.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Directions

1. Slice or chop chicken so you have  very small pieces. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil paper and brush with oil. Set aside.

2. Preheat a large griddle or comal to medium heat for a few minutes. Cook the tortillas for about 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds. Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or in between a kitchen towel. Steaming them in the microwave does not work as well, but you can if only making a few.

3. Fill warmed tortillas with a thin strip of chicken down the center. As you fold the tortilla over, pull it, with the filling,  towards you to make it tight. Then roll away from you to form the taquito. Secure with toothpick at the seam. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush tops of taquitos with more oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Serve right away. Garnish with your favorite salsa, guacamole and crema. Yields up to 6 servings.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

 

Salsa Ranchera, one of my favorites to serve with taquitos.

Salsa Ranchera

 

Click onto picture for full recipe of salsa.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

 

Roasted Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, another favorite!

Roasted Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Click onto picture for full recipe on salsa.

Enchiladas Potosinas~ Red Chile Tortilla Cheese Enchiladas

Some of you may be looking at these pictures and think that these don’t look like any enchiladas I have eaten.  This style of enchilada was made popular in San Luis, Potosi, Mexico. It’s a homemade corn tortilla infused with a red chile sauce, filled with a cheese/salsa mix and cooked on a comal then finished in a shallow fry for extra crispiness.   In some regions of Mexico, these would be considered quesadillas. When served, you would carefully open them and add more fillings, such as carne asada, shrimp or guisados of chicken or pork. But whatever you do, don’t tell anyone from San Luis Potosi that this is a quesadilla. The people of the different regions of Mexico are very proud of the dishes made popular in there specific region. I prepare a batch of these and keep them in the refrigerator all week. This way, I could prepare enchiladas, quesadillas or tacos for a quick lunch or dinner. And as important are the fresh garnishes for these Enchiladas Potosinas. A few must haves would be lettuce, Mexican crema and avocado. 

Enchiladas Potosinas

 

Enchiladas Potosinas

Enchiladas Potosinas

Chile Sauce
6 Chile New Mexico , Guajillo or California, stem and seeds removed
Water to cover for cooking
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup water for blending

Enchiladas Potosinas

Tips~ If you would like your chile sauce a little more spicy, you couls add in a few chile de arbol with the other dried peppers.

Enchiladas Potosinas

For Tortillas
1 1/3 cups Maseca brand, masa harina
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups warm water
1/3 cup chile puree, more or less
1 tablespoon olive oil

Enchiladas Potosinas

For Filling
1 full cup of queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled fine
1/3 to 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa

Enchiladas Potosinas

You Will Also Need
Oil for cooking the enchiladas
3 cups shredded lettuce
Onion, thinly sliced, optional
1/2 cup Mexican crema
1 large avocado, sliced
1 cup your favorite salsa

Enchiladas Potosinas

Directions

1. Add the dried chiles to a sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Drain all the liquid and transfer to the blender. Add 1/2 cup of water, and spices listed. Blend on high until smooth, strain sauce through a wire mesh strainer, set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the masa harina, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, combine the chile sauce, warm water and olive oil. Add the dry to the wet until the dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat a skillet medium heat for 5 minutes. While the skillet is heating, roll 12 equal masa balls. Transfer the dough balls to a large plate and keep covered with plastic. Line your tortilla press w/ a quart size freezer back,cut to size of tortilla press(leaving fold uncut).

4. Press the masa ball to about 4 to 4 1/2 inches. While still in plastic, add about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese/salsa mixture. Using the plastic, fold over to form a taco shape. Press around filling to to push out some of the air. Gently press edges together.

5. Brush skillet with oil . Remove enchilada from plastic and place on preheated skillet. Brush top sides with oil. Cover the skillet. This will help create a little steam and cook the masa through. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, do not stack them. Now I like to serve them like this. Some people like to fry them in a little more oil for extra crispiness. Garnish with lettuce, mexican crema, onions, avocado and salsa. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Enchiladas Potosinas

Enchiladas Potosinas

Enchiladas Potosinas

 

Fresh Mex~Grilled Chicken and Black Beans Quinoa Bowls

You know when you find a great deal on grocery items that you use all the time and you just can’t pass it up? Yes, that was me last week with this package of large boneless chicken breast. I would normally break down the package and freeze the breast individually. It was forecasted to be such a gorgeous day last Sunday that I decided to prep the chicken three ways, all cooked on the grill. This is the first of three recipes I will be sharing with you today. For today’s post I wanted to incorporate some quinoa and blacks beans to prepare a “rice bowl” but with quinoa instead. The combination of grilled vegetables and the raw, crispy vegetables wa tasty! Choose you favorite dressing to garnish with. No dressing? Drizzle on a little olive oil after the lime, salt and pepper and you are all set. Foods that are good for you and delicious! 

Fresh Mex ~Grilled Chicken Black Beans and Quinoa Bowls

Grilled Chicken Black Beans and Quinoa  Bowls

Fresh Mex Grilled Chicken Quinoa Bowls

You Will Need
4 grilled chicken cutlets, sliced thin
1 recipe for Black Beans and Quinoa
1 cup zucchini, grilled and diced
6 to 8 grilled sweet peppers and hot pepper mixed of your choice
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
Cilantro, chopped
Lime
Hot Sauce
Your favorite dressing

Grilled Sweet Peppers and Zucchini

Choose some vegetables to be grilled for the quinoa bowls and keep some vegetables raw for their crispiness.

Some grilled and some raw veggies

Build Your Fresh Mex Quinoa Bowls

To each bowl add some quinoa in the center. Then you could let your guest build their own bowls with the ingredients available. Garnish with cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce or dressing. Recipes yield 4 to 6 servings.

Fresh Mex~ Grilled Chicken and Black Beans Quinoa Bowls

Fresh Mex~ Grilled Chicken and Black Beans Quinoa Bowls

*I was out of avocados on this day, but that really would have made this bowl awesome!

Dry Rub Grilled Chicken Breast

Dry Rub Grilled Chicken

Dry Rub Grilled Chicken Breast

4 cutlet style chicken breast (1 1/2 pounds more or less)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons dry rub for chicken, homemade or store bought
Olive oil

Tips~ If you can’t find the chicken sliced thin, cutlet style, buy 2 large chicken breast and butterfly them in half. Cover with plastic and pound out to 1/3 inch so they are thin.

Dry Rub Grilled Chicken

Directions

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add all of the dry rub to coat evenly. Cover and marinate for a 2 hours.

2.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.   Prepare  outdoor grill for direct cooking at medium/high heat. Brush grates with oil and grill on high for about 3 minutes per side, let rest before slicing. If cooking indoors, cook in preheated skillet for 3 minutes per side, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil while it preheats.

Dry Rub Grilled Chicken

 

For Black Beans and Quinoa

Black Bean and Quinoa

Ingredients

Olive oil
1/2 cup red or white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano, minced
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
1 3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Black Beans and Quinoa

 

Fresh Cilantro

Aromatics

Directions

1. Rinse the quinoa, drain and set aside. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, serrano and sun dried tomato. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Add the oregano and cumin seeds and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the quinoa, lime juice and chicken broth. Stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Add the beans, cover and let set for 15 minutes. Use a fork to fold in the beans, add cilantro. Yields 6 servings.

Black Beans and Quinoa

 

Black Beans and Quinoa