Category Archives: cilantro

Tex-Mex Tortilla Pockets

This recipe is super easy to make.  I cooked my chicken ahead of time, then added the rest of the ingredients once cooled.  This recipe is taken from Kraft’s “What’s Cooking” magazine Summer 2013.  My kids love Mexican food, so I like to change up our usual recipes.  I found that 1/2 a pound of chicken wasn’t enough, I ended up using 3 breasts of chicken and made 6 good sized tortilla pockets.  I did not need the egg to seal the tortillas that I put the refried beans in as they stuck just fine.  I made 3 tortillas without the beans for my kids and used the egg to seal those ones.  I served my tortilla pockets with the left-over refried beans and freshly made guacamole.



2 tablespoons oil, divided
1/2 lb. (225 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup Kraft 3 Cheese Mexicana Finely Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 large flour tortillas
3/4 cup canned retried beans
1 egg, beaten

1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet.  Add chicken; cook and stir 4 minutes or until done.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese, salsa, corn, cilantro and cumin.
3.  Spread tortillas with beans.  Spoon chicken mixture down centres of tortillas.  Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then fold bottom over filling and once again to make rectangular packet.  Brush top edge with egg; press onto packet to seal.  Place, seam-sides down on baking sheet; brush with remaining oil.
4.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  


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Bang Bang Chicken

This recipe is outstanding!  Great for a dinner or an appetizer.  I found the link to this recipe on Twitter.  (http://www.jocooks.com/main-courses/poultry-main-courses/bang-bang-chicken/ )  I used the 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce in the dipping sauce.

For Chicken:
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

For Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (Jo Cooks used Frank’s)
1 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
2 tbsp honey

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  To the bowl add the hot sauce, egg, and buttermilk, and whisk until you have a smooth batter.  Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, toss to make sure each piece is coated in the batter and set aside.
2. In another bowl add about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs
3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and refrigerate until ready for serving.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet.
5. Coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs, add more breadcrumbs if needed, and fry on both sides for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Place on paper napkins to soak up some of the oil.  Repeat with all the chicken pieces.  Only add a few pieces of chicken to the skillet at a time, so the chicken turns out crispy.
6. Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve. 


Salsa Fresca

Why buy salsa in a jar, when you can make this fresh version in 10 minutes.  This recipe is taken from “The Best Recipes in the World” by Mark Bittman.  I always use the fresh lime juice and red onion instead of the white. 



2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 large white onion
1/4 minced garlic, or to taste
1 habanero or jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients, the taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
2. If possible, let the flavors marry for 15 minutes or so before serving, but by all means serve within a couple of hours. 

Vegetarian Bean Chili

This recipe is taken from Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. For the beans I used 1 cup kidney beans, 1 cup black beans and a can of the chili mix beans. I am serving this with garlic bread, but you can also serve this over rice. 

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, minced
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
9 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt
3 cups beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 (28-ounce)can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime


1. Toast the cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute.  Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, oil, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cover and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the beans, water, tomatoes, oregano, and brown sugar, scraping up any brown bits.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chili is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes.
3. Stir in the corn and continue to simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.  off the heat, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, and season with salt to taste.  (The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)

Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Soup

This recipe was taken from “The Complete Light Kitchen” by Rose Reisman. This soup is wonderful!! It looks good and it tastes great. I used this soup as an appetizer for 6 people but I will definitely be making it as a main meal. 



2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups peeled diced potato
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 red bell peppers, roasted
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, dill or basil


1. Spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8 minutes or until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the stock and potato. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
3. Purée the red peppers in a food processor until smooth. Add half the soup mixture and process until smooth. Season with black pepper and pour into a serving bowl.
4. Rinse out the food processor. Purée the yellow peppers until smooth. Add the remaining soup to the yellow pepper purée and process until smooth. Season with black pepper and pour into another serving bowl.
5. To serve, ladle some of the red pepper soup into one side of an individual serving bowl while, at the same time, ladling some of the yellow pepper soup into the other side of the bowl. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro.


Roasting Bell Peppers
Cut bell peppers in half and remove ribs and seeds. Lay the peppers out on a baking sheet and place (6 inches) under the broiler for 15 to 20 minutes, turning several times until charred on all sides. Alternatively, you can use a barbecue on medium-high heat. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap; let cool and remove skin.

Yakitori Chicken

You have to make this!  This recipe is taken from “Food” by Guy Fieri. Instead of buying a whole bottle of sake, I just bought a 300ml size of draft sake. The mirin I found at Supervalu.





1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
2-inch piece ginger, plus 2 tablespoons peeled, roughly chopped ginger
2 green onions, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 quarts of water
Yakitori Sauce (recipe follows)
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Cayenne pepper, for garnish
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)


Special Equipment: Twenty 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water


1. In a food processor, pulse together the chicken, eggs, garlic, the chopped ginger, green onion, salt, flour, cornstarch, and panko until well combined. Form the chicken mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. To keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers, wet your hands with water between rolling the balls. Place balls on a plate, leaving space between them.
2. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil over high heat, then adjust the heat so that the water is at a simmer. Roughly chop the 2-inch piece of ginger and add it to the pot. Add 8 to 10 balls at a time into the water. Cook for about 6 minutes or until cooked through. (the balls will float to the top and change color; make sure there’s no pink on the outside.). Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the balls are cooked. When the balls are cool enough to handle, thread 3 per skewer, leaving 1/4-inch space between each ball.
3. Lightly oil a grill and preheat the grill to medium. Grill the skewers for 7 to 10 minutes, turning gently as they brown lightly. When the chicken is browned, lightly baste the balls with the yakitori sauce. Place the skewers on a serving plate and drizzle with additional yakitori sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro, green onion, sesame seeds, and cayenne pepper and serve immediately with the sweet chili dipping sauce.


Yakitori Sauce
(makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch


1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes.


Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
(makes about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced green onion
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup with Noodles

This recipe is not that spicy. If you want more heat, add more cayenne. This recipe is taken from Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick From Scratch Chicken Cookbook.



1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
5 teaspoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam) or soy sauce
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 3-inch-long strips lime zest
1/2 pound egg fettucine
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)


1. In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, black pepper and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
2. Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, salt, and lime zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
4. Add the chicken to the soup and simmer until just done, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stirring the fettuccine, lime juice, and cilantro, if using. Serve the soup in bowls with a fork and a spoon.
Serves 4