Saturday, November 17, 2012

Enchilada Chicken Parmesan Pizza


Did you enjoy that tasty, super cheesy, spicy Baked Enchilada Chicken Parmesan in my last post?

 I sure did. Me and my happy belly.

I still had a couple of leftover chicken parmesan fillets after that and when something is this good, why let it go to waste?


Guess what?  
If you're a pizza freak, then you're in for a real treat!

Pizza is a great way to use up those leftovers. 
All the flavors of that decadent Baked Enchilada Chicken Parmesan dish baked in one pizza. Or maybe two. 

And you can't go wrong with pizza. It's ALWAYS a crowd pleaser.

Delicious chunks of crisp cornmeal crusted chicken parmesan on a thin crust pizza 
oozing with fiery enchilada tomato sauce and gooey, melted cheese... 

There are no words to describe how insanely delicious this is! 
NONE.
 


And my friends gobbled it up in seconds (#WIN). 
They even complained that I didn't make enough pizza. They wanted more.

 They LOVED it!


ENCHILADA CHICKEN PARMESAN PIZZA
Original recipe from Food Wanderings In Asia

2 pre-made pizza dough crusts
1 tsp dried basil 
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated (divided in 2)
8 oz monterey jack cheese, grated  (divided in 2)
4 tbsp grated parmesan (divided in 2)
1 medium white onion, cut into cubes (divided in half for the 2 pizza crusts)
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped coriander / cilantro, topping

Preheat oven to 425 F. 

Chop your chicken parmesan fillets into small cubes. If some of the coating falls off, don't fret. Add the basil to the enchilada sauce. Stir well. Spread your enchilada sauce over one pizza crust. Top with the grated monterey jack cheese evenly, then the grated cheddar cheese, then the parmesan cheese.  Put the chopped cornmeal crusted chicken parmesan (and any tasty cornmeal bits that may have fallen off ) evenly on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the onions over the chicken. Top with a little bit more of the cheese. Then drop small dollops of the sauce on top of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. 

Repeat all the steps for the other pizza crust.

Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. 
          
Then sprinkle some chopped coriander or cilantro just like so.


"Accidentally" cut the pizza into uneven slices .
(Then quickly grab the biggest slice for yourself when no one is looking. 
Shh! Don't tell anyone.)


Just kidding! I'm not that tricksy.
But I do suck at cutting and slicing food.

Here you go. Enjoy the pizza!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chicken Parmesan, the Mexican Way


This has been on my mind for quite some time. The thing is, you have probably seen a lot of Chicken Parmesan recipes out there. I want to do something that is a little different from the rest. That's the beauty of cooking. You can always experiment with the flavors and spices. It may turn out bad. It may turn out great. But I'm willing to take risks. 

So I present my own version of your favorite classic, with a Mexican twist. 

BAKED ENCHILADA CHICKEN PARMESAN

Baked cornmeal crusted chicken that's crisp on the outside, tender and moist inside,
 swimming in delicious, fiery enchilada sauce, covered in melted cheddar cheese. 
There's only one word for it.  

AMAZING

It does take a bit of time to prepare but it is worth it. You can prepare the sauce ahead of time 
and store it in the fridge until you are ready to start cooking. 
The sauce is absolutely THE BEST PART!


BAKED ENCHILADA CHICKEN PARMESAN
Original recipe from Food Wanderings In Asia 

4 skinless chicken breasts fillets, lightly pounded into 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick

Marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder (or taco seasoning)

Cornmeal coating:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2 heaping tbsp taco seasoning, homemade or store bought
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 to 1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt

1 egg + 1 tsp water, seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil

Enchilada Tomato Sauce:
1 10 oz enchilada sauce, hot
400 g crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (or more if you want it really spicy!)
1 tsp adobo sauce
2 tbsp taco seasoning, homemade or store bought
2 tbsp honey
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 tbsp grated parmesan ( optional )
salt and pepper to taste 

4 oz cheddar cheese, grated (add more if you like)
chopped coriander/cilantro for topping

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Put the chicken breast fillets together with the marinade in a ziplock bag. Lightly massage the chicken in the bag then marinate overnight in the fridge. 

Make the sauce. Saute the onion and garlic in a pan with 1 tbsp oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the taco seasoning, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and saute for another minute or two. Add the crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce, dried oregano. Stir to combine. Add the honey. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the chopped cilantro and some parmesan if you like. Give it a good stir. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and blend the sauce until it is smooth (or just slightly chunky). Set aside.



Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil lightly drizzled or brushed with olive oil.

Mix the cornmeal coating ingredients in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg, water, salt and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the ziplock bag. Let the excess marinade drip. Coat the chicken with the cornmeal mixture. Dip it next in the egg mixture then coat it again with the cornmeal. 

Mix the melted butter with the olive oil.  Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet. Drizzle it with the melted butter and olive oil or you can also just spray it with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 


Pour some of the sauce on a baking dish to cover the entire bottom. Arrange the chicken breasts fillets on top of the sauce. Pour more sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle some grated parmesan and cheddar cheese over each chicken. 



Cover the dish with a foil and bake for 10 minutes or more until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle some chopped coriander / cilantro and serve immediately.



And if you're like me, I'd spoon a little bit more of that yummy spicy enchilada sauce on top.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pucker Up!


Remember the sweet, smoky, cheesy, spicy Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches I made? I must have changed my mind about a million times before deciding on that recipe. Then I ran into some trouble making it.

First, the supermarket kept running out of chicken breast fillets. Finally, after my third visit, I was able to buy some. Then I learned not to buy a huge loaf of freshly baked Italian bread when all you have is a small blunt bread knife that takes an eternity just to make even one slice. I practically massacred and mutilated that bread that I had to buy ANOTHER loaf of bread that's already been sliced. Problem solved.

On contrary, this popular Stuffed Cheesy Bread on Crack was a breeze to make. It was just meant to be. 

I guess some days you're up and some days you're down.

Not wanting to waste all that poor Italian bread that didn't make the sandwich, I decided to turn it into something that some of you may be familiar with in a cupcake. 

LEMON POPPYSEED WITH CREAM CHEESE

NO. This isn't a post about ANOTHER lemon poppyseed cupcake with cream cheese frosting. 

I am doing this my way. 

In a BREAD PUDDING. With LEMON SAUCE. YES.

So to all the big lemon fans out there, get ready to pucker up!


If you're a big lemon lover, then you will definitely LOVE this!

It's TART. It's RICH. It's PERFECT!

The bread pudding itself has a subtle lemon flavor, crisp at the top, moist inside but not soggy, with pockets of velvety cream cheese and studded with poppyseeds. The lemon curd sauce delivers the bold tartness right on the spot. The delicious smell of lemons while this bakes in the oven fills your kitchen as you keep looking impatiently at the bread pudding inside the oven, waiting for it to be done. 

Just look at those dollops of smooth, velvety cream cheese and those lovely specks of black poppyseeds. How can you seriously say NO to that? 


The cream cheese stays soft and practically melts in your mouth when you eat it.


Here's the first taste test. Let's take a slice of all this lemony goodness, shall we? 

Hello, gorgeous.


Wait! Aren't you forgetting something? 
Don't you know it's a SIN to eat this WITHOUT the lemon sauce? 

Drizzle some of that warm, luscious, thick lemon curd sauce. Yes, yes, yes, please!

Perfect! Now I'm all ready to eat.

LEMON POPPYSEED CREAM CHEESE BREAD PUDDING WITH LEMON SAUCE
lemon curd sauce recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
lemon poppyseed bread pudding recipe, original from Food Wanderings In Asia

5 1/3 cups bread, day old and cut into cubes
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp poppyseeds

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

Lemon Sauce
3 egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
juice of 2 small lemons
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1/2 of a stick of butter, cut into cubes


Prepare the lemon sauce. 
Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Mix well.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a pan over low heat. Stir constantly for about 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring for 3 minutes or more until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the butter, one cube at a time. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat in the microwave quickly before serving with the bread pudding.

To make the bread pudding:
Heat the milk with the sugar in a pan on low heat (or in a microwave) and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and mix in the heavy cream. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks gradually until well combined. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well. Stir in the poppyseeds. Set aside. 

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese together with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.

Butter an 8x8 inch square baking dish. Arrange half the amount of bread cubes in a single, even layer. Drop dollops of the cream cheese on top of the bread cubes. Pour about 3/4 cup of the custard over the bread cubes. Top with the remaining half of bread cubes. Drop dollops of the remaining cream cheese over the bread. Carefully pour the rest of the custard mixture evenly over the whole thing. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge, covered and let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until the pudding is set. Best served warm drizzled with the lemon sauce.
I'm walking on sunshine. Wooh! And don't it feel good?!