Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Quick gourmet meals in the middle of the week are my favorite! This one is done in as little as 35 minutes. Excited? I'll get you more excited! These vegetables are not only off the hook delicious, they also help to pack in 7g of fiber, and make the meal look pretty, wouldn't you say? At 500 calories, this won't break your calorie bank either.

Recipe credits go to Curtis Stone, but I did make a few adjustments in oil and the portion of the meat to bring the calories down from 650 per serving. I was also more realistic with the cooking time, because I'm nice like that.

Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4 

Ingredients

Pork
4 boneless pork loin chops (each about 5 ounces, and 1-inch thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

Vegetables and Apples
1 pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
2 Pink Lady or Fuji apples, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut lengthwise into eighths
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place in the oven until very hot.

To cook the vegetables and apples: In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, apples, fennel, and rosemary with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the vegetables and apples on it. Roast, turning the ingredients over halfway through, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nicely browned and tender.

Meanwhile, cook the pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the chops to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and barely pink when pierced in the center with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a platter (reserving the oil in the skillet) and let stand for 5 minutes.

Return the pan to medium-low heat, add the apple cider, and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the mustard and simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter to lightly thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the sweet potato mixture among four dinner plates. Place a pork chop alongside the vegetables on each plate. Drizzle with the pan sauce and serve.

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Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

This recipe for Indonesian-style lemongrass chicken is deliciously outstanding, as lemongrass chicken always is! And the lemongrass was grown in our garden to boot! 

The greatest thing about this lemongrass chicken is how many anti-inflammatory ingredients are included. I was just talking with my mom this morning about how food is medicine and this dish is a shining example of that. Between the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, galangal, and turmeric, this is a meal that is sure to please your belly and keep your body healthy and happy. 

To keep this dish on anti-inflammatory end, I served it up with a rice alternative that is made out of konnyaku flour and oat flour. Definitely not a bad substitute for white rice, I must say! Plus the calories were reduced by half, which means more chicken for me, yay!

Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

Adapted from Daily Cooking Quest
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
10 birdseye chilies, or more to taste
3 shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only
2-inch piece galangal
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and knotted
1 cup light coconut milk
½ tbsp tamarind + 4 tbsp hot water, mixed well, strained
2 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Steamed coconut rice, to serve

Directions
In a large bowl, marinate chicken with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare spice paste by adding chilies, shallots, garlic, 2 lemongrass stalks (white pieces only), galangal, and turmeric to a food processor. Blend until the paste reaches a smooth consistency.

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Fry chicken until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, add spice paste and lemongrass, and fry until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, tamarind paste, sugar, and salt to the frying pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the chicken into the pan and cook until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve over steamed coconut rice. 

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Clam Linguine With Herb Broth and Clams

 

Clam linguine anyone? Because I’m pretty sure I can hear you saying “yes please!” Clams, like other shellfish, are made up of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Equally important, in my opinion, they’re also made up of B12! I like to include B12 often in my diet because it helps to keep my body energized, my nervous system healthy, and my metabolism in check. Plus, this pasta is just so simple and delicious, and can be prepared easily on a weeknight. I like serving it up with a small glass of white wine too!

 

Clam Linguine With Herb Broth and Clams

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
3 pounds Manila clams or small littleneck clams
4 tbsp butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
3 medium roma tomatoes, cored, chopped
3 cups dry white wine, such as Pino Grigio
1 cup clam juice
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, or 2 tbsp dried
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
12 ounces linguine

Directions
Place clams in a colander and scrub under running water. Place in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 20 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and clam juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Bring broth to boil. Add clams, cover, and cook until clams open, 3 to 5 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Transfer clams to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm.

Stir basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper into broth in pot. Add linguine. Boil until pasta is almost tender but still very firm to bite, stirring often and adding clam juice by tablespoonfuls if too dry. Return clams with any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and simmer until clams are heated through and pasta is tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer linguine and clam mixture to large shallow platter and serve.

Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas with Kale & Spicy Red Lentils

 

I’m not sure if I’ve said this already, but I really LOVE Ethiopian cuisine. Okay, maybe I did tell you in an earlier post [HERE], but I can’t express my crazy addicted love for it enough. One thing I like best is that the vegetarian dishes, which are vegan when omitting the spiced butter or substituting with vegan cheese in the salad, are just as yummy as the meat dishes.

