Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the past two seasons of American Idol I’ve been whipping up themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Last night the Idol crew visited Long Beach Cali and San Antonio. Since my foodie allegiance rests with the amazingness that is Mexican Food I had to pay tribute to my home state with some tasty Tex-Mex.

Texas has been my home for over a decade now but I was actually born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. Tonight for the first time auditions are heading to Oklahoma City. I grew up with Mexican food in my veins, eating my dad’s fiery hot salsa as a young kid. So we’ll call tonight a dual tribute to both of my home towns.

I swore I would keep it simple…and it is!! Don’t let the lofty ingredient list scare you away. You’ll have enough relish and avocado crema leftover for nachos, salads, dips…whatever you can think of! So dive in…your taste buds will thank you! :)

Happy Eating!


Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish
12 bites size pieces

Ingredients

Enchiladas
▪    1/4 cup canola oil
▪    6 corn tortillas
▪    1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
▪    1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese, shredded
▪    1/4 cup sour cream
▪    3 tbsp yellow onion, diced
▪    3 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp green chiles
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

Avocado Crema
▪    2 avocados
▪    3 tbsp sour cream
▪    1 tsp fresh lime juice
▪    1 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    1/4 tsp garlic powder
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Relish
▪    15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
▪    8oz can yellow corn kernels, rinsed and drained
▪    2 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp red onion, diced
▪    3 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
▪    1 tbsp fresh lime juice
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
▪    1 tsp cumin
▪    1 tsp chile powder
▪    1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed

*Side note: For another quick appetizer top some tortilla chips with the cheese and melt in the warm oven. Top it off with the relish and remaining crema.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small skillet heat the oil over medium low heat. When the oil is hot dip the tortillas one by one in the hot oil until the edges are slightly crisp.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Mix the pepperjack and remaining 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the relish, mix the black beans and remaining 10 ingredients in a large bowl.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the crema mix together the avocado and remaining 6 ingredients in a medium size bowl until nice and creamy.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Divide the cheese mixture into 6 even portions and carefully spoon each portion onto each tortilla.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Fold the edges over the cheese leaving the ends open. Lightly dab the edges with water to seal.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Lay each tortilla seam side down onto a small baking sheet. Bake until the cheese has melted, around 5-10 minutes.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Remove from the oven. Using a serrated knife cut each tortilla in half.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Top with a tablespoon of the avocado crema.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Then top with the relish.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Bon appétit!

Cinco de Mayo: A Few of My Favorite Things

For all you history buffs out there Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the “The Day of the Battle of Puebla” and an opportunity to celebrate the pride and freedom of the Hispanic population. Contrary to popular belief it is not Mexico’s Independence Day which is actually celebrated in September. [Thank you Wikipedia for those nuggets of information.]

For me, Cinco de Mayo means a day to celebrate two of my favorite things, Mexican Food and Margaritas, or for anyone…another excuse to spend Saturday afternoon drinking the day away on your favorite patio.

So for today’s post I thought I’d break down what makes Mexican food so amazing. Let’s get to it.

Flavors: I wouldn’t consider myself a Mexican food connoisseur, but merely an obsessed fan of the flavors that make the popular cuisine a favorite down in the south, particularly Texas. The onions, garlic, spices, peppers…it’s a flavor explosion in every bite! Now when I’m talking about Mexican food I’m referring to Tex-Mex. I’ve had my share of “authentic” Mexican cuisine, but not enough to consider myself any kind of an expert.

Authentic Mexican Food vs. Tex-Mex: It’s been my experience that the most differentiating factor in Tex-Mex is our love for cheddar cheese and sour cream. Rarely do I find oodles of cheesy and creamy goodness in authentic Mexican fare. Another difference is our use of meat and chicken as opposed to seafood. Now I’m not saying you won’t find meat and seafood in authentic dishes, you certainly do, but I’ve found a lot more seafood when I’ve eaten Mexican food outside of Texas. Oh and cactus! I’ve never tried it and don’t ever see it on Dallas menus, but I would love to try the prickly treat.

So getting back to the flavors that make my mouth water at every plate of steaming fajitas or spicy salsa, I have to give credit to the mighty pepper! I’m a heat freak. One of those people that will make themselves sweat and practically miserable just to get that rush of heat. A daredevil of sorts…in a culinary sense. So what are my favs…lets jump ahead shall we.

Peppers: Jalapenos, Serrano Chiles, spicy Habanero’s…I love them all. The more heat packed into that gorgeous colorful flesh the better. When I’m cooking Mexican food at home these are my go to peppers along with my new fav, the delicious and sweet Red Bell Pepper.

Red Bell Pepper – the mildest of the four these lovely peppers omit a beautiful sweet flavor whether cooked or uncooked. Whether you’re roasting and stuffing it or simply julienne it for a salad, this versatile pepper is a kitchen staple all year long.

Jalapenos – this chile will give you a much stronger kick then the mild bell pepper, but it’s punch isn’t harsh enough to burn out even the most sensitive heat seeker. Roast it up, saute it with your fajitas, or just bite into it like a pickle – whenever I need my heat fix this is my go to pepper.

