Category Archives: Game Day

Chimichanga Suiza

One of my wife’s favorite dishes is probably the chimichanga. I could be wrong about that, but she has never turned one down, and any Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant we have ever been to, she almost always orders the chimichanga. I used to deep fry the chimichangas, but now I have recently started baking them. It’s a lot easier, and a lot less of a mess, and that it right up my alley. My kids have also been turned onto the chimichanga, and as they can be picky eaters (yes, still), these still make a great dinner because I can make a variety including just plain chicken, or chicken and cheese, or chicken, refried beans, and cheese. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to create my own, and for whatever reason I could not shake enchiladas suizas out of my head, and so that is the direction I went, however simplifying the cheese sauce by using some leftover baby Swiss cheese. It was awesome to say the least.

Chimichanga Suiza

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 1/2 cup cooked refried beans
  • 2 tbsp diced green chilies
  • 3 slices of Swiss cheese
  • Hot sauce
  • Cooking spray or canola oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

How to make a chimichanga suiza

Heat a large flour tortilla in the microwave, or in a large skillet, only for a few seconds so that you can easily work with it.

Spread the refried beans onto the warm tortilla. Top with chicken,  and chilies. I added my fire roasted habanero salsa as well. Fold over both sides, then roll into a chimichanga.

Lightly spray with the cooking oil and place it onto a baking sheet.

Bake until a light, golden brown, roughly 15 minutes. Once golden, remove and place the Swiss cheese onto the chimichanga, covering the top. Return back to the oven and cook a few more minutes until the cheese is fully melted.

Chimichanga Suiza Recipe

Remove and dig in. I drizzle hot sauce on mine as I like some extra kick and serve it with some Mexican rice, sliced avocados, and a simple salad. Give this one a try. It’s really, really good, especially with that Swiss cheese. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pizza

Lately I have been tinkering with mastering my pizza dough. I’m sure you have all seen my postings, with all sorts of pizza creations. I think I am getting pretty darn close not only with the pizza dough, which is probably the most important, but also with the temperature, cook time, and well, the toppings.

A recent gift from Nueske’s yielded a package of peppered bacon. I was stoked to say the least, and as I quickly thought of making BLT’s, I decided to do something a bit different, and that was to make a chicken and bacon ranch pizza.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pizza

I had some leftover chicken that I wanted to use, and hence why this pizza came to what it was, not only that but I could not shake the package of bacon out of my mind. I used my KettlePizza on this one, but you can definitely use your oven as well.

Let’s get started.

  • Your favorite pizza dough,  about 16″ in diameter
  • Fine cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 5 slices of bacon, partially cooked
  • Ranch dressing, to your liking

Start by lightly coating your pizza peel with light cornmeal. This will help slide the pizza onto your pre-heated pizza stone.

Preheat your oven to the highest temp, along with the pizza stone. I’ve found that around 575o-600 degrees is a perfect temperature to cook the pizza.

Next, lightly flour a wooden board, or clean counter, and shape your dough. I’ve learned to stretch the dough ever so lightly, but keeping the edges a bit thicker. Once stretched to about 16 inches or so, lay the dough onto the pizza peel.

bacon-chicken-ranch-pizza-ingredients

Next, ladle on the pizza sauce, ensuring the the pizza is covered, then drizzle on the pesto. Top with the mozzarella cheese, then top with the chicken, and then lay the slices of partially cooked bacon over the top.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pizza

Slide the pizza off of the pizza peel onto the pizza stone, and cook for about 7 minutes or until the dough has risen, is partially darkened on the bottom, and the bacon is fully cooked.

Remove, and slice. Drizzle your slice(s) with as much ranch dressing as you desire.

The result is nothing short of amazing. The crust is killer. It’s ‘airy’, slightly crisp, and the first thing you get is this whiff of awesome smokey bacon. Biting into it yields that great sourness from the ranch, the smokiness from the bacon, and the chicken, cheese, and pesto. It’s a knockout pizza for sure.

Give this one a try if you are looking for new pizza ideas. Hope you enjoy!

Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

I was asked some time ago what was my favorite chile pepper to use when cooking. At first I was thinking it was the jalapeno as it is more on the mild side and can be tolerated by many, however as I continued to think about it, I thought it was the serrano, or heck even the habanero. There are so many that I do love, including the smoked jalapenos, and as importantly the Thai bird chile pepper. But the habanero is one of those awesome chile peppers that is just loaded with awesome flavor, and heat for that matter. In the past I have only used the habanero in making Jamaican jerk rubs, and even a habanero hot sauce that was completely addicting (and hot). With that in mind, I decided to take that idea of using the habanero and turn it into a fire roasted habanero salsa, plus I wanted to use a handful of tomatoes from my garden. Trust me, this salsa rocks.

Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 whole habanero chilies
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of water

The cool thing about making this salsa is that you cook the vegetables and chilies directly on the coals. The Mexicans have been doing this forever, and it is typically referred to as cooking al carbon. The cooking method instills this awesome flavor that you typically will not get by cooking on your stove top or broiler. Trust me, try this. Folks have even been known to cook meat directly on the hot ashes as well!

Heat your coals until they are all nice and gray. Lay the onion, tomatoes, and habaneros directly onto the coals. Note that the onion will take longer to cook than that of the tomatoes and habaneros. Cook everything until they are completely black and super charred. Once fully charred place them in a bowl and let them cool to the touch.

How to make Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

Once they are cooled, use the back of your pairing knife and remove the outer skin from each of the items. Don’t worry if you get a bit of ash or char along with the items. You can decide if you want to keep the seeds in tact on the habaneros. I kept two whole, and removed the seeds from the third.

Once the charred skin is removed, add the tomatoes, habaneros, and onion to a food processor. Toss in the garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Pulse until you have a nice consistency, then start slowly pouring in the water until you have your desired thickness. Taste and adjust with any salt.

The result is just the perfect amount of heat. It does have a kick to it, but the flavor is just out of this world. This stuff is great on just about anything. I was adding it to my omelettes in the morning, using it as a standard chip dip after work, and drizzled on chimichangas. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think when you decide to cook al carbon!

Renaissance Faire Style Mushrooms

Not too far from Milwaukee, there is a annual summer-time event called the Bristol Renaissance Faire. It’s a good time to be had by all. It’s been years since I have last went, but I recall it rather clearly. I remember the people dressed in costume, the shops, the activities, and their food. So my coworkers and I got to talking as the faire recently ended, and one coworker kept describing their mushrooms and how awesome they were. I was set out to make those, as I knew I would be putting them on pretty much anything, and that was the truth. These mushrooms are perfect in texture, and have a great garlic and onion flavor.

Renaissance Faire Style Mushrooms

Let’s get started.

  • 32 ounces of button and cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 whole onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs thyme

This is really super simple, and one that goes pretty much the majority of the day.

Add the mushrooms to a large pot. Cover with water and the beef stock. Add a plate to the top, one that will fit, to make sure the mushrooms get a nice soaking until you are ready to add the remaining ingredients.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat.  Add the butter, and let it melt. Toss in the onions, garlic, and cracked black pepper. Give it a nice toss. Let this cook on medium heat, stirring along the way, just until the onions begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the plate from the mushrooms, and add the onion mixture to the pot. Add in the salt, and white wine.  Stir. Cover, and bring to a simmer, and cook for about 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours. About 6 hours in, remove the cover, bring the heat to medium, and add the sprigs of thyme.

How to make Renaissance Faire Style Mushrooms

The broth will reduce a bit, and that’s what you want, but you will still have plenty of broth. It’s yummy. I could just eat that by itself.

When you are ready to serve, ladle these in a bowl, or serve them as I did on top of mashed potatoes. Did I say that might be my favorite new combination? Mushrooms and mashed potatoes?

These mushrooms are addicting. They are super tender and just have an awesome taste. I mean you can’t go wrong with garlic, onion, butter, and wine.  It makes quiet a bit, so reduce how many ounces of mushrooms you want to make.

When I was cooking these, I thought that you could probably get away with these by making them in a slow cooker.  I hope you enjoy!