Friday, January 25, 2008

Chicken Nachos
with Homemade Pickled Jalapeño Rings

Party food in a flash! Chicken Nachos (recipe below) are quick and easy to assemble with rotisserie chicken, black beans, grilled peppers, homemade pickled jalapeños (recipe below!), cheddar and more. Seriously good stuff!

Chicken Nachos ♥ KitchenParade.com, quick 'n' easy high-protein nachos. WW8.

Forget politics. The Super Bowl is America’s Grand Old Party and the XLII-th contest happens February 3.

St. Louisans, we may miss the Kurt Warner glory years, but look on the bright side. The Rams’ 3 – 13 season lets us point our remote controls to the Big Game’s best plays: the television commercials, the half-time show and the party food. Go team!

Hosting a football party? Taking food along to someone else's party? Look for lots of ideas in this collection of recipes, Football Fever!. For more cold-weather parties, check out this collection, Chillin: Chili, Chowder with a Side of Cornbread. For Cinco de Mayo or Mexican-themed gatherings, you'll find more recipes ideas with Mexican recipes.

GAME-DAY PRETZELS (photo below) Warm 6 ounces of popcorn oil, then stir in a packet of Ranch dressing mix, 2 teaspoons of dill weed and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. With your hands, work the spice mixture into 2 pounds of small pretzels (shapes work better than pretzel sticks). Place on two sheet pans to dry on the counter overnight. Best made 24 hours before serving. The recipe is easily halved for less volume or doubled for great food gifts.
PICKLED JALAPEÑO RINGS (photo below) These homemade refrigerator pickles keep in the fridge for months. Just pack a clean glass jar with thin slices of fresh jalapeño rings, then slip in thin carrot slices and a bay leaf. Bring 1:1 volumes of water:vinegar to a boil, add half a teaspoon salt per cup of liquid. Fill the jar, let it cool, add a lid, then refrigerate for a week before serving. Delicious! Keeps forever.
ALANNA's TIPS For a flash of color, use one green and one red pepper. One breast from a rotisserie chicken works beautifully, so does leftover roast turkey or chicken. A Mexican cheese blend adds bite. If you like, stir chopped cilantro and minced pickled jalapeño rings into the sour cream. For portion control management, I like to serve Chicken Nachos in small individual oven-safe dishes such as these mini cast iron servers.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite party recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

QUICK SUPPER: CHICKEN NACHOS

Party food in a flash
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 8 as an appetizer, 4 as entrée
    PEPPERS & BEANS
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers (see TIPS), sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    CHICKEN
  • 1/2 pound cooked chicken (see TIPS), shredded
  • Zest and juice of a lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    NACHO TOPPINGS
  • 3 chopped green onions (don’t skip)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheese (see TIPS)
  • Pickled Jalapeño Rings (see recipe on left)
    TO SERVE
  • 4 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (see TIPS)
  • Salsa

Heat oven to 450F/230C.

PEPPERS & BEANS In a skillet, heat the oil until shimmery. Add the peppers, garlic and spices; cook, stirring often, til just cooked but still colorful. Stir in the beans; warm through.

CHICKEN Meanwhile, toss the chicken, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.

ASSEMBLE Set up an assembly line with the Peppers & Beans, the Chicken and small bowls of the 4 Nacho Toppings. In a single oven-safe dish, leaving room to arrange along tortilla chips around the perimeter, layer about half the Peppers & Beans, half the Chicken, and half of each toppings. Repeat the six layers, then arrange the chips around the edge.

BAKE Bake until the cheese melts, about 10 – 15 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly.

SERVE Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side. Dig in!

NUTRITION INFORMATION
[NOT including tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa]
per appetizer/entrée serving: 217/435 Calories; 12/24g Tot Fat; 7/13g Sat Fat; 51/102mg Cholesterol; 283/567mg Sodium; 9/19g Carb; 3/7g Fiber; 3/5g Sugar; 17/34g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5/10 & WW Points Plus 5/11.

[INCLUDING 4 ounces tortilla chips, assumes Tostitos Bite Size, 8 tablespoons sour cream and 8 tablespoons salsa]
per appetizer/entrée serving: 319/638 Calories; 18/36g Tot Fat; 9/17g Sat Fat; 56/112mg Cholesterol; 430/861mg Sodium; 20/40g Carb; 4/8g Fiber; 3/6g Sugar; 19/37g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 7/14 & WW Points Plus 8/16.

