Monday, May 6, 2013

Enchiladas....quicker, easier, and endless recipes! (Turkey Enchiladas & Chicken Crack Enchiladas)

Within the past year, my friend Jamie and I made our own salsa verde and salsa verde enchiladas.  They turned out deliciously!  I never realized how easy enchiladas were to make.  I've made them a few times since then, trying different ingredients, different salsas, different cheeses to find out what I liked the best.

Right after Thankgiving, I chopped up left over turkey, added in some carrots, spinach, onions, and garlic.   Daryl and I feasted on post-Thanksgiving turkey veggie enchiladas.  Daryl was on board for the enchiladas train!

Since Cinco de Mayo was approaching and I had all of the ingredients for enchiladas, I was considering different kinds to make.  I asked my friend John if he'd like to join us for Cinco de Mayo.  Last time we had John over, he requested that I make chicken crack.  It suddenly popped in my head that I could combine chicken crack with enchiladas.  It was brilliant!

Who doesn't love the ooey gooey spicy goodness of chicken crack?  If you've not heard of chicken crack, you must make/try some immediately!  It is so good that it's like crack; you become addicted; you can NEVER eat enough!  Num num num!

Those who know me, know that I hate recipes.  I hate precise measuring.  I make almost everything to taste.  Daryl constantly complains that some of his favorite meals never come out the same way twice.  Sometimes if I try to recreate something, I forget what I used the first time around.   Oops!  :)

Here is a quick and easy (mostly accurate) recipe of my Chicken Crack Enchiladas! 

This is your filling for your tortillas.
2 chicken breasts poached. Easier to shred when poached. Shred them up and put them in a mixing bowl.
Add 1 block of softened cream cheese.
Add about 1/4 cup of ranch dressing.
Add about 1/4 cup of blue cheese dressing.
Add about 1/2 a bottle of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce.
Add 4 chopped up green onions.
Mix that all up.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Now you can build your enchiladas.
Get out an oven safe 9 X 13 baking dish.
I used 3 containers of Wholly Guacamole's Salsa for the whole recipe.
Put some (about half a container) salsa on the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish to coat the bottom in a thin layer of juice/salsa.
Put some salsa on a plate to dip your tortillas in to soften them.
I used 12 large flour tortillas.  Feel free to use corn tortillas.  I prefer the taste of the flour tortillas.
Dip your tortilla in the salsa, flip, dip in the other side, getting each side a little damp (makes them easier to roll and then they don't fall apart).
Add 2-3 tablespoons of your buffalo chicken filling.  Enough so that the filling will reach each end of the tortilla once you roll it up.
Roll the tortilla and place in your baking dish.  
I layered them into the baking dish in two rows of 6.
Then add more salsa on top to make sure the tortillas are wet and covered.

Sprinkle cheese on top.  I used swiss and colby jack because that's what we had on hand.  Use whatever kind of cheese you want.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 until the cheese is nice and bubbly on top.

I used a pizza cutter to slice into 3 rows of 5 pieces each.
Eat and enjoy!
It's spicy and delicious!

I also made "Mexican Rice." This again was a flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants recipe. I used 1.5 dry cups of Brown Rice that I bought at Earth Fare from the bulk bin. After cooking the rice, I added in a jar of Newman's Own Black Bean & Corn salsa. I also added about 4 cut up green onions.

One of my other passions is SAVING MONEY!  I am an avid couponer and look for the best bang for your buck dinners.   This one was AWESOME!

Here is a cost breakdown of the recipe:
2 chicken breasts - These were 1.99/lb at Harris Teeter
1 block of cream cheese - about $1 at Aldi
Newman's Own Ranch and Blue Cheese dressings were recently on sale at Harris Teeter for $2.50 during HT's triple coupon event, so these were $1 per bottle.
Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce was BOGO (buy one, get one free) a few months ago, so about $1.75 and then I had a $0.75 coupon that doubled, so it cost $0.25 for the whole bottle.
Green Onions were $0.99/bunch at Kroger.
Wholly Salsa was FREE during the last Super Doubles event at Harris Teeter.  The great thing about Wholly Salsa is that it comes fresh.  The containers can be frozen.  When defrosted, the salsa is still super fresh!  Since I use it for cooking I don't worry as much about it being slightly more watery after freezing.
Flour Tortillas were on sale recently using Harris Teeter's weekend evic specials, so those were $0.97 per 10 tortilla package.
Shredded cheese was recently on sale at Harris Teeter for B2G3 (buy 2, get 3 free), so it ended up being $1.33 per package.  I only used 1 whole package  (half swiss, half colby jack).

