Jalapeño Popper & Corn Puff Pastry Swirls

Jalapeno Popper & Corn Swirls
There’s something about the combination of spicy-hot jalapeño peppers, cheddar cheese and cream cheese that I can’t get enough of. I don’t even care if jalapeño poppers are old news because according to me, they’re still the rage.

Of course I had to make a puff pastry version! “You love that stuff don’t you?” Mom asked when I tucked away yet another pack into the freezer. If I don’t have at least one handy then I get a little freaky…. 

Read More »

Mexican Crazy Corn Salad

Crazy Corn Salad

This crazy corn salad is inspired by the Mexican corn salad called esquites. Esquites is a play on Mexican street corn called elote. Elote is made by boiling or grilling corn on the cob, sometimes with the herb epazote, slathering it with butter and mayonnaise then rolling it in cheese like Cotija or Parmesan and sprinkling it with chile powder and a squeeze of lime. Crazy.

All my life I’ve only known one way to eat corn. . .smeared with butter, salt and pepper.

This is my version… 

Read More »

Mexican Pizzas

Chicken & Corn Mexican Pizza

Double-decker Taco Bell-inspired Mexican pizzas! Sitting pretty in between two crispy flour tortillas is your choice of a beef & bean or a chicken & corn filling with salsa acting as the sauce. On the top is more salsa, cheese and any toppings you like – the very same ones you would put on a taco – black olives, fresh tomato, red onion, avocado and sour cream.

I like to think these are more method than precise recipe. You can mix and match any fillings and toppings you like with success. … 

Read More »

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Southwestern Mash

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! I started with Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes and mixed in cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers. You can create your own five ingredient fix using Simply Potatoes and enter them in the five ingredient recipe contest for a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000.

Simply potatoes are fresh, refrigerated potatoes that have never been frozen. They’re easy to prepare and made with only real ingredients like whole milk, butter and salt.

These are the creamiest mashed potatoes on Earth! The cheese melts right into them along with the mashed avocado making them rich and even more buttery than they are to begin with.

The avocado turns them a pretty shade of green and the corn gives them little pops of texture. The jalapenos aren’t overpowering but more on the subtle side. Everything comes together to make a flavorful side dish to spice up you meals. A new favorite in my house.

I hope I inspired you to enter your own five ingredient fix in the recipe contest! Simply potatoes makes it so easy and convenient for you, there’s no excuse not to. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! Simply Potatoes traditional mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound 8 ounce package of Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked corn
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup jarred or canned jalapenos, diced, with a little of the juice they're packed in

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes according to package directions.
  2. Scoop it into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and stir in the cheddar and corn. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir well.
  3. Mix in the mashed avocado and jalapenos including a tablespoon or two of the juice. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/southwestern-mashed-potatoes/

For rules on how to enter the Sweepstakes click here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes. The opinions and text are all mine.

Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Chili con Carne

Chili con carne with hearty hunks of beef slow cooked in tomatoes with a ton of spices, bacon, garlic, onion, chipotle and jalapeno peppers. No beans allowed. Not in this chili. This chili is a celebration of meat.

I don’t use a crockpot for convenience here but rather for the way it magically transforms the toughest of meat into something tender and edible. This isn’t a recipe where you can throw everything right into the crockpot and be done, there’s some work to do before that can happen.

The first thing to do is get your bacon cooking – in the oven – those days of cooking messy, splattering bacon on the stove are history. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, lay out your bacon and 15 minutes or so later you will be rewarded with perfectly cooked bacon. Let the grease cool off a little, fold the aluminum foil up around it and discard. Your pan and stove top are left clean.

You can usually find chuck steak, the cut I use for this, already cut up, it will be labeled chuck cubes for stew or something similar to that. Those have to be seared first in a hot pan to brown and caramelize, followed by the garlic, onion and jalapenos. Don’t worry about the vegetables picking up those browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan because we want that. That’s more flavor.

Let’s talk spices. Initially I was going to use dried chiles but decided to make it easily accessible to everyone by using dried. This is hot, hot, hot. In addition to the jalapenos I use canned chipotle peppers in adobo, smoked jalapenos surrounded by a spicy sauce. I also used chili powder, ground ancho chile peppers, ground cumin and Mexican oregano. {If you want to make it without “heat” omit the jalapeno and chipotle peppers. The ancho peppers are quite mild – I feel comfortable telling you to leave it in or cut the amount in half.}

I like to serve it over rice to catch the rich, rust-colored sauce, with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, green onions and giant dollops of cooling sour cream. Tortilla chips are a must for scooping and dipping. I also set aside a couple of slices of bacon to crumble over top.