Serrano Chiles – I turn to these thin and long ladies for my spicy fire roasted salsa because they offer a bit more kick then their jalapeno brothers, but not quite the hit as a habanero. If I’m making the salsa for myself then I’ll do a mix of serrano, jalapeno, and habanero…apparently I like my mouth to be set on fire!

Habanero – a quick tip: the smaller the pepper, the hotter it will be. Habanero’s aren’t the spiciest peppers, but they definitely rank high on the Scoville Scale. They’re perfect if you want to add a hit of spice that settles warmly in the back of your throat with every bite. Damn I’m getting hungry!

Spices: And now for my favorite part, the spices. Cumin and Chile Powder are the stand-out spices that complete a tasty Mexican dish. Cumin is such a versatile spice. Another popular spice in Indian cuisine, it provides a warmth and flavor element that is truly unique.

I can’t dismiss the most predominant flavor in Mexican food, cilantro. Again, a very versatile herb found in Mexican and Indian dishes, this earthly beauty brightens up any dish whether it’s swimming in a sea of spicy peppers, oil popping in a fajita dish, or the sinfully lard filled refried bean, you can’t go wrong with Cilantro. Side note: I’ve met a few people that despise the leafy green…I don’t understand you.

Recipes: If you follow Sarah’s Musical Kitchen then you are well aware of my obsession with Mexican food. Here are 5 of my favorite blog recipes to date:

Flautas with Adobo Chile Crema

Taco Packets with Avocado Crema

Grilled Avocado with Black Bean Corn Salsa

Spicy Fire Roasted Salsa

Weight Watchers Healthy Beef and Bean Tacos

Restaurants: Back in 2010 I wrote a post about my Top 10 Mexican Food Restaurants in the DFW area. For the most part my list has stayed true, with a few minor changes. Instead of creating another top 10 here’s what I consider the key to a stellar Mexican food joint!

Chips & Salsa: If a restaurant doesn’t have good chips and salsa I won’t be coming back. My favorite thing about going out to eat Mexican food is indulging on the salty and spicy goodness of fried corn and spicy pureed tomatoes. Mi Cocina still holds the torch for best chips and salsa in my book. The chips are the perfect level of thickness and are always served hot and fresh and the salsa steels the show in my opinion. You can still taste the tomato goodness but feel the fiery punch of the peppers. Mi Cocina gets a bad rap for not being “authentic” enough, but compare this salsa next to anyone else in the DFW area and I think it’s no contest!

Tacos: If you would have told me 5 years ago that the best tacos in town were out of a truck stop/gas station, I would have questioned your cleanliness and mocked your culinary prowess. Okay maybe I wouldn’t have taken it that far…the point is, I’m a LOT more opened minded these days. So after all the buzz around DFW’s “Best Taco Spot” I had to drop in and give it a try.

Greasy, flavorful, and small enough to inhale at least 4 in a setting, Fuel City Tacos undoubtedly are the best “street-style” tacos I’ve had! These little tacos topped with onions and cilantro aren’t fussy, aren’t trying to be the most creative tacos in the city, they just revel in their simplicity and amazing flavor!

Try them, love them….and bring plenty of cash because you’ll definitely go back for seconds!

Fajitas: If you want a combination of chicken, beef, and lobster…yes that’s right, lobster, then you have to try the Cadillac Platter from Uncle Julio’s. It’s a bit pricier then most fajita platters but it feeds two easily and the flavor’s are off the charts. Before you stuff your flour tortillas take a heaping fork of chicken, beef, and lobster then dip it in the warm drawn butter…HEAVEN!

Queso: I love discovering new hole in the wall joints, especially when I discover they serve the best queso in Dallas. Apparently queso dip isn’t very wide spread outside of Texas and Oklahoma so let me break it down for you. It’s creamy white or yellow cheese sauteed with a mix of onions and tomatoes and often served with taco meat, sour cream and guacamole. Holy Frijoles keeps it simple yet I walk away wondering everytime…what the hell do they put in their queso. It’s meaty and flavorful, yet there’s no meat in the cheese and it looks relatively simple. It’s perfection actually, and no words will do it the justice it deserves.

Margarita: This is a hot topic and one I’m sure people will disagree with me on. To me the best Margarita in Dallas is the Mambo Taxi at Taco Diner. There’s a reason there’s a 3 drink limit…they will knock you off your bar stool.  The blend of frozen rita and fruity sangria is the perfect thirst quencher in the Texas heat. I’m warning you though, you might think you’re okay and demand another round, but trust me…pace yourself…you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

So Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. If you’re still with me after my outrageously long post, you rock. I’m heading out to wet my whistle with some sizzling fajitas and tangy margaritas before I go see the amazing Sarah Jaffe at the Granada Theater.

What are you Cinco de Mayo plans? Let me know in the comment field below!

