Tag Archives: Rotel

King Ranch Mac n’ Cheese

King Ranch Casserole is as Texas comfort food as chicken fried steak and gravy.  The difference is, if you’ve never been to this giant state, you may of never heard of it.  Legend has it that the name comes from the “King Ranch”, one of the largest ranches in the United States…now no one knows the truth and every family and restaurant recipe varies, but they’re generally all made with the same few ingredients: chicken, diced tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and a creamy soup.  

Now here’s my tweak on it, instead of the normal layering of torn corn tortillas (lasagna style), I amped up the comfort level and made it into a ooey, gooey mac n’ cheese!!  Sooooo good and still Texas approved!

*A rotisserie chicken from your local grocer would work great for this as well.

**You can use a casserole dish to bake if you do not have an oven proof pan.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb chicken, cooked and chopped (2-3 cups)
  • 8oz macaroni noodles
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis (I like spicy)
  • 8oz block velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 8oz container sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if cooking your own chicken)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho/new mexico chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded 

Garnish

  • Tortilla chips (I fried up my own, but I’m crazy like that)
  • Cilantro, fresh   

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If you’re cooking your own chicken (not a store bought rotisserie), heat a 10″ oven proof pan to medium heat and add in the olive oil.  Once hot, add in the chicken and cook through.  *Since I made my own, I seasoned with a bit of cumin, salt & pepper.  

 Meanwhile, in a large stockpot of salted boiling water, cook your noodles.  Boil for about 2 minutes less than package directions, strain and set aside.  Also, prep the vegetables! 

  

After the chicken is cooked through, set aside.  Once cooled you can chop up into 1″ pieces.

In that same pan that you cooked the chicken in, melt the 2 Tbsp’s of butter and add in the onion, garlic & bell pepper and saute for a few minutes. 

 Next add in the can of diced green-chili tomatoes and cubed Velveeta cheese.  Stir till creamy.  

 Now whisk in the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chili powder, cumin.  Add in the chopped, cooked chicken.  

 Finally, carefully fold in the cooked pasta noodles and then top with the shredded cheese.  

   Move to the preheated oven and let bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbly.  *If you do not have an oven safe pan, here is where you can pour into a casserole dish, top with cheese and then bake.  **Make sure to place a foil lined baking-sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oozey cheese!

Remove and top with the cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.  

  

  

  

 

Texas Taco Joes

This is another FUN meal that the entire family will love!!  A spin on the classic “Sloppy Joe” with an open-face, TexMex twist!  

The meat topping can be made to your desired heat level (or use ground turkey, pork or chicken if you’re not a beef fan) and then the toppings can range to what I listed below or can go waayyyy beyond that!!

*If your grocer doesn’t carry “Texas Toast” in the bread aisle…move.  

… Just kidding ūüėā, you may check the freezer section OR buy a large bread loaf in the bakery and just slice it at least a good 1-1/2″ thick!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, “Mexican Style lime & cilantro” (don’t drain)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Texas toast 

Garnish (optional)

  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chopped onion
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Black olives    

Heat a pan up to medium with the ground beef and the chopped onion *add about 2Tbsp of EVOO if using a very lean meat.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the meat is browned. 

 In that same pan (draining grease IF necessary), add in the taco seasoning along with the can of Rotel tomatoes, green chili’s and water.  Stir, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.   Cover the mixture and walk away till thickened *about 15 minutes. 

     While the meat mixture is thickening, we’ll toast those fat slices of bread.  Aka “Texas Toast”.  Now you can do this as you wish, oven or toaster, but I layed a bunch of slices down on a baking sheet and popped it under the broiler of my oven for just a minute till toasted!

The fun part has arrived!!  Preparing your own Texas Taco Joe with the toppings of your choice!  I’m a fan of “the works” and add everything but the kitchen sink to mine, but to each their own!!  Enjoy! 

 

Breakfast Enchiladas

With the weekend fastly approaching, I thought I’d share an easy family favorite brunch that I’ve been making for years!  What’s fun (and economical) about this breakfast is that you can use up what’s already in your refridgerator!  

Below, I gave the ingredients that I recently used, but sometimes I may only have bacon or asparagus or red bell peppers…and sometimes I don’t even have any breakfast meats at all and just make the enchiladas with eggs & veggies.  The options are truly endless with this great meal!

*Another tip..you can make this the night before (pouring the egg over even) and then bake the next morning!! 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb breakfast sausage (or diced ham, bacon, or vegetarian)
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded (i.e. cheddar, jack)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • A pinch each of salt, pepper & cumin

Garnish

  • Jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • Green onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa/Hot sauce  

Here we go…preheat the oven to 350degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.

While the oven is preheating, we’ll rinse, chop and dice up the veggies (of your choice), grate the cheese and start cooking the breakfast sausage in a pan heated to medium. 

