Category Archives: cilantro

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus

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I was really at a loss when I made this as to what I wanted to call it. It has chick peas in it so it is kind of like a hummus, but it has avocado, Serrano pepper, and cilantro in it so it is kind of like guacamole. Actually when I made it I was craving guacamole for lunch, but knew I needed some protein. I knew I had some chick peas in the pantry so in my mind I just smooshed them together and wound up with a really tasty and healthy lunch.
I really wasn’t to sure about how this would come out when I first started. But as I added all of the flavors I asked myself why I hadn’t thought of this before. I love chick peas, I used to pile them on my salads when I went to salad bars. And DUH I love guacamole, well actually avocado in just about any form makes my teeter totter.
So if you are looking for a new way to have your guacamole and hummus too, give this a shot. 


P.s. Kevin came home and loved this. Wow who knew I could get him to eat healthy?

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus
1 15-ounce can of chick peas, drained and liquid reserved
2 avocados, pitted and chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated or finely minced
1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes juiced
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and pepper
Pita wedges for serving
In a food processor combine the first 7 ingredients along with about 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from the chick peas. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid as needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 
Serve with pita wedges.
ENJOY!!

Cheesy Poblano Chicken for #SundaySupper

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I was so excited when I found out the theme this week for #SundaySupper was favorite celebrity chefs! If you know my story you know that this whole journey into cooking and blogging came from my love of Rachael Ray. She made cooking seem easy and I didn’t feel overwhelmed  watching her. She specializes in comfort food that is quick and easy to make. That was right up my alley!! So I jumped into my kitchen and haven’t left. That was about 7 years ago.
In November of 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up having to have surgery the following January. During my healing process I was not allowed to push, pull, lift, etc. In other words I was bored out of my mind! My kids had pushed me to start a blog a few years back but I thought there was no way anyone would be interested in reading what I had to say, but with all of my spare time I thought “What the heck, if no one reads it no one reads it but it will keep me sane (somewhat)”. I started my first blog and called it Bobbi Renee and Rachael Ray. My plan at that time was to cook my way through her 365 No Repeats cook book. With Kevin’s help chopping and lifting the blog was started and I was hooked.
I have since gained the courage to start writing my own recipes, something I would have never thought I could do, and can’t imagine doing anything else! All thanks to Rachael Ray!! I sure would love to give her a hug!

 Cheesy Poblano Chicken
adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray
Serves 2

  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and stemmed, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • A small handful cilantro leaves plus a few leaves for garnish 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine peppers with stock, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper; purée. 
In a saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Add milk and yogurt, and raise heat a bit. Add poblano purée and simmer to thicken and cook sauce, 20-25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
While the sauce is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side then transfer to casserole dish. Pour poblano sauce over the top, cover with cheese and bake 15-20 minutes, depending on size of chicken pieces. Dish should be brown and bubbly on top.



Starters or Snacks :
Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper
Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa
Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn
Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup
Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh
Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli
The Main Dish:
Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s  Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples
Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun
Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken
Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots
Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart
Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s
Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken
Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini
Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by,  Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos
Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf
Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches
Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese
Alice at  Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon
Jen over at  Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili
Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis
Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse
Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken
Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese
Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette
Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille
Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’
Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork


Amazing Sides:
Elizabeth over at The Hand That Rocks The Ladle – Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice
Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme
Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip –  Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate
Shelby at  Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten
Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto
Sweet Endings:
Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling
Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart
Connie at The Foodie Army Wife – Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake
Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart
Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake
Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding
Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes
Amy over at Kimchi MOM – Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You
Lyn from The Lovely Pantry – Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares
Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts
Wine Pairings: 
Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chatAll you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad for #laborday #sundaysupper

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Happy Labor Day everyone! I was trying to think of something different than my usual BBQ regulars. I knew we were grilling steaks and making a spinach salad but I wanted a pasta salad, because well, I love pasta. I decided to go to my Southern California roots do something with a Latin/Mexican flair. I was watching Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman and saw a pasta that she was working on and it gave me TONS of ideas. But you know that as a food blogger I can never leave anyone’s recipe alone, so off my little mind went with ingredients dancing in my head. I figured go big or go home, so I threw all of my favorites at this pasta, well not ALL of them, but most of them. Wow, who knew that my little thoughts would go so far?

I love it when my little mental foodie trips take me to a good place, and this of surely did! There is creaminess, spicyness, all of the things you would want from a great side dish. I know I have said we love things hot here, but trust me this is not too hot. You will love every bit of this pasta salad. I will bet money on it!! Kevin said that from now on if someone asks us to bring a dish to a BBQ this is the one we are bringing!!

Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad

1 pound curly pasta (rotini, cavatapi)
1/2 fat free condensed milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced ham
1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco (can sub feta) cheese
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook according to package directions. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, combine the evaporated milk, oil, Queso Fresco or feta, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, black beans, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix it into the salad. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.

ENJOY!!!

Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings byENOFYLZ
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!
We’d also love to feature your Cookout recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls

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I have been trying to lighten things up a bit around here. With the warm weather we of course are wearing less clothing which makes it a bit obvious that the cool sweater weather we have around here 8 months a year has allowed us to hide a multitude of sins! So I am trying to “sneak” in healthier versions of foods we love without making it stand out too much. I mean I don’t want a flashing light above the dinner table saying “Healthy Food Here” it might just make everyone run and hide. Really though to me it is a bit of a challenge. I like to see their faces and hear what they think about the food before I tell them it is healthy. I just don’t want them to get it in their heads that they wont like it before they even try it. Why does healthy = tasteless or inedible to some people?

What started the whole idea for this meal was a commercial I saw on TV for a pan that you can bake tortilla shells in to make healthier taco salads. I liked it, but I hate to buy all of those “gadgets”. If I bought every one that peeked my interest I would need a whole storage for just my kitchen stuff!! So I of course turned to my trusty internet for ideas. I saw one that used upside down jumbo muffin tins, but the tortillas wouldn’t stay tucked in the right way, so back I went for more ideas. 
That’s when I found this fantastic idea at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. It is brilliant! I knew I had canning jars in my pantry so I was set and ready to go with it. I was so excited about this meal. I made Avocado Hot Sauce to substitute for guacamole and sour cream and a can of black beans with jalapeno already in my pantry!
You can see here how perfect the canning jars work for this process. I used the soft taco size flour tortillas so the bowls were small  I only ate one for dinner but the guys ate two plus I think Seth made a soft taco later. Hungry boy!
The jars are the pint jars by Ball but any oven safe glass or cup would work for this too. I think they came out so good, crispy without the guilt of frying them in oil!
Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls
6 soft taco sized flour tortilla shells
Olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 15 ounce can of black beans with jalapeno (I used Bush’s)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 head of lettuce, shredded or chopped
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 400 degrees
Meanwhile place jars upside down on a rimmed baking sheet and spray them with non-stick spray. Heat tortillas (I did 2 at a time) in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just enough to make them soft so you can form them over the jars. Using your fingers, rub a bit of olive oil on each tortilla, just enough so it will crisp up and to help keep it from sticking. Press the sides of the tortillas down gently to form the “bowls” around the jars.
Shred cooled chicken with two forks, set aside. Place the can of black beans in a small sauce pot and heat.
Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes depending on your oven. Just check them to make sure they crisp but don’t burn. Remove from heat and carefully remove each shell from the jars. 
Assemble each taco bowl by adding black beans, then the chicken, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, a sprinkling of cheese, and top with the Avocado Hot Sauce.
ENJOY!!

Avocado Hot Sauce

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There is a new Mexican place that just opened up in town. It has been packed since it opened. Although that in itself is not too surprising since we live in a very small town and people flock to anything new like they have never heard of it before! But this flocking is well deserved. It is called Blue Agave and they have some seriously good food. Coming from Southern California, and growing up on Mexican food, it is a nice combination of regular restaurant food and taco shop food (plus they have an awesome tequila bar BONUS!!). 
I have been there probably 4 times in the last couple of weeks and have gotten something different every time I go, but one thing has remained the same in every dish I have eaten. I have topped it with this amazing avocado hot sauce they have. After the last time I was determined to make it at home so I grabbed a little container of it and away I went into my kitchen to get down to the nuts and bolts of figuring out the recipe.

I have made hot sauce before. My Roasted Tomato Salsa Roja is a huge hit here, as well as my Guacamole. So I knew I had a good base to work from. But it had a specific taste that I really wanted to nail. A few little practice runs (which everyone enjoyed eating the product of) and I finally got it right. It was so funny. Everyone watched me as I took the top off of the food processor and got a spoonful. I think they may have been holding their breath waiting to see what I said. When I jumped up and down and did my happy foodie dance I think they figured out that I finally had my recipe.
I just love the look of this hot sauce. It looks so creamy and inviting. I seriously could eat a bowl of it with a spoon and want more! But seriously? Make a bowl of this, grab some chips and a cold beer, kick back and enjoy!
Avocado Hot Sauce
2 large ripe avocados, pits removed
4 to 6 jalapeno peppers (depending on the heat level you want), rib and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
A generous handful of fresh cilantro 
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste 
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes or just enjoy with chips. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
ENJOY!!