Photo Credits: Plastic Jungle Blog, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, That Foodie Girl

Rotisserie Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Corn Salsa

Tostadas are perfect for weeknight meals because of their versatility and the ease of minimal cooking. They’re quick, easy, and delicious. Rotisserie chicken is great for Tostadas. It’s one less thing you have to cook and the roasted flavor of the chicken pares perfectly with the crispy shells and spicy toppings.

Start with the black bean corn salsa.

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Spicy Fire Roasted Salsa [Recipe Upgrade]

Fire Roasted Salsa

My grandpa’s salsa is famous in my family, but it’s almost impossible to get him to spill his secrets….until now. Over the holidays I was gorging on his yummy creation when I started asking for bits and pieces of the recipe. I doubt I got it down 100% but I think I did a pretty good job re-creating the family favorite.

A few years ago I posted my salsa recipe and it hasn’t changed much over the years. Once I made my grandfather’s salsa I was hooked. The addition of the tomato sauce and dried oregano took it to the next level.

Ingredients

  • 28oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion (1/2 a cup), cut in large chunks
  • small handful of cilantro (around 1/2 a cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut in large pieces
  • 2 serrano peppers, remove the seeds for a milder salsa, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Fire Roasted Salsa

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Blend until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.

I like it to have a little bit of texture, not too blended. If you mix it in a food processor use the chop/pulse setting to get a good chunky salsa.

Bon Appetit!

Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Finale Recipe 3

Tonight is the big night and I’m serving up some delicious treats for your Idol viewing party.

All season long I’ve had the pleasure of posting my recipes on Reality Rocks, by the fabulous, Lyndsey Parker. Today I’m proud to announce my finale recipes were featured on Yahoo! Music’s home page! So take a look at recipe number three, Flautas with Adobo Chile Crema! Give these recipes a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Who do you think will take home the Idol crown tonight?

Happy Eating!

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Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Finale Recipe 2

Tonight is the big night and I’m serving up some delicious treats for your Idol viewing party.

All season long I’ve had the pleasure of posting my recipes on Reality Rocks, by the fabulous, Lyndsey Parker. Today I’m proud to announce my finale recipes were featured on Yahoo! Music’s home page!  So take a look at recipe number two, Hatch Chile Boats with Avocado Puree! I’ll be posting the last recipe soon so check back!

Happy Eating!

Continue reading

Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Finale Recipe 1

Tonight is the big night and I’m serving up some delicious treats for your Idol viewing party.

All season long I’ve had the pleasure of posting my recipes on Reality Rocks, by the hip rocker herself, Lyndsey Parker. Today I’m proud to announce my finale recipes were featured on Yahoo! Music’s home page!  So take a look at recipe number one, Southwest Chicken Pinwheels! I’ll be posting the other two recipes shortly so check back!

Happy Eating!

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Do you have that one genre of food that hits every inch of your taste buds? A genre that you know you could eat 3-4 (maybe even more) times a week, but you restrain for fear of isolating yourself from the throng of culinary options? Well, I do, and it’s Mexican food. Throw some chiles, cumin, cilantro, avocados…etc etc…into any dish and I’m immediately comforted.

Every year for my birthday we have a big Mexican food feast and strawberry cake at my mother’s house. This year, Mom and I teamed up to make a Chicken Enchilada Casserole that was quick, simple, and absolutely delicious.

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Top 10 Mexican Food Restaurants

A few weeks ago I recognized something about myself…okay maybe not recognized, but came to terms with the fact that I am completely OBSESSED with mexican food! I have a few pounds that I’ve been trying to lose and realized that if I would just lay off the carb filled cuisine for a few weeks I just might reach my goal. SO I made the very harsh decision to boycott my favorite food in the entire world for two weeks. When I told Matt (my husband) he responded immediately…”NO WAY…you can’t do it”. Everyone else in my life pretty much agreed that this might be impossible for me to achieve. Thankfully, Matt was there to participate with me on this difficult adventure.

I would say I eat mexican food about 2-3 times a week, go through about 2 bags of chips, and a large container of homemade salsa a week. This is a normal week. There have been times where I’ve eaten it 3-4 days in a row, and when I actually worked in a mexican food restaurant and ate for free…well…you get the point. No other cuisine touches every inch of my taste buds like mexican food does. I absolutely love spicy food, so the more peppers there are…raw, cooked..doesn’t matter to me..the better! Continue reading

My Favorite Spot for Sunday Brunch

Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week for two main reasons, sleeping in and late morning brunch. I usually make it at home but lately Matt and I have been on a mission to find the best brunch in Dallas. Ok, so we only tried out two restaurants, but I’ve tried many breakfast places in the past and I feel very confident in my new found favorite.

A few weeks back we were eating at one of our favorite Mexican spots, Cyclone Anaya’s, when we saw their advertisement for Sunday brunch (their Lobster Enchiladas are AMAZING by the way). A few Sundays later we were back again. We ordered the bottomless mimosas ( around 12 bucks a person if I’m remembering correctly) the Crabmeat Omelet, and their amazing queso.  With all of the chips we usually eat we decided to split the omelet and save room for more mimosas. Continue reading

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