Fiesta Chicken Tacos

We like Mexican food but sometimes it can be hard to jazz it up. While looking through various cookbooks and websites for ideas, I decided to give this recipe a try and serve it along side of corn tortillas. You could serve this as is with rice or even pasta, but I liked that we used this dish and filled our tortillas with something warm and cheesy.

Fiesta Chicken Tacos
recipe adapted from Pace Foods

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell’s® Cream of Chicken Soup
(I made this homemade cream of chicken soup to use instead of canned)
1 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa OR Picante Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 can drained and rinsed, black beans
4 boneless chicken breast halves, sliced
Paprika
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
corn tortillas, warmed

MIX soup, salsa, water, corn and beans in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Top with chicken and sprinkle with paprika. Cover.

BAKE at 350°F. for 45 min. or until done. Sprinkle with cheese.

SERVE by slicing chicken and stuffing in warmed corn tortillas.

Chicken & Mango Salsa Tortilla Stack

Not sure how the weather is in your corner of the world but today is horrible here in Chicago. I’m so thankful I did all my grocery shopping and errands yesterday before the big ‘blizzard’ hit!

To make some room in my freezer, I roasted a large chicken last night which I coated with a cinnamon chipotle rub and stuffed with 2 chopped limes. Delicious! We enjoyed some of the chicken for dinner yesterday with leftover Arroz con Gandules. I actually roast meats quite a bit for a few reasons…

  1. Often times, large cuts of meat (pork, beef, chicken) cost less per pound than others.
  2. Roasting a large cut of meat allows me to be creative and make other dishes using leftovers… stretching the cost a bit more!

So with leftovers of this Cinnamon Chipotle Lime Chicken on hand, I took a peek in my fridge to see what I could come up with. The Pièce de résistance? … Chicken & Mango Salsa Tortilla Stack! It’s a common dish layering tortillas, salsa, cheese and meat which is then baked. Very similar to a lasagna only kept stacked.

Chicken & Mango Salsa Tortilla Stack
original Joelen recipe

1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
1-2 cups Mango Salsa (or whatever salsa you have on hand)
1 cooked roast chicken breast (or use rotisserie chicken)
5-6 corn tortillas (6 inch size)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a round baking dish, spread about 1-2 tablespoons of salsa.
Place one tortilla over the salsa coated dish.
Top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
Top with another tortilla.
Top tortilla with slices of chicken until covered.
Spread a few tablespoons of salsa over chicken.
Top with another tortilla.
Continue layering and stacking in whatever way you’d like until all ingredients are used.
The top layer should end with a tortilla and enough salsa to cover the top.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a dollop of guacamole.

Before…
….After!

Shrimp Ceviche

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. Seafood is definitely evident in Floribbean foods and shrimp needed to be included in my menu. I love how easy ceviche is to make and how refreshing it is to eat without being heavy. This was a great recipe that helps me forget about the harsh Chicago winters!

Shrimp Ceviche
served with tortilla chips
recipe adapted from
SimplyRecipes.com

1 pound medium-small raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp salt
3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1-2 jalapenoes, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cucumber, peeled finely diced
2-3 roma tomatoes, finely diced

1-2 avocadoes, finely diced

In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of water, salted with 2 Tbsp salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes max, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the shrimp. Cut each piece of shrimp in half, or into inch-long pieces. Place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

Mix in the chopped red onion, jalapenoes & tomatoes. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber & avocado. Toss to combine and serve as is, with chips or on top of tostadas.

Layered Jalapeno Dip

I love snack food and this is an easy one to prepare especially for parties. I served this up for my annual Holiday Cookie Swap this year…

Layered Jalapeno Dip
original Joelen recipe

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained & chopped
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 cup prepared guacamole
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1 tomato finely diced
sliced green onions for garnish
tortilla chips

Combine the first 5 ingredients above and mix thoroughly.
Spread this mixture at the bottom of a pie plate.
Top with a layer of guacamole.
Sprinkle with a layer of remaining Mexican cheese blend.
Sprinkle sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes and sliced green onions.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Chili Cheese Dip

Chili Cheese Dip
adapted from
THIS recipe

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ounce) can chili
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 tomato, chopped & seeded
chopped chives for garnish

Combine all the ingredients above except for chives and mix thoroughly.
Place in baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until warmed and bubbly OR place in mini crockpot to keep warm.
Garnish with chives.
** I made this a day in advance and replenished my mini crockpot as needed.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip
adapted from THIS recipe

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained & chopped
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
chives for garnish

Combine all the ingredients above except for chives and mix thoroughly.
Place in baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until warmed and bubbly OR place in mini crockpot to keep warm.
Garnish with chives.
** I made this a day in advance and replenished my mini crockpot as needed.

Tostaditas with Black Bean & Scallop Ceviche

Tostaditas with Black Bean & Scallop Ceviche
(sadly, no picture available since we ate it all up!)


For the black bean spread:

original Joelen recipe
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
3 tablespoons light sour cream
salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash black beans to paste, leaving it slightly chunky for texture.
Add remaining ingredients and fold in until combined and incorporated; set aside.

For the ceviche:
adapted ceviche recipe courtesy of Food Network
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 pound fresh diver-harvested sea scallops or any other fresh scallop of high quality
1/4 cup diced red or yellow onion
1/2 minced, seeded jalapeno
1 plum tomato, seeded, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine lime zest, juice, and spices. Set mixture aside. Clean and wash the scallops, then cut each 1 in 1/2 lengthwise. Add scallops to lime juice mixture, stir well and set aside in cooler. Add the vegetables and cilantro to the scallop mixture. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

To prepare & assemble the Tostaditas:
prepared black bean spread
prepared scallop ceviche above
tortilla chips
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons water

Spread black bean spread on a tortilla chip.
Top with scallop ceviche.
Combine sour cream and water in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the tostadita.
Serve immediately or have guests make them as they eat.