Archive for January 24, 2015

Green Salsa Chicken (Slow Cooker)

My husband loves spicy food, but I’ve never really liked it too much. (It makes my mouth burn like it’s on fire!) This particular recipe is just about as spicy as I can handle it but I really liked it! (Yes, I even went back for seconds!) This chicken will definitely be on the menu again! 🙂

If you like really spicy/hot food, just use hot salsa. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Just a few ingredients. If you want your chicken hot, just use hot salsa.

Just a few ingredients. If you want your chicken hot, just use hot salsa.

Put the green salsa, taco seasoning, and salt in your slow cooker (crock pot).

Put the green salsa, taco seasoning, and salt in your slow cooker (crock pot).

Slice the onions really thin.

Slice the onions really thin and layer over the salsa mixture.

Layer the onions over the salsa mixture and lay the chicken over the top.

Layer the onions over the salsa and onion mixture and lay the chicken over the top.

When the chicken is done, shred it and add some of the salsa-juice.

When the chicken is done, shred it and add some of the salsa mixture.

Serve over rice...or, like I did, over cilantro lime rice. (It was really good!)

Serve over rice…or, like I did, over cilantro lime rice. (It was really good!)

Green Salsa Chicken (Slow Cooker)

1 1/2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

1 Large Sweet Onion, sliced thin*

1 Tbls Taco Seasoning**

1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste

1/2 Cup Green Salsa (I used Herdez Salsa Verde)

*Note: Slicing the onions thinly helps them cook at the same rate as the chicken.

**You can also use the Taco and Burrito Seasoning from this blog.

Directions:

1. Place the green salsa, taco seasoning and salt in the slow cooker (crock pot). Then, layer the thinly sliced onions on top.

2. Remove any visible fat from the chicken thighs and place them in a single layer over the onions. Cook on low 8-9 hours, or on high 5-6 hours.

3. When chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker. Place it in a bowl and shred it with two forks. Add enough of the salsa mixture from the slow cooker to make it very moist, but not soupy.

4. Serve hot over rice or Cilantro Lime Rice.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Drop Biscuits (from scratch)

I’ll admit it…sometimes I “cheat” and just use good ole Bisquick…but sometimes ya just GOTTA have homemade biscuits! And, since I don’t live close enough to have Mama’s homemade biscuits, I make these. (They’re almost as fast as using Bisquick!)

They’re definitely not Mama’s biscuits…but they come mighty close! 🙂

Mix together the flour, sugar (if using), salt and baking powder.

Mix together the flour, sugar (if using), salt and baking powder.

With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening til the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening til the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Pour in the half & half.

Pour in the half & half.

Mix just til everything is incorporated. Don't over mix! Then, drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheet.

Mix just til everything is incorporated. Don’t over mix! Then, drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheet.

As soon as they come out of the oven, brush the tops with melted butter.

As soon as they come out of the oven, brush the tops with melted butter.

As my hubby used to say to our daughters when they were little, "Yummy yummy, to my tummy!"

As my hubby used to say to our daughters when they were little, “Yummy yummy, to my tummy!”

Drop Biscuits (from scratch)

1/4 Cup Shortening

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 Tbls Sugar (optional)

3 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 Cup Milk

2 Tbls Butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Mix together the flour, sugar (if using), baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut the shortening into the flour mixture til it resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Pour the half & half into the crumb mixture. Stir just til everything is incorporated. Don’t over mix!

4. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your prepared baking pan (cookie sheet). Bake for 10-12 minutes til tops are light, golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the melted butter over the tops of the biscuits.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Mini Broccoli Cheese Quiches

I’ve never been much of a quiche person but this is a great, easy recipe…and it tastes wonderful! It’s great as a side dish or you can use it for brunch. It’s also sure to please my vegetarian friends! 🙂

Bon appétit!

Chop the broccoli into small pieces.

Chop the broccoli into small pieces.

Steam the broccoli for 5-7 minutes til it starts to get tender. (not soggy)

Steam the broccoli for 5-7 minutes til it starts to get tender. (not soggy)

Whisk together the eggs and half and half...

Whisk together the eggs and half and half…

...then add the steamed broccoli and cheese. Mix well.

…then add the steamed broccoli and cheese. Mix well.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.

Fresh out of the oven...they look SO GOOD!

