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
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
Choose some vegetables to be grilled for the quinoa bowls and keep some vegetables raw for their crispiness.
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.
*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 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.
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.
For Black Beans and Quinoa
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
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.
Queso Blanco, a warm, silky and creamy cheese dip served in thousands of Tex Mex and Mexican restaurants through out the country. I did not have my first bowl of nachos until I moved to Texas from California in 1979. I was hooked! It was not this queso blanco version, but that bright orange version served over salty, round tortilla chips and topped with jalapeño rings. It was new and exciting, lol! Soon after that, we had Mom preparing nachos for us at home every weekend. I guess you could say, that nachos were not a California thing, but it did not take long to catch on. During my seven years in Texas, I had my fair share of nachos.
I ended up married to a wonderful man, that happens to not be so crazy about cheese, ha, ha, ha! Soon the nachos went by the wayside, but years later I found myself preparing a big batch of queso blanco every week for FiestaFriday’s. I prepared a mexican lunch once a week for a whole year at a specialty kitchen store, Front and Center, where I happen to teach cooking classes as well. This blog post is dedicated to queso, melted, shredded, crumbled and sliced…. These are some of my favorite cheese recipes.
Queso de Freir~ Fried Cheese Crostini September 23, 2014
Easy Peasy recipe! Lol! Sorry, had to say it.
1 package of Queso Tropical, queso de freir
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 baguette, sliced at a bias for crostini, toasted(8 half inch slices)
1 cup your favorite salsa, red or green recipe (check out all of my favorite salsa recipes under the category section. Many to choose from)
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the cheese into 8 equal slices. In a large skillet at medium/low heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and toast the garlic slices until golden. Remove from oil, turn heat up to medium. When hot, add the cheese slices and cook for just a 20 to 30 seconds per side or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on toasted crostini slices. Garnish with salsa, cilantro and oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Serve right away. Yields 4 servings as an appetizer.
Grilled Veggie Quesadillas August 11, 2014
Grilled Veggie Quesadillas can be made with a variety of vegetables. After a quick trip to the farmers market last weekend, it was time for a grilling session. One of my favorite things to do is to grill a big batch of my favorite vegetables and keep them in my refrigerator for different meals during the week. And if you are worried about not using up that quickly, just toss them lightly in your favorite vinegar and this will preserve them a little longer, until you are ready to use them. The vegetables are great for sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and really tasty for preparing quesadillas. This was my first time grilling broccoli. It was not bad at all. The stem towards the end, was a a little tough, so I think that next time I would just steam them for a few minutes in the microwave before grilling. The tasty, melty Mexican cheese made up for the tough piece of broccoli though, ha, ha, ha!!
1 small head of broccoli 1summer squash or zucchini
1 small red bell pepper
1 small sweet onion
*Slice or chop your vegetables in big pieces so they are easier to grill. Try slicing the broccoli so it has one flat side.
Salt and pepper
2 cups Chihuahua, jack or any good melting cheese, shredded
8 Fajita size flour tortillas
Preheat grill to medium/high heat. Drizzle olive oil on veggies and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables directly on the grill or on a pan made for the grill. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes, turning as needed. Chop into smaller pieces before assembling quesadillas. For quesadillas, add about 1 ounce of shredded cheese to one tortilla, 4 tablespoons of grilled veggie mix, more cheese and then top with another tortilla. You can cook on the grill or on the stove top in a non stick pan at medium heat. I cover with a lid so it creates some steam and helps the cheese melt easier. I did not brush the tortillas with any oil or butter, but you can do this while cooking them for a crispier finish.
* Both of the cheeses pictured are excellent melting cheeses for quesadillas!
Tips~ The recipes for the red and green salsa’s and homemade flour tortillas can be found right on my blog. Just search under categories for ” A Trio of Summer Salsa’s” and “Tortillas” .
1 1/2 pounds american style cheese, diced
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, pepperjack or with jalapeño, shredded
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup diced pickled jalapeños, optional
* I found an 8 ounce pack of pepperjack slices and added that as well
Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat to medium/low and let come up to temperature and melt slowly. Stir as needed. Serve right away. Yields about 4 1/2 cups.