So below I present to you Misir Wot and Kik Alicha, two dishes I like to cook side by side. While split peas may be a dish you hated as a child, know that these are the delicious gourmet kind, cooked in a lovely turmeric onion sauce. I added kale because there’s a lot growing in my garden, and it’s always fun to add extra greens when possible. But who doesn’t love spicy red lentils? Misir Wot’s flavors are actually really similar to Doro Wot (Chicken in a Berbere Sauce with Hard Boiled Eggs), and you won’t miss the lack of meat at all.

What about the protein content, you might ask? Oh, that’s right. The protein in split peas is highly absorbable and red lentils aren’t half bad! Combine them with injera, which is made from the Teff, and your amino acid profile is even more complete. Plus, by eating legumes, you’re upping your fiber, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium intake, while lowing your intake of saturated fat! Eating yummy legumes like these will go a long way to lead you to good health.

Are you ready for the recipes yet? I’m already hungry for these dishes again, even though I only devoured them a few hours ago! Don’t forget to visit my earlier post link above for tips on acquiring some of the ingredients and making your own injera!

 

Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Lentils

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 yellow onions, finely minced
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
½ cup olive oil
3 to 5 tbsp berbere spice mix (less for mild)
½ cup diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup dried red lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
½ tsp Ethiopian Cardamom
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter), optional
4 to 5 Injera rounds (Ethiopian bread), for serving

Directions
Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and sweat without oil and being careful to not over-stir, for about 10 minutes. Cook onions until golden brown, lowering heat if necessary. Stir in garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and berbere, and sauté over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture reaches a paste consistency.

Stir in tomatoes, lentils, and ½ cup water to the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Over a 15-minute period, add about ½ cup of water every 2 minutes, until all 4 cups of water are absorbed. Lower heat and cover, simmering about 10 minutes longer. Add cardamom and salt.

Test the lentils for doneness. Continue to cook about 10-20 minutes longer, until lentils are soft, but not overcooked. Remove from heat and serve over injera!

 

Kik Alicha with Kale

Adapted from Ethiopian Fire & Spice by Fetlework Tefferi
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp ginger, minced
½ tsp Alicha Kimem, optional
½ tsp turmeric
½ bunch kale, sliced into 1-inch strips
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
4 to 5 spices Injera (Ethopian bread), for serving

Directions
Soak split peas in hot water for 15 minutes.

Sweat onions on low heat in a covered saucepan for 2 minutes. Do not over-stir. Add 1/3 cup of hot water, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add water and olive oil, and sauté for 3 minutes longer.

As the water evaporates, continue to make sure the onions do not dry up or change color. Add ¼ cup hot water, 1 tbsp ginger, and a pinch of the turmeric. The sauce should have a soup like consistency. Keep covered and continue to cook for 4 minutes.

Add the split peas and mix well into the sauce. Add 2 cups of hot water, cover, and cook. After about 2 minutes, when the split peas are tender, add alicha kimem for additional flavor. Add garlic and the remaining 1 tbsp ginger. Stir the peas, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking. Add water as needed. Add remaining turmeric, reduce heat to medium. Cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the peas are tender. Stir frequently, ad make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Pork Belly Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Mixed Mushrooms

 

Seeing this recipe, you might ask, is pork belly stir-fry a healthy option? It depends! As a dietitian, I know that it’s totally fine to indulge on occasion. While I wouldn’t recommend eating large portions of this delicious meal below every day, I will say that it can be a part of a healthy diet, especially because it’s packed with so many vegetables. So while I’ll try to keep other meals I eat this week on the lower sodium side, I will allow this on my plate.

Overall, I think that it’s important to allow yourself to eat the foods you enjoy on occasion as long as you keep moderation in mind, and try to be creative by incorporating healthy ingredients as much as possible. That way you can stick to your plan to meet your health goals, but not become discouraged on your journey to getting there!

