Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas and Spanish Quinoa

I made this Hispanic meal a few weeks ago.  The boys loved it.  I used quinoa instead of rice because I had it in the cupboard.  Quinoa is a grain that is very high in protein.  The combination of these dishes proved to be delicious.

Chicken Enchiladas
Servings: 8


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pint sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (12 oz.) jar taco sauce
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.  In a medium, non-stick skilled over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear.  Drain excess fat.  Cube the chicken and return it to the skillet.  Add the onion, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper.  Heat until cheese melts.  Stir in salt, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, green pepper and garlic.

3.  Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas.  Arrange in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, Cover with taco sauce and 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Spanish Quinoa
Servings: 4


1 (14-1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup quinoa, washed and drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin


1.  Drain tomatoes and reserve juice.
2.  Heat oil and saute garlic and onions until translucent.
3.  Place the tomato juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough water to equal 1 cup of liquid.
4.  Add the liquid to the sauteed garlic and onions; bring to a boil.
5.  Stir in the quinoa, pepper, and salt.
6.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
7.  Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin; cook for another 2-4 minutes until hot.

I decided to toast the quinoa in the pan after sauteing the garlic and onion.  That added a nice nutty flavor to the dish.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mardi Gras King Cake

I meant to post this cake last week for Mardi Gras but I did not have a chance to do it.  I ate King Cake at a Mardi Gras event and I would love to make this next year for Mardi Gras.  It looks quite good.  The person who posted it on said that she gets constant requests to make this cake.

Mardi Gras King Cake



1/4 cup butter
1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 (1/4 oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
2 eggs
6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Cream Cheese Filling

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened (16 oz. total)
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Colored Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops green food coloring
2 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops blue food coloring
2 drops red food coloring

Colored Sugars

1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 drops green food coloring
2 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops blue food coloring 
2 drops red food coloring


1.  Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Cool mixture to 100 degrees to 110 degrees.

2.  Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.   Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth.  Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

3.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Kneed  until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees).

4.  Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth.  Add egg and blend well.  Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

5.  Punch dough down.  Divide in half.  Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll to a 28 x 10 inch rectangle.  Spread half each of cream cheese mixture on dough.  Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long end.  Place dough roll, seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and punching edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.

6.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

7.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

8.  Decorate with bands of Colored Frosting and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.

9.  COLORED FROSTING:  Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter.  Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling.  Stir in vanilla.  Divide frosting into 3 batches.  Tint 1 green, 1 yellow, and combine the red and blue food coloring to make purple frosting.

10.  COLORED SUGARS: Place 1/2 cup sugar and drop of green food coloring in a zip-lock plastic bag.  Seal bag then shake and squeeze vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar.  Repeat this process with 1/2 cup sugar and yellow food coloring.  For purple, combine 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food coloring before adding to remaining 1/2 cup sugar.


The Creative Cook