Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pollo Guisado Tacos

Seriously. Easiest meal ever. And really, it was pretty good. I am pretty much a fan of anything in a tortilla. Add guacamole to the top and I am sold. I made this with a combination of chicken breasts and chicken thighs (though any kind of chicken would work) and after about 4 hours in the crockpot the meat was very tender and falling apart. Warning: This recipe makes a lot of meat, but I think it would freeze well!

Pollo Guisado Tacos

3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
4 chicken thighs
1 t. kosher salt
1 small can of mild diced green chiles
1 t. dried ancho chile powder
1 t. garlic powder
a few dashes of onion powder
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the crockpot along with 1/2- 1 cup of water. Cook on high for about 4 hours or until the chicken falls apart. Shred the chicken and then let it stew in the cooking liquid on low for about an hour. At the very end of cooking I squeezed the lime juice on the chicken. It was good, but it would better to serve the tacos with a lime wedge and squeeze on the lime just before eating.

I served my tacos with guacamole and a white Mexican cheese.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Salad with Grilled Chicken and Grilled French Bread

Wow, it is really hot outside! I think the heat index today is around 109°. Crazy! What sounds even crazier to me is turning on the oven right now. I have been sticking to salads, things I can make in the crock pot (more on that later!), and things we can grill. After Mexico and the resort's really great salad bars, salads have been on my mind. This salad is really straightforward and is not really a recipe, but I thought I would share my idea because it was really good. Anything would be good on the salad, bput I put tomatoes, hearts of palm, bleu cheese, garbanzo beans, and celery on a bed of Romaine lettuce. I put grilled chicken (dressed in olive oil, salt and fresh black pepper before grilling) on top. For the dressing, I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette. I also put a loaf of french bread on the grill and it was delicious! To prepare the bread for the grill: cut the loaf in half lenghtwise and put olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Place the bread on the grill cut side down. The bread will only sit on the grill for a minute or two. Be careful not to burn it!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

In a bowl, whisk together 1 T of Dijon mustard and 3 T of balsamic vinegar. While whisking, slowly add about a 1/4 c. of extra virgin olive oil.

note: These amounts are my best guess. I usually just "eyeball" it when I make salad dressing! Just keep tasting it as you make it and add more or less of anything you think it might need. And, remember to taste your dressing on a piece of lettuce, not your finger. (That way you know what it taste like on the salad.)

Bon Appetit!

JuiceCous and Fried Green Tomatoes

I seem to be in a bit of a cooking rut and I really just don't really want to cook at the end of the day. But, I end up sucking it up and just make myself do it. I am really glad that I made this dinner for sure. I had been dying to make the couscous ever since I saw the recipe on Mckmama's blog. It was deliciously sweet and it was so good with the salmon.
I also made fried green tomatoes with tomatoes from my garden. Sadly, I had never had fried green tomatoes before I made these. They were so good that I have already made them again. Of course, I have no point of reference when I say how good they are. I guess you should make them yourself and see! I found the recipe on foodnework.com. I really think that the panko breadcrumbs are the reason they are so good.
Bon Appetit!

I'm baaack!

Ahhh summer's bounty! I got back from Mexico about a week ago but I am just now getting around to posting. I guess it has been harder than I thought to get back into the swing of things. When we got back to Texas I was a little bit disappointed that it was about 12° cooler in Mexico than at home! But, with the heat comes all the great food that summer brings. Don't get me wrong. I love fresh broccoli and kale in the winter as much as the next guy, but nothing can compare to a homegrown tomato that is still warm from the sun. I tend to not do a whole lot of cooking in the summer, but I will certainly share the "recipes" that I do have.

Central Market had some fresh pinto beans the other day and I had to try them. I am not really sure where I thought beans came from, but it never occurred that they might come in the fresh form. I guess maybe I thought they were some over-processed product from a big factory. Who knew?! They were delicious! They tasted a little bit like fresh black-eyed peas, definitely different than the dried variety. The "recipe" for pinto beans would also be good for any variety of fresh peas/beans that are in season.

Pinto Beans

1 package fresh pinto beans (about 1/2 lb.)
1/2 onion chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 c. water
1 t. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
a dash of Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Saute the onion in olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook until translucent. Rinse beans and place them in saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Season the beans with salt and pepper. When water begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the beans simmer about 30 minutes or until tender. If beans start to look dry, add more water. When the beans are mostly done, add the onion powder, garlic powder and seasoned salt. I served mine over brown rice, but they would be delicious alone.

Tomato and Bleu Cheese Salad

3 ripe tomaotes
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
bleu cheese crumbles
balsamic vinegar

Roughly chop tomatoes and add them to a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge until needed. Just before serving add bleu cheese to the bowl and toss. On the plate, drizzle the salad with a bit of balsamic vinegar and serve.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Taco Salad

Well, in the spirit of my upcoming Mexican vacation I thought I would make a Mexican-inspired salad. Too bad I am not actually there right now, because I would love nothing more!

Taco Salad

Romaine lettuce
pico de gallo (homemade or store bought)
tortilla chips (I used Kettle Chili Lime chips)
shredded carrot
celery, chopped
queso fresco, crumbled
chopped kalamata olives
ground turkey taco meat (recipe below)
cilantro-lime vinaigrette

For the salad: Start with a layer of romaine lettuce, add a tablespoon or two of pico de gallo. Next, add a layer of crushed tortilla chips, shredded carrot and chopped celery. Add a layer of queso fresco, and chopped olives. Finally, top with taco meat and 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinaigette. Serve and eat.

Turkey Taco Meat

1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 t. ground ancho chile powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cumin
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
squeeze of lime

Brown the turkey over medium heat in a skillet. Add the chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Let meat simmer for about 10-15 min. Take off heat and add the squeeze of lime.