Shrimp & Vegetable Enchiladas with a Creamy Poblano Sauce

I have a confession to make. I have a cooking blog and the truth is, there are so many things that I have never even attempted to make in the kitchen. When I made these shrimp enchiladas for the first time, I realized that I had actually never made enchiladas before! I seriously couldn’t believe that I had never made something as easy and delicious as enchiladas. I love enchiladas! I have had these enchiladas on my mind a lot lately, and I can almost taste them. I am going to need to make them very soon because it definitely seems like a craving! The nice thing about these enchiladas is that they are loaded with a lot of vegetables, and they taste absolutely scrumptious. All the flavors in the recipe come together so well. I hope you enjoy these enchiladas as much as we do, and please do not skimp on the amazing creamy poblano sauce!

Recipe for Shrimp & Vegetable Enchiladas with a Creamy Poblano Sauce

INGREDIENTS

For the roasted poblano pepper sauce
2 large poblano peppers

2 1/2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
For the filling
1 1/2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
1 very small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp. of oregano
1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper
2 cups of shredded green cabbage (I used a packaged coleslaw mix)
2 cups of shredded carrots (I used packaged shredded carrots for this – you can also peel and shred regular carrots)
3 cups of baby spinach leaves
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped and seeds removed (seeds have a lot of heat
1 pound of large Easy Peel and deveined Frozen Shrimp, thawed and coarsely chopped

For assembling
10 8-inch flour tortillas
8 ounces of grated Monterey Jack cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Roast the poblano peppers first. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and put into the hot oven. Cook, for about 7 minutes, then use tongs to flip the peppers over. Continue cooking, flipping as needed and checking frequently, until the peppers are mostly blistered (about 20 minutes) Remove from oven and allow them to cool before handling. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

While the peppers are roasting, chop up the onion and chiplotle peppers and set aside. Grate the cheese and set aside. You can also thaw the shrimp if you haven’t already done so and peel and chop the shrimp and set aside.

Once peppers are cool enough to handle, make the sauce. Put the butter into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. While you are waiting for the butter to melt, carefully peel off the skin of the pepper and discard. Remove the seeds and stem and diiscard. Then coarsely chop the remaining pepper or use your hands to tear into pieces. Once the butter is melted, stir the peppers into the butter. Then add in the flour and stir constantly until the mixture is golden, about 1 minute or so. Add in the broth and garlic powder and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened and bubbles up. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the sour cream and cilantro. Set aside.

Put a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil is hot, stir in the onions, garlic, oregano, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until onions are tender. Then add in the cabbage, carrots, and spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach wilted, about 3 minutes. Add in the chipotle pepper pieces and the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes. Remember the shrimp doesn’t need to be fully cooked because it will continue to cook once in the oven. Remove skillet from heat.

Assemble your enchiladas. Choose an oven-safe 9 x 13 baking dish to arrange the enchiladas in. To make them easier to roll up, I recommend putting the tortillas between a paper towel and heating in the microwave for about 30 seconds first. Then use a workspace and spread about 1/3 cup or so of the shrimp mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Top with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Then tightly roll up the tortilla around the filling and place on one side of the baking dish, seam side down. Continue doing this until you can no longer fit any enchiladas in your pan. Evenly pour the poblano sauce over the enchiladas. Place enchiladas in the oven and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a bit browned and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for just a couple minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: Annie’s Eats

Recipe Makes Approximately 4 – 6 servings. They taste great leftover! Cover the baking dish you used for the enchiladas tightly with foil and store in the fridge. To reheat, cook at a low temperature (275 degrees) in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

Potato, Goat Cheese, & Chorizo Tacos with a Smoky Aioli

Here is a blast from the past! I made these with a friend on her 29th birthday, and she is 38 now! I remember when we had her over that night that she commented on the “interesting” things that were on the table for the tacos. As she was eating her tacos, she said “Wow Beth, I got to be honest, I was a little concerned when I saw everything out for the tacos. But it’s like the weirdest things come together and make this totally delicious combination of flavors!” I took it as a compliment.
I got the idea for the “weird” tacos from Paladar Restaurant. I had seen the meal on the menu there and really wanted to order them, but my date had other ideas. I decided I would try them out at home instead! Serve these tasty tacos with some refried beans and corn pudding. Enjoy!

