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Yummy Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Days

By Jane Butel  December 15, 2018

With all the hustle and bustle of this Holiday Season, I thought you might appreciate 2 quick dinner ideas.  They are favorites from my Quick and Easy Southwestern cookbook, which I am placing  the original edition, hardbound, on sale at half price or $12.50.  Each of the recipes in the book can be made in 20 minutes with an average of 5 ingredients.  A big bonus is that each recipe is healthy with nutritional information detailed. 

Also, make it easy on yourself and call us at 505-243-2622 for a special gift certificate for your favorite friends or family.  You can get gift certificates for as small as $25.00 for a cookbook or Pecos Valley Spice products.  All of our 2019 classes are on sale at 25% OFF also until Christmas Eve.

Our most requested Gift Box is now on sale for  20% off until December 19.  It is only $43.60, down from $54.50 and contains my best selling Chili Madness , 2nd edition and enough chiles and spices to make 25 to 30 servings of my favorite Bowl o Red recipe, plus a DVD of making the Bowl o Red recipe...a great present for any chili lover!

Here's the recipes--

Aztec Pork Chops 

We have the Aztecs to thank for chipotle chiles. With their spicy, smoky taste, they are delicious combined with cinnamon in this dish. Serve them with grilled Jicama for crunch, whipped sweet potatoes with carrots, and a spinach salad for a meal fine enough for company. This is a “Sunday Best” recipe.

Yield: 4 servings

Cooking time: 16 minutes

2 dried Chipotle Chiles, reconstituted, or 1 teaspon Chipotle Chile powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup honey
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground pure mild red chile
4 pork loin chops (1 inch thick), trimmed of excess fat
4 cinnamon sticks
4 slices Jicama, each ¼ inch thick

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the drained chiles, garlic, honey, ground cinnamon, and ground chile. Add enough chipotle cooking liquid to make a thick paste. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  1. Preheat the grill, stovetop grill, or a large, heavy, seasoned skillet to medium high. Grill the chops for 8 minutes per side. At the same time and on the same surface, grill the Jicama until it is slightly edged with brown on each side. To serve, top each chop with a cinnamon stick. Overlap each chop with a slice of the grilled Jicama. 

PER SERVING: Calories 281, Protein 25 g, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 1 g, Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 70 mg, Sodium 53 mg.


The hearty, full flavor and creamy consistency of this chicken soup tastes like work, but this dish is actually fast and easy to make. Cutting the chicken breast is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. This is a versatile dish that you can vary in many ways. Instead of chicken breasts, you could use leftover roast chicken or turkey, firm-fleshed fish or shellfish with fish stock, roast beef, or ground chuck with beef stock.

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1, 14 ½ oz. can chicken broth, preferably low sodium, with water added to make 2 cups

2 white or yellow corn tortillas, broken up

1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 scallions, thinly sliced (some reserved for garnish)

1 ½ tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos with juice

Optional Garnishes:

Cilantro leaves

Crushed red caribe chiles

Lime wedges

  1. Place the chicken broth and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the tortillas and chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes.
  1. Add the scallions and jalapenos with juice. Stir to combine well. Simmer for approximately another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the reserved scallion and, if desired, the cilantro, chiles, and lime to squeeze on the chowder.

Per Serving: Calories 326, Protein 50 g, Carbohydrates 14 g, Fiber 2 g, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 130 mg, Sodium 338 mg.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Quick & Easy Southwestern Cookbook.








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