Fresh out of the oven…they look SO GOOD!

Voila! The oh-so-good finished product!

Voila! The oh-so-good finished product!

Mini Broccoli and Cheese Quiches

3 Cups Broccoli, chopped into small pieces

4 Eggs

1/3 Cup Half & Half

1 Cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese (or your choice)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tins. (Makes 12.)

Steam the chopped broccoli 5-7 minutes til it just starts to get tender, not soggy. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and half and half. Add broccoli, cheese and salt and pepper, if using. Mix well.

Divide mixture between the cups in your muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or til set. 

Allow quiches to cool in the pan about 5 minutes. Remove and serve.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Basic Pie Crust

Finally….I’m sharing the pie crust recipe I promised you! When I made it recently, I hadn’t made my own crust in quite a while so I wasn’t sure if I could make it turn out very well. Long story short? It did!!! (Whew!) This pie crust really is amazing!

Put the shortening in with the flour...

Put the shortening in with the flour and salt…

...and use a pastry blender (or two knives) to blend them together til they look like coarse crumbs.

…and use a pastry blender (or two knives) to blend them together til they look like small peas.

Mix in the cold water with a fork til the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.

Mix in the cold water, 1 Tbls at a time, with a fork til the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.

On a floured surface, pat the dough down a little...

On a floured surface, pat the dough down a little…

...and roll it out to about a quarter inch thickness.

…and roll it out to about a quarter inch thickness. (Or a little thinner)

After you've rolled it out, fold it into fourths.

After you’ve rolled it out, fold it into fourths.

Then, place it into your pie pan and unfold it. Gently press it into the pan.

Then, place it into your pie pan and unfold it. Gently press it into the pan.

Tuck the edge under, all the way around.

Tuck the edge under, all the way around.

I've found the easiest way to do the sides is just press a fork all the way around the crust. Now, time bake your pie...perhaps the Out-of-This-World Pecan Pie that I have on here?? ;)

I’ve found the easiest way to do the sides is just press a fork all the way around the crust. Now, time bake your pie…perhaps the Out-of-This-World Pecan Pie that I have on here?? 😉

Basic Pie Crust

One-Crust Pie (9-Inch):

1/3 Cup plus 1 Tbls Shortening

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour*

1/4 tsp Salt

2-3 Tbls Cold Water

One Crust Pie (10-Inch):

1/2 Cup Shortening

1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour*

1/2 tsp Salt

3-4 Tbls Cold Water

Two Crust Pie (9-Inch):

2/3 Cup plus 2 Tbls Shortening

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour*

1 tsp Salt

4-5 Tbls Water

Two-Crust Pie (10-Inch):

1 Cup Shortening

2 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour*

1 tsp Salt

7-8 Tbls Water

Measure flour and salt into a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the shortening til mixture looks like small peas. Add in water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork. Do this til all the flour is moistened and the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. (You can add 1 or 2 teaspoons water, if necessary.)

Make the dough into a ball and pat it down slightly on a generously floured surface. (If making the 2-crust pie, here’s where you divide the dough in half and make each into a ball.)

Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a circle that’s approximately a quarter-inch thick. (It should measure about 2 inches bigger than an inverted pie pan.) Without pressing down, fold the dough circle into fourths. Place into the pie pan and unfold, pressing it into the bottom and on the sides of the pan.

For the one-crust pie, trim the edges of the crust til you only have about 1 inch of over-hang. Fold the edge under, so it’s even with the pan’s rim. Then, flute it as you’d like. I like to just press a fork all the way around. (It’s so easy!) Fill the crust and bake as directed in your recipe.

For a baked pie crust, Heat oven to 475°F. Using a fork, prick holes over the bottom and sides of the crust. Bake 8-10 minutes, or til it’s light brown. Cool and fill as directed in your recipe.

For a two-crust pie: After adding filling to one crust, trim the over-hang to about 1/2-inch from the pan’s rim. Roll out the second crust. Fold into fourths and lay the crust over the filling. Unfold crust and trim it to about 1 inch from the pan’s rim. Cut small slits into the top crust to allow it to vent. Fold the top crust edge under the bottom crust edge, pressing firmly to seal. Flute as desired.

*NOTE: I recommend only using all-purpose flour to allow for a better-textured crust.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris

All rights reserved.