Posts Tagged ‘30 minute’

Enchiladas are a staple in my weeknight cooking rotation. They are full of flavor and incredibly easy to make. I make my life even easier by buying an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. I use the breast meat to use as filling for the enchiladas and use the rest of the meat for another meal.

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 c Enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 c mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 c cheddar, grated
  • 6 flour tortillas

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1c enchilada sauce in the bottom of 9 X 12 baking dish. Turn the dish to cover the entire bottom evenly.

2. Place a flour tortilla on the counter. Line 1/2c chicken down the middle running the entire diameter. Fold the end closest to you over the chicken and tuck under. Roll the rest away into a cigar shape.

Note: If your tortillas aren’t easily pliable, you can microwave the stack for 10-15 seconds.

3. Place the finished enchiladas into the dish until it is full. You may have to squeeze the last one in, but this is okay.

4. Pour the 2nd cup of enchilada sauce over the rolls. Spread the sauce with the back of a spoon to coat all of the tortilla. Cover with the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the inside filling has warmed.

5. Let the enchiladas sit for a couple minutes to set. Serve hot with refried beans or rice.

Biryani was originally a Persian dish that remains wildly popular in Southeast Asia. Biryani has as many variations as stir fry in that you can use any vegetables, meat, fish, or eggs in this dish. I appreciate the versatility of the dish in that if you learn how to cook one version, you can easily substitute ingredients to suit your fancy. But what I really appreciate  about this dish is that the whole thing cooks entirely in one pot making clean up a snap.

Cooking will go fast on this one so make sure you have your ingredients in order and accessible. Even though there is a bit of prep to go through before you even touch the stove, it’ll pay off in the end.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2c chicken stock
  • 1c basmati rice
  • 1/2c golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Cut the chicken into cubes. Place a skillet overr high heat with 2 tbsp of canola oil in the bottom. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place in the pan. Sear the chicken on all sides. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.

Note: The chicken does not need to be cooked through as it will finish cooking later.

2. Lower the heat to medium high. Place the onions in the pan and sauté until nearly translucent.

3. Add the cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, garlic, and ginger to the onion and stir to combine with the onion. Cook until fragrant – around 30 seconds.

4. Add the chicken stock to the pan to deglaze. Be sure to scrape up as many brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and add the raisins and rice. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

5. Turn off the heat and let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the Chicken Biryani piping hot in large bowls.

You’re going to have to trust me on this one and try this. Don’t think about, just do it. Forget the fact that bulgar rhymes with vulgar. Forget that it’s a whole grain and 1 cup of it contains more energy and nutrients than the grains you consume in an entire day. Forget that you are going to find this in the organic or natural food aisle of your local grocery store. Forget that this is a staple of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine where people eat healthier and live longer. This is good stuff all the way around.

I was introduced to bulgar through the Power Foods cookbook put out by Weight Watchers. No, I myself am not a Weight Watchers member, but I was cooking with a friend of mine who had this cookbook. I found the cookbook itself to be really good and the recipes inside introduced me to healthy ways of incorporating a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices into my everyday cooking. The idea behind the Power Foods cookbook is to eat more meals that contain power foods which fill you up faster and take longer to digest so that you don’t go back an hour or two later to consume more.

This bulgar pilaf combines the sweetness of golden raisins with the light, nutty taste of bulgar complimented by various spices used through the Middle East. I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try as a side to your next dinner.


  • 1 1/2c chicken stock
  • 1 1/2c medium, quick-cooking bulgar
  • 1/2c golden raisins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

1. In a medium sauce pot, place 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the onions in the pan and sauté until nearly translucent. Add the garlic and combine until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Add the spices to the pan. Combine with the onions and garlic and cook until the spices are fragrant. Add the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Add the bulgar and raisins to the pan, cover with a tight lid, and turn off the heat.

3. Allow the bulgar to sit for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

I have spoken to by the culinary gods. No, not the prophets Keller, Bayless, or Lo (Flay is not a prophet, no matter what Food Network might say), but by the real culinary gods that live on Mount Cuisine. This is an image of the oil that was formed in my saute pan during this recipe and clearly you can see the image of Chow tossing salt over his shoulder while yielding his mighty whisk in his right hand. I’ve been touched. Consequently, I wanted to get this tattooed on my arm to honor the gods, but my wife told me I couldn’t. Sad. I can only hope that this photographic offering satisfies their thirst.

This recipe uses chicken sausage which is a much more healthy alternative to other sausages and is showing up more and more in local grocery stores. It is just as delicious as it’s beefy brother and equally as versatile. Peppers are in season, and I couldn’t resist making a colorful confetti in white rice. This is a quick and easy weekday meal that is sure to satisfy.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 lb Chicken Sausage (or whatever sausage you like)
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 3 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 2 c long grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp butter

1. Begin by cleaning your rice. Place the rice in a bowl or a fine mesh strainer. Pour water over the rice and drain each time until the water is clear.

Note: This process removes a lot of the starch and makes the rice less gummy. If you are using a bowl, fill the bowl with water, swish the rice with your hands, and then drain carefully. If you are using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the rice until the water that comes out is clear-ish (the third picture, is clear-ish water)

2. Add the chicken stock and butter to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and stir once – ONCE. Bring back to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Note: If you stir your rice too much, it’s going to bring out more starch and become almost slimy. Let it rest and absorb the chicken stock. Trust the rice, it knows what it’s doing.

3. Cut each pepper in half and scoop of the seeds and the white membrane. Dice the peppers into 1/4″ cubes. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste. Set aside.

4. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a non stick saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the chicken sausage and brown on one side. Turn over to brown the other side. Add 1/4c chicken stock to the pan and cover. Turn the heat down to simmer. The sausages will finish cooking by steaming.

5. After 10 minutes, take the sausages out and set on a cutting board to rest. When the rice has finished, add the peppers to the rice and stir to incorporate. In the picture, you can see why we used three different colors of pepper. You could use green peppers as well, but they are not nearly as sweet as the three used in this recipe.

6. Cut the sausage on the bias. Spoon a healthy serving of rice on a plate and place a cut sausage around the rice.