{flashback Friday} Chicken Philly Sandwiches

The first time I made these sandwiches they quickly jumped the ranks to the top of our list of favorite meals. The chicken has so much flavor and the melted cheese, just, well, you know everything is just better with melted cheese. Let the slow cooker do all the work and all you have to do is enjoy every last bite! Seems fair.

Chicken Philly Sandwich

1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 green pepper, cored and sliced
1/2 onion, peeled and sliced into half moons
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup chicken broth
Sliced provolone
6 hoagie buns

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, pepper, salt, garlic powder, coriander, red pepper flakes and thyme. Place the chicken, green peppers and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle seasoning mixture over the top. Pour the chicken broth around the inside edges of the crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred into pieces. Add to a large skillet, pour liquid and onion and peppers from the crockpot into the skillet and sauté until most of the liquid is absorbed (don’t overcook the meat or it will dry out, you still want it to be moist and juicy). Toast the buns under the oven broiler. Place chicken and peppers on each half of a bun and top with Provolone cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. Serve warm.

 

Source | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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{flashback Friday} Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

Do you have your favorite go-to meals when you have guests over? I do. It has to meet this certain criteria 1) You’ve made it before and know it tastes delicious. Trying a new recipe out for the first time on guests is never a good idea. 2) It makes a lot. You want your guests to feel comfortable going in for that second helping without worrying that there won’t be enough for others. 3) It’s fail proof. Even when I follow the same recipe, certain dishes turn out different each time. Some better than others, and you don’t want that “other” time to be when you’re serving guests. With that being said, my favorite meals to serve for guests are enchiladas, lasagna and french dip sandwiches. Solid home runs every single time. And when it comes to enchiladas, my absolute favorites are these Shredded Beef Enchiladas and these Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas. I’ve posted this before, but knew that it was so good that it deserved a second chance in the lime light.  The chicken simmers in this incredible savory homemade sauce, that just gives it that out of the world flavor. Serve it up with a side of this homemade Rice Pilaf and this Cowboy Caviar and I guarantee you’ll have some pretty happy guests!

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
Cook the chicken in the crockpot then shred. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, salt, and oil. Saute over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer. Remove about half the sauce and set aside for the top. Stir the chicken into the remaining sauce in the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes.

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
Transfer the chicken to a bowl and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high about 40-60 seconds. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine (optional)
1 Tbs canola oil
½ tsp salt
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 large chicken breasts
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
10-12 flour tortillas

Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, guacamole (or diced avocado)

Cook the chicken with a little broth in the crockpot on low 5-6 hours. Remove then shred. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, salt, and oil. Saute over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer. Remove about half the sauce and set aside for the top. Stir the chicken into the remaining sauce in the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high about 40-60 seconds. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with desired toppings.

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{slow cooker} Refried Beans

I’m a simple girl with simple needs. Give me a bean and cheese burrito and I’m happy all day. Give it to me smothered and that could buy an entire week of happiness. Unless of course the kids start fighting over who had the lego light saber first and then all happiness bets are off. I digress. So it has been hard living here with limited access to Mexican Food and certain ingredients (tomatillooooossss and limes that don’t cost $42/kg!). Every once in a while I have splurged and paid $5 for a can of refried beans, because some occasions in life just call for seven layer dip and there’s just no way around it. But what I was really missing was dry pinto beans so that I could make THE most delicious homemade refried beans ever. I mean, sometimes if you venture to think outside of the El Paso Refriend Beans can then life will reward you big time. My friend passed this little gem along to me years ago and it has never left my side. As we were planning our menu for girls camp (are you tired of hearing me talk about girls camp yet??) we were planning on nachos and I groaned about the fact that our budget probably wouldn’t allow for $30 worth of refried beans. And that’s when after 22 months of living here I learned where to buy dry pinto beans. Such a shame to have missed out on this recipe for so long, but I’ll tell you what, making them for the first time after so long was like falling in love all over again. So. Freaking. Good.

The best refried beans ever!

3 C dry pinto beans (rinsed)
½ onion, peeled and cut in half
9 C of water
5 tsp salt
1 ¾ tsp pepper
2 T minced garlic
1/8 tsp ground cumin
Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for about 8 hrs. After they are done, drain all the liquid and save the liquid. Mash beans with potato masher or beaters then add liquid a little at a time until desired consistency. You want them a little runny because they thicken after being refrigerated. Serve warm, cover and refrigerate left overs then reheat in microwave.

