3 Simple And Delicious Southwestern Recipes

Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences are prevalent in Southwestern cuisine, which features many dishes made with beef or pork and spices, particularly chili peppers.

Dishes are flavorful and rustic, making them pretty easy to prepare. To see what we mean, try your hand at these three delicious Southwestern recipes:

Southwestern Taco Skillet via Diethood

Photo: Diethood

You Will Need: 
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced 
1-pound 99% fat free ground turkey (can also use ground chicken, beef, pork, etc.)
salt and fresh ground pepper 
1 can (15-ounces) whole kernel sweet corn
1 can (14-ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup instant brown rice
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded taco blend cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
2. Add onions and ground meat and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat is browned.
3. Remove from heat, drain and transfer meat to a bowl.
4. Return skillet to heat; add corn, tomatoes, brown rice, vegetable broth, chili powder, and cumin.
5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
6. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
7. Remove cover, stir in beans and cooked meat and continue to cook for 2 more minutes or until heated through.
8. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese, cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is melted.
9. Serve.

Southwest Mac and Cheese via Big Oven

Photo: Big Oven

You Will Need: 
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 quarts water
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, salted
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cream cheese
2 cups shredded or block gouda cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded or block cheddar Cheese
2 ears fresh corn; roasted
3 fresh jalapenos; diced

1. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling salted water with oil. Oil helps prevent the water from boiling over the top of the pan. After cooking macaroni, cool the pasta in cold water, drain and reserve until needed.
2. Roast corn on the cob under the broiler or on an open flame until all sides have a darker roasted appearance. Cut the kernels off of the cob and reserve until needed.
3. In a saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for 3 minutes under medium-low heat.
4. Add milk while stirring and then continue to add cream, mustard, black pepper and salt.
5. Cook the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon until it has reached a very slow simmer. Once it reaches a slow simmer, cook for 15 minutes while continually stirring.
6. Add the Wisconsin 1/3 less fat cream cheese, shredded Gouda and shredded Cheddar cheeses and continue to cook the mixture, on medium-low heat, until the cheese is melted.
7. Fold in the macaroni, corn and jalapenos and serve.

Southwest Stuffed Chicken Breast via The Cozy Apron

Photo: The Cozy Apron

You Will Need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (tenderloins removed and saved for another use)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill pan
1 teaspoon lime zest
1-1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch black pepper
1 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup sliced roasted red peppers (from jar)
pico de gallo (prepared), for garnish
cilantro leaves, for garnish
lime slices/wedges, for garnish

1. Place the chicken breasts into a medium-size bowl, and add in all of the ingredients beginning with the olive oil, up to and including the black pepper, and toss to season the meat well; marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight, if preparing ahead.
2. Once chicken in marinated, preheat your oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack.
3. Preheat your grill pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil; once hot, add in the chicken breasts (work in a couple of batches, if necessary) and grill them for about 3 minutes per side, or just until golden on the outside (the chicken will not be cooked through at this point, which is fine.)
4. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, make a pocket in the thickest part of the breast, taking care not to cut all the way through, but just creating a large enough of pocket to stuff with filling; add a generous ¼ cup of the cheese, then a couple of tablespoons each of the black beans and corn, and then a few slices of the roasted red peppers.
5. Use a couple of toothpicks to secure the opening, and place the stuffed breasts onto the wire rack, and place into the oven to bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melty.
6. Top each stuffed chicken breast with some of the pico de gallo, plus a few cilantro leaves, if desired, and a slice/wedge of lime, for garnish.

Instead of using a grill pan to make the Southwest Stuffed Chicken Breast, residents at The Connection in Huntsville, Texas, and Valley View Villas in Albuquerque, New Mexico can use their community’s outdoor grills.

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