Mexican Street Corn Dip

Mexican Street Corn DIp

I mentioned in my post for Mexican Street Corn Tostadas a couple weeks back that I was pretty inspired by that recipe and made a corn dip….thing.

Is it weird that I think the words “corn dip” just don’t jive together?  I don’t know why.  It sounds pretty redneck.  Y’ALL COME FETCH YA SOME CORN DIP!  But I’m quite the country bumpkin these days and I s’pose I don’t mind it.

So yeah – I LOVE this corn dip, and I was reminded to write this post because I’m making it TONIGHT for dinner!  You can spread this onto some tostadas, maybe even use it as a topping for tacos, or – I might try this – as a filling for quesadillas or burritos or enchiladas.  Just put this stuff on everything, it’s THAT good.

Mexican Street Corn Dip

Ingredients
1 15oz can of yellow corn, drained
1/2 can of black beans, drained (or use the whole can – I only had a half can sitting in my fridge)
1/4 cup chipotle mayonnaise (or to your preference)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Juice of half a lime
Salt & pepper to taste
Queso fresco, crumbled, to taste
Tortilla chips

Directions
1. Add the drained yellow corn to a dry nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn starts to dry off. Add the drained black beans. Continue cooking until the corn and the beans lose some of their moisture and are warmed through, and the corn is slightly browned and toasty.

2. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Set the bowl into the fridge to cool down the corn and black beans faster to room temperature, or a little cooler.

3. Once the corn and black beans are cooled, add the rest of the ingredients and stir together to combine. Serve with tortilla chips as a dip, or as a topping for tacos or tostadas.

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#52NewEats :: Week 25 :: Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Several years ago, I went to visit my friend Sara in Kansas City with some girlfriends, and we went out to dinner at this Italian place called Garozzo’s.  On the way there, Sara raved about the bread dipping oil.  WAIT TILL YOU DIP YOUR BREAD IN THAT OIL… OMG.  And I chuckled a little, thinking, this restaurant is famous for their bread dipping oil?  Like THAT’S what put them on the map?

But alas, I was eyes-rolled-up-to-heaven when I took my first delectable bite of warm, crusty bread, dipped in that herby, slutty oil.  I have no idea what the secret ingredient was, what made it so amazing, but I can tell you that I have never had anything like it since.  I am pretty sure we ordered extra bowls of it, and more bread, because you know, we foodies and all.

So, one day, I happened upon //this recipe// for Italian Bread Dipping Oil, and I thought HEY THAT LOOKS LIKE THAT STUFF I ATE AT THAT RESTAURANT IN KC.  And you know, I HAD to try it, so, I pinned it and promptly got around to making it about 2,000 years later.  It wasn’t exactly like the heaven in a bowl in KC, but it was pretty darn delicious.  I omitted the cheese here, and I used dried herbs instead of fresh, and I probably went a little heavy-handed on the balsamic bc duh balsamic, and it was very, very tasty.  I would highly recommend whipping this up to go with your baguette at your next pasta dinner.  You probably have all the ingredients on hand anyway!

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BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Ever since I threw together these //BBQ pulled pork nachos// a couple years ago, I have been wanting to do a BBQ chicken version. I typically prefer BBQ chicken over BBQ pork. So I wanted to put a new spin on it.

These nachos feature my favorite //pickled red onions//, spicy pickled jalapenos, and a mild, smoky cheese sauce. And of course, once you top everything with fresh scallions and cilantro, the flavors are complete!

Here is my pledge to you: I will never stop making nachos. But, this was one of the last nachos ideas I had on my list.  There are a couple others, but I am working on perfecting them.  What kind of nachos would you like to see up here? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Ingredients
For the cheese sauce:
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups milk, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce, if desired

For the nachos:
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop
Pickled red onions
Pickled jalapenos
Creme fraiche or sour cream
Minced cilantro
Chopped scallions
Tortilla chips

Directions
For the cheese sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk quickly to combine. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warmed milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Once it thickens, lower the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Add shredded cheese and whisk gently until completely melted. Finally, add hot sauce and whisk to combine. Feel free to add more or less to your heat preference.

For the nachos:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread tortilla chips onto a sheet pan in an even layer and place into the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the chips start to get warm.

2. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Drizzle with cheese sauce. Layer on the shredded chicken, and drizzle with more cheese sauce. Then top with pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos. Drizzle with creme fraiche or dot with sour cream. Then sprinkle minced cilantro and chopped scallions on top. Serve immediately while it’s warm!

