Tag Archives: guacamole

D’Noche – Chicago, IL

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Last week I went to visit my boyfriend in Illinois (I realize normally you go somewhere warm for spring break, but surprisingly enough my trip to the mid-west meant I missed a DC snow storm).  I flew into O’Hare and he took me out to a surprise dinner in Chicago.  We ended up at D’Noche (because he knows my never ending love for Mexican food).  The restaurant had all kinds of delicious Latin American food, it was the perfect meal!

dnoche menu

We started things out with a sangria blanca (because white wine sangria is one of my favorite things, and who doesn’t need a drink after a flight?) and guacamole (because you don’t need a reason for guacamole).

sangria blanca

We also ordered the trio de empanadas (very reminiscent of my time in Argentina).  An order came with a beef, shrimp, and chicken empanada along with a variety of different sauces (one of them being chimichurri, which is the best I’ve had since getting back from Argentina) that went well with all of the empanadas and the guacamole as well.

empanadas

empanada halves

For dinner I got chiles rellenos (pobalano peppers stuffed with cheese, and covered in salsa Ranchera) which came with beans and rice.  The cheese was melty and rich and delicious and the side orders were great too.

chiles rellenos

Luke opted for the tacos de camaron (shrimp tacos) with green rice which he let me try (because I would have stolen some anyway…) and they were quite yummy as well, the goat cheese went surprisingly well with the shrimp (I never really thought of putting shrimp and cheese together, but then again cheese goes with pretty much everything).

tacos de camaron

It was an absolutely delicious start to a wonderful trip!  I’ll be telling you all about my visit to Urbabna-Champaign in an upcoming post, so keep your eyes open for it!

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Southwest Chicken and Rice

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Southwest Chicken and Rice

Last night my friends and I got together for the season finale of American Horror Story (craziness!!!) and it was my turn to make dinner so I decided on Southwest Chicken and Rice.  This dinner is super easy, all you need is one pan and a great combination of smokey spices, vegetables, chicken, rice, salsa, and spicy pepper jack cheese make it incredibly delicious!

southwest chicken and rice

Start by browning some chicken tenders in oil in a large skillet, sprinkling with spices as they cook.

chicken

After you remove the chicken from the pan add some diced onion and bell pepper (the kitchen and probably much of your house will start to smell incredibly delicious at this point, this is normal).

onion and pepper

Stir in rice, garlic, and cilantro.

add rice

Add salsa (you should probably eat some with tortilla chips, ya know, just to be sure it’s good).

add salsa

After this has all cooked together for a few minutes add some water, black beans, and corn.

black beans and corn

Add the chicken back to the pan and cover, cooking until the rice soft and the chicken is completely cooked through.

return chicken

Sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese (everyone loves cheese and if they don’t you should probably reconsider why you’re cooking them dinner…), recover, and let it melt.

melt cheese

Serve with extra salsa, sour cream, and guacamole (try my recipe here) as desired.

Southwest Chicken and Rice

 

Recipe

Southwest Chicken and Rice

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 pounds of chicken tenders

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon dried cilantro

salt & pepper

1 large sweet onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

2 cups rice

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 cups southwest salsa – plus more for serving

3 cups water

16 oz can black beans – drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn

8 oz pepper jack cheese – shredded

sour cream – optional for serving

guacamole – optional for serving

– In a large skillet heat the oil and add the chicken tenders, sprinkle with paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper, brown both sides (about 3 minutes on each side) then remove to a plate

– Place the onion, pepper, and cilantro in the skillet and cook until tender (about 5 minutes)

– Add the rice and garlic to the skillet and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes

– Stir in the salsa

– Add the water, black beans, and corn

– Return the chicken to the skillet, laying on top of the rice, cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is done and the chicken is cooked through

– Serve, topping with extra salsa, sour cream, and guacamole as desired

 

Zucchini Nachos

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Zucchini Nachos

It’s no secret that I have a major obsession with Mexican food.  I’m always trying to think up new ways to make Mexican food so when I saw this recipe for Grilled Zucchini Nachos from one of my favorite food blogs, Two Peas and Their Pod, I knew I had to try to make my own version.  They were cheesy, spicy, delicious, and even healthy!  I highly recommend you pick up some zucchini (from your garden, your local farm stand, the grocery store, anywhere will do!) and make these zucchini nachos this weekend!

zucchini nachoStart by slicing the zucchini.

zuchhini slices

Then grill it!  I used a George Foreman Grill but any old grill will do.

Grilled zucchini

Spread them on baking sheet and cover with cheese.  I used some spicy pepper jack but you can use anything you have on hand.

zucchini and pepper jack

Add some shredded chicken, corn, and more cheese (after all, nachos without cheese are an oxymoron, I used Monterey Jack for the top layer).  If I had had any black beans when I made these I would have thrown them on too.

zucchini nachos pre oven

Bake them in the oven until the cheese is melted.

baked zucchini nachos

Top with lots of fresh salsa and cilantro and squeeze some lime juice over the top (the flavor kind of reminds me of hint of lime chips, which are some of my favorite).

zucchini nachos with toppings

Serve up with some sour cream and guacamole as desired.

