chicken enchilada bake

Chicken Enchilada Bake

i’m currently at the beach
that’s all i’ve got.
i have this chicken enchilada bake.
but that’s it.
have a great week!

Chicken Enchilada Bake

chicken enchilada bake
adapted from tasting table

note: cilantro would be better in this, but i didn’t have any so i used green scallions. i needed the pop of color

2 cups worth of shredded rotisserie chicken
1 onion, quartered
1 large garlic clove
1 dried ancho chile pepper, reconstituted in hot water
2 16 oz jar of salsa: salsa roja and salsa verde (you can use regular canned enchilada sauce if you want)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, i used cabot’s extra sharp cheddar
1/2 cup chopped green scallions
corn tortilla
garnish: diced avocado and sliced radishes

pre-heat oven to 400F

in a pan, or in my case, in a pie dish, add the quartered onion and garlic clove. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. roast for 15 – 20 minutes. remove from oven.

lower heat to 350F

in a vitamix, blitz together the roasted onions and garlic with the salsa and ancho chile pepper. set aside.

in a bowl with the shredded chicken, add about a cup of the salsa, a sprinkle of the green onions and mix thoroughly.


in a round casserole dish, layer the ingredients:
shredded chicken
shredded cheese
green onions
end with the salsa and cheese

bake in oven for 30 minutes, until melted and all bubbly and pretty.

top with avocado, radishes and more green onions.


Chicken Enchilada Bake

3 years ago: chocolate wonderfuls
2 years ago: blueberry clafoutis
1 year ago: strawberries + kefir popsicles

Somen Noodle Bowl

Somen Noodle Bowl

i finished two books recently,
which isn’t very remarkable
when i think about the period of time
in high school when i was able to knock out
a book a day.
sure, school work likely suffered,
but damn if i couldn’t just open
up a book at 1:38pm after 7th period
and lose myself.
if i find myself in a particularly
engrossing story
i tell dw it’s his turn to make dinner
or i throw something very
quick and easy together
and call it dinner.
either way,
i’m able to put my nose back into the pages.

Somen Noodle Bowl

fyi, for those interested,
i read:
me, earl & the dying girl
me before you
i know, so depressing
but they’re fast reads
and available as movies as now.

Somen Noodle Bowl

somen noodle bowl
makes enough for 2

*note: the way japanese noodles are packaged makes life easier. it’s usually already been divvied up into servings so i can tell dw how much to cook up. in this case: 2 servings. somen noodles also don’t clump, i’ve only ever used them cold and they are still really good the next day.
**note: this is ridiculous fast and easy, i may have been reading while i was making this.

2 bundles of somen noodles, cooked according to package instructions

2-3 TBL tamarin or soy sauce
2-3 TBL rice vinegar or mirin
2 TBL sesame oil
splash of maple syrup, optional (just for taste)

seaweed dressing:
2 sheets of nori/seaweed, shredded by hand
2-3 TBL toasted sesame seeds, very important to toast!
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
pinch of salt

topping options:
sliced cucumbers
fried or boiled egg
kim chi or shredded cabbage
2-3 scallions, sliced thin
sesame seeds
nuts, like crushed peanuts or cashews
carrots, matchsticks

essentially, for every component of this recipe: the noodles, the sauce and the sesame dressing, make/mix ingredients accordingly.

divvy up the noodles into two bowls. you can either pour the sauce and mix throughout the noodles and then top with whatever.

or you can assemble your bowl with the noodles and topped with whatever and then pour in the sauce.

either way, it works and it’s easy.


Somen Noodle Bowl

3 years ago: strawberry sweet biscuit
2 years ago: strawberries & cream pavlova
1 year ago: yarn cupcakes

creamy polenta and roasted mushrooms

Creamy Polenta + Roasted Mushrooms

this spring has kinda crept up on me
but i feel like i’ve made a valiant effort
at catching up —
winter clothes were packed up,
dressing room tidied up
and garbs not touched for ages
were given up.
i feel lighter already.

i start a new job this week,
one i didn’t even know i was looking for
but one that i fought very hard for.
while the warmth makes its way
into our days,
and i’m figuring out my way,
you can follow along over on IG.

happy spring!

