Monday, September 2, 2013

A, M & H Dinner 1

When A, M & H came for dinner, I finally managed to pull off a cohesive theme - Mexican food!  I used a Mexican blanket as the tablecloth and the food was Mexican/Mexican-inspired.

The sausage-cheese dip I served is one of those food that I just can't stop eating.  I got the recipe from my friend, Jean, who served it with Fritos scoops.  They pair perfectly together because the thickness of the Fritos holds up well to this thick dip.  Salsa, tortilla chips (because they pair better with salsa) and pistachios completed the appetizers.

Dinner consisted of Mexican Caesar salad, chicken enchiladas (an adaptation of my sister-in-law's recipe) and Spanish rice (purchased).  Pineapple upside down cake with whipped was the finale to the evening.

Jean's Sausage Dip, Salsa (purchased), Pistachios, Tortilla Chips and Fritos

Mexican Caesar Salad, Chicken Enchiladas and Spanish Rice (purchased)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Sweetened Whipped Cream
Jean's Sausage Cheese Dip
1 lb. spicy pork sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
28 oz. Rotel tomatoes
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Saute sausage, onion and garlic until sausage is thoroughly cooked.  Drain oil.  Add tomatoes, and reduce the liquid.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cream cheese and then jack cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until warm and bubbly.

Mexican Caesar Salad
1 head Romaine lettuce
1/4 C. pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
1/4 C. tortilla chips, crushed
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
El Torito Cilantro Pepita Dressing

Remove the tough outer leaves from the head of lettuce and discard.  Remove the rest of the leaves, wash, dry and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a bowl and top with pepitas, tortilla chips and Parmesan cheese.  Add about 1/2 cup of dressing (or to taste), toss and serve.

Marian's Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from Marian Nakatani's recipe)
18 corn tortillas (approximately)
1 cooked chicken (I used a large rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. olives, sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
24 oz. tomatillo salsa (I used Herdez brand)
1 bunch cilantro, tops only
1/2 C. half and half
1 C. sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

To prepare the salsa, place the salsa, cilantro, half and half and sour cream in a blender.  
Blend until the cilantro is chopped and evenly distributed in the mixture.  Set aside.

Remove the chicken from the bones and shred into a bowl.  Add half of each cheese, the scallions, 1/4 of the salsa mixture, and olives (I don't care for olives, so I roll half of the enchiladas, add the olives to the mixture and finish making enchiladas).  Set aside.

Soften the tortillas by heating directly over the flame or in a pan.

Cover the bottom of the pans (I usually have enough to make a 9" x 13" pan and an 8" x 8" pan) with salsa.  Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken and cheese mixture into each tortilla, and roll.  Place in the pan.  Top with the remaining cheese and then with the remaining salsa.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)
20 oz. can of pineapple slices (you will have leftovers)
2 Tbsp. & 1/3 C. butter, divided
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 C. flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Drain pineapple and reserve liquid.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of reserved juice.  Place in 9" round baking pan.  Add one whole pineapple ring to the center of the pan, cut the remaining rings in half and place around the center pineapple.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Alternately add the dry ingredients and 2/3 cup of reserved pineapple juice, beating after each addition.  Spread into pan over the pineapple.  Bake 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes and invert onto serving dish.  Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

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