Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!



Salsa Baked Goat Cheese

serves 4, prep 10 min, cook 20 min, adapted from Salsas That Cook
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 4 oz goat cheese, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa below or other favorite salsa
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 minutes (the pine nuts will brown quicker than either of the others).
  3. In a bowl, thoroughly combine cheeses and nuts.
  4. Scoop it into the center of a baking dish, forming it into a flat disk. Pour salsa over and around cheese.
  5. Bake cheese mixture just to warm it all the way through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with dippers.
This would be great without the nuts as well if you have an allergy or if they are too expensive-pine nuts can be crazy expensive!  You can make this quickly with any favorite salsa, but I think this salsa recipe has a really wonderful flavor.  It is great served warm or cold and can be made in advance.

Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa

makes about 2 cups, prep 10 min, cook 30 min, adapted from Salsas That Cook
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 10 medium), preferably plum
  • 1 to 3 fresh jalapeño chiles (1 to 1 1/2 ounces), stemmed
  • Half of a small white onion (2 ounces), sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 generous teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  1. Heat the broiler. Place whole tomatoes and jalapeños on a broiler pan or baking sheet.
  2. Broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted and even a bit blackened.
  3. Flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side for another 6 minutes or so.  Allow to cool.
  4. Set the oven to 425 degrees. On a separate pan or baking sheet, combine the onions and garlic.
  5. Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, about 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.
  6. Add jalapeños, onions, and garlic to a food processor and pulse to chop.  Scoop out into a bowl.
  7. Add tomatoes to the processor and pulse to a rough puree.
  8. Pour tomatoes into the bowl with jalapeño mixture and stir.  Add water if needed to thin.
  9. Stir in cilantro, salt, and vinegar.  Taste and re-season if necessary.
Three jalapeños in this recipe is HOT.  If you can’t handle hot, slice the jalapeños open vertically and remove the seeds before roasting or reduce the amount of jalapeños all together.  We have come to really love this salsa and make it often.  Three jalapenos for a double batch is the perfect amount of heat for us.  If you are making this in order to make the salsa baked goat cheese be sure to make a double batch so you have extra for snacking!  This salsa is also fantastic over a cheesy omelet or in migas.

I've been lacking a bit in inspiration for menu planning lately.  It's not that I haven't been cooking, but I've been making old favorites instead of trying out new recipes.  Last week I'd had enough, so I started browsing some of my favorite blogs for ideas for my weekly menu.  I love any and all Mexican food, so when I saw these taquitos, I immediately added them to my weekly menu.

We loved loved loved this dinner.  The filling was bright, fresh, and flavorful, and the salt sprinkled on top was a really nice touch.  We dipped them into what I call "tomatillo guacamole," which is just mashed avocado mixed with tomatillo salsa.  I highly recommend it for these taquitos, as well as just snacking with chips.  If you have your chicken cooked and salsa ready, this comes together quite quickly.  The filling can be prepped in advance, which would make for an even faster meal.  Or, they can be assembled and then frozen for later.  Next time I make these, I definitely plan to make a double batch and freeze half.

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos
adapted from Pennies on a Platter, originally from Our Best Bites
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine)
  • 1/3 cup salsa verde
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs chopped scallions
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken *
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
  • 8-12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.  Fold in the chicken and cheeses.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable.

Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly.  Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

*This is how I prepare my chicken if I don't have leftover chicken to use:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spread a piece of aluminum foil across a baking sheet, and arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in the center.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and season as you wish.  Fold the aluminum foil over the chicken breasts, and enclose them to form a "packet."  Bake the chicken (on the baking sheet) 35-45 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

**To freeze, prepare the taquitos, but before baking, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the taquitos are completely cold.  Wrap each taquito in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze.  To bake, unwrap the taquitos and cook  in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes (no need to thaw first).

1 comment:

  1. Hola!!! the taquitos sound really yummy. And those sombrero cookies are just too cute. Just need some virgin margheritas to go with the holy guacomole and I am ready for some fun!