Zucchini Nachos

Enjoy!

Zucchini Nachos 2

 

 

Recipe

Zucchini Nachos

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 zucchinis – sliced 1/4″ thick

8 oz pepper jack cheese (or a mix of pepper jack and monterey jack) – shredded

1 chicken breast – shredded (I used this recipe)

1 ear of corn – cut off the cob

1 cup fresh salsa

fresh cilantro – for serving

sour cream (optional for serving)

guacamole (optional for serving – try this recipe)

– Grill the zucchini until tender then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet

– Sprinkle with shredded cheese, chicken, and corn

– Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted

– Top with fresh salsa and serve with sour cream and guacamole as desired

Huevos Rancheros

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Huevos Rancheros

Two of my favorite food genres (yes I describe food in genres) are Mexican food and breakfast food, so Mexican breakfast food is pretty much the perfect food combination in my mind.  A few months ago I had a craving for Mexican breakfast food so I looked around the cupboards and my house to see what I could make.  I came up with these super easy huevos rancheros that turned out to be a delicious combination of slightly crispy tortilla chips, tangy salsa, melty cheese, and hot eggs, they’re now a regular on my breakfast menu!

Huevos Rancheros

I started by making some microwave nachos, I used to make these all the time as an after school snack.  Spread some tortilla chips on a plate, top with salsa and shredded cheese, and pop them in the microwave.  You can use any kind of salsa you want, I like to use jarred southwest salsa since it has black beans in and and the jarred salsa tends to have more juice than fresh salsa.

microwave nachos

Then you fry some eggs to your liking, I usually go with over easy to over medium.  Place the eggs on top of the nachos.

nachos with eggs

Top the eggs with more salsa, then shred some cheese on top, cover with a pan lid and let sit until the cheese melts.

huevos rancheros melted

Serve with guacamole as you like.

Huevos Rancheros

Enjoy a delicious breakfast!

Huevos Rancheros bite

 

 

Recipe

Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2

Ingredients

corn tortilla chips  (about 20)

1 cup southwest salsa

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 eggs

salt & pepper

guacamole (optional for serving – try this recipe)

– Place a layer of tortilla chips (about 10) on a plate, cover with salsa and shredded cheese, microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted, repeat with another plate

– Fry the eggs with a little salt & pepper according to your preference (I like mine over easy to over medium)

– Place 2 eggs on each plate on top of the nachos, top with more salsa and shredded cheese, cover the plate with a pan lid and let the cheese melt

– Top the eggs with guacamole as desired and serve

 

 

Guacamole

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Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my all time favorite snacks (although if I’m being honest I could easily eat enough to make it a meal).  If I have guacamole in hand you can bet that I’ll incorporate into just about any food I’m eating, eggs, burgers, sandwiches, salads, most things can be improved with some guac!  I love making homemade guacamole, it’s soooo simple and it tastes about a thousand times better than store bought, try it, I’m sure you’ll agree!

guacamole on plate

Make sure you have ripe avocados (they should be brown and should give a little when you squeeze them) and cut them in half.

avocados

Remove the pits (they should come out easily if the avocados are ripe) and cut the flesh into chunks while it’s in the skin.

chunked in skin

Scoop the flesh into a bowl (I use a tupperware container so I don’t have to transfer it for storage) using a spoon and mash with a potato masher (you can use a fork if you don’t have a potato masher).

potato masher

Add some lime zest and juice and mix it all up with the potato masher.

add lime juice and zest

Stir in some fresh salsa (I use store bought but if you’re feeling ambitious knock yourself out and make your own).

fresh salsa

And some grated garlic.

grated garlic

And some spices: fresh cilantro (I’ve used dried cilantro in a pinch, but fresh really is better for this), cumin, and chili powder.  Then stir it all up until it’s well combined.

stir guac

Serve it up with some chips.

guacamole

So delicious.

Guac on chip

Really, words cannot properly express how much I love guacamole, I guess it’s a good thing a picture is worth a thousand words.

guacamole on plate

And here’s another thousand, that’s how much yummy this is!

chip dipped in guacamole

Recipe

Guacamole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

3 ripe Haas avocados

2 limes – zest and juice (if your limes are really large or juicy use the juice from 1 1/2)

1/2 cup fresh salsa

2 cloves garlic – grated

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro – chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

– Halve the avocados and remove the pits

– Cut into chunks in the skin then scoop the flesh into a bowl using a spoon

– Slightly mash the avocado chunks with a potato masher

– Add the lime zest and juice to the avocado and mash with the potato masher until you reach your desired consistency

– Add the salsa and garlic and stir to combine

– Stir in the spices

– Serve with tortilla chips or assorted vegetables