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BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I have a yummy Mexican recipe for you!!

A little while ago I made a batch of slow-cooked BBQ chicken for my husband’s work lunches.  And it turned out I’d made just a bit too much.  Like he wasn’t going to eat it all before it went bad.  So I decided to use some of it to make some recipes I’d been kicking around in my head for a while – the first of which was BBQ chicken quesadillas.

I had a really good BBQ chicken quesadilla once at a restaurant downtown.  It was chock full of BBQ chicken and melty cheese and peppers and onions.  That’s kind of what I was going for, but mine are much thinner, because I have an inability to make big fat quesadillas and not have them fall apart when flipping.  I need one of those quesadilla grill baskets or something!  But whatever.  These were plenty good!

I used my favorite //pickled red onions// in this recipe along with some store-bought pickled jalapenos and the flavor was spot-on, exactly what I was looking for.  Little bit of sweet, little bit of heat.  I used pepper Jack cheese too, and a fresh sprinkling of cilantro both inside and on top of the quesadillas.  They were so good!

When Vegetarian May is over I may just make these again!!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Serves 2

Ingredients
4 large flour tortillas (burrito or enchilada size)
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken (see Notes)
2+ cups shredded pepper Jack cheese (or mix 1 cup shredded pepper Jack + 1 cup shredded cheddar)
Pickled red onions, drained and dabbed dry
Pickled jalapenos, diced
Minced cilantro
Sour cream, if desired

Directions
1. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Spray one side of one flour tortilla lightly with cooking spray, and place sprayed side down on the griddle. Repeat with one more flour tortilla.

2. Top each tortilla with about a 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Then layer on 1/2 cup or so of shredded BBQ chicken on each tortilla, then pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, and minced cilantro. Top with remaining 1/2 cup or so of shredded cheese on each tortilla. (I say “or so” a lot because these can be as big or as small as you want. Do it to your preference!)

3. Spray one side of each of the remaining flour tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Place each tortilla sprayed side up on top of each quesadilla that you’ve built.

4. As the cheese melts on the bottom tortilla, use a spatula to peek underneath to make sure the tortilla is not burning. When the tortilla is nicely browned, carefully flip the quesadilla over, and cook until browned on the other side. This can take several minutes, depending on the heat of your stovetop or griddle. Just keep an eye on it, and if it’s not moving fast enough for you, raise heat to medium-high, but then you REALLY have to keep an eye on it.

5. When finished, cut each tortilla into fourths or sixths, and sprinkle with more minced cilantro if desired. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

Notes
To make shredded BBQ chicken: Place 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a slow cooker and cover with a 12oz bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. When done, shred the chicken right in the slow cooker, then serve. Or, remove to differently tightly-sealed containers for leftovers and other purposes.

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#52NewEats :: Week 15 :: Buttermilk Cornbread

Buttermilk Cornbread

Holy cow!

Let me just start by saying that I don’t think I can say enough good things about this cornbread.  This buttermilk cornbread was absolutely amazing.  I love cornbread but I don’t often make it at home because it can be dry, crumbly, and just kind of generally unsatisfying.  BUT NO MORE!

This recipe was very easy to make, as it all came together in my stand mixer.  👍👍  I have to admit, though, as I poured the mixture into the baking pan, I couldn’t really see how it would come together in the oven and be a good cornbread.  The mixture seemed way too thin and much less like the batter I imagined.  But maybe that’s the very thing that sets it apart!!  This cornbread was moist, not crumbly at all, and held its shape very well.  We ate it warm right out of the oven topped with melted butter and I could have turned the whole darn thing into a meal right there.  This is a great way to use up that buttermilk you bought just for a few tablespoons for a salad dressing you were making, and now have almost a whole container of it left… 😉

I am already thinking of different ways to jazz up and use this cornbread – adding jalapenos and cheese, adding poblanos and fresh corn…

For now though, please go make this cornbread, because it was so frickin’ good!

You can find the original recipe //here//.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, somewhere between cold and room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup full-fat buttermilk (I used low-fat as it was all I could find, and it turned out fine)
1/2 cup mild olive oil (I used ‘extra light olive oil’)
2 tablespoons honey

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8-by-8-inch metal pan with parchment paper.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.

3. Pause the machine and add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, mix until incorporated. Then pour in the milk, buttermilk, oil, and honey and mix just until combined. This should yield a very loose, runny batter. (Small lumps of butter are no problem, but avoid any lumps of flour. If you see them, mix the batter just a little longer or work them out with your fingertips or the tines of a fork.)

