Cheesy Jalapeno, Chicken and Rice Casserole

This wasn’t supposed to be a cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole recipe, this was supposed to be burrito-like stuff jalapenos recipe but I really didn’t think through the execution. Getting all the ingredients into the halved jalapenos, no matter how large they were, was a challenge so I instead aligned all the jalapenos neatly in a dish, topped with all the ingredients and voila! Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken and Rice Casserole! Here are a few step by step photos.

jalapenos-halved

I stuffed the jalapenos with the rice, beans an cotija cheese but I still had not added the chicken and as you can see I didn’t have much more room.

stuffed jalapenos

 

cotija-cheese

shredded-chicken

Once I shredded the chicken I just spread it over the stuffed jalapenos. I then spooned in the leftover sauce from the chicken so the dish wouldn’t dry out while baking.

chicken-jalapenos

When it’s done baking, serve it immediately while the cheese is still melted!

jalapeno-casserole

The casserole was a hit! My only regret was having to hollow out all the jalapenos because of the lightweights in the room! Yes, you heard that correctly and these were only jalapenos! I figured by now I would have built up their heat tolerance levels but guess I have to keep working on that. 🙂 I’ll have to plan a hot sauce tasting next time and see if I can convert a few.

You can have this cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole for game day or a week night dinner. It will go well on its own, in a tortilla wrap or as an appetizer. The peppers get tender soft with crispy chicken on top but the melted cortija and Mexican blended cheese brings it all together. If you want it spicier, don’t remove all the seeds or inner lining of pepper, just scoop out enough to get enough ingredients into each jalapeno…then top with chop up serrano peppers!  Let me know what you think if you decide to make it. Enjoy!

Cheesy Jalapeno, Chicken and Rice Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
Stewed Chicken
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 chipotles peppers in adobo
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tsp Goya Adobo seasoning
Stewed Beans
  • 1 can small red beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Goya Adobo
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Few cilantro leaves
Remaining Ingredients
  • 1 cup of rice
  • salt
  • 8-10 large jalapenos, halved
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
Instructions
  1. For the chicken, in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat up oil. When oil is hot add the onions an cooked until translucent. Add the tomato paste, chiles, garlic and Adobo seasoning. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Add the chicken and let the fat cook off the chicken. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes then turn and cook the other side for about 5 minutes. Add about 1 cup of water to the saucepan and cover. Cook for about another 10 minutes but keep an eye on it to be sure the chicken doesn't completely dry out. Taste the sauce to make sure it's well seasoned and adjust with more Adobo or water to taste.
  3. While chicken is cooking, in another smaller saucepan, cook the onions in oil until translucent. Add the beans, tomato paste, oregano, Adobo, black pepper, cilantro and about ½ cup of water. Since beans are already cooked you just need to heat up enough so the flavors meld well together, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate small pot, salt the water for the rice and cook as per the package instructions..
  5. Once everything is done, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the rice and beans in a bowl and add the cotija cheese. Stuff each of the jalapeno peppers with the mixture and add each individual, stuffed jalapeno to the bottom of the casserole dish.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred the chicken with a fork, then top the stuffed jalapenos. Drizzle any of the remaining juices from the chicken over the chicken and jalapenos.
  7. As a final step, top the dish with the shredded cheese and bake for about 15 minutes and top of dish is crispy and cheese is melted.

 

Smoked Chipotle Pepper Porter

I normally drink lagers or the less hoppy IPAs so when I saw this smoked chipotle pepper porter all I thought about really was that it had chipotle peppers. I’m always drawn to spicy foods and products so this smokey dark beer with roasted peppers sounded too good to pass up. I had a plan for this bottle. At 22 ounces I knew I could enjoy it several ways and that, I did.

smoked-porter3

I grew up on malty drinks or the sweet maltas you can find at any Latin gorcery store so the flavors were very familiar. Mom used to mix non-alcoholic stouts or malts with condensed milk for a sweet, milky and malt heavy afternoon treat for us kids. Sounds weird? Well, it’s a Dominican thing and probably a Caribbean thing in general. You have to make sure the beer is ice cold and stir in enough condensed milk to sweeten. You can also blend it with ice for a thicker smoothie. Not sure of this concoctions’ orgins but its a close cousin to the fizzy ice cream floats enjoyed here in the US or the milk and Pepsi Laverne made famous on Laverne & Shirley (I loved that show!). Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert this Summer. It removes all the heat and tastes a little like coffee ice cream but stronger in flavor.

porter-ice-cream

This smoked chipotle pepper porter is great on its own too. The Stone Brewing company out of California has been around since the mid nineties but this smokey jalapeno beer is a special release from several years ago and available in limited quantities. Check their website for locations on where this porter can be found. I found mine here in Jersey City.

spicy-porter

It is dark, chocolate brown in color and has a malty, rich flavor with a slight bitterness upfront which my guess is the smokey peppers. I wouldn’t think of this as a spicy beer at all but it does have a warming feeling on the backend. I like this brew. I like that I can enjoy a pint on its own, drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into it or stir it up ice cold with some condensed milk and I am happy woman. Salud and Cheers!

smoked-porter2

Here’s a quick summary:

Color: dark chocolate

Heat: very mild

Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%

Taste: Deep malt and roasted coffee flavors with slight bitterness

Brewing Co: Stoner Brewers

 

