Warm Seven-Layer Skillet Dip

I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. šŸ˜‰

The recipe was adapted from a Bon AppĆ©tit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.

We ate it as our Super Bowl appetizer followed by Poblano, Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas with rice and refried beans, Trader Joe’s Elote chopped salad, followed by Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for dessert. Great.

Yield: 8 Servings

For the Beans:

  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar

For the Queso & Assembly:

  • 2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
  • 3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
  • 1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeƱos
  • 4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
  • tortilla chips, for serving

To Make the Beans:

  1. Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
  2. Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  3. With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
  5. Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
  6. Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.

To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:

  1. Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
  4. Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Uncover beans and pour queso over.
  6. Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
  7. Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
  8. Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.

Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.

BLT Tacos

Why have I never thought of making a BLT taco before? Genius.

This quick and delicious weeknight dinner recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I cooked the bacon at a lower temperature, increasing the cooking time. I think that this method isn’t as messy. šŸ™‚ I added avocado slices, used corn-flour hybrid tortillas, a Serrano instead of jalapeƱo chile, increased the lime juice, and used chipotle Tabasco in the mayonnaise. I also warmed the tortillas with steam in the microwave.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, about 10 slices
  • 1 pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered (mixed colors are pretty here)
  • 1 small Serrano or jalapeƱo chile, seeded or not, finely chopped
  • 2-3 T cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TĀ fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ā½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Ā½ teaspoons Cholula or other hot sauce, or to taste, plus more for serving (I used Chipotle Tabasco)
  • 8 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas (I used corn-flour hybrid tortillas)
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado, sliced into eighths
  • refried beans and rice, for serving, optional
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Lay bacon in an even layer in 2 9-13″ glass pyrex dishes or on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates and let cool. (Keep rendered fat for another use.)
  2. While bacon is cooking, toss together tomatoes, chopped chile, cilantro, lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, if needed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and hot sauce.
  4. Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or medium bowl. Top with a damp paper towel and seal with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute to warm. Ā (Alternatively, the tortillas can be warmed on the stove top: Lay a clean kitchen towel in a medium bowl. Using the open flame from a stovetop gas burner (or in a skillet placed on an electric burner), warm and lightly char tortillas, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Transfer warmed tortillas to a towel-lined bowl, and cover with towel to keep warm while you finish remaining tortillas.)
  5. Serve, letting people make their own tacos by layering bacon, salsa, lettuce, spicy mayonnaise andĀ avocado,Ā on tortillas. Top with more hot sauce, if desired.

Chipotle-Rubbed Chicken Sheet-Pan Dinner with Roasted Salsa Verde & Acorn Squash

I am such a sauce person! This roasted tomatillo and garlic sauce was absolutely incredible. The acorn squash is roasted on the sheet pan with the chicken and sauce ingredients, absorbing all of the flavors too. It would be a wonderful dish to serve as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. In fact, I might make it again on Cinco de Mayo! šŸ™‚

This recipe was adapted fromĀ Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of bone-in, and adjusted the method and roasting times accordingly.