Now you’re armed with everything you need to make yourself one awesome bowl of meaty chili.

Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne

Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Chili con carne with hearty hunks of beef slow cooked in tomatoes with a ton of spices, bacon, garlic, onion, chipotle and jalapeno peppers. No beans allowed. Not in this chili. This chili is a celebration of meat.

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces smoked bacon
2 - 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck steak or roast, cut into 1/2 - 1-inch cubes
coarse sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
vegetable or olive oil, for browning the meat
2 large yellow or Spanish onions, diced
2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
2 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo plus 2 tablespoons of the sauce they come in (like this )
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth or 1 bottle dark beer
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder (like this )
2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper (like this )
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crushed between your fingertips
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons masa like this or 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
for serving:
shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack
tortilla chips
cooked rice
sour cream
avocado
chopped green onions

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Lay the bacon down in one layer and bake 12 - 15 minutes or until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Season the cubes well with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the cubes in batches turning to brown on 2 - 3 sides. Add more oil to the pan in between batches as needed. Add them to a 4 quart crockpot or larger.
  3. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the pan set over medium heat and cook the onion, jalapenos and garlic until softened, seasoning them well with salt and pepper. Add the chipotle peppers and sauce, stir and cook 2 more minutes. Add them to the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, all the seasonings including 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the masa or cornstarch slurry. Crumble up the bacon, set aside a little bit for garnishing and add the rest. Stir it all together.
  5. Cook on high 4 - 5 hours or low 8 hours, tasting during the last hour or two and adding more seasonings, salt or pepper as needed.
  6. Serve with your choice of garnishes over rice, if desired.

Notes:

To make it without the heat omit the jalapeno and chipotle peppers. The ancho peppers are quite mild – I feel comfortable telling you to leave it in or cut the amount in half.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-chili-con-carne/

Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Spicy Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Creamy, cheesy chowder with tender tidbits of chicken, potatoes and corn surrounded by a thick, creamy broth that is highly spiced with jalapeño peppers and sharp cheddar cheese for a play on nachos.

This hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup also has fire-roasted red peppers, garlic, onion and celery plus half & half to help make it extra thick and creamy.

This has a third of a cup of diced jalapeños in it making it fairly spicy. The heat level can vary from pepper to pepper, some will be hotter than others. Feel free to adjust the amount if you think it will be too spicy – or not spicy enough.

You can use fresh or jarred jalapeños. Look for the jarred ones by the pickles or in the Spanish section of your market. You can usually find the roasted red peppers there too. I like having them on hand at all times so I can use just a few as needed.

It’s fairly obvious that I look for any opportunity to scoop up my soup with tortilla chips! I love the combination, and lately I’m all about soups with a Tex-mex influence. They give you a double punch of cozy warmness, once from the steamy-hot soup and again, later, from the spicy pop of heat the peppers give it.

You can’t go wrong.

Nacho Cheese and Chicken Soup

Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: makes 6 servings

Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Creamy, cheesy chowder with tender tidbits of chicken, potatoes and corn surrounded by a thick, creamy broth that is highly spiced with jalapeno peppers and sharp cheddar cheese for a play on nachos.

INGREDIENTS:

olive oil, for sauteing
2 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 fire-roasted red pepper (jarred), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup diced jalapeño peppers, fresh or jarred, ribs and seeds removed
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1.25 pounds boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 + 1/2 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
1 + 1/2 cups corn
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 cup half & half
2 heaping cups shredded sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese
plain corn tortilla chips, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat about 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, jalapeños and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tender about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan or remove to a bowl, add another tablespoon of oil and the chicken. Cook, turning to brown on all sides.
  3. Add the vegetables back in with the broth, potatoes, corn and parsley. Season with about 1 teaspoon coarse salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table/fine salt) and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the half & half and the cheese. Bring back to a simmer and let cook 5 - 10 minute longer, until cheese is completely melted and the soup slightly thickens. Taste and season as needed before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/nacho-cheese-chicken-chowder/

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken Tacos

Chicken breasts slow-cooked in salsa with black olives, red onions and pickled jalapeno until it’s so tender you can shred it easily with a fork. It’s then mixed with cheese and stuffed into taco shells or made into rice bowls you can garnish with all your favorite Tex-Mex toppings like sour cream, avocado and lettuce.

I love all those toppings but the truth is it doesn’t even need them. So flavorful, you will be just as happy eating it over some rice. As is. It’s also great for soft tacos, burritos, enchiladas or quesadillas. You can even make nachos with it.