Source | Chelsea Figgins

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

I love the work life balance here. I’ve seen way more of my husband than I ever did in the States, and that’s a good thing. He comes home for lunch every day and I love sitting at the table together in a quiet house eating our grilled cheese sandwich and hummus wrap. It’s something I’ll miss.  Where was I….oh yeah. When my husband came home for lunch today he was stopped in his tracks with the succulent aroma (now that’s a fun word) coming from the crock pot. He was all duuuuude, that smells so good! It was a little food foreplay, he could hardly wait to come home for dinner that night. First the pork is rubbed with a homemade spice mixture, then the flavor is seared in on a hot skillet, then it is slow cooked to tender perfection filling your home with the most delicious aroma.  And if something smells that good, you can only imagine just how amazing it tastes!

These crock pot Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw made my house smell so good while it cooked, and it tasted just as amazing as it smelled!

I mean, you start with a homemade mix of spices and herbs that you rub all over the pork

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

Then you pan sear all that flavor in

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

And stick it in the crock pot (with a little more spice rub for good measure) until the meat is so tender it just falls apart

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

While it is busy cooking and making your house smell all sorts of delcious, whip up a quick fresh homemade slaw then assemble the gyro together and devour!

Shredded Rubbed Pork Gyros with Homemade Slaw

For the pork:
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 1/2-3 lb pork loin, excess fat trimmed (they don’t have pork loin here, so I used a pork shoulder and it still worked great)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1medium red onion, quartered

For the slaw:
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1-2 carrots, peeled and grated

For the Gyros:
4-6 pita breads
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced

In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper. Rub seasonings evenly on all sides of the pork loin. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork loin and sear both sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place garlic, onions, pork loin and 1 cup water into a slow cooker (the onions and garlic will be removed, but if you prefer to keep them with the meat then just finely dice them before adding to the crock pot). Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Remove pork, onions and garlic from the slow cooker and shred the meat, then return to the crock pot with the juices and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. For the slaw: In a large bowl, combine prepared cabbage and carrots. In a separate small bowl whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar, to taste. Pour mixture over cabbage slaw, and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. To assemble, toast the pita bread for a few minutes in the oven or warm them in a microwave until heated through, then top each pita bread with pulled pork, slaw, tomatoes and avocado. Serve immediately.

Source | Damn Delicious

{slow cooker} Salsa Chicken Tacos

This is another favorite meal when I know the after school scene will be busy and I need to have something quick once dinner time rolls around. Easy and delicious, my favorite kind of dish!

3 chicken breasts
1 jar salsa (medium or hot)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C frozen corn
6-8 tortillas (my favorite home made version here)
Toppings: shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, olives

Put the chicken, black beans, corn and salsa in a crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours, then shred the chicken and stir. Continue cooking on high for an additional 1-2 hours. Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings.

Mom’s Chicken & Broccoli over Rice

My Mom is the queen of home cooked comfort foods, and as a busy mom raising ten kids she knew a thing or two about easy crock pot meals. Some of the best things to come out of my crock pot have been recipes from her, like this dish right here. This is an all time favorite that my kids now love as much as I do. Thanks mom!

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ c chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded cheese
1 ½- 2 c uncooked rice

Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour and cook for a few minutes. Whisk in milk and bouillon and continue cooking until it is thickened (or you can use a can of cream of chicken soup, but I prefer this version instead). Place chicken in crockpot then pour milk mixture on top, then add chopped broccoli and cook on low 5-6 hours. About half way through, shred the chicken. About 30 min before serving, add sour cream and cheese. Cook rice according to package directions and serve over cooked rice with a sprinkle of shredded cheese on top.

Source | Janette Jolley

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Asian Slaw

After her first bite, my daughter claimed that this was her new favorite meal and requested that I make it at least once a week. I’ve been making barbecue pulled pork sandwiches for years, but the addition of this Asian Slaw just upped the ante. I have to admit that I’m not much of a cole slaw fan, I always skip right over it at potlucks, but this version had just the right amount of cool, crunchy tanginess (not sure if that is really a word) that mixed so perfectly with the warm spicy BBQ sauce. It was the perfect combination, and totally legit finger licking good!

For the pork:

1 (2lb) pork roast
1 12oz can coke
1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce
8 fresh bread rolls

Pour coke over pork in crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hrs. Remove pork and pour out juice from crock pot. Shred the pork then return to the crock pot and mix in the bbq sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For the slaw:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chopped green cabbage, purple cabbage and carrots (optional)- or use a store bought packaged cole slaw mix

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for an hour.  When ready to serve, broil buns in oven for 2 minutes then spoon on shredded pork and top with slaw.

Source | Chelsea Winter

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