Dinners

Recipe—Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Today is the 5th and final day of my hot & spicy week! My jalapeño plant has been giving me more peppers than I know what to do with so this week I will be featuring five different jalapeño based recipes. I hope you enjoy each and every one! 

One of my all time favorite appetizers has got to be jalapeño poppers. I pretty much like anything with jalapeños but when you combine them with cream cheese and cheddar, oh my, it is good! This dinner recipe combines this awesome appetizer with a meaty chicken breast that ends up being so moist and tender. For this recipe I used crushed Ritz because I really like the crunchy buttery exterior but I really want to try it with Cheez-Its instead next time. I think that would be pretty darn tasty giving it that extra layer of cheesy crispiness.

Note: As much as I like my fried chicken this recipe has you bake it. If you aren’t concerned about cutting the extra calories you can certainly fry it up and then finish it in the oven for an even crispier exterior.

INGREDIENTS
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped
1/4 c cream cheese, softened
1/2 c cheddar, shredded
1 egg
1 1/2 c crushed Ritz crackers

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar, and peppers.
  • Using a small sharp knife carefully cut a pocket into the side of the thickest part of the chicken breasts.
  • Using your fingers work the cream cheese filling inside each breasts until they are packed full.
  • Secure the opening in each breast with a toothpick
  • Using a shallow bowl beat the egg.
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the egg and then the crushed crackers making sure to cover the chicken completely.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a greased baking dish.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before serving. The cheese filling will be very hot!

Dinners

Recipe—Shrimp Tacos

Seafood and Mexican are a match made in heaven. Throw in a margarita or Corona with lime and I am in heaven! For how delicious this recipe is you would think it would take longer to make, but that is not the case. It is relatively easy and comes together very quickly. The shrimp are so good that when I am on a low-carb diet I just eat a bowl of the shrimp with cheese and avocado. This meal is light, refreshing, and yummy in my tummy. Add my mango salsa and it’s a flavor explosion. I hope you enjoy the tacos as much as my family does. Buen provecho!

Note: This recipe is written for tacos but sometimes I use large tortillas filled with black beans and rice for some awesome burritos.

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp olive oil
1 c white onion, chopped
2–3 serrano chilies, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp garlic, minced
2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
kosher salt
tortillas, warmed
2 limes

SOME FABULOUS GARNISHES
shredded  pepper jack cheese
guacamole or sliced avocado
sour cream
mango salsa (see recipe below)
pico de gallo

STEPS

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  • Add onions and chiles and cook stirring frequently until onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove vegetables from heat and place in a small dish to the side.
  • Melt butter in the frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add shrimp to pan and cook until bright pink and no longer translucent. (Cooking time will vary based on the size of your shrimp. Cut to test and be sure they are cooked in the middle.)
  • Return cooked vegetables to your pan and stir in with shrimp.
  • Add cilantro, salt, and the juice from one lime.
  • Put shrimp into the tortillas and serve with a slice of lime on the side.

See my mango salsa recipe here for a great pairing with these tacos:
https://divadicucina.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/recipe-mango-salsa/