Mexican Pulled Chicken Stuffed Peppers

I have to say sticking to crock pot meals is a lot easier these days with the weather being so rubbish here. There is something about cold weather that makes me want warm comfort food and it is so easy to create comfort food in the crock pot. This time I decided to make a Mexican inspired pulled chicken. Let me warm you the smell when you walk in your door at the end of the day will make you salivate. So far with all of the crock pot meals I have made over the past few weeks this one smelled the most amazing. It was hard to then wait until Chris came home to eat it.

Mexican Pulled Chicken Stuffed Peppers

4 large bell peppers, any colour is fine
3-4 chicken breasts
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
400g (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
120mL (1/2 c.) chicken stock
1/2 onion finely minced
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tps. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
226g (1 c.) salsa
4 slices of cheese
recipe adapted from Life as a Plate

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Happy New Year! Enjoy a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup with some exciting news *Review*

Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe another year has gone by so quickly. I am so excited for 2013 and all it has in store for me and Small Wallet, Big Appetite. This year I will begin content writing for a great parenting blog Mama.Mommy.Mom and I am so excited to join the team. I will also be undertaking another adventure that I want to share with you.

Let me start off by saying as a blogger one of the perks is that sometimes companies as your to review their products. This can be great for me and you the reader because it can introduce us to new products and items. I am very picky about what I do review and I try to make sure that the products fit with Small Wallet, Big Appetite. So when HooRag contacted me and asked me to review their tubular bandana my first thought was, this won’t fit. But I have big news for 2013 and it will involve having to wear something to keep my hair within health and safety guidelines so I thought this would be a fun way to announce it. First of all HooRag tubular bandanas are really cute and can be a simple way to keep your hair out of your face and gulp…food. I am not like my sisters in the way they can take things like a simple piece of fabric and somehow tie it up into their hair and have it look fabulous. I am what I call hair ignorant, my hair is either straight or in a pony tail, not very cute. So I had a lot of fun playing around with my new HooRag and trying out the different ways to do it.

So now the question is how does this tie into my news?

Have you guessed it?

Well I am finally taking a leap of faith and doing something I have only dreamed of. 2013 is going to be the year that I open a food stand in the market and hopefully that will one day lead to opening my own restaurant. My stall will serve Mexican Food, yes I am going to help teach Newbury what California Mexican food should taste like. i.e. it should NOT taste like those Old El Paso mixes.

Eek! I am both excited and terrified. I have never done anything like this before and there are so many things I need to do, including getting my food and safety certificate. And I have to say I am happy to know I can wear my cute HooRag instead of a hair net.

So in celebration of my news I thought I would share a dish I have been working on, Tortilla Soup. Tortilla Soup is one of those soups where everyone has their own version. I don’t think I have ever been to a restaurant or someone’s house where it was served the same way. I fell in love with a version that my aunt served us when she was living in Mexico and I have been working on adapting her recipe. It is going to be so much better when I can buy the right chilies wholesale but I have to say for not having the right chilies this soup turned out wonderful.

So once again Happy New Year from Small Wallet, Big Appetite. Thank you for joining in on the adventure in 2012 and I hope you will continue to enjoy the adventure in 2013.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless chicken breast halves,
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
480mL (2 c.) Chicken stock
155g. (1 c.) whole corn kernels, cooked
10g (1/4 c.) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
sour cream
grated cheese *optional
1 can *Mexican Red Sauce*
or 3 Dried red ancho chili’s

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Chicken Con Queso Casserole

A few weeks ago Sunday Supper’s theme was Mexican food and the fabulous Tammi from, Momma Meal’s featured her Chicken Con Queso recipe. After reading her recipe I quickly stuck it on my weeks shopping list so I could give it a try. Part of the excitement was at the idea of actually making a queso dip like we use to eat at restaurants in the US. While I am not a fan of cheap cheese there was always something about queso dip that just hit the craving spot but until now I had never been able to recreate it at home. I tweaked the original recipe a bit and it came out perfect! I had to stop my husband from getting into the queso dip with chips before I could added it to the casserole. This recipe has instantly become a favourite in this house.

Chicken con queso casserole

1-10 oz can of condensed cream of chicken soup
190g (1 1/2 c.) of shredded cheese (I used Double Gloucester)
158mL (2/3 c.) of evaporated Milk
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
200g (1 1/2 c.) tortilla chips, crushed
500g (1 lb) of chicken breasts, chopped (You can also use left over chicken from another dish)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
140g (1 c.) corn
1-15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 handfuls of coriander (cilantro), chopped

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Mexican Rice

On Sunday I served up my Grilled Fish tacos and I paired with with Mexican rice. I am a bit of a rice addict so over the years I have tried really hard to master each rice dish I come across. And that means a lot of research on technics. Because as simple as it is to make just plain rice it can be difficult for your rice dish to turn out like you have had it in restaurants unless you learn some of the tricks. For example did you know that the way to get the best fried rice is by using chilled, pre-cooked rice? And the other trick I learned is when you want a pilaf rice you need to rinse the rice and allow all of the starch to wash away. Mexican rice is version of a pilaf and when done right is good enough to eat on its own. It perfectly compliments any Mexican dish and once you know how to do it is actually quite simple to put together.

Mexican Rice

185 g (1 c.) long grain white rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
355 (1 1/2 c.) broth (I used veggie)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 pepper any colour, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
25 g (1/2 c.) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa #SundaySupper

So today is Mexican Independence Day. Now I know what you are thinking, wait isn’t that Cinco de Mayo? The answer is no, Cinco de Mayo is actually a holiday celebrated in the US and only in a few regions on Mexico. And the date is not to celebrate Independence, it is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride and in certain regions of Mexico it is to celebrate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. So there is a little bit of history/trivia for you. So if you really want to throw back some margaritas in celebration of Mexican Independence day then get your glasses ready because today is the day. And the Sunday Supper crew wanted to take part in the celebrations by sharing some of our favourite Mexican dishes.

If you have been following me for a while you might have guessed that I love Mexican food, and I also love introducing my UK family to different dishes. In California our Mexican influence mostly comes from the Baja peninsula and fish tacos is what I would consider a standard Baja Mexican dish. And one of the things that I love about grilled fish tacos is it is so light and yet filling. Where a lot of Mexican meals can leave you feeling like you gained 10 pounds in one meal, this one fills you up without weighing you down.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salas

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 teaspoons lime zest
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
2-4 tsp chili powder (depending on how hot you want it and how hot your chili powder is)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 kilo (2 lbs) talapia
12 tortillas

190g (1 c.) corn, defrosted
1 400g (15oz) tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
60mL (1/4 c.) lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste

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