Follow-up: Recipes Tried

In case you are hungry for a very Mexican dish or a vegetarian pasta dish, the two I tried last week were a pretty good success!

First: Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in cubes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained
8 flour tortillas (8 in), cut into 1-in strips
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, saute the chicken, cumin and salt in 1 tbsp oil until chicken is no longer pink.

Combine the refried beans and tomatoes; spread 1 cup into a greased 11-in x 7-in baking dish. Top with 24 tortilla strips; layer with half of the corn, bean mixture, chicken and cheese. Repeat layers.

Using remaining tortilla strips make a lattice crust over filling; brush with remaining oil. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

When I made it, my casserole dish was more of a 9-in square and I forgot to drain the tomatoes…but that didn’t seem to make a difference. It was interesting as I fudged around with making a lattice with cut up tortillas; it came out decent. All in all, it was basically a Mexcian lasagna and it was pretty tasty!


Second: Cheesy Broccoli Rigatoni

12 oz uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 cups fat free milk
5 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute garlic in butter over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in flour and salt until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; set aside. Drain pasta and toss with oil; set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water and broccoli to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a 13-in x 9-in baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer 1 cup white sauce, half of the pasta and broccoli and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

With this recipe everything went great until I forgot the cooking spray (it didn’t seem to matter), then I realized that the broccoli needed to have already been cooked or done at the same time as the sauce. The recipe didn’t make that very clear…to me anyway. The sauce sat too long and thickened too much waiting for the broccoli to cook, so the dish was a little sticky in my opinion. Still tasted great though, the fresh broccoli made is soooo great!! The other thing was that the foil cover needed to come off for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking to really heat the dish through.

Neither recipe was hard to do as it is clear I am no chef. Try if you may and I’m sure you will enjoy!

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