Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chicken Tinga + Grilled Corn Enchiladas with Candied Jalapeno-Sour Cream Sauce + Homemade Avocado Salsa Verde

I'll go ahead and admit it... I'm not a fan of classic Mexican food. Don't get me wrong, I could drink a bowl of queso and I quite fancy a gourmet taco. But, I am by no means a burrito, enchilada, or nacho kinda gal. However, I came across a recipe for an avocado salsa verde on Diners, Drive In's, + Dives, and I know I just had to recreate it and use it for a meal. I loved this verde salsa... it's refreshing, a little bit spicy, + has hunks of diced avocado in it. Although, this wasn't the best part of the meal; it was most certainly the chicken tinga! Most traditional recipes call for using this tinga sauce with chorizo, but I absolutely adored this sweet + spicy sauce on chicken. It is a quick and easy recipe that still packs a punch, without the hassle of finding a bunch of hard-to-find ingredients in order for it to taste delicious. Typically, chicken breasts are poached in the sauce, so it is infused with all the wonderful Mexican flavors. My solution to avoiding the poaching process... just buy a ro-to chick and pull the meat into bite-size shreds. Oh and P.S., a "ro-to chick" is just a store bought rotisserie chicken, and trust me, it cuts out a bunch of steps and it tastes just as good! This pureed sauce combines onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, fire roasted crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, sorghum molasses (honey or maple syrup will be a perfectly fine substitute), chicken stock, and grated bittersweet chocolate. Most tinga recipes don't call for grated chocolate, but I loved the idea of making this a little bit sweet and a'whole'lotta heat. And by adding this element to the sauce, it gives you that Mexican mole feeling to it. Once that has been assembled and simmered, throw in your shredded ro-to chick and toss it until the chicken is extra juicy and coated in the unbelievable yumminess. As for the rest of the recipe, place a couple spoonfuls of the chicken tinga, a handful of grilled corn, and a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese into flour tortillas... making sure to roll them tightly and place them seam-side down in a baking dish. After the tortillas have been stuffed and place into the prepared baking dish, spread some of the avocado salsa verde and red tinga sauce over the top. The last component you have to complete is the creamy, velvety candied jalapeno sour cream sauce. This sour cream is tangy and quickly take away the burn from all of the spicy flavors. Though, I decided to add candied jalapenos for an extra kick and a wee bit of sweetness. Finish the dish by pouring the sour cream sauce over the enchilada, scattering a bunch of Monterey Jack cheese on top, and a heavy sprinkle of crumbled feta. Bake these chicken tinga + grilled corn enchiladas in the oven until the cheese has melted and the edges have begun to brown + bubble. Garnish with some leftover grilled corn and minced cilantro. Enjoy this dish while it is still hot!! Enjoy :)

For the Avocado Salsa Verde:
½lb Tomatillos
2 Bunches of Green Onion
1 Poblano 
1 Avocado
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Jalapeno, Roughly Chopped
½C Fresh Cilantro
1 Lime, Zested
Juice from Half a Lime
1T Apple Cider Vinegar
¼C Water
2-3T Hot Sauce
½t Cumin + Dried Oregano  
Kosher Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
Pinch of Sugar, To Taste
1 Avocado, Finely Diced
½C Sweet Vidalia Onion, Finely Diced

For the Candied Jalapeno-Sour Cream Sauce:
4T Unsalted Butter
¼C AP Flour
15oz Chicken Stock
1C Sour Cream
4oz Candied Jalapeno, Finely Minced

For the Chicken Tinga:
1 Rotisserie Chicken, Pulled into Pieces
2C Sweet Vidalia Onion, Diced
4 Medium Cloves of Garlic, Minced
½t Oregano
½t Cumin
2 14.5oz Can of Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
2 Chipotle Pepper + 4T Adobo Sauce
½C Sorghum Molasses
1C Chicken Stock
2 Bay Leaves
2T Finely Grated Baker’s Chocolate (bittersweet or unsweetened)

For the Chicken Tinga + Grilled Corn Enchiladas:
8 Flour Tortillas
Prepared Chicken Tinga (with some leftover sauce to top the enchiladas with)
Grilled Corn
2C Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
4oz Crumbled Feta
Prepared Avocado Salsa Verde
Prepared Candied Jalapeno-Sour Cream Sauce
Fresh Cilantro, Minced