Recipe for Potato, Goat Cheese & Chorizo Tacos with a Smoky Aioli

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lb golden potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lb chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • shredded red cabbage
  • cilantro
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • smoky aioli (recipe to follow)
  • 16 soft corn tortillas (soft taco size)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the cubed potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the potatoes for 12 minutes, then use a spatula to loosen the potatoes and toss around. Put potatoes back in the oven for another 10 – 12 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown. Leave the potatoes on the pan and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 270 degrees. 

Cook the chorizo. Put into a large pan and use a spatula or spoon to crumble the sausage as it cooks. Cook until sausage is completely done and make sure it is crumbled small.

Once chorizo is fully cooked, put it onto the pan with the potatoes. Toss together. Put pan back into the oven while you prepare the fixings.

Put cabbage, cilantro, and goat cheese into small serving bowls. Make the smoky aioli (recipe below). Put tortillas on a plate and cover with a paper towel. Heat in the microwave on low for about 25 – 30 seconds. 

Once all the fixings are prepped, take the potatoes and sausage out of the oven and put into a serving dish. Put tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, goat cheese, potatoes & chorizo, and smoky aioli out and allow everyone to assemble their own tacos. 

Recipe for Smoky Aioli

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup real mayonnaise
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed (or 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I like things in my life to be fairly simple. That is why this slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe is a winner in my book. The soup itself requires barely any prep time at all. If you want to really save time with this recipe, you can opt out of doing the tortilla crisps, and just use store-bought tortilla chips instead. I think the tortilla crisps add a nice touch, though. I love topping this soup with with avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and the tortilla strips. This soup is great for leftovers because the soup actually gets even better after being in the fridge for about a day, since it gives the flavors a chance to meld together even more. Hope you love this one as much as we do! Enjoy.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

INGREDIENTS

I love the homemade tortilla strips in this recipe!
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of black beans
  • 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • For topping: chopped avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese
  • For the tortilla strips:
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt

DIRECTIONS

For the soup
Put the chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the salt and pepper. Drop the chicken into the mixture, cover with the slow cooker lid, and cook on low heat for 6 hours (or until chicken is cooked and shreds easily with a fork).
Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Use a fork to shred the chicken into smallish pieces. Then add the chicken back to the slow cooker and stir in the beans, corn, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for an additional 10 – 15 minutes. While it finishes cooking, make the tortilla strips.

Once tortilla strips are finished, ladle the soup into bowls and top with grated cheese, sour cream (or full-fat Greek yogurt), chopped avocado, and tortilla strips.

*If you make the soup later in the day like I did, ladle the soup into airtight containers and store in the fridge. Reheat in a pan over medium-low heat on the stove top. I actually found that the soup got even better leftover because the flavors melded together more in the fridge! 

For the tortilla strips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with Misto or Pam.  In a small bowl, stir the oil and spices together. Brush each side of a tortilla lightly with the oil mixture (about 1/2 tsp.per side – you will not use all of the mixture). Then stack the flour tortillas together on a cutting board and cut into desired sized strips.. Put the strips in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle salt over top. Place in oven and cook until crispy, about 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet until ready to use. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

*If you want to save time on this recipe, use tortilla chips in place of the tortilla strips!

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe makes approximately 8 servings.

Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy
 Tortilla Strips recipe adapted from: Food.com

Grilled Shrimp Fajitas (in a foil packet)

This is a seriously awesome meal! It is really easy to make (especially when I make Greg do the grilling), and it can be ready to be serve in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. I like to serve these shrimp fajitas with a side of black beans and some chopped mango. The shrimp, peppers, and onions cook on the grill in foil packets, so that the shrimp and veggies are sizzling hot and bursting with flavor.  Not only are these shrimp fajitas excellent, they also make a pretty healthy meal! This meal is best served piping hot, so it wouldn’t do so well leftover. For that reason, this recipe is only for two (Wendy won’t eat shrimp). You can double or triple the recipe if you are cooking for more than two. Enjoy!