I’m bringing this delicious dish to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #221 this week, hosted by Jenny @ Dragonfly Home Recipes. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 4 to 5
  • 12 oz tomatillos (about 6 medium)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 jalapeƱo
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • coarse salt
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs), trimmed
  • 2 T adobo sauce, from 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • Ā½ bunch cilantro, divided
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425Ā°, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Start by assembling all the ingredients for the salsa: Remove husks from the tomatillos and rinse. Cut any larger ones in half and arrange on a baking sheet.
  3. Smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife and remove skins. Add to baking sheet with tomatillos.
  4. Trim ends of scallions and discard, then cut scallions crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Add to baking sheet.
  5. Cut the jalapeƱo in half lengthwise, pull out stem and ribs, and place on baking sheet. Wash hands!
  6. Drizzle 2 T oil over vegetables; season with salt. Toss with hands to coat, then push vegetables to one side of baking sheet so theyā€™re taking up about one-third of sheet; set aside.
  7. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds with spoon. Cut each half in quarters again to make 8 equal wedges.
  8. Arrange squash on baking sheet on the opposite side of the baking sheet from the tomatillos (leaving room in the center for the chicken). (I placed each slice on its side so that it could absorb more pan drippings.)
  9. Drizzle squash with 2 T oil. Season with salt and sprinkle with remaining Ā½ tsp cumin.
  10. Place baking sheet with tomatillo mixture and acorn squash in the preheated oven for 12 minutes while you prepare the chicken.
  11. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt.
  12. Whisk 2 T adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotles in adobo), 1 tsp honey, Ā½ tsp cumin, and 2 T oil in a large bowl until smooth.
  13. Add chicken to bowl and toss with tongs until coated.
  14. After the vegetables have par-baked for 12 minutes, arrange chicken, using tongs, in the center of the baking sheet.
  15. Roast until chicken thighs are browned on top and meat is cooked through (165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), tomatillos are lightly charred on top, and squash is fork-tender about 20 additional minutes.
  16. Let cool slightly. While chicken is cooling, pick about Ā½ cup cilantro leaves from bunch, reserving stems, and set aside for serving.
  17. Transfer chicken and squash to a platter.
  18. Tip all remaining ingredients, along with Ā½ cup of pan juices, into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.) Add cilantro, stems and all; season with a bit more salt. Blend, thinning with more pan juices if needed, until smooth and pourable.
  19. Spoon salsa over platter and top with reserved cilantro leaves.
  20. Serve with brown Basmati rice and lime wedgesĀ alongside.

One Year Ago: Roasted Chicken Thighs over Herbed Pea & Spinach Puree

Two Years Ago: North African Meatballs

Four Years Ago:

Five Years Ago:

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Somehow, we seem to alwaysĀ have a conflict with a having timely Cinco de Mayo feast. This year, my son has his Swim Club Dinner Dance (at an Italian restaurant, by the way), so, we had our feast early. This way, there is also time to have a second feast. Good planning, right?

This quick and easy, crowd-pleasing dish was perfect for our early Cinco de Mayo celebration. It would be perfect for a Mexican-inspired weeknight meal any other day of the year too. We enjoyed it with chips and guacamole, of course. šŸ˜‰

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com, contributed by Anna Stockwell. I reduced the oven temperature, and increased the proportions as well as the pan size. Great.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canolaĀ oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Ā teaspoons kosher salt
  • 24 oz (1 1/2 jars) medium red salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 6 corn tortillas, torn into quarters
  • 6 cups shredded cooked chicken (from 1 rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 to 2 cans (15.5-ounce each) black beans, drained, rinsed (I used 1 1/2 cans)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • cilantro, for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 425Ā°F, preferably on convection.
  2. CombineĀ salsa, sour cream, and 6 T waterĀ in a large bowl; stir to combine. Fold in tortillas, chicken, and beans until thoroughly coated.
  3. Heat oil in a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium. (I used cast iron.)
  4. Add onion, garlic, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer onion mixture to the chicken and bean mixture; reserve hot skillet. Fold to incorporate evenly.
  6. Return mixture to reserved skillet and transfer to preheated ovenĀ until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Mixture should be bubbling on the edges.
  7. Remove skillet from the oven. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top.
  8. ReturnĀ skillet to oven and bake until cheese is lightly browned, melted and bubbling, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  9. Top with cilantro, if desired.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Salmon with Salsa Fresca

Similar to my summer vegetable gratin post, this dish also incorporates aĀ complete “CSA box” – plus salmon. It was a light and fresh meal. The salsa was absolutely delicious. I was inspired to make it when I received all of these beautiful tomatoes in my box.

We ate it with roasted beets and red potatoes, also from my CSA box, of course. šŸ™‚

This dish was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. I used on half of a small red onion instead of a white onion, my mixed tomatoes from my CSA share, a home-grown jalapeƱo, and the juice of 1 lime in the salsa. Bittman notes that grilled, broiled, roasted, or even steamed salmon (or other types of fish such as halibut or swordfish) would work equally well.

