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February 24, 2013

Chicken tortilla casserole recipe

Chicken tortilla casserole: make ahead and freeze.

Most of the time, I'm not the person who encourages you to open a bunch of cans and call it cooking. Today, I'm that person. Some regional ingredients, like the enchilada sauce and roasted green chiles in this chicken tortilla casserole, are hard to find in my part of the world in any other form, and if that's your situation, you have my permission to reach for your can opener. Although I call this a tortilla casserole, the recipe only calls for two tortillas -- oat bran tortillas, which are low in calories and carbs. Swap in your favorite whole grain tortillas, but don't omit them; they keep everything else from collapsing before the casserole cooks through. For an easy worknight dinner, use a rotisserie chicken or any leftover cooked chicken. You can prep the chicken-and-bean filling a few days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Then, when you're ready to serve the casserole, assemble the layers with tortillas and cheese, and bake. Serve with traditional tortilla toppings like chunks of avocado and sour cream on the side.

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February 17, 2013

Four favorite ways to use smoked paprika

Four of my favorite recipes that use Spanish smoked paprika (The Perfect Pantry).

How does an ingredient earn its way onto The Perfect Pantry's permanent shelf space? One of two ways: It must be something I use in many recipes, or something indispensable to one treasured recipe I make over and over again. The premise of this blog always has been to encourage you to buy an ingredient called for in one recipe by promising to share more ways to use that ingredient. Have you tried smoked paprika yet?

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February 10, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl {gluten-free}

Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito, in a bowl.

I'm a gal who loves a good burrito, the overstuffed kind that dribbles down your chin when you bite into it: meat, beans and rice, guacamole, maybe some sour cream, and salsa, bundled up in a tortilla. I love it all. Everything except the tortilla goes into this slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl. You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and the slow cooker works its magic while you're out for the day. You can roll the filling into a tortilla for a traditional burrito, but if you're cutting down on carbs, like we are, you'll love it in a bowl. All you have to do is add some fresh garnishes -- avocado, chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese -- and you can sneak a few tortilla chips on the side.

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November 25, 2012

Recipe for turkey, kale and cheese quesadillas

Turkey, kale and cheese quesadillas, a great way to use leftovers.

To tell you my husband Ted and I loved these quesadillas would be an understatement. So, I'll just tell you that we devoured them three days in a row, which, if you have lots and lots of turkey leftovers, is a good thing to know. Pull out any shredded cheese you have in your freezer, any salsa (or chutney, or even leftover cranberry sauce) from the fridge, and any type of tortillas you have on hand; I love these habanero-lime tortillas from Trader Joe's, which are both orange and spicy. Cook the kale with salsa or sofrito to give it a bit of a kick, and you have a quesadilla so good you'll forget you're eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

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October 4, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos

Slow cooker tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos, from The Perfect Pantry.

A sentence I never imagined I'd utter: I'm a fool for shredded meat. I'm a bigger fool for shredded meat made in the slow cooker, which does all of the work of breaking down the connective tissue so I just come along at the very end of cooking, and have at it with a couple of forks. Nothing could be easier. Over the past few months, I've been slow cooking and shredding lots of chicken, rolling and stuffing it into sandwiches, tortillas and pitas. One of my favorite variations, these tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos, starts with store-bought tomatillo salsa. Fresh tomatillos are hard to find in my small Rhode Island town; neither the markets nor farmstands have them, so good quality, all-natural salsa is a great option, and it's something I always have in the pantry.

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Welcome to The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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