Game-Day Pretzels


Game-Day Pretzels ~ a great party snack, just pretzels mixed with popcorn oil, Ranch dressing, spices ~ KitchenParade.com

So easy to make! Recipe above, see Game-Day Pretzels.


Pickled Jalapeño Rings


Pickled Jalapeño Rings ~ easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required ~ KitchenParade.com

I've seen people buy huge jars of jalapeno rings. Instead, make your own, just a few pantry ingredients and no canning required. Very handy to have on hand! Recipe above, see Pickled Jalapeño Rings.


More "Mexican" Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mexican Pizza (Oaxaca Tlayuda) Pork & Poblano Skillet with Creamy Slow-Cooker Beans Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Mexican Fruit Salad Mexican Mango Trifle
~ more Mexican recipes ~

Rotisserie Chicken Makes for Easy Preparation

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Asian Chicken Salad Chicken Veggie Quesadillas Chickpea & Chicken Salad

Save the chicken carcass to make No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock!


Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Game-Day Pretzels ~
~ Pickled Jalapeño Rings ~

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

For anyone who's had trouble cooking brown rice, or wondered how to cook brown rice, this is your lucky day! First, there's this recipe for brown rice, my favorite, which cooks the rice in the oven and turns out moist, nutty kernels of rice. Oh!So!Good!

Oven-Baked Brown Rice ♥ KitchenParade.com, one to make again and again, even brown rice turns out moist and almost nutty. Totally easy! Rave reviews!


COMPLIMENTS!
"So stinking good!!!" ~ Pamela
"This recipe came out PERFECT! The kids LOVE it." ~ msadinkra


Think of brown rice as the emperor with his clothes on.

You see, brown rice isn’t its own variety of rice, as is often thought. Instead, every variety of rice starts off brown because brown rice is just unmilled rice, rice with all its "clothing" layers still intact.

Once those "clothes" are polished away, inside every grain of brown rice is a white, starchy and yes, naked, kernel stripped of flavor, fiber and nutrition.

I’ve loved brown rice for the longest time but had trouble getting it to cook consistently on the stove-top. Now that I’ve learned how to bake brown rice in the oven, it’s welcome at the table, in all its fully clothed goodness.

So I love cooking brown rice this way so-so much, it's one of a few staples in my kitchen. But over the years, I got a little bored with its sameness and so decided to use the same effective technique with other grains – and to give the grains a little extra "zip". The result? The very wonderful Oven-Baked Whole-Grain Pilaf with Quinoa, Barley, Kamut & Other Grains, you'll want to try it too!

Leftover brown rice? Turn it into Brown Rice & Quinoa Rice Pudding!

ALANNA's TIPS A mix of brown and wild rice is my favorite because it looks as good as it tastes. Plus, brown rice is cheap and wild rice is pricey so a blend helps stretch the food budget. Water boils more quickly with something to adhere to, in this case, just a small dab of fat. If the oven’s not fully preheated when the rice is prepped, pop it in anyway. Just increase the oven time by the remaining number of minutes. To prevent food poisoning, all varieties of cooked rice should be served and refrigerated promptly. Don't want to turn on the oven? Then here's another way to cook brown rice on the stove, also very good and slightly faster, see Perfect Stovetop Brown Rice from A Veggie Venture, my food blog.

RECIPE for
OVEN-BAKED BROWN RICE

So good, make it every week
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 4 cups
  • 2-1/3 cups water (or chicken broth or even beer)
  • 2 teaspoons butter (or ghee or bacon fat for more flavor or olive oil for vegan rice)
  • 1 cup brown rice, any variety
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (or another 1/2 cup brown rice, see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Set oven to 375F190C. Bring liquid and butter (see TIPS) to a boil in the microwave.

Meanwhile, in an 8x8 glass baking dish (or equivalent size round glass baking dish), stir together brown rice and wild rice. Sprinkle with salt. Pour hot liquid over rice and gently stir, distributing rice evenly throughout dish. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil (or the glass top for a baking dish).

Bake for 60 minutes (see TIPS).

Remove from the oven. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover lightly with a paper towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff again, let rest another 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 129 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 2mg Cholesterol; 154mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 1g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2.5 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4
Today’s recipe is adapted from Cook's Illustrated, a great magazine for cooks who want to understand the ‘"how’s" and "why’s" of cooking. In 2006, Cook's Illustrated gave me permission to publish the original version of their technique for cooking brown rice, see Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice. Since then, I've made it week in and week out, adapting it to my own taste and technique.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Share your own favorite rice recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like! Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Delicious with Oven-Baked Brown Rice

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken Kitchen Stir-Fry Cashew Chicken Curry

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