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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Brown And Wild Rice Medley

2016-07-08 14.37.09

Taking help from your local grocery store is not something you should ever feel guilty about. For weeknight meals, I’ll use the grocery store as my sous chef.  I take advantage of what I call “short cuts”. There’s nothing better than adding a few great ingredients to quick-cooking rice to make it into something special. This is my Brown And Wild Rice Medley.

I found, “Minute Rice” has come out with a brown and wild rice variety, in cups. Basically, the rice is ready to serve in sealed cups.

For this dish, I’m using a store-bought fresh Cantina-style salsa. I absolutely love this variety of salsa so it’s a staple in my house. This is a side dish that pairs well with chicken, pork, or fish.

2016-07-08 14.37.09

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, serving bowl, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 4.4-ounce cups of ready-to-serve Brown and Wild Rice
1 15-ounce can of black beans, reduced sodium, drained and rinsed
1 11-ounce can of shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
1/2 a green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 a white Spanish onion, diced
1 teaspoon of  Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh Cantina-style salsa (available in most produce departments)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves

Directions:
Start by cooking the Minute Brown and Wild Rice. Pull or cut the film to remove from cup. Place the cup in the microwave and heat on high for 1 1/2 minutes (cooking time for 2 cups). Important: remove cups carefully from the microwave taking hold of cup from the side using an oven mitt or potholder.

Prep the vegetables, drain and rinse the black beans and shoepeg corn, and chop the cilantro.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, diced onions, and green peppers. Sprinkle with the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir through. Once they’ve started softening, about 3 to 5 minutes, add the cooked ready-to-serve Brown and Wild rice and stir. Next, add the drained and rinsed, shoepeg corn and black beans. Continue stirring and let the black beans and shoepeg corn warm through another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salsa stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat, add in the chopped cilantro.

Serve my Brown And Wild Rice Medley warm or at room temperature.

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Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas (2)

Who doesn’t love a hand-held meat pie? They can be made in advance, you can freeze them then bake them off when you’re ready. My Chicken And Poblano Empanadas are so delicious, tender and flaky pie crust filled with bold flavorful ingredients, YUM!

In this post, I’m taking some help from my local grocery store. I’m using a rotisserie chicken and store-bought pie dough. Rotisserie chicken is one of the best items available at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless.

Now when it comes to pie crust, making your own is always the way to go but if you’re short on time there are great store-bought pie doughs available in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust which can be made in advance and a link for my Pico de Gallo.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes cooking vegetables and making the empanadas)
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 47minutes
Yields: 16 Empanadas
Equipment: food processor, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, pastry brush

Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 boxes of store-bought pie dough, cut into 6-inch round circles
4 tomatillos
2 Poblano peppers after cooked tops removed and seeded
1 large white Spanish onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Fresno chilies, after cooked tops removed and seeded
1-quart unsalted chicken broth
water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 small ladle of reserved cooking liquid
3 beaten eggs plus 3 tablespoons water, *egg wash

Directions:
In a large stockpot, place tomatillos, seeded Poblanos, a peeled large white Spanish onion, whole peeled garlic cloves,  and seeded Fresno chilies. Cover the vegetables using 1-quart of unsalted chicken broth and the rest water.  Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the vegetables up to a boil, (lower the heat) reduce to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering on the stove remove debone the rotisserie chicken. Next, using your hands, shred all the chicken then transfer into a large mixing bowl.

The tomatillos will have turned olive in color and the peppers, fork tender. With a slotted spoon, fish out the peppers and chilies removing their tops and seeds before placing them into the food processor. Take the slotted spoon to move the rest the veggies from the pot adding them to a food processor. Add 1 Kosher salt, cilantro, lime juice, and a small ladle of the cooking liquid (add more if needed). Process until smooth. Pour the Poblano pepper mixture into the bowl with the shredded chicken.

Note: The leftover cooking liquid (vegetable stock) allow to cool completely then place into labeled sealed containers. Store in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.
Here I’m using a lid that measures 6-inches in diameter. Cut out 6-inch circles out of the pie dough. Each circle of dough yields 4 circles. Next, take the scraps of dough that are left and roll that out to 1/4-inch in thickness. The leftover dough will yield another 4 circles. When it comes to Empanadas, you want to make as many as you can because they will get eaten.

Place a good tablespoon in the center each circle, brush around the outsides of the circle with the *egg wash. fold the pastry over to form half-moons. Press the edges firmly (overfilling will cause dought to tear and not seal.) Crimp the edges with a fork. Lay the empanada onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all the filling or the dough circles are used up. Brush the outsides of the Empanadas with more *egg wash. This will allow the pies to become nice and golden brown during baking.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. I like to serve them with a side of Pico de Gallo. The Pico works well to cut through the richness of the Empanada.

Tip: Unbaked empanadas may be frozen. Freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until hard. Store in freezer containers. Bake frozen; add an additional 5 minutes for baking time.

*egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water or milk.

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

Homemade Pie Crust

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