This recipe was also share on Jagruti’s Cooking Oddysey’s  Super Foods Super Power Event

Cilantro Rice with Lime and Serrano

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We have kind of been on a rice kick lately. Whenever I come up with a main dish and I ask what sounds good for a side everyone says “rice please”. Well I love rice as much as the next person, but just plain old rice? Umm no. I mean I have been known to put a little butter on rice with soy sauce and Sriracha and just about make a meal out of that, but that is not very often. So of course when rice is requested I have to come up with a new and different way to flavor it up. I always cook my rice in chicken stock, but you need more than a little clucker juice to make it interesting right?

Just like my Lemon Pepper Rice, I want to compliment what we are eating so I loved the sound of a recipe I found on Creative Culinary. I loved the ingredients and I loved that it could be warm or cool so no juggling getting everything done at once. I of course tinkered with it a bit but I can tell you that everyone that ate loved it too! I think the dressing on it’s own would be fabulous on a salad!
We had this with a Mexican style chicken and it was perfect. I love the combo of Serrano/lime/cilantro. Cilantro is one of my all time favorite herbs to use. The lime just gives it that nice fresh “pop” and again you can remove the ribs and seed from the peppers and adjust the amount of peppers you use to suit your taste. 

Cilantro Rice with Lime and Serrano
adapted from Cilantro Serrano Mexican Rice by Creative Culinary
2 cups white rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 limes, zested 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Serrano peppers, finely diced (1/3 for the dressing and 2/3 for the rice)
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (separate out 2 for the dressing)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used McCormick’s Roasted Ground Cumin)
1 large white onion, chopped
For the Dressing:
Place 1 1/4 cups of the cilantro, 1/3 of the Serrano, 2 cloves garlic, white wine vinegar,  zest of 1 lime, and cumin in a food processor and blend well, adding the olive oil as it mixes. Set aside.
For the Rice:
 Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining Serrano pepper and onion to the pan. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat. In a medium sauce pan, place rice, cooked pepper mix, lime juice, remaining lime zest, and chicken stock. Cover and heat to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Place cooked rice in a large bowl, fluffing with a fork. 
If serving room temperature, allow the rice to cool for 1 to 1/2 hours, fluffing occasionally before adding the dressing. If serving warm fold in the dressing. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
ENJOY!!

Cilantro Pesto Pasta

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Today’s post is a bit different than usual. A few days ago I was flipping through my Everyday Food Magazine and came across this recipe. Since Kevin has finally decided to like pesto, as long as it is homemade, I have been thinking of all sorts of combos I could make. One that had really been staying in my head was a cilantro pesto. I adore cilantro, I mean seriously love it! I could put cilantro on just about anything, and if I see it in a recipe I am game to try it no matter what it is. So you know when I saw a recipe for a cilantro pesto pasta I was a very happy girl!! I had wanted to come up with my own, but hey, you have to have a jumping off point right? I figured I would get some experience with it and then go from there. Well, it didn’t quite work that way. I never made the meal. How do I have a picture of a completed dish you ask? Good question, I will tell you. Kevin made it! Yes, you didn’t miss read, I said Kevin made the meal. 