     After the sausage is about halfway cooked through, add in the seasonings and the vegetables and cook together till sausage is done and the veggies are translucent.  Set aside, off of heat. 

   Now one by one, prepare each tortilla by spooning a healthy amount of the cooked sausage and veggie filling down the center and topping with a Tbsp of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Continue until the tortillas and filling are gone.  *Keep the ends ‘open’ so that the egg mixture can seep its way into the rolled tortillas. 

     In a medium size bowl, crack in the 6 eggs and whisk in the 1/2 cup of milk with a bit of salt and pepper.  Next, fold in the slightly drained can of Rotel diced tomatoes and pour the entire mixture over the filled tortillas.  *Give the baking dish a jiggle to make sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. 

         Cover the entire dish with foil and pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  After the half-hour is up, remove the foil and top with the remaining shredded cheese.  Continue to bake (uncovered) for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. 

 Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes to set.  Serve each enchilada with the garnish of your choice and enjoy!! 

 

Southwest Sausage Skillet (one pot meal)

Do you crave a bit of a ‘kick ‘to the flavor of your dinner? ¬†Possible something that could stretch into leftovers all while being easyand FAST to prepare?? ¬†Whelp…here you go my friend! ¬†It has a bit of heat from the spices and garnishes, savory from the sausage and broth and that rice fills everyone up!

This quick dinner is awesome since most of the ingredients may already be on hand, no store run needed (excellent)….and if not for dinner, this is also a great side dish for any pot luck party!

Plus, feel free to make this YOUR own! ¬†If you like different veggies, add them! ¬†If you want to add in a can of green chilies, please do!! (That’d be great in this by the way! ;))

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 cups instant rice¬†
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 can Bush’s Grillin Beans (Black Bean Fiesta)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes¬†
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • EVOO
  • Salt & ground pepper

Spices (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp each chili powder, cumin, coriander (to taste)

Garnish (optional)

  • Sour cream
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Salsa
  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro¬†

In a large skillet, heat about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to medium heat. ¬†Once that’s ready, add in the red onion and bell peppers (with a pich of salt) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. ¬†Step one is done!

¬†¬†¬†Next, add in the pound of sausage (another pinch of salt & pepper) to the same skillet as the sweated vegetables and cook completely. ¬†Raw sausage is rather gross ;). ¬† *Here is where you can kick it up with the optional spices. ¬†If you choose not too (and that’s ok ;), don’t fret because the beans and tomatoes both have lots of flavor!

   After the sausage has cooked through, pour both the canned beans and tomatoes in the SAME skillet still and stir together.

¬†Finally, pour in the uncooked INSTANT rice and chicken broth (or water). ¬†Stir, bring to a low boil, stir, cover and set to low/simmer. ¬†The rice will only take about 5-10 minutes to soften. ¬†*If you’re feeding a large crowd/family, add in one extra cup of rice and an extra cup of broth/water.

     After the 5-10 minutes is up, layer that shredded cheddar cheese right on top, re-cover and remove from heat.  After just a couple of minutes it will have melted and be ready to serve!!

     Spoon the cheesy, rice & sausage skillet meal onto a plate and garnish with your favorite southwestern toppings!!  Enjoy!

 

Simple Restaurant Style Salsa

I have a huge arsenal of hot sauces and salsa’s in my repertoire, now while this one may not be considered “authentic”, it is damn good! ¬†This easy salsa is ALWAYS such a hit at parties…like, there is NEVER any left and people always ask “who made this??” ¬†Now you can say “I did!”

It’s pretty much just a two-step process..no roasting, no boiling, no nothing (our friends at Rotel did most of the work for us ;)! ¬†All you need is your food processor and 5 minutes to get the fiesta started.

*I always choose Rotel’s “cilantro & lime” mixed with their “hot”…this has quite a kick to it though. ¬†So if your party likes it a bit more mild , I’d omit the “hot” and choose their original or something similar.

^^again..just that one can of “hot” will do it…if you cannot drink a bottle of Tabasco sauce like myself, I’d advice against it.

*You can use a blender if you do not own a food processor, but blenders do tend to make things ‘frothy” instead of finely diced.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes (flavor of choice)
  • 1/2 white onion, rough chop
  • 1 cup cilantro (stems & all)
  • 1 large clove garlic, rough chop
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions¬†

In your food processor, add in all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the 1/4 cup of sliced green onions.

¬†¬†¬†Pulse your processor till your desired texture is achieved. ¬†We like ours a bit thinner…so I just pulse it longer. ¬†Simple!

Here is where you will fold in the green onions to give it a bit more bite and texture.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Depending how soon you’re eating this, pour into a serving dish or into a sealable container (I.e. Tupperware, Saran Wrap). ¬†If eating later, just cover and place in the refridgerator till munch time! ¬†Enjoy!

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