4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. You’re going to want to start checking the cornbread after 30 minutes, and if the surface turns perfectly golden brown before the time is up, loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the cornbread cool ever so slightly in the pan on a wire rack prior to slicing. This buttermilk cornbread is best served the day it’s made but keeps for up to 2 days if wrapped well.

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#52NewEats :: Week 14 :: Copycat Chili’s Queso

Copycat Chili's Queso

My brother is not shy about proclaiming his love for specific restaurants or dishes.  In fact, he can be downright forceful in his opinion.  “NO.  D’ALESSANDRO’S HAS THE BEST CHEESESTEAKS IN PHILADELPHIA.  I DARE YOU TO FIND ONE BETTER.”  Sometimes, I have found him to be right, and sometimes I just think to myself, oh brother, if only you knew of the things I have had that top this.

Chili’s Queso is one of those things he’s been very passionate about over the years.  “You’re going to Chili’s?  You GOTTA get the queso.  OMG.  Like, GET THE QUESO.”  The caps are not for emphasis – he really does shout and emphasize as if he is speaking in all caps sometimes.  So when I saw this recipe for copycat Chili’s queso, I thought, well, let’s give it a go.

He’s a workaholic though so of course he couldn’t help me eat it and really judge for me whether or not it was a true copycat recipe of the OG queso.  I ended up eating some of it by myself in front of a losing Kansas game when I wasn’t really all that hungry.  It was kind of a sad moment.

But, this queso was pretty dang tasty.

I had Chili’s queso once, years ago, so far long ago that I couldn’t really tell you if it was a true imitation or not.  But it was good queso.  I was able to easily split the recipe in half, since it was only me eating it.  I’m not always a fan of Velveeta – mostly because when I have it in the house I do slutty things with it, like make //these tacos// – because it can go back to its plastic consistency pretty quickly unless you’re keeping it hot.  But this queso stayed pleasantly melty, at least for the duration that I was eating it.

All in all, I would be happy to recommend this recipe!  I cut it in half and it would be plenty for 2 people – so if you’re making a full batch, expect to feed more of a crowd.  Also, if you have a way to keep it hot – either keeping it warm in a slow cooker or maybe even in a fondue dish, do that.

Copycat Chili’s Queso

Ingredients
16 oz. Velveeta Cheese
1 cup milk (preferably half & half if you have it – I used whole milk)
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz can no-bean chili
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
Juice of 1 lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions

1. Cut velveeta cheese into cubes. Add all ingredients (except for tortilla chips) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.

2. Stir until everything comes together. Cook on low for 30 minutes – 1 hour (As much time as you have before serving).

3. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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#52NewEats :: Week 13 :: Paleo Cinnamon Roasted Cashews

Paleo Cinnamon Roasted Cashews

I could eat cashews all day long.  I love them so much, but sometimes you want them to have some flavor, right?  So twice in the past 6 months I have attempted to make ______ Roasted Cashews, and I will now say, NEVER AGAIN.  Leave the flavored roasted cashews up to the experts, and just be content with plain cashews otherwise.

Why?  Well, let’s see.  The main issue is that they turn out so gooey.  Nothing like the pictures.  At least not for me.  I do not know what I have done wrong in either instance, as I followed the recipes.  The first time, I made these //spicy roasted cashews//, and while I found them quite tasty, I also found them nearly impossible to eat.  You see how in the picture, the cashews are nicely separated?  They look dry, right?  Like you could just scoop your fingers into a bowl and pop a small handful into your mouth.

Well that is NOT how they turned out.  When they cooled, they were all stuck together, and I had to pick them apart with my fingers and basically eat them one at a time.  They were tasty, but I couldn’t eat them.  What a waste.

I figured I must have had too much honey for the amount of cashews I had, or, maybe it was the honey and they were just too sticky.  I didn’t know.  So the next recipe I tried, the ones I made for this post, //cinnamon roasted cashews//, didn’t have honey, and I thought ok for SURE these would turn out better.

Nope!  All stuck together like a sticky delicious mess.  Again, I found myself standing over a bowl, grasping single cashews, or maybe even clumps, and prying them away from the others they were stuck to, in order to eat.

These are not something you could eat at your desk at work, unless you felt like licking your fingers after every munch!

So, internet, I am done with your homemade roasted nuts false hopes.  Forget it.  It’s not worth the money or the effort.