Actually it started off as Kevin doing something nice for me, or at least it seemed that way. I was outside visiting with Dylan’s girlfriend Elitia and my friend Melissa when Kevin asked when dinner would be ready. I said I would be right in to start cooking when Kevin announced that he would be making the meal.
Me – I am on my way in, I will get it going in just a few
Kevin – No don’t worry about it, you stay outside I will make dinner.
Me – *stupid look* Waaaa?
Kevin – What?
Me – Are you sure you want to do this? 
Kevin – Ya, I said I will make it. I mean what’s the big deal? It’s not that hard.
Me – *evil glare* Oh reallllllllllllllllly?
Kevin – Ya, how hard could it be?
Me – Go get ’em big boy!!
In to the kitchen he went with recipe in hand. I hear drawers opening and closing and mumbling.
Me – Do you need some help?
Kevin – No I am fine
Me – You sure?
Kevin – Well…..where is the ginger?
Me –  In the veggie drawer
Kevin – Oh OK. Ummmm where is the cilantro?
Me – in the crisper drawer in the ziplock baggie labeled cilantro. It is wrapped in paper towels.
Kevin – Oh, great idea. Uuummm where is the red pepper flakes?
Me – in the spice drawer toward the front, laying sideways.
Kevin – It’s not here
Me – *walking in the kitchen and looking in the drawer* here it is, are you sure you don’t want help?
Kevin – No, I am fine
Me – Okaaaaaaaaaay
On to the business of prepping and cooking he went as I sat outside the kitchen window on the patio drinking a cold beer. There was a lot of mumbling, a few damn its, and I think one oh crap, but he didn’t ask for anymore help. The next time I heard from him it was to ask me how I wanted the presentation for the pictures. I was pleasantly surprised when I went into the kitchen. It was clean, nothing broken or spilled, and the food was very good! 
Me – Wow this looks really good!
Kevin – Thanks
Me – Wow it tastes really good
Kevin – See I told you it’s not that hard
Me – gggrrrrrrrr
Kevin – OK well maybe it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was
Me – Ya?
Kevin – Ya, I don’t really want to do that again
Me *satisfied grin*
Kevin – But I want to see you try to work on a car just from reading instructions
Me – *eyeroll* 

Cilantro Pesto Pasta
1 bunch cilantro, 1/4 cup leaves reserved for garnish
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon light-brown sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions
In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup peanuts. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine. In a large bowl toss pesto with pasta. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with remaining cilantro leaves.
This recipe was also share on Baked in the South’s Made it By Monday

Hawaiian Jalapeno Chicken with Peach Salsa Rice

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I know today is supposed to be Food Star Friday but I am still a bit off kilter from the BlogHer Food conference last weekend. It was such a whirlwind and that seemed to carry over to this whole week. I promise Manic Monday and Food Star Friday will be back next week.

On to the food right? OK, here goes. This recipe is what happened when I was scrambling to come up with dinner. Like I said, this week has been crazy for me and cooking was no different. I am usually completely organized when it comes to my meals (hahaha NOT)! Why do you think I have Manic Monday? Because a lot of the time the manic one is ME. But this meal was actually a reward for being unorganized!

A while back my son brought me home some pepper jelly from Rose City Pepperheads in Oregon.

Now that I have tried their jelly I want to try all of them! SO much flavor with a wonderful balance of sweet and heatt. I am wondering what the Holy Habanero tastes like, I am feeling pretty brave lately so I will have to order that and give it a try.

This is a super simple recipe with a ton of flavor. Again we are outside on the grill, or rather Kevin is on the grill. But this can be done on a grill pan in kitchen, or even in the oven. Anyway you cook it I highly recommend you give this a try!!

Hawaiian Jalapeno Chicken with Peach Salsa Rice
2 pounds chicken legs or thighs
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
Ground ginger
Jalapeno pepper jelly
2 cups rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup (a good handful) of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup Peach Salsa (or store bought peach or mango salsa) 
Lay out your chicken and season both sides with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and ground ginger. Fire up your grill to medium-high. Once it is hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for approx 8 to 12 minutes per side (times vary depending on grill type and size of chicken). 
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, add the rice and chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Stir in the lime zest, juice, cilantro, and salsa.
Dish up a nice scoop of rice with a couple pieces of chicken and you have a fabulous meal for 4!

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

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I was cruising around Pintrest one day, oh well let’s be serious I cruise Pintrest EVERYDAY, and found some recipes for salmon. Since we have some wonderfully fresh salmon around here right now I knew I wanted to find a new salmon recipe. It was Memorial Day weekend and we already had plans to make ribs with baked beans and potato salad (recipes will be posted for those soon) so I wanted to make something light and summery. When I found this recipe it all but leaped off the screen and smacked me in the face screaming “Make me, make me!!”. It was from a blogger I had never read before. Her blog is called Laylita’s Recipes and she has some seriously good stuff there! 