Spicy Green Goddess Elixir Recipe

For an energy boost before heading off to work blend together this spicy green goddess elixir recipe made with simple fresh ingredients like spinach and watercress. The flavor is very bright, grassy and stings a little but the sweet honey balances the flavor well. The spiciness comes from the jalapeno as well as the watercress (berro) which has a peppery flavor. Watercress is an amazing leafy green plant to add to any juice. It’s known to be anti-inflammatory and provides relief for coughs, bronchial congestion, stomach aches and even cancer (according to WebMD). I also read that in ancient times it was used as an aphrodisiac. Well I don’t know about that but I definitely feel more alert after drinking this elixir and during those slow or low energy days a clean, fresh and natural elixir is all you need.

goddess-elixir

 

Spicy Green Goddess Elixir
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Bunch of spinach, about 3-4 packed cups
  • Bunch of watercress, about 2 packed cups
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • ½ jalapeno
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Honey or agave syrup
Instructions
  1. Add spinach, watercress, ginger and jalapeno to a juicer and collect blended juice in a cup.
  2. Squeeze juice from lemon and lime and add to the green juice.
  3. Sweeten with honey or agave syrup.

 

Five Spicy Recipes: Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Ok folks, I’m on appetizer duty for Thanksgiving so I need to bring at least one spicy dish. My family doesn’t really make spicy dishes, especially not on major holidays so it’s up to me to supply the goods! So this week I’m sharing with you five spicy recipes that I think would make awesome appetizers for Thanksgiving. Which of these should I make? I’m leaning towards the baked stuffed jalapenos or maybe the hush puppies but that bacon is calling me! Aggh decisions, decisions…. Any suggestions?

What are you making this Thanksgiving? Please do share!

Spicy-Appetizers-TG

1.What’s better than jalapeno poppers? Baked Stuff Jalapenos from Simply Recipes! I’m definitely making these for Thanksgiving.     2. How about these perfect little bites? Cheesy, spicy goodness in this tiny Sausage Jalapeno Hushpuppies from Shutterbean.     3. Turn up the heat in classic deviled eggs by making these Sriracha Wasabi Deviled Eggs from Food and Wine.     4. These Chili Spiced Almonds from My Recipes will be great to snack on if you don’t want to get too full before dinner.     5. Oh bacon, how can we resist you! These Spicy Beer Candied Bacon recipe from Bite By Michelle will be impossible to pass up.

 

 

 

 

 

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

I just got back from a week long vacation but before heading out I made this quick pickled jalapeno peppers. There’s always so much to do right before you leave on a trip! The night before I noticed a pound bag of ripening jalapenos peppers and there was no way I was letting them go to waste.

bag-of-jalapenos

If you harvested them or purchased make sure you give them a good wash.

washed-jalapenos

So in between some last minute packing and running after Diego (he always manages to jump in my suitcase and grab something), I made these spicy pickled jalapeno peppers. Pickling only takes about 10-15 minutes and can last up to a month if refrigerated. I used only the jalapeno peppers this time but check out another veggie pickle I made a while ago using a mix of carrots & daikon. If you’re growing chiles or find yourself with too many on your hand try this recipe, it’s really amazing on sandwiches, nachos, scrambled eggs, fish, chicken, well pretty much anything!

pickled-jalapenos1

pickled-jalapenos2

pickled-jalapenos3

 

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp oregano
Instructions
  1. On medium heat bring to boil the vinegar and water. Turn off stove and remove mixture from heat. Add the sugar, salt until all is dissolved and let mixture cool completely.
  2. In a thoroughly washed 1 pint jar, add the sliced jalapeno, garlic, peppercorns and oregano. Shoved them all in if you must.
  3. Fill the jar to the top with cooled vinegar mixture making sure the jalapenos are covered. Secure lid tightly and let sit overnight. You can leave it on counter for a few days, the vinegar will preserve the jalapenos but after that you should refrigerate.

 

Products I’m Loving Right Now: Spicy and Boozy Jams

I love sharing great product finds, especially those handmade goods that you know had lots of love poured into them. Anyone who dedicates their time and money to provide wholesome, great tasting, locally sourced small batch food products deserve our support and a huge shout out! These spicy and boozy jams deliver tender chunks of fruit that spread nicely even on the softest of breads and are laced with either booze or just the right amount of chiles to balance out the sweetness.

The Jam Stand

I came across The Jam Stand at a funky craft event put together by Bust Magazine in NYC a few months ago and have been meaning to share these for a while now. I loved every single flavor I tried from this artisan jam company based out of Brooklyn. I was intrigued at first with the names and then was blown away with the bold flavors. How could you not be drawn to names like the Drunken Monkey, Sweet Wino-nion, You’re My Boy Blue-Berry, very clever and cute. The Drunken Monkey, as you may have guessed, is made with bananas and rum, the Sweet Wino-nion jam with red onions and wine. Another one that I was immediately drawn to, of course, was the Razzy Gabby with a side of  Jalapenos! Sweet, tart and spicy.

Three Jams

After all the sampling I was hooked and wound up picking up a few jars. The spicy raspberry jam isn’t overly spicy but you definitely get a good kick that lingers for a bit. I also love that the ingredient list is short with just the essentials because that’s all we really need, no? Plain and simple fruit, sugar, spice, alcohol, lime but there’s nothing simple about the flavors. The fruit flavors are very prominent and so is the booze! Check out the whole berries in this blueberry jam! Plump, sweet and with a hint of bourbon flavor.

Jam Stand Blueberry jam

The Drunken Monkey didn’t last very long, one of my favorites next to the spicy raspberry. This will go great on scones, bread or you can warm it up and add it to ice cream for an interesting mix.  So many options with these jams, love it!

Jam Stand banana jam

The jams are available online via the Jam Stand’s online shop or contact them to find out where they’re going to be next.