Roasted Corn Salsa !

CornSalsa4

Woot, back to cooking! This one is a keeper! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, lately I’ve done more “musing” than cooking.

My go-to side dish with my chicken enchiladas is normally a simple refried bean-black bean concoction. It’s tried and true and will continue to be a staple, but when fresh bi-color corn first starts to appear in the grocery store, I can’t pass it by. This truly is, “easy-tasty-healthy”!

EasyTastyHealthy

If you have followed Poppy at all, you know I’m a big fan of roasting vegetables. Roasting pumps up the flavor quotient without adding a lot of extra seasoning … let’s get started … I’m starting to salivate just thinking about this. If my family is any indication, plan on at least 1 ½ ears of corn per person (minimum). I’m a bit of a slow learner, but I’ve figured out that if I hold the ears of corn upright in a very large bowl to cut the kernels off, they don’t jump all over the countertop and I don’t have to transfer them to another container to toss in EVOO.

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Being the brilliant readers that you are, you’re a step ahead of me and have figured out  the first step is cutting the kernels off the cob. Once done, drizzle enough EVOO over the corn to coat the kernels after a good tossing. Transfer them to a baking sheet covered in foil and lightly coated with EVOO and place them in the oven preheated to 375.

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While they are starting to roast, dice an avocado into ¼” cubes. Next start dicing the grape tomatoes. I was lucky enough to find a pint containing a variety of various color grape tomatoes, but any kind will do.

Check on the roasting corn, plan on tossing it after 10-15 minutes in the oven. The goal is to end up with corn that is roasted and slightly browned but not burnt. Once the corn is pleasantly roasted, transfer to the bowl you used to cut the kernels off. Add the diced tomatoes and avocado in proportions that you find pleasing. Cooking for 3, I used 5 ears of corn, most of a small avocado and about ½ pint of the grape tomatoes … your mileage may vary 😉

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Combine the roasted corn, avocado, tomatoes with some fresh chopped cilantro, a generous grind of coarse black pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of Cajun seasonings … toss and you are ready to go!


Ingredients: 

  • fresh corn
  • grape tomatoes
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • Cajun seasoning

 

Orzo, Spinach, Lemon and Chicken Soup

ChickenOrzoLemonSpinachSoup

This savory soup has been known to chase away the blues, sniffly noses and mulligrubs! It takes less time to prepare than any other soup I make, has a fresh pick-me-up flavor (courtesy of the lemon juice), is healthy (no cream in this baby), and I believe could be made gluten-free just by substituting rice for the orzo. What are you waiting for? Quick, run to the kitchen and start cooking!

This soup was inspired by a recipe from the “New England Soup Factory Cookbook“, if you are going to have only one soup cookbook, it should be this one. Of course Poppy has to modify everything at least a little … so here is Poppy’s version!


Difficulty: easy-peasy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • (1) rotisserie chicken (pulled into smallish pieces)
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 6 ozs. baby spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)

EasyTastyHealthy

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in your stock pot on high heat. Add the orzo, reduce the heat to medium, keeping a slow boil and cook for 5-6 minutes. Once the orzo is done, drizzle in the beaten eggs, stirring constantly until the eggs have cooked into threads. Add the chicken meat, spinach, garlic salt, pepper and ½ of the lemon juice. Why only ½ of the lemon juice, Poppy? Because all lemons are not created equal, this is where you start tweaking …(tweaking, not twerking, don’t get the two confused). Slowly add more of the lemon juice and black pepper until you get the taste you want. You can always add more lemon juice but you can’t take it out …(not even by twerking)!

ChickenOrzoLemonSpinachSoupPint

Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas

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This qualifies for one of Poppy’s “Holy Trinity of Cooking” awards.

EasyTastyHealthy

Do winning lotto tickets magically appear when you cut into this warm, spicy and delicious meal … NO … but it is easy, tasty and healthy … (don’t get greedy)!

Difficulty: You won’t break a sweat (unless you make it too spicy)!

Ingredients: 

  • (1) rotisserie chicken
  • flour tortillas (taco size)
  • (1) large sweet onion
  • (1) green bell pepper
  • salsa (medium heat)
  • 10 ozs. enchilada sauce (mild heat)
  • grated cheese (mild cheddar or mexican blend)
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • soy sauce based steak sauce (Dale’s or similar)

Warm the oven to 375°

Cut the onion and green pepper into long strips and start sautéing on medium-medium low heat in a tbsp. of butter and equal amount of EVOO. Stir periodically until the onions start to turn translucent. Add 2 tbsp of Dale’s steak sauce or similar soy based steak sauce. Add a very generous grind of coarse black pepper, stir, remove from heat and set aside. This part of the prep will take about 10 minutes … while the onions and peppers are sautéing, make yourself useful and start pulling the meat off the rotisserie chicken.

OnionsPepper2

Now we are ready to start the enchilada assembly line. If you want to start playing Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line” it would be totally appropriate. I usually microwave the tortillas while they are still in their plastic bag for 15-30 seconds just to warm and soften them up for this step. Then it’s just a matter of making a line of chicken meat, 2 tbsp. of salsa, couple pinches of shredded cheese and a row of the onion-pepper mix … fold the sides over enough to trap the ingredients then roll those babies up.

ReadyToRoll

Place the seam-side down in an oiled, deep-sided, oven-proof skillet. I can usually fit 7-8 in the skillet. Pour on the enchilada sauce, making sure to coat them all. Then add a ridge of shredded cheese on top of each enchilada. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until you see the sauce bubbling … remove, let cool for a few minutes and prepare yourself for the compliments you are about to receive for this “easy-tasty-healthy” dish!

You sharp-eyed readers have probably noticed the pot of beans in the background of the feature photo. This the perfect side for the enchiladas. I almost wish I could find a way to make this sound very complicated … I’m afraid of losing my food-bloggers license if I just tell you to open a couple of cans and heat the mixture, but there is not much more to it than that and it doesn’t really need complicating.

OK, if you have your can openers at ready, let’s do this … drumroll … open a can of black beans (pinto if you prefer), drain but don’t rinse, place in saucepan. Open a can of refried beans, add those to the saucepan along with a scant tsp. of diced garlic and a tbsp. of the steak sauce … heat until warm … top with a pinch of shredded cheese.

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