1. For the Avocado Salsa Verde: Char the tomatillos, green onion, and poblano on the grill until they are black and blistered. Cut off the ends of the green onion and place them into a food processor, along with the tomatillos. Put the blackened poblano into a plastic bag and let the pepper steam for 10 minutes. Peel the skin off of the poblano and toss it into the food processor as well. Add in the avocado, garlic, chopped jalapeno, cilantro, zest of a lime, juice from half of a lime, apple cider, water, hot sauce, cumin, and oregano. Pulse until blended and smooth. Pour the salsa into a medium mixing bowl and stir in salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Finish the salsa verde by folding in the diced avocado and minced onion. Keep it cold in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. 
2. For the Chicken Tinga: Add EVOO, onions, and garlic to a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat tow low and simmer for another 4 minutes. Add in the oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss in the tomatoes, chipotle, adobo sauce, sorghum molasses, and grated chocolate. Remove from heat. Transfer the sauce to the jar of a blended and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan, stir in the chicken stock, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Pull the rotisserie chicken into shreds, discarding the skin, fat, and bones. Stir the chicken into the sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. For the Candied Jalapeno-Sour Cream Sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook until bubbly, and then gradually in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and minced candied jalapenos.
4. For the Chicken Tinga + Grilled Corn Enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with Pam. Spread ¼C of the Avocado Salsa Verde in the bottom of the dish. Divide the warm chicken tinga evenly between 8 flour tortillas. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese and grilled corn on top of the chicken. Roll the enchiladas and place seam-side down. Spoon on some of the Avocado Salsa Verde and leftover Tinga sauce on top of the enchiladas, followed by an even layer of the Candied Jalapeno-Sour Cream Sauce. Top with 1C of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and some crumbled feta. Place the assembled enchiladas in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the edges of the sauce have begun to brown and bubble.
5. Garnish the hot enchiladas with some leftover grilled corn, and minced cilantro, and serve with a side of rice.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Saturday Down South: In 'n Out Animal Style Double Bacon Cheeseburger Dip with Mustard Grilled Burger Crumbles, Pan Fried Caramelized Onions, Cubed Dill Pickles, Diced Tomatoes, Crispy Bacon Lardons, + Secret Sauce Drizzle

It's officially the most wonderful time of the year... football season!! I swear my Mountain Man has been counting down the days since we won the national championship last season. Now comes the time of friends, tailgating, fatty food, bonfires, and plenty of booze. 

One of the mainstays of our menu is hearty dip, and this recipe that I am featuring today is just that! The inspiration came from a burger joint that is extremely popular in California... In n' Out Burger. Since Alabama is playing USC tomorrow, I thought this would be the perfect time to feature my first (of many) tailgate recipes this year. When you order a burger or fries "animal style", this usually means that it comes with extra secret sauce, caramelized onions, mustard grilled patties, and pickles. So, I started off with a creamy dip base and added mustard grilled burger crumbles, crispy bacon lardons, pan fried caramelized onions, cubed bread n' butter pickles, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. After it is baked in the oven until golden brown + delicious, you whip a batch of my not-so-secret secret sauce and drizzle it over the top. At this point, everyone will be salivating, so all that is left to do is serve with some some chips or crackers. I also like to put out some different bowls with burger toppings for extra garnishing... pickles, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, + more sauce. That way, when a friend grabs a chip and some dip, they can sprinkle a little bit of this and a little bit of that on top for the perfect bite! This recipe is super easy, so almost anyone can whip it up, don't y'all worry. I hope y'all love this first recipe of the season!! Enjoy :)

For the Mustard Grilled Burger Crumbles:
1lb 75-25 Ground Chuck
¼C Yellow Mustard
Kosher Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
4T Unsalted Butter

For the Pan Fried Caramelized Onions:
2 Large Vidalia Onions, Sliced
4T Unsalted Butter + 2T Vegetable Oil
Kosher Salt, To Taste
¼C Sugar

For the Dip:
8oz Herbed Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1C Sour Cream
½C Mayo
2C Shredded Cheddar, Split
2C Mozzarella Cheese, Split
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1-2T Worcestershire Sauce
½t Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, & Onion Powder
Kosher Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
Prepared Mustard Grilled Burger Crumbles
Prepared Pan Fried Caramelized Onions
1 Medium Tomato, Diced
½C Bread n’ Butter Pickles, Diced
Shredded Romaine Lettuce

For the Secret Sauce:
1/3C Mayo
3T Ketchup
1-2T Sweet Pickle Relish
1t Sugar + 1 White Vinegar
¼t Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, + Paprika
Kosher Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste

1. Preheat the open to 350 degrees and spray a pan with Pam.
2. For the Mustard Grilled Burger Crumbles: In a large skillet, over medium high heat, brown the ground beef. Pour off any extra fat and stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper, and then set it aside.
3. For the Pan Fried Caramelized Onions: Heat the butter and onion in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.
4. For the Secret Sauce: Mix together all of the ingredients until everything is incorporated. Taste the sauce and adjust to your taste preferences. Set this sauce aside until you want to top the dip with it.
5. For the Dip: Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and bet until smooth. Add in 1C each of the shredded cheddar and mozzarella (saving the rest to put on top), followed by the mustard grilled burger crumbles, cooled caramelized onions, minced garlic, Worcestershire, spices, diced tomato, and diced pickles. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the left over cheese on top and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese has melted and begun to brown on top. Remove the dip from the oven and drizzle the secret sauce over the top. Serve with Ritz crackers or potatoes chips, and have a bowl of shredded lettuce on the side to garnish the dip.