Creamy Polenta + Roasted Mushrooms

creamy polenta and roasted mushrooms – gluten free
inspired by yotam ottolenghi and america’s test kitchen

*note: i have made ottolenghi’s mushroom and herb polenta, sans the cheese, and it’s delicious. but rather than frying the shrooms i wanted to try roasting them. enter america’s test kitchen with their scientific brine action. this entire dish was all about prepping and getting the mise en place in place, but once that was all done, it was quick to throw together.
**note: rather than grate parmesan over top the entire dish, i made a smoked egg yolk bottarga, that might be my new fave ingredient.

mushroom brine
1 lb white button mushrooms, stems removed, quartered or halved, keep sizes relatively the same
5 teaspoons kosher salt
6 cups water

in big bowl combine the salt and water. stir to mix. add in the cut mushrooms and keep them submerged with a heavy plate. ignore for 15 minutes.

mushroom seasoning
generous drizzle of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
thyme, amount to your liking
4-5 sage leaves, rough chopped

preheat oven to 400F

remove mushroom from brine and dry on kitchen towel. clean and dry the bowl that had the brine water. in that bowl add in the oil, minced garlic and herbs. toss the brined mushrooms in the bowl and then spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

roast for 30 minutes. they will shrink down significantly, fyi.

remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

*fyi: an alternative way: roast the mushrooms, without the herbs and garlic but coated in olive oil immediately after dried from brine. roast for 20 minutes, remove from oven and then toss with the herbs and garlic with another drizzle of olive oil. roast for remaining 10 minutes.

polenta – made according to package instructions, enough for two hungry people
2 TBL grated smoked egg yolk bottarga
(parmesan cheese can be used instead)
2 TBL chopped parsley, garnish

on serving platter or in a bowl, pour the creamy polenta. top with the roasted mushrooms, get as much of the herbs and garlic goodness as possible. grate the egg yolk bottarga or parmesan cheese over top and garnish with the chopped parsley. serve immediately.


Creamy Polenta + Roasted Mushrooms

other mushroom goodness:
mushroom stroganoff
homemade banh cuon chay, with mushroom filling

Jose’s Paella

Jose's Paella

some weeks ago,
when the air still had a bite of winter
and the gloom of february seemed ever present,
(kinda like how this past weekend was,
except it’s way past the middle of march)
we had a paella party.
kinda sorta like the time
i spent with nuria’s family in barçelona.
nuria’s dad, jose,
cooked up a storm.
there was always something to eat.
and one of the things he made was paella.
every so often
i am able to convince nuria to make it for me.
it’s especially hard now that she technically lives in california,
but for the time being,
while she lives with us in baltimore,
i’m getting my fill of paella.
this was made in the dead of winter,
and as the weather warms,
and fresh spring vegetables make an appearance,
i see another paella party happening…

Jose's Paella

jose’s paella
makes enough for 6 people, or 3 very hungry people

*note: this was all nuria, i stuck my head in a few times to take pictures but she did all the cooking. from what i gathered, make sure you have your mise en place together.

1 lb sushi rice
1/2 cups olive oil
1 TBL minced garlic
2 Liters seafood stock (best if from scratch, recipe to follow)
1/4 cup white wine
1 TBL saffron or tumeric
1/3 cup simple marinara, ideally sofrito
8 shrimps, with heads on
12 mussels
1/2 lb small scallops
1/2 lb sliced squid or calamari
1 lb of white fish, cute in bite sized chunks (tilapia, monkfish, or cod are great choices)
12 bize-size chunks of pork ribs (any meat will do, even chicken)
1 big lemon, cut into 6 wedges, to garnish
1 roasted red pepper in long strips, to garnish

carefully detach heads from shrimp, using your hands, don’t cut it and in a small pan infuse the heads with the olive oil for 20 minutes. do not bring the oil to a strong boil, aim for a light simmer.