 

Pork Belly Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Mixed Mushrooms

Adapted from Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb pork belly, cut into 2-inch-long by ¼-inch-thich slices
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
16 oz mixed Asian mushrooms, such as oyster, enoki, shiitake
8 oz snow peas, trimmed
1 bunch green onions, sliced, divided
12 birdseye chilis (optional)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, divided
3-5 tbsp hoisin sauce (to taste)
2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Steamed rice, to serve

Directions
Sprinkle pork belly with salt and pepper. Heat a large wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and mushrooms; stir-fry until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Add pork belly to skillet; stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until pork has browned, but is not cooked through. Add snow peas, half of the green onions, birdseye chilis (if using), and half of the cilantro; stir-fry for one minute. Stir in hoisin, chili-garlic sauce, and five-spice powder. Sauté until peas are crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates with steamed rice and sprinkle with remaining green onions and cilantro.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

It’s World Egg Day, so I was inspired to share one of my favorite eggy recipes with you! While eggs used to be a super big nutritional no-no due to their cholesterol content, research has found that they don’t raise your cholesterol one darn bit! I’m so excited to live in a time when eggs are no longer a guilty pleasure, but a delicious healthy pleasure instead! So what are you waiting for? Dive into this scrumptious recipe for World Egg Day and fill up on some high quality-protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and satisfied.

 

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs, halved and seeded
1/4 pound guanciale or bacon, chopped
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small bunch kale, chopped
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 fried eggs

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Season squash with salt and pepper. Set squash flesh-side down in a shallow baking pan and add about 1/4 inch of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover squash with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until squash is fork tender. Shred squash with a fork. Keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the guanciale until crisp and brown. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels, leaving about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, serrano, and mushrooms and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mushrooms have browned. Add kale and broth. Simmer on medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed and the kale is tender.

Return the bacon to the pan. Add white wine and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add reserved shredded squash and stir, rewarming if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve on plates topped with a fried egg!

Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef

 

If you’re looking for something a little different to cook, but for something that’s still familiar (a stir fry over rice), try out this recipe for Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef. If you know of larb, a Thai dish, this shares a lot of similarities in texture and appearance. But thanks so the spice mixture, which includes cinnamon, the flavor is definitely African. Can’t imagine what that would taste like? Make this to mix up your cooking routine. It’s great served over brown rice, with roasted sweet potatoes, or even a little bit of whole grain flatbread. I’m not sure where I found the original recipe, but it is featured on Food & Wine. I’ve changed it up to add kale instead of collards (I love kale, and it’s packed with even more nutrients than collard greens), and added San Marzano tomatoes from my garden. Super delicious!

 

Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the collard greens and tomatoes and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir everything gently as it cooks, careful not to mush the tomatoes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

A Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala + Indian-Spiced Kale with Chickpeas

 

Indian food is so delicious, but you might not deem it healthy and only save it for a cheat day. But I beg you to think differently! If you cook curry in your own kitchen (it’s not daunting at all), you can see exactly what’s going into it, and it can not only be diet friendly, but extremely healthy to boot. My recipe below uses little in the way of saturated fat, and only utilizes a few tablespoons of peanut oil and a little bit of yogurt. The results? Exceptional.

I hear the word “clean eats” being thrown around a lot, but I think it’s a term that is not well-defined and can be misleading. Some might think that “clean eats” is only eating raw, or only eating really basic foods, liked steamed chicken breast and broccoli.

I am here to tell you that this chicken tikka masala meets MY definition of clean eats. This is because the dish is well-balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, and has several spices and herbs that are super good for you. While turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory, cumin and cayenne may promote weight loss, fenugreek is rich in minerals, and garam masala is a wonderful mix of several extremely healthful spices. Studies have shown many spices used in Indian cuisine also serve as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention.

So here is my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve also paired it with a recipe from EatingWell that is a great way to use up any kale you have growing in your garden! Plus the garbanzos add just a little extra fiber to really round out this dish.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
1.5 lbs chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 tbsp Tandoori Paste
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Peanut Oil
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 serrano chilis, deseeded, chopped
1″ piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 lb roma tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
5 cashews (optional)
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Steamed basmati rice + mint chutney, to serve

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.