This really is one of those crock-pot meals that doesn’t take a lot of prep. It’s fuss-free and easy. There’s no meat to brown or vegetables to sauté. Just a bit of chopping and everything goes into the pot where you can forget about it for a couple of hours while magic happens.

This dish is entirely dependent on the salsa. You have to use one you love. One that won’t let you down. One with lots of flavor.

You can spice this up as much or as little as you like with pickled or fresh jalapenos, a chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes or by using a spicy hot salsa. If you do use a salsa that’s on the hot side you can leave out the jalapenos.

Or not.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowls

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings with rice or makes about 8 or 9 tacos

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Chicken breasts slow-cooked in salsa with black olives, red onions and pickled jalapenos until it's so tender you can easily shred it with a fork. You can use it for tacos, rice bowls, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and nachos.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups (16 ounces) salsa (I like Green Mountain Gringo or Newman's Own )
1 can (6 ounces) large black olives, sliced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tablespoons diced pickled jalapeno or 1 fresh, optional (omit if using a "hot" salsa)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 cup finely shredded cheddar or monterey jack (or a mix), plus more for serving
1 cup corn, optional
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
For Serving:
1 cup dried rice, cooked
or
taco shells
or both!
sour cream, for serving
diced avocado, for serving
shredded lettuce, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add the salsa, 1/4 cup water, olives, onions, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar, chile powder, cumin, oregano and corn, if using, to a 3 - 5 quart crock pot set on high. Mix well.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half and season well with salt and pepper. Nestle them in the sauce.
  3. Cook on high 3 - 4 hours or low 5 - 6. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or chop into bite-sized pieces. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Mix the chicken back into the sauce with the cheese. If the sauce is watery - cook with the lid off for 15 minutes or so to evaporate some of it off.
  5. Serve over cooked rice with extra cheese, sour cream and/or avocado. Or make tacos with your favorite fixings.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-salsa-chicken-tacos-rice-bowls/

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

Crockpot Beef and Rice Enchilada Soup

A Tex-Mex soup packed with ground beef, rice, corn, green chiles, tomatoes, cheese and topped with sour cream and tortilla chips. It’s a beef version of my favorite chicken enchilada soup.

A warm, spicy hug in a bowl.

While the slow cooker does almost all the work it isn’t completely hands off. It takes a few minutes of prepping. You can do it the night before if you need to quickly throw it together in the morning.

The ground beef has to be browned separately in a skillet before heading into your crock-pot and the onion, garlic and bell pepper sautéed. I experimented with putting them in raw but they just don’t get the depth of flavor I like. It makes a giant difference in the end.

Green chiles, chili powder and cumin make it spicy without being mouth-burning hot. If you like it hotter you can add ground cayenne pepper or a canned chipotle pepper or two.

I used the same trick for thickening this soup as I do for chicken tortilla soup and finely chop up a few corn tortillas. They melt into the broth and bring in some of that ‘corny’ flavor you would get if you were eating a true enchilada. Plus they add ‘oomph’ to the broth and make it heartier.

Ground Beef & Rice Enchilada Soup

I want to hug this soup to my heart and never let it go. I want to eat it at least once a week, twice would be better, for the rest of my life.

I want to eat it in the biggest soup bowl I can find. I want to pile it high with extra cheese, tortilla chips and lots and lots of sour cream. Like ten times what you see in the picture.

And I don’t want anyone to bother me while I’m eating. Just leave me alone with my soup spoon and overflowing bowl.

Even if I face plant. . .

Do not disturb.

Crockpot Ground Beef Enchilada Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

A hearty and flavorful Tex-Mex soup!

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 small green or red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (11 ounce) Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chiles with the juices
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 + 1/2 cups corn
3 corn tortillas, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder like McCormick
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano (preferably Mexican), crushed between fingertips
1 + 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup brown or white rice
1 + 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese or monterey jack, plus more for serving
sour cream, for serving
corn tortilla chips, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile to your crock-pot (4 - 6 quart) add the Ro-tel, broth, corn, tortillas, chile powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix in the cooked onions, peppers and garlic.
  3. In the same skillet brown the ground beef over medium heat breaking it apart as it cooks. Once it's browned through drain off the grease and add to the pot.
  4. Cook on high 3 - 4 hours or low 5 - 6.
  5. During the last hour cook the rice according to package directions and stir the cheese into the soup. Taste and season as needed.
  6. To serve: add a couple of spoonfuls of rice to a soup bowl and ladle the soup over top. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-beef-and-rice-enchilada-soup/