This week’s recipes: Southwest-Inspired Brunches

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Buffalo Chicken Tostadas with Coffee-Spiced Rice

For the rice:

  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine-ground coffee
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

For the rest:

  • 6 slices of queso frier
  • 5 buffalo wings (leftovers from Super Bowl Sunday, perhaps?)
  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of bleu cheese dressing
  • Cilantro to garnish

Sautee the onions in the vegetable oil until they’re soft, then add in the coffee, spices and salt. Sautee the spiced onions a few minutes longer before adding the rice, then cook until everything is evenly mixed. Push the rice to one side and warm the buffalo chicken while the rice finishes cooking.

While the rice is cooking, fry each tortilla in vegetable oil until crisp and slightly browned. Lightly fry each slice of cheese.

For serving these, I topped one tortilla with chicken and blue cheese, one with rice and queso, and the other with mixed rice, chicken and queso. Garnish with cilantro, unless you’re one of those people to whom cilantro tastes like soap.

Egg and Guacamole Tostada

Another tostada. For this one you’ll need:

  • 2 small tortillas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 diced chipotle chili
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 1 slice of lime
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Chop the onion, setting aside ¼. Sautee it, adding the spices, chilis and salt. Fry the tortillas as before and set aside, using the oiled pan to fry the eggs. While the egg is frying make the (very quick) guacamole by finely dicing the remaining onion, mashing it into the avocado pulp and spritzing with juice from the lime. Top the fried tortillas with onions, egg and guacamole.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 8-ounce jar of mild, medium or spicy salsa
  • 1 can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • Cilantro to garnish

Set your slow cooker to low heat. Add the chicken parts (whole), broth, salsa, onion (chopped), 2 to 3 chipotle chilis (chopped), adobo sauce and chili powder to the slow cooker. Cook for 6 to 8 hours. The chicken should peel easily off the bone. Serve over rice and top with cilantro.

Southwest-Style Granola Parfait

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened chocolate, crushed into flakes
  • ¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix dry ingredients (including the cinnamon and excluding the chocolate) in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix the honey and vegetable oil; drizzle this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are coated.

Spread into a very lightly greased jelly roll pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent the granola from toasting unevenly. Cool the granola, add the crushed chocolate and store in an airtight container. Sub the chocolate for raisins for a healthier batch.

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