Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Mexican"

Chicken Enchilada's

So I know I have been adding very unhealthy recipes as of late for the upcoming Super Bowl. So, here is something on the healthy side! Who says a Super Bowl party can't be healthy in the first place?? This is a delicious and easy baked chicken enchilada recipe that is only 450 calories for two of them! It is topped with a light and refreshing onion and herb salad, enjoy!

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, halved lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded muenster cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup mixed fresh parsley and cilantro, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno, garlic, thyme and half of the onion. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 6 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a plate. Transfer the cooking liquid and vegetables to a blender; add the tomatoes and allspice and puree with the lid ajar. Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the tomato mixture and cook until slightly reduced, 6 minutes. Pour into a baking dish.
Brush the tortillas with olive oil and put on a baking sheet; bake 5 minutes. Shred the chicken. Top each tortilla with chicken and cheese, then roll up and arrange in the baking dish, seam-side down, spooning some sauce on top. Bake until the cheese melts, 4 minutes.
Toss the herbs, remaining onion, and salt to taste. Sprinkle on top.

Homemade Salsa

Ahhhh Summer, one of my favorite times of year. The smell of fresh cut grass and bbq's in the air. This past weekend we had a cookout for Mother's Day, well a cook-in since the weather didn't cooperate. I had a craving the whole week for salsa and when asked if I was bringing anything to the party I figured, what the heck, I'll bring some salsa! There is just no comparison between homemade salsa and store bought, the freshness factor just makes it so much more flavorful. The best part?? It literally takes 10 min to make, win-win in my book! 

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes w/ Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel, diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, sliced 
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced 

This is quite a large batch of salsa, which is great for a party. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I actually charred the outside of the Jalapeno's first with a blowtorch to give it some smokey-ness, this is of course optional). Transfer with a spoon to a food processor bowl, depending on the size of your food processor you'll have to do a few batches. Pulse 10-15 times until you get a nice consistency. Transfer to a container and repeat until you have used all the mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving or can it for delicious salsa all year long!

**Note: If you want your salsa to be less spicy, remove some of the jalapeno seeds and membrane...that's where all the heat is**

Song of the Recipe

I have always loved Pearl Jam and when Eddie Veder released this solo album, it definitely made me curious. But, it's an awesome album and made me fall in love with the Ukulele. This whole album is perfect for patio sitting & margarita drinking! 

Charred Cajun Bruschetta

If you haven't gotten the hint yet...I like spicy. I like to take recipes and give them a little cajun/southwest flavor. Like bruschetta for example, it's such a classic italian appetizer that tastes delicious the traditional way, but it's also a recipe that you can have a lot of creative freedom with to make it into something different. So by charring all the vegetables under a broiler adds in a little smokey flavor, adding in some jalapeno gives it some heat, and using cilantro and lime juice gives it some of those southwest flavors. Figuring out what flavors makes you tick when trying to take your cooking skills to the next level is important. Once you figure out your "voice" in the kitchen, you can take any classic recipe and really make it your own.

  • 2 Lbs Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion; halved with skin removed
  • 3 Jalapeno's, halved and seeded
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
  • French Baguette
  • Fresh Mozzarella; sliced

Set broiler to high.

Place tomatoes, jalapeno's and red onion skin side up on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Drizzle all the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Place pan 4" below the broiler and broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Once the vegetables are cooled, dice them and mix them all together in a zip lock bag. Add in the minced garlic, cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix all the ingredients together until incorporated.

Slice baguette into 1/4" thick slices on the bias and toast them in the oven. Once toasted, top with sliced mozzarella and the charred vegetable mixture. Serve as a side with the Cajun Sweet Potato Soup.  


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