Recipe for Grilled Shrimp Fajitas (cooked in a foil packet)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound of peeled and deveined medium shrimp (about 14 – 16 shrimp)
Red, orange, and yellow baby bell peppers, thinly sliced

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp. of your favorite taco seasoning
Cilantro (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
6-inch flour tortillas (about 4 – 5)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat a gas grill to high heat. 
Put the shrimp, chopped peppers, and onions into a medium bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lime juice and gently toss. Then sprinkle with the taco seasoning and gently mix until shrimp and veggies are well coated. 
Cut two pieces of foil into 12-inch squares. Put half the shrimp and veggie mixture down the center of each piece of foil. Then fold up each side of the foil and fold the sides over the shrimp completely. The foil packets are to be sealed (if needed, you can use another piece of foil to cover). Then place the foil packets on the grill and cook for 10 minutes. A minute before you take the shrimp off the grill, zap the tortillas in the microwave for 15 – 20 seconds so they are warmed before you assemble the fajitas.

Carefully remove the foil packets from grill. When you open them, be careful because the steam is super hot. Divide the shrimp and vegetable mixture onto the warmed tortillas (Greg and I do 3-4 shrimp per fajita) and top each with cilantro and sour cream, if desired.

Serve fajitas with some sides! We served them with black beans and some chopped fresh mango. 

Recipe makes approximately 4 – 5 fajitas. According to the original recipe, you can also cook the shrimp and vegetables in the foil packets in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Recipe Adapted from : Damn Delicious 

Weber Grill!

Cafe Rio Style Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

Here is one of my favorite recipes that I make over and over again. It is so easy to make thanks to the slow cooker! For those of you who don’t know about Cafe Rio, you should really check it out! It used to be just a west coast thing but now it’s a bit of an east coast thing too. This chicken really is similar to the chicken you’d get a Cafe Rio (now I just need to figure out their barbacoa recipe)! The shredded chicken can be used for tacos, salads, burritos, and loaded nachos. We all love it so much in our house, and I am pretty sure you and your entire family will also love the chicken. You will love how easy it is to make and how good it tastes! Enjoy.

Recipe for Cafe Rio Style Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup of Italian salad dressing
1 packet of Ranch dressing
1/2 cup of water
2 tsp. of chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. of cumin
3/4 tsp. of coriander
1 Tbsp. of prepared (jarred) minced garlic (or 6 cloves of pressed fresh garlic OR 2 tsp. of garlic powder)
1 Tbsp. of dried onion flakes

DIRECTIONS

Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Turn heat on low and cook for five to six hours or until chicken shreds well with a fork. Then shred up the chicken and you are done!

Serving suggestions:
For a taco salad – Put chopped iceberg lettuce on a plate. Add black beans, corn, shredded chicken, torn cilantro leaves, grated cheese, chopped avocado, chopped tomatoes, and sour cream (or Greek yogurt). Drizzle with some lime juice and your favorite salsa.

Burritos/tacos – Use same ingredients as the salad but put in a taco shell or warmed tortilla!

Recipe Adapted from: Our Best Bites

 Recipe makes approximately 10 – 12 servings.

Sweet Potato Tacos

I love all kinds of tacos! My sister and brother-in-law are both vegetarian, so these sweet potato tacos are a great meal for when they come to visit.

I first had sweet potato tacos at Paladar Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. They were so good that I asked for the recipe from Paladar, and the executive chef sent me a version of the recipe. I have made them several times and they never disappoint. Enjoy!

Recipe for Sweet Potato Tacos

INGREDIENTS

  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and then diced in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4  hearts of palm stalks from a can, cut lengthwise and then sliced in to desired size 
  • 1 can of pinto beans or great white northern beans, drained well
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • For the tomatillo salsa:
  • 6 fresh tomatillos, husked
  • 1/4 of one bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion OR 1 – 2 thin slices of a jalapeno pepper
    1 lime, juiced
  • For the toppings:
  • Red cabbage
  • Chopped Chives
    8 – 10 soft tortillas (6-inch/taco size)

DIRECTIONS

Make tomatillo salsa first. Place tomatillos, cilantro, and onion in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it is to salsa consistency. Pour in to a bowl, squeeze in the lime juice, cover and put in fridge for an hour. In a bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, hearts of palm, 2 1/2 tsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place the potato mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes (until potatoes are done). Put the rest of the olive oil in to a large skillet. Heat oil, then add potato mixture and pinto beans to the skillet. Add in some salt, pepper, and the 2 tsp. of cinnamon. Saute until the beans and potatoes are warmed through, then remove pan from heat. Heat tortillas in a microwave for 20 – 25 seconds. Build your own tacos. Put sweet potato mixture down the middle of the tortilla, then top with cabbage, chives, and tomatillo salsa. Serve with mango and avocado salad (recipe to be posted soon). Enjoy!

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