Again – I will say – these cashews WERE DELICIOUS!  But they turned out nothing like the picture, and I’m not interested in trying again to see if I get it right.  The only change I made to this recipe was I used coconut sugar instead of regular sugar, to make them Paleo-friendly.  They were plenty tasty, as long as I could get them apart to eat them!

If you try either of these recipes, please let me know how they turned out for you!  Maybe if you have a success story or know what I did wrong, I can give them another try!

Paleo Cinnamon Roasted Cashews

Ingredients
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
1 cup whole or halved salted cashews
1/2 cup white sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking oil generously.

2. Lightly beat the egg white with water until frothy.

3. Add cashews, then stir until well coated.

4. Mix together the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the coated cashews.

5. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden.

7. Allow cashews to cool, then store in an airtight container.

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#52NewEats :: Week 9 :: Buffalo Cheese Fondue

Buffalo Cheese Fondue

Buffalo cheese fondue is another one of those recipes I pinned some time ago and WAS SO EXCITED TO MAKE and then just… never… made it.  Which is the whole point of the #52NewEats project!  To force me to go and make some of these recipes I’ve collected over the years.

And like a total duncecap, I was all like yeah, let’s make this buffalo cheese fondue!  Even though I don’t have a fondue pot!

Not quite sure what I was thinking.  Because I didn’t realize, hey, duncecap, I don’t have a fondue pot, until after I’d already bought all the ingredients and stuff.  But that’s ok!  Like a true kitchen innovator, I improvised and used a small cast iron skillet.  (That I had actually bought for the express purpose of making another recipe that I’d never made…. I have many weeks left in the year to get to it!)  This worked out pretty well, although, the dip didn’t stay very fondue-like, but that’s ok.  It WAS delicious, and was very good as a dip for French fries!  The original recipe //found here// recommends dipping chicken nuggets and celery into it – I couldn’t get with the idea of cold celery and hot cheese, but I did make some chicken fingers to dip, and wasn’t a fan.  But a dip for French fries – yes!

It was a tasty treat for a game night for us, but I would like to give this recipe another shot sometime with an actual fondue pot.  🙂

Buffalo Cheese Fondue

Ingredients
3 tablespoons buffalo sauce
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4oz crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup milk
Celery sticks
Fried chicken strips or nuggets

Directions
1. In a fondue pot or regular pot, melt cream cheese with the buffalo sauce over medium heat. Stir it frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.

2. Once the cream cheese and buffalo sauce are melted together and saucy, add the rest of the cheeses and stir to combine. Then add the milk. Stir to combine until all is melted together nicely.

3. Serve with celery sticks and fried chicken strips (or French fries!).

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#52NewEats :: Week 8 :: Salsa Baked Cheese

Salsa Baked Cheese

Chips and salsa is one of our FAVORITE snacks around here.  And //this salsa// is one of our favorites.

My daughter is so picky.  SOOOO picky.  SO.  PICKY.  And I don’t even know how she got that way because her father and I are pretty good eaters.  But she does like chips and salsa.  If you count, dipping your chip into the salsa and shaking off all the chunky veggies, ‘liking’ chips and salsa.

Anyway, that’s one of the reasons she really loves THIS Frontera salsa, because it doesn’t have giant chunks of tomatoes or onions – they are pretty small chunks, and I’m pretty sure she has absent-mindedly accidentally ingested vegetable matter while eating chips with this salsa.

So, what sounds better than creamy cream cheese and tangy goat cheese mixed together, covered with salsa, and baked?!  To her – so many things.  She wouldn’t touch this.  Even though she likes a) cream cheese, b) goat cheese, and c) this salsa.  She has major issues with eating foods she likes that are all mixed together.  However, hubby and I both really enjoyed this dish.  It would be great to have out at a party, and I think I might do it differently next time…

You can find the original recipe //here//, or on the back of the jar of salsa.  🙂

🍴  The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds but I omitted them bc ew, pumpkin.

🍴  The recipe also instructs you to form the mixed cheeses into a disk – next time I make this, I might spread it around the bottom of a baking dish.

Salsa Baked Cheese

Ingredients
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz soft goad cheese, softened
1 jar Frontera Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa
Minced fresh cilantro, as desired
Tortilla chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix the cheeses together until well combined and form into a disk. Place into a baking dish and pour the jar of salsa over top.

3. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until piping hot.

4. Sprinkle with fresh minced cilantro if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.

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