1/3/17 ChefElla's Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps

During the new year many people make plans to exercise more, eat better, and just get healthier.  While these are great goals, not everyone you cook for may want to make the same changes.  So why not start with a few small changes that everyone can agree on.  For example, in my Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps I added beans for good carbohydrates, substituted lettuce for high calorie tortillas, and left all of the great flavors in the rest of the meal.  And if one of your friends or family does not like lettuce they can eat their Fajitas with rice, tortillas, or corn chips.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a knife and cutting board, a medium bowl, a small bowl, a mixing spoon, a large sauté pan and the stove.

If you are not allowed to use a knife or the stove by yourself, you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps (4-6 servings)

1 lb.                   Chicken Breast or Tenders, Small Dice (Bite sized pieces)

1 ½ Cup             Onion, Red or White, Small Dice (about 1 medium onion)

1 ¼ Cup              Green Pepper, Small Dice (about 1 large green pepper)

1 Can                  Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed (16 oz. Can)

1 Can                  Tomato Sauce (15 oz. Can)

1 pkg.                  Taco Seasoning, Low Sodium

2 Tbl.                   Olive Oil

2 Heads              Boston Bibb or Romaine Lettuce

Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream

8 oz.                     Light Sour Cream

1 ea.                      Avocado, Small Dice

¼ Cup                   Cilantro, Minced (1/4 cup of leaves packed)

½ tsp                     Salt, Sea or Kosher

3.     Prepare onions and peppers and put into your medium bowl.  Clean and mince cilantro and put into your small bowl for later.  Cut up the chicken breast.  By cutting your chicken last you can use your cutting board and knife for multiple tasks without needing to change it out or clean it.

4.     Heat your sauté pan on high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions and peppers to the pan.  Mix well to coat with the oil.  Turn the pan to medium high heat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until the vegetables begin to brown.  Return the vegetables back to the bowl and return the sauté pan to the stove on medium high heat.

5.     Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the chicken pieces.  Mix well to coat with oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Mix chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6.     Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, cooked vegetables, and pinto beans to the chicken.  Mix well turn the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

7.     Turn the fajita mix to low until you are ready to eat.

8.     In your small bowl with the cilantro add your sour cream and salt.  Cut the avocado in half by slowly cutting around the pit.  Remove the pit and slice the avocado half in the pod into thin slices.  Turn the avocado 90 degrees and slice into thin slices again.  Repeat this process with the other half of the avocado.  Scoop the avocado into the sour cream with a spoon.

9.     Using a table fork mix the sour cream and avocado.  Mash the avocado against the side of the bowl so that it mixes into the sour cream as you blend it.

10.  Clean your lettuce by removing the lettuce leaves from the stem.  Carefully wash the leaves and let them dry on a clean dish towel. 

11.  Assemble your fajitas by scooping 2-3 tablespoons of the fajita mixture into a lettuce cup.  Top with avocado sour cream.  Eat it just like a taco.

If not everyone at your house likes lettuce wraps, simply serve the fajita mix over rice, as nachos, or on a tortilla.  This recipe is also great for lunch the next day or as a salad.



Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring the ingredients

Mixing the avocado cilantro sour cream

Picking the cilantro leaves

Pulling the lettuce apart

Older helpers can help by:

Dicing vegetables

Cooking the fajita mixture

5/3/16 ChefElla's Chipotle Potato Enchiladas with Enchilada Gravy

Cinco de Mayo is this week, and while I could have easily made tacos or stopped at my favorite Mexican restaurant, this year I wanted to make something a little different.  For my Cinco de Mayo I decided to make Chipotle Potato Enchiladas.  And while we do not normally think of potatoes when we think of Mexican food, potatoes are indigenous to South America, and have made their way into the Mexican cuisine.  So try something a little different for your fiesta this year, potatoes!  Buen Provecho!

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a medium mixing bowl, a knife and cutting board, a strainer, a sauce pan, a whisk, a 9 X 13 baking dish, the stove,  and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, stove or oven by yourself you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Chipotle Potato Enchiladas with Enchilada Gravy (10 pieces)

Chipotle Potatoes

1 Lb.               Yukon Gold Potatoes, Medium Diced (Do not peel the potatoes.)

2 Tbl.              Butter

1 Cup              Cheese, Shredded (Cheddar, Mexican Mix, Monteray Jack, or Cotija)

1 tsp               Garlic, Minced, Fresh

1/8 Cup          Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, Minced (Mince the peppers with sauce & then measure)

                       -If you like your food spicy use ¼ cup of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo.

½ tsp               Salt

1 tsp                Cumin, Ground

Enchilada Gravy

4 Tbl.               Butter

4 Tbl.               All Purpose Flour or 3 Tbl. All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 oz.                 Taco Seasoning, Low Sodium (1 packet)

2 Tbl.                Cumin, Ground

3 ½  Cups         Chicken Stock

Other Ingredients

10 ea.                 Corn Tortillas, 6 inch, Room Temperature

1 Cup                  Cheese, Shredded (Cheddar, Mexican Mix, Monteray Jack, or Cotija)

3.     Pre-heat your oven to 375F.

4.     Add potatoes to your sauce pan and add enough water to cover the potatoes.

5.     Heat the sauce pan on the stove on high heat.  When the water comes to a boil cook for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender to the bite.  Do not overcook or the potatoes will turn to mush and get grainy.

6.     Remove the potatoes from the heat, drain the water away from the potatoes, and place potatoes in your mixing bowl.  Add all of the chipotle potato ingredients to the bowl and mix using a large fork or metal spoon.  Mash the ingredients together until they are blended.  You want some chunks of potato in your mashed potatoes so there is no need to mix until the potatoes are smooth.  Set the potatoes aside to cool.  Rinse your sauce pan.

7.     Return your sauce pan to the stove and heat on medium-high heat.  Add butter.  When the butter is melted mix in your flour with your whisk to create a roux (roo).  The roux will have a blond look.  Mix the roux every 20-30 seconds until it cooks to a nice golden color.

8.     Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and whisk.  When the roux and stock look like paste add another cup of stock.  Mix well.  Stir occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the pan.  When the sauce begins to bubble, add the remaining stock, and mix well.

9.     When the sauce begins to bubble turn the heat to low and add the taco seasoning and cumin and mix well.  Cook for 2-3 more minutes and remove from the heat.

10.  Add ½ cup of the gravy to the bottom of your baking dish and spread all over the bottom.

11.  To make your enchiladas, begin by dipping your tortilla in the gravy to coat both sides.  Let any excess sauce drip back into the pan.  Place the tortilla on a plate or large piece of aluminum foil.  Put 3 tablespoons of the mashed potatoes in a line along the middle of your tortilla.  This process is a little messy and that is ok.

12.  Carefully roll the tortilla.  Corn tortillas can be fragile before they are cooked.  If they tear a little it is ok.  Place the enchilada into the pan with the open side down.

13.  Repeat the process until all of your enchiladas are filled and in the pan.

14.  Top the enchiladas with 1 cup of the enchilada gravy.  If you like your enchiladas really saucy you can use all of the sauce or keep the rest to serve with your enchiladas.

15.  Top the enchiladas with 1 cup of shredded cheese.

16.  Bake the enchiladas for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve.

Serve your enchiladas with sour cream, cheese, black olives, fresh pico de gallo, chopped green onions, avocados or guacamole, or your favorite topping.



Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring out ingredients

Adding the ingredients to the mashed potatoes

Topping the enchiladas with cheese

Older helpers can help by:

Dicing the potatoes or other ingredients

Mixing the mashed potatoes

Dipping and rolling the enchiladas