Spicy Lentil Tacos

IMG_4487Hi all– If I had to eat one food every day for a month, I’m pretty sure I it would be tacos.  So many bright flavors scooped up into a tender little tortilla– Yep, I could eat them pretty much every day.  So here’s a new version to us– centered on savory lentils.  I’m thinking these spicy, savory things could go a lot of places–mixed with couscous or rice, into a salad for dinner, worked into a dip…  I think you may be seeing them again here.

SPICY LENTIL TACOS
1 tab. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown lentils
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced*
Corn tortillas
condiments– lettuce, chopped tomato, grated cheddar (or cortijo), sour cream, avocado, salsa, cilantro…

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Pour the olive oil into a hot pan and add the onion.  Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion starts to brown.  Add in the garlic and cook another minute.  Then stir in the lentils and taco seasoning until it’s all blended.  Add the chicken broth, water and chipotle and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

Toast the the tortillas lightly and scoopy those hot lentils across the middle.  Then layer all your favorite fixings.  And eat!

* Add more of less chipotle to meet your own person hot & spicy comfort level.

Chicken Enchiladas

IMG_2401Hi there–  You’d be surprised how often we eat Mexican food around this house.  My “got to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes and I want some yummy comfort food dish” is a big pan of fajitas served wrapped with beans in a tortilla.  It’s our go-to meal.  When I have a little more time, we do love enchiladas.  These were nice & easy because I used a roasted chicken from the store– Add a little Mexican cilantro rice, some beans heated up, a crispy salad.  It’s dinner!   (and it makes enough for leftovers, always a good thing)

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
2 tab. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tab. cornstarch
1 tab. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 cups shredded boneless chicken*
15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
12 corn tortillas
1  1/2 cup cheddar, grated
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped to bits
sour cream for garnish

IMG_2387To make the sauce, heat a pan with the olive oil, drop in the onion and cook until it starts to brown.  Shake together the cornstarch and chicken broth in a closed container until it’s thoroughly blended.  Then stir it in to the cooked onions with the heat still on.  Add in the chili powder, cumin, garlic, tomato sauce and water.  Set the stove on he lowest setting so the sauce stays warm.

Cut the chicken into small chunks.  The hold one tortilla in the sauce for a few seconds until it softens.  Set it on a plate and fill it with chicken, black beans and a sprinkle of cheese.  Roll of the tortilla into a tube and set it seam side down into a 9×13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Continue with the other tortillas.  If the sauce seems to get thicker as you work, stir in a little more water.

When all the tortillas are filled and in the pan. pour the remaining sauce over them and sprinkle the top with all the leftover cheddar.  Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges.  Take it out and sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the whole pan.  Serve these yummy things up hot with a bowl of sour cream.  Drop a spoonful of sour cream on the enchiladas as you serve them to the plates.  Deliciosas!!

Ani’s Mexican Rice

Hello to you all–  I’ve been trying keeping my eyes open for the best Mexican rice recipe for a long time.  So when Ani came up with this version, it quickly became my go-to side dish for enchiladas, burritos, tacos…  It’s a good one.

ANI’S MEXICAN RICE
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth*
1 tab. olive oil
1 small onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tab. lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. cumin
salt to taste

Cook the rice in the chicken broth, simmering for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave on the lid to keep it warm.  Meanwhile in a skillet brown the onions and garlic in the oil, Add the tomato paste and cumin.  Dump this all on top the rice and stir it up until it’s thoroughly blended.  Then stir in the cilantro, lime and taste to see if it needs a little salt.
Que aproveche!

*I bought the standard 14 oz. can of chicken broth and just added a bit of water to make 2 cups.  You can make it more colorful it by adding finely diced red & green pepper when you stir in the cilantro.  And it’s great to make it ahead and just warm a bit in the microwave when everything else is ready.

Chicken Chorizo Tacos

Hi there–Years ago Larry gave me a greeting card that said, “I love you more than tacos.”  It had a bright photo of a fully loaded taco on the front– I did feel loved– We are both big taco fans!  I tacked in on the side of the fridge until finally the colors began to fade.  So when I ran across yet another taco recipe, I had to give it a try.

CHICKEN CHORIZO TACOS
3 pieces of bacon
6 oz. fresh chorizo
1 large boneless chicken breast, cut in bits
1/3 red bell pepper cut in chunks
1/4 cup chopped red onion
cortijo cheese
cilantro, coarsely chopped
avocado, cut in chunks
fresh salsa
8 corn tortillas

Cut the bacon to small bits and cook until crispy in a deep pan.  Remove bacon from the pan and crumble in the chorizo.  Cook it until well browned, about 5 minutes.  Then drain any excess fat from the pan and stir in the chicken.  Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.  Lastly mix in the red pepper and onion and cook a couple more minutes until it’s softened and add the bacon back into the pan.  Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in foil and set them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.  Serve the meat mixture on the warm corn tortillas and top with the cheese, chunks of avocado, cilantro and salsa.

We made this last weekend and set it out with a big pot of Mexican rice and an a salad of  dark greens, oranges, and pistachios with a an orange vinaigrette dressing.  Spicy, salty sweet.