Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Casserole Comfort with a Kick!

My good friends Jonna and Jeff just had a baby!  Needless to say, I am over-the-top excited about this recent development named Carolina Grace.  I mean, everything else aside, her name is Carolina, for crying out loud! 

So I have been working for FOREVER on this baby blanket for her, which is the first anything I've ever knitted that is not a scarf.  And by the looks of it, unfortunately, I'm afraid you can tell.  But the important thing is that it was knitted with love.  And hand dyed yarn from the mountains of Chile.

So I managed to snap a picture of this creation, but I failed to snap a picture of the better and more consumable creation I made for her (and me the night before!).  Check out this recipe I created for the dinner I took to Carolina's proud parents.  I find that I lot of my favorite creations come from the creativity that arises from cooking with what you have on hand.  I gotta say, this one is pretty tasty and comforting on a February night.  It's even better if you have leftover chicken already on hand to save you a step.

I hesitate to make posts when I have forgotten to take a picture of my creation, but I had to make an exception with this one because I thought it was pretty fab if I do say so myself.

Southwest Chicken Verde Casserole

For the salsa verde:

In a blender combine-

1 can whole tomatillos

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 handful cilantro leaves

Juice of two limes

1 seeded and deveined jalapeno, chopped into large pieces

For the casserole:

1 c. cooked rice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 c. frozen corn kernels (roasted, if available)

2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil



1 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

Blue corn tortilla chips, crushed

Make the salsa verde and mix with the first four casserole ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil until softened. Add to casserole combination, seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture evenly into a 9” x 13” greased casserole dish. If you want yours even spicier like I do, sprinkle some Mexican hot sauce like Valentina or El Tapatío over the casserole. Top with crushed tortilla chips in an even layer (about two or three handfuls worth before crushing). Top with shredded cheese. Bake casserole for 20 minutes, or until ingredients are heated through and cheese has melted. Cover with foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary.  Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, extra hot sauce, and chopped fresh cilantro. 

I ate like half the casserole.  Don't judge me.

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