This dish is so colorful it might just be dinner party worthy too. Ready in 30 minutes makes it extra-fabulous.

Yield: 3-4 servings

  • 2 large fresh ripe tomatoes, or 3 or 4 ripe plum tomatoes, or a pint of mixed cherry tomatoes, diced (and cored if large)
  • Ā½ large white or red onion, peeled and minced
  • Ā¼ habanero or 1/2 jalapeƱo chili, stemmed, seeded and minced, or to taste
  • Ā½ cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • juice of 1 or 2 limes, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper and coarse salt to taste
  • 1 salmon fillet, about 1 1/2 pounds, preferably with skin on (can substituteĀ halibut or swordfish)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or canola
  1. Start a charcoal or gas grill; fire should be moderately hot and grill rack about 4 inches from heat source. Or, heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Chop tomatoes and combine them in a bowl with onion, chili, cilantro, lime juice and some salt. Set aside. (Salsa can be made up to one hour ahead of time.)
  3. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. If grilling, rub fish with a little oil as well; put it on grill, skin side down, and let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn once (don’t worry if part of skin sticks to grill). Cook for about 3 minutes more, until medium-rare.
    If roasting, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat for a minute. Add oil and, a few seconds later, salmon, skin side up. Sear for a minute, then transfer to oven and roast until medium-rare, about 10 minutes.
  4. Allow to rest for a minute or so, then remove skin, if desired. Turn over and serve, topped with salsa or passing salsa at the table.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

IMG_5322

This dish was a healthy and light dinner. With the salsa made in advance, it was very quick to put together as well. I LOVE tangy tomatillos and they are wonderful in this mild salsa. I assembled the tacos for my family, but next time I will let everyone assemble their own…. we had such varied preferences for the toppings. I liked all of them- with extra salsa, my husband would have skipped the crunchy celery, and my son would have used minimal tomatillo salsa. My daughter passed on the shrimp! This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Tim Byres.

We ate them as part of a special meal to celebrate the completion of the first full week of school; our appetizer was guacamole with tortilla chips, our sides were rice and refried beans, and our special celebratory dessert was Biscoff crunch and swirl vanilla bean ice cream. We ate outside and rehashed our week! šŸ™‚

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound tomatillosā€”husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 1/2 small onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 T fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp (about 36), shelled and deveined
  • Twelve 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes (or metal skewers)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 8 to 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded green cabbage and parsley leaves, for serving
  • Sour cream, if desired, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeƱo and garlic with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor.
  2. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1/4 cup, then add it to the blender or food processor and let cool completely. Puree the salsa and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the salsa to a bowl, stir in the chopped cilantro and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the celery with the lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Combine the cabbage and parsley. Set aside.
  5. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grill grate. Thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer to a platter. Serve the shrimp with the salsa, sour cream, celery salad, warm tortillas, cabbage and parsley leaves so guests can assemble their own tacos.

One Year Ago: Back to School Blondies

Warm Potatoes with Salsa Verde

IMG_4480
I used the huge bunches of basil and parsley from my CSA share to make salsa verde to dress the beautiful red and yellow potatoes also from my CSA share. I love perfect recipes. šŸ™‚ This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food, via The Golden Earthworm Farm. We ate it as part of a lovely summer meal (outside by candlelight! ) with grilled eggplant sandwiches and coleslaw. The feta cheese in the sandwiches worked really well with these flavors. Perfect!

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and cilantro (I used basil and parsley)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • small red or yellow potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  1. In a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, and vinegar; Ā then add capers and anchovy fillets. Pulse until coarsely chopped, 20 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook potatoes in salted, boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Combine warm potatoes with salsa verde, to taste. (I used about 1/4 cup for approximately 1 quart of potatoes.)
Ideas for Using Additional Salsa Verde:
– Toss with steamed beans.
– Mix with crumbled feta and serve on crostini or crackers.
– Spoon over thinly sliced grilled skirt steak.
– Drizzle on baked salmon or shrimp.
– Use as a sandwich spread.
– Stir into drained and rinsed canned black beans.
– Add to scrambled eggs on toast.

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