Add chicken, tandoori paste, and Greek yogurt to a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to refrigerator and let marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and browned.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add serrano chilis, ginger, garlic, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Then add turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, fenugreek, and cook for a few more minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a food processor with cashews and blend until very smooth.

Return sauce to the same pan and add 1 tbsp peanut oil. Add chicken and its juices to the pan to reheat. Stir in yogurt and 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with mint chutney over rice.


Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add broth, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas; cover and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Start your week off rich in Omega-3s with this recipe for Halibut with Zucchini, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

Get your week off to a good start with a lovely serving of Omega-3s! The FDA recommends consuming two servings of seafood per week to boost heart and brain health, which means that it’s not a bad idea to start eating fish earlier in the week so that you can plan your next fish dish before the week is over. And if you’re like me, you can always double up your recipe so that you can dive into more omega-3s for lunch the next day. How is that for fantastic?

Because I’ve been eating a lot of salmon, tuna, and black cod recently, I decided this time to opt for halibut. While halibut is admittedly less rich in omega-3s than the latter, one 6-oz portion is still going to net about 900mg of omega-3s, which is still considerable. So if you find yourself growing tired of seafood highest in omega-3s, don’t hesitate to choose an option in the middle range, like halibut. I think that adding diverse foods to your diet is best, especially because it will lessen your chance for boredom!

Before you dive into meal planning for the delicious recipe below, check out the list made by Seafood Health Facts that details the omega-3 content of various types of fish.

 

Halibut with Zucchini, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped (reserving 2 tsbp oil)
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pits removed, and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Four (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Add zucchini and salt to a medium boil and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse, drain, and pat zucchini dry.

Arrange 4 long pieces of foil on a work surface and brush each piece of foil lightly with a little of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil.

Add sun-dried tomatoes and remaining oil to a small bowl with cilantro and olives, and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange your zucchini over each piece of foil by overlapping slices about the same size and shape of each fish fillet. Top zucchini with half of the sun-dried tomato mixture. Arrange fish over vegetables and top with remaining sun-dried tomato mixture. Seal each fillet with foil by folding into packets. Set on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the fish has cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145F.

Carefully open each packet and transfer to serving plates. Enjoy!

Health(ier) Chicken Enchiladas

 

Enchiladas aren’t necessarily the healthiest Mexican entrée you can make. They’re typically loaded with cheese, tons of sour cream, and sometimes fatty cuts of meat. These ones are of the lighter fare, but do not lack in flavor, as the tomatillo sauce delivers a delicious umami punch, and there’s just enough low-fat cheese and cream to satiate your appetite. Plus, you don’t have to bake them – which means each person served can control their own toppings. Another thing that makes this recipe great is that each step is really simple and there’s time between steps to clean up the kitchen, listen to music, or even time to check in with your family and/or watch a little TV.

 

Health(ier) Chicken Enchiladas!

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2.5 pounds skinless chicken legs, thighs, and breasts
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
5 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
1.5 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
1 medium onion, halved
1-2 medium serrano or jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsbp olive oil plus additional for frying
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
1/3 cup light sour cream or Mexican crema
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
4 birdseye chilies, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions
In a large stockpot, add chicken, bay leaf, peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic, and ½ onion. Add cold water several inches above chicken level and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150F (the temperature will rise when the chicken rests). Reserve ½ cup chicken broth and transfer chicken to a platter, breaking up the chicken a little with two forks to speed cooling.

Meanwhile, add tomatillos to a large saucepan with 3 cloves garlic and ½ onion. Add cold water slightly above tomatillo level. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft. Strain tomatillos and garlic and set aside to cool.

Once tomatillos and garlic have cooled a little, add to a blender with reserved chicken broth and peppers. Blend on high until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and blend again for 10 seconds to combine.

In a shallow skillet over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Lightly fry tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side and transfer to a paper towel lined plate, adding new paper towels between each tortilla.

To plate, fold tortillas in half and slightly overlap them in an even layer (3 tortillas per person). Spoon over a layer of tomatillo sauce followed by a layer of shredded cheese, chicken, Mexican crema, diced onion, and cilantro. Top with additional tomatillo sauce, and garnish with birdseye chilies if desired.