Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

This casserole was a life saver during finals. It lasted three days, and thats a long time between Rob and I

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Chunky Salsa (Hot works best, you need the extra kick with all the other ingredients)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
1 package (24 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn
2 cans (9.75 ounces each) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained (**I actually used a jalapeƱo honey rotisserie chicken I found at HEB. DELICIOUS. I would recommend a rotisserie because, well its just way better than chunk chicken breast)
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
**I made this twice and the second time I put in a good chunk of cream cheese, you know, for good measure. And it was dang tasty.

Let the pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or until they're easy to handle.

Stir the salsa, soup, sour cream, cheese, corn, chicken and beans in a large bowl. Spoon the chicken mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

Unfold the pie crusts on a lightly floured surface. Lay the crusts side-by-side so that they overlap by about 3 inches in the center. Press the seam to seal. Roll the pie crust into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Place the pie crust over the chicken mixture. Trim the excess crust from the edge. Cut several slits in the crust.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pasta with Pesto and Peas

Ina does it again. This is delicious especially with chicken included. I think my sister Kendall was the first to introduce it and we made it for a baby shower. So good.
I made the pesto in advance and kept it in the freezer then last night I cooked an extra chicken breast and today put it all together. Super easy and delicious.
Copyright, 2001, Ina Garten, All rights reserved

Prep Time:
45 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 min
Cook Time:
12 min
12 servings


* 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
* 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
* 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
* 1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

* 1/4 cup walnuts
* 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
* 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
* 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Yield: 4 cups