Total cost was about $7.40.   This was for 15 servings, so approximately $0.50 per serving.

The rice is $1.30/lb at Earth Fare.  I doubt I even used half a pound.  The jar of salsa was purchased during Harris Teeter's triples even, so it was $1.00 for the jar of Black Bean & Corn salsa. 

Total cost of "Mexican Rice" was about $1.65.  I would guess there were about 8 servings, so approximately $0.21 per serving.

Where else could you have enchiladas and rice for $0.71 per serving?  

Eat At Home Adventure

During the past year, Daryl and I have been eating at home less and cooking more. There are a variety of reasons:

1. It's so much cheaper!

2. It's healthier since we know exactly what's going into the recipe.

3. It's an adventure! .

4. More creativity!

5. As we ate out more and more, we'd realize that the food was "eh, ok." Daryl would usually comment that he likes the way I make it better. And I would say something like "'s missing something. Maybe they could've added more of this and less of that?"

6. We recently purchased a new home and I LOVE the kitchen! I finally have a gas stove and prep room and I just feel more inspired to cook at home.

Going forward, my Foodie Review Blog is going to talk more about recipes, quality of ingredients, and food adventures at home! 

My blogspot address is still, so that still applies! :)

More adventures coming soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ammos Greek Restaurant at Virginia Beach

Daryl and I were visiting Virginia Beach for a week. Prior to going, I found some certificates on Ammos was one of the certificates that I got. Daryl and I went on Monday night for dinner.

The restaurant is at 14th and Atlantic right on the beach, so the view during dinner was gorgeous! We walked down the boardwalk to Ammos from 9th and Atlantic. Ammos is right near the pier.

The menu is pretty extensive for a Greek Restaurant. We started with a appetizer of grape leaves ($7.95). I love grape leaves! These were right up there with the yummiest I've had!

I decided to get the Greek Combo ($20.95) which came with a small serving each of spanikopita, pastitsio, and moussaka. The spanikopita was very dry and not the type I'm used to. (Katherine, I still need your kick ass spanikopita recipe!) The pastitsio was really good! The moussaka had great flavor and a lot of meat. I thought that the price was a bit much for what you get.

Daryl had the full portion of pastitsio ($16.95) which came with two sides. He picked the roasted potatoes and rice. (He likes carbs.) He said that both the potatoes and rice were very good!

I got a potion of my dinner to go. The waitress took my plate to box it up, but I discovered later that she actually did not box all of the items I had left. There was not pastitsio and only a small portion of the moussaka that I had left on my plate.

We never received our check detailing the amount due and service was a bit slow. We paid with the certificate and then they brought us back a slip to sign with our credit card. After our $25.00 off certificate, the price was still $37. I'm pretty sure they overcharged us on the tip and for each of the menu items.

The food was great, but based upon the slow service, to-go box, and the pricing, we would probably not return.

Pacifica of Virginia Beach

Daryl and I were visiting Virginia Beach for a week. Prior to going, I found some certificates on Pacifica was one of the certificates that I got. We went on a Thursday night for dinner. This is a tapas restaurant, so you have various small plates and get to try a variety of things. The menu is available here:

The restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's very cute and cozy inside. They also have an extensive drink menu and a number of daily specials!