meanwhile, in a big pot add in the stock, saffron (or tumeric), white wine and marinara. strain the olive oil from heads, set aside the infused olive oil and add the heads to the pot with the stock to simmer for 30 minutes, covered.

clean the shrimp and set aside.

in a pan sautee these items separately, but use the same oil and pan: fish, squid, and meat, with a pinch of salt and garlic. mise en place each item.

in the pan that will be used to make the paella, heat the rice with the shrimp-infused olive oil, medium-high heat. make sure each grain is coated and warmed through. all the while the stock should be at a light boil, the key is to keep the stock and rice at the same temp.

add 1-2 ladle-fuls of stock into the pan, enough to cover the rice. the rice will absorb the stock gradually, like cooking risotto. stir every 102 minutes to prevent scorching. as the stock is being reduced and absorbed, continue to add ladle-fuls of the stock to the pan, stirring as well.

at around the 10 minute mark, add the fish, meat, and squid. cook for 5 more minutes.

when the rice is still on the al dente side but is just about to get soft, around the 14-15 minute, add the scallops, mussels and cleaned shrimp. place the mussels and shrimp following the same pattern as a bike tire with 6-8 spokes.

now leave the pan alone, don’t stir it, but keep the pan moist by adding stock, a ladle at a time. the cooking time of the sushi rice should be around 18-20 minutes.

turn off stove, remove pan from heat, add the lemon wedges and the roasted red pepper strips, cover sand ignore for 5-10 minutes. the rice will continue to absorb the stock and cook in those minutes.

serve immediately. any leftovers can be eaten at room temp.


Jose's Paella

other international dishes:
african chicken stew
caribean oxtail stew
lamb larb
vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowl

feijoada – Brazilian Bean Stew


we’ve been waking to low temps lately,
maybe not as low as the northern states,
but lower than the southern states,
and you know what?
low is low
and comparison is the thief of joy.
our kitchen is currently out of commission
but before we started
the renovation
dw made a stew that warmed us through,
staving off the chill,
and comparing to all other stews
i’ve thrown together,
let’s just say it’s
such a joy that dw can cook too.


feijoada – a brazilian bean stew
as dictated to me from dw who read 5 recipes and then mashed them all together

*note: feijoada is a stew of portuguese origin, with the respective portuguese colonies having versions of their own. dw went with a brazilian bent, though we did top off with asian rice vinegar to cut through the richness. using lime would be fine too. finish the meal with some slices of clementines or tangerines, to cleanse the palate. this is a super fatty, but sooooo good, stew.

1 onion, fine diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
6 slices of smoky bacon
1 lb pork shoulder, large cubes
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
chorizo sausage links, sliced
3 bay leaves
dried chili flake to taste, optional
1 TBL coriander seeds, toasted and then finely ground
enough water or stock to cover
rice vinegar to serve

in a pan with a bit of olive oil saute the onions until translucent season with salt, add in the garlic and coriander seed to warm through. add the entire onion and garlic saute to the bottom of crock pot.

return pan to stove top and cook the bacon until crispy. pull bacon out and crumble. add to onion/garlic mixture in crock pot. (though, it can be added at the end, prior to eating. up to you).

drain off excess bacon fat, but reserving enough fat to cover pan (about 1-2 TBL) and brown the pork cubes on all sides. add pork cubes to crock pot.

saute the chorizo sausage, just to give it crisp edges. add to crock pot.

add soaked beans to crock pot, discarding the soaking water.

add the bay leaf and smattering of dried chili flakes, if using.

add water or stock to cover.

put crock pot on high until beans are soft, about 4 hours.

serve over plain rice with splash of rice vinegar and side of clementine slices.



1 year ago: frozen old fashioned waffles
2 years ago: kale + tofu balls with pasta
another portuguese concoction: chicken curry + chorizo and olives