Tips~ Make sure the American cheese is not labeled as “Cheese Product” on the package.
Queso con Chiles Toreados
A slightly more complex recipe than the first, but still very tasty!
4 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup hot turkey or pork sausage (2 links; remove the casings) 4 to 6 large jalapeño peppers, stems removed (I left the seeds in, however)
1/3 cup diced sweet onions
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup white extra sharp cheese, shredded
1 cup Oaxaca or string cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce or to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Tips~ You could substitute mexican style chorizo for the hot turkey sausage.
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from pan onto a plate.
2. To that same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Cook the jalapeños for a few minutes or until the skins start to blister and blacken in spots. Remove from pan.
3. Again to that same pan, add the last 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. While the onions are cooking, dice up the jalapeños. I left the seeds in.
4. Add the flour to the onions and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and continue cooking until it starts to form a thick sauce. Add in all of the remaining ingredients; remove from heat. The cheese will melt right away. Transfer to serving dish and serve with tortilla chips or tostadas. Yields about 4 cups.
Queso Fundido with Peppers and Chorizo
8 ounce block of Monterey jack cheese, shredded ¼ cup roasted, diced poblano ¼ cup, roasted, diced red bell pepper ½ cup cooked Mexican chorizo (drain on paper towels after cooking)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine all ingredients in a small casserole dish and bake, covered, at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook under broiler for 2 minutes. Serve with chips, crostini or as a taco filling.
Jalapeño Popper Dip, A great recipe I developed for Que Rica Vida. http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/jalapeno-popper-dip/ Click onto picture for recipe.
Guacamole Filled Queso Fundido, another of my recipes for Que Rica Vida. http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/guacamole-filled-queso-fundido/
Grilled Jalapeño Garlic Chicken Rice Bowl. Rice bowl, burrito bowl, taco bowl! I love eating food when it’s layered in a big bowl. Especially when the layer starts with a great rice. It’s getting closer and closer to grilling season for us here in central New York, but I could not wait any longer. In a pinch, my stove top grill pan works well when I really need to have a grilled steak or piece of chicken. Is it me, or are the boneless chicken breast huge these days?? I can literally take one chicken breast, butterfly it and my husband and I will each get 2 meals out of it. And with all the layers in this rice bowl, you will not need much chicken to be satisfied.
1 pound boneless chicken breast
1 large jalapeño, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
For Brown “Yellow” Rice & Black Beans
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
*If you do not want to use bouillon, just start with 2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1 cup parboiled brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
For Grilled Veggies
1/2 pound blanched green beans
1/2 pound asparagus
1 red bell pepper
1 small zucchini
1 small sweet onion
Lemon pepper seasoning
Garnish and Serve with
Lemon or lime wedges
Warm tortillas or chips
1. Butterfly the chicken breast and pound out lightly to even it out, set aside. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients to make the marinade. Blend until smooth, taste for salt. Pour over chicken and turn over to coat evenly. Cover and set aside on counter for 1 hour.
2. For the rice, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add all of the dry spices, rice and olive oil. Taste for salt, cover, reduce heat and cook for 24 to 28 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork, add lemon or lime juice, black beans and cilantro. The rice recipe will make 6 servings. But you will wish you had made more if you run out..lol!
3. Slice and prep the vegetables. I like to slice them into strips because it’s easier to fit them on the grill pan. I like to slice the onion into thick rounds. Drizzle them with olive oil and season them lightly with lemon pepper. Preheat stove top grill pan to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. grill your vegetables in batches and spread out onto lined baking sheet. If you stack them, they will continue to steam and wilt. Rewarm for a few seconds when ready to serve.
4. Wipe the grill pan off with paper towels and return to medium heat. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Shake off excess marinade from chicken and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and let rest for a few minutes. Slice thin against the grain. To plate, add rice to a shallow bowl, grilled vegetables, chicken, guacamole and crema. Yields 4 servings.
Tips~Before adding grilled vegetables, you could slice into smaller bite size pieces for easier plating. I like to blanch my green beans and asparagus before grilling when I have time. It makes for a quicker cooking time.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.