Daryl and I started out with a cold plate, Farro salad with sweet potatoes, craisins, and curry sauce. It was really tasty, especially if you like curry! ($6.00)

I also tried the Braised Pork with kimchi, udon noodles in a pho soup broth. There is a decent amount of pork; however, it was very salty. I'm normally a fan of pho and it was good, but salty. ($8.00)

I tried the mac n cheese du jour, which was steak and onion. OMG! This was by far my favorite! Their mac n cheese is very rich and had great flavor! ($8.00)

Daryl tried one of the specials, Scallops with kimchi and seasame seeds. The scallops were large and perfectly cooked! The kimchi has great flavor and some spice to it. ($11.00)

He also got the smoked shrimp and grits. He felt that the shrimp was overcooked, but the flavor of both the shrimp and the grits were really good. ($10.00)

The price is about average for a tapas restaurant, but the food is above average. We'll definitely visit Pacifica again if we are in the VA Beach area!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cobalt Grille in Virginia Beach

Daryl and I are vacationing in Virginia Beach. Prior to vacationing, I signed up for Hampton Roads Groupons and Living Social Deals. Cobalt Grille offered a groupon, so I snatched it up. We checked into our hotel on Saturday around 5, got settled in, and decided to eat out. Cobalt Grille was pretty hopping, especially since it was a Saturday night. They were able to squeeze us in, but I would recommend making reservations if you ever decide to go. The very front of the restaurant outside has outside seating and a fire ring that you can sit around. Very cozy! When you walk in, there is a bar with an acoustic singer/guitarist. Then you move to the dining room. The dining room is crowded and loud, but it's also cozy and nicely decorated. It feels very trendy. The service was quick and friendly. The menu has a lot of variety and is perfect for a foodie! Daryl ordered the Shrimp and Scallops over pasta for $23.95. There was a lot of shrimp and scallops. They were perfectly cooked and had great flavor! I almost ordered the duck, but instead, I ordered one of the nightly specials they had which was an 8 oz Filet Mignon with lump crab meat and Bearnaise sauce for $29.95. The Filet also came with white truffle mac n cheese and broccoli. I subbed out the broccoli for asparagus. Everything was cooked to perfection! Cobalt Grille notes at the bottom of their menu that they serve natural, organic, and locally grown food whenever possible. That's a big positive for us! We left dinner very fat and happy. I would 120% recommend this restaurant to anyone!

Shuckers Grill and Oyster Bar

Daryl and I joined a great couple at Shuckers in Wake Forest for a celebratory dinner a couple of weeks ago. Yay for new jobs! We ordered the calamari and sea chowder to start. The calamari was fried, very crispy and quite tasty. I ordered the grilled salmon with broccoli and red skin potatoes. The salmon was perfectly grilled and delicious! The broccoli was freshly steamed and the red skin potatoes were boiled just the right amount. Shuckers had shrimp and grits on the menu, but the sun and moon must not have been aligned correctly because Daryl bypassed the shrimp and grits for the Fish and Chips. He was happy with the big portion of beer battered cod with a side of fries and a cheese grit cake. The service was great! We did not sit outside; however, they do have tables outside with live music. It's a great atmosphere! I look forward to going back again!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Orchid Japanese Restaurant - Please do not close!!

It seems that every time we find an awesome sushi restaurant, they close in the wake of a bad economy, not enough advertising, and a slow start with clientel.   Orchid, if you are reading this, PLEASE do not close!  We think you are fabulous!

Orchid is an "all you can eat" sushi restaurant on Creedmoor at Stonehenge.  As far as "all you can eat" restaurants go, this one rocks! It's not really a "buffet;" however, it is all you can eat. You order off of a menu and the rolls are made to order. You can stop at just a few rolls, have some sashimi, salad, tempura calamari, and then order some specialty rolls, or you can tell them to "keep 'em coming!" The sushi was very fresh with the exception of the spicy tuna roll. I'm always sketchy about spicy tuna rolls. It seems like they use the tuna from the day before, mush it all up, add some spicy sauce, and then stick it in a roll. It didn't taste as fresh as the sashimi. The sashimi on the other hand was SUPER fresh! In addition to sushi, the "all you can eat" also includes teriyaki, tempura, several appetizers, soup, salad, and ice cream.  I recommend the Sweet Potato roll.  I think that one is my favorite!  They also have a larger roll with mango sauce on it.  Great combination with the fresh sushi! 

So, sushi and "all you can eat."   That must mean expensive!   Actually, no.  Orchid is $13.95 for lunch and $23.95 for dinner.  If you order two of the bigger rolls, you've already met your price quota. Any lower and I'd be sketchy of the quality. Any higher and it would scare people away.

Daryl and I have become regulars and would recommend it to anyone!