Chipotle Beef Tostadas

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope you are spending the day celebrating with loved ones and eating just a little too much chocolate.  This is a quick and spicy recipe to put some real food in your belly before you unwrap one more chocolate kiss.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, June 2012.

No substitutions were made.

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Chipotle Beef Tostadas

2 tblsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef chuck
1 large white onion, minced
kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 10 oz can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 med zucchini or yellow squash, diced
2 c coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
freshly ground pepper
8 tostada (flat crisp tortillas) or taco shells
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

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Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the ground beef, half of the minced onion, 1 tsp salt and the chipotle chile powder; cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beans and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is just tender, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the coleslaw mix, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Divide the tostadas among plates and spoon the beef mixture on top.  Top with cheese, slaw and remaining minced onion.  Serve with lime wedges.

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cartoon-strawberry-9I used a heaping tsp of the chipotle chile powder, and it was plenty spicy for us.  It just depends on how spicy you’d like you’re mixture to be.  This is great quick  recipe for a weeknight meal.

Latin Baked Chicken

Have I mentioned we’re on a heavy rotation of chicken?  I’m hoping as long as I dress it up in different ways, husband won’t mind too much.  And I’m realizing I need to branch out a bit, maybe even try my hand at a few fish recipes.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, June 2010.

Substitution made, noted below.

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Latin Baked Chicken

1/4 c lime juice
3 tblsp soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
2 tblsp minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
8 – 4oz each bone in chicken thighs, skinned – I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine lime juice, soy sauce, honey and chipotle in a large bowl.  Add chicken and toss well to coat.  Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature.

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Arrange the chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray, reserving marinade.  Bake at 400 degress for 15 minutes.  Place reserved marinade in a blender, and process until smooth.  Place purred marinade in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes.

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Brush chicken with half of cooked sauce; return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes; repeat with remaining marinade and bake another 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165.

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cartoon-strawberry-9This is the best kind of chicken recipe.  Minimal ingredients, one bowl and one pan, and very tasty.  If you’re using chicken breasts like I did, you will need to adjust your cooking time.  In my oven, this took 20, maybe 22 minutes.

Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes

Sorry y’all for the unintentional break.  Life gets crazy sometimes.

This recipe is from Real Simple Magazine, May 2007.

A few slight substitutions were made, noted below.

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Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes

Chicken Mixture
1 3.5 to 4 lb rotisserie chicken
1 tblsp choppend canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
3 tlbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced – I used a white sweet onion
4 Roma (plum) tomaotes, diced – I used grape tomoatoes, halved
1/3 c fresh cilantro leaves – I skipped this

Using a fork or your fingers, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.  In a medium bowl, combine the meat, chipotle, line juice, 1/4 tsp of salt, onion, tomatoes and cilantro; set aside.

Husband is not a fan of tomatoes, and I’m not a fan of raw onions.  So – I combined everything but the onion, tomatoes and cilantro.  I then spread the chicken mixture on a large baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven, just to warm it up.  The onions I sliced and put in a small saute pan on low and left them to caramelize.

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Corn Cakes
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 large eggs
1 c part-skim ricotta
10 oz frozen corn, thawed
2 tsp canola oil

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and remaining salt.  Stir in the eggs and ricotta until no lumps remain.  Fold in the corn.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  For each corn cake, spoon about 1/4 c of the batter onto the skillet and cook until golden brown and set on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the cake and cook 1 minute more.

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Divide the cakes among individual plates and top with the chicken mixture.  Serve with sour cream if desired.

cartoon-strawberry-9We made these for dinner one night when some friends were visiting, and were enjoyed by all.  And although we had a wonderful dinner, I felt like something was missing.    Whip up a creamy chipotle sauce to go over the top?  Add some cheese and put under the broiler for a minute?  For me, it was a little dry and needed something to push it from good to amazing.

Chipotle Pork Tacos

Oh Mexican food, how I love you so.  Growing up in California, I was surrounded by amazing Mexican food.  There are a couple of favorite spots I will do my best to hit any time I’m home, but living here in the south it’s hard to find really good Mexican food.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, April 2011.

Not substitutions were made.

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Chipotle Pork Tacos

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime rind
1 tblsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
– this can be found in the international section of your supermarket. I had to buy whole chipotle in adobo, so I ran the chilies and sauce through the food processor, then froze what I didn’t need for this recipe in an ice cube tray – approx 1 tblsp per cube
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Cooking Spray
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 tsp olive oil
6-inch tortillas
reduced fat sour cream
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Place the pork tenderloin between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.  Remove plastic wrap.  Cut pork into thin strips.  Combine pork, lime rind and next 6 ingredients (through salt).

Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shallots to pan; saute for 4 minutes or until tender.  Place shallots in a large bowl.  Add oil to pan.  Add pork; saute for 3 minutes or until no longer pink.  Add pork to shallots.

Warm tortillas according to the package directions.  Spoon 1/3 c pork mixture onto each tortilla, and top each tortilla with sour cream and cilantro (optional).  (It’s so optional that I forgot to put the sour cream on husband’s tacos…)  

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cartoon-strawberry-9The lightness of the pork and the spicy of the chipotle was a wonderful mix, and we added some refried black beans – YUMMO!  We enjoyed our tacos and used the leftovers for some amazing nachos the next night!