I am a huge avocado fan as well. I mean I have been known to slice up an avocado with a bit of salt and lime juice and make a lunch out of it! I have so many avocado recipes pinned, I could make an avocado dish every night for 2 weeks I think. So yes, I was a happy camper to find this. When I first told everyone what I was making I got some strange looks. Everyone here tends to be a bit of a “purist” when it comes to salmon. Grill it, or bake it with minimal seasoning so the flavor of the salmon is number one. I agreed with this idea to a certain extent but like I said, this recipe begged me to be made so I ignored that idea and set off to the store to pick up everything I needed. I bought my salmon and it looked so gorgeous and was so fresh I almost sliced off a bit and had a little salmon sashimi snack, but I fought off the urge and got down to the business of prepping everything.
I had wanted to grill the salmon on a cedar plank but couldn’t find any so we opted for a bit of tin foil to keep it from sticking to the grill because I wanted to cook the filet whole instead of cutting it into individual portions. I prefer it whole and feel that it makes it easier to cook the fish without drying it out. Could just be my weird thing, which wouldn’t be new, but it is how I like to do it.
The verdict? Let’s see, there were a lot of OhhEmmmGeee’s flying around. I was afraid fingers would get bitten as everyone went back for more before it was all gone. My son’s friend Avin was here, as well as my “adopted son” Ryan who was visiting from San Diego. So of the 5 people eating it, EVERYONE loved it. A couple “this is the best salmon I have ever had”‘s were heard as well. With Grilled Veggies with Garlic Balsamic Reduction along side, I will guarantee you that this is a meal I will be making again soon! 

Salmon with Avocado Salsa
based on a recipe by Laylita’s Recipes
2 1/2 to 3 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin (used McCormick’s new gourmet collection but regular cumin is fine)
2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander (again McCormick)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper 
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
3 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and finely chopped (can use less if you don’t want it spicy or use Fresno peppers)
Zest from 1 lime, and juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
Salt to taste
Mix salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and then rub it with the seasoning blend. You don’t have to use it all if you don’t want it just depends on the size of your filet. 
In a medium bowl combine the onion, lime zest, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to combine, season with salt to taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
Place tin foil over a baking sheet and lay your salmon on top. Curl the edges to make a little “tray” out of the foil. Cook the salmon on the grill over medium heat (about 200 degrees F) We cook it until the white fat comes to the surface.
Remove from the heat and top with the avocado salsa. 

Food Star Friday – Chicken Nachos with Green Chili Cheese

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This week for Food Star Friday I was able to combine a recipe for something I have wanted to make for quite some time, with one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. Today’s post is Tyler’s Ultimate Chicken Nachos! I mean what could possibly go better together than a big plate of spicy nachos and a night time NASCAR race? On top of that we had my Watermelon Blackberry Jargaritas to wash it all down!

Tyler Florence is one of my favorite Food Network stars. Yes, the fact that he is pretty dang cute doesn’t hurt but I really do like his food. I have made several of his recipes for Food Star Friday. They never disappoint.

This weekend was a strange one. Lately I have been just flying by the seat of my pants when it comes down to what we are eating. Not knowing how many I am cooking for, or what time they will be here, and honestly being a bit burnt out from the week, has just caused me to slack off a bit. For some reason I decided to jump on the ball and get a menu plan going!

I knew I had to come up with a drink for Tipsy Tuesday, and with my son (the bartender of all bartenders) being out of town, I knew I had to really plan something good to drink. I guess that got my creative juices flowing and away I went! I still have a few things left on the plan, including a couple of desserts! I know, I am so excited!! I never make dessert, so this will be a true treat.

Now on to the nachos. These were very very good. It takes a little bit of work but not a whole lot. I had preshredded my chicken when I brought it home from the store. I bought two rotisserie chickens because the recipe called for a 3 pound chicken, and the ones at my store were just a little over 1 1/2 pounds. By shredding it as soon as I got home it saved sooooo much time when I got down to the nitty gritty of making this recipe. I plan on doing that will all of my chicken that needs to be shredded. Just do it when you are already in the shopping/organizing/putting away mood.

These didn’t last very long. I would love to have some more right now with one of those jargaritas!!

Chicken Nachos with Green Chili Cheese
  • 4 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock, at room temperature
  • 4 cups shredded Jack cheese
  • 1 (1-pound) bag salted corn tortilla chips
  • 1 (3-pound) whole roasted chicken, meat finely shredded, skin and bones discarded

Quick Salsa:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, hand shredded
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sour cream and guacamole, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil; add the tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatillos are soft. Drain and cool slightly, then put them in a blender. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and cumin. Puree for a few seconds to blend, and then pour in about a 1/4 cup of water and process to a coarse puree; taste and season with a generous pinch of salt. You should have about 2 cups of this salsa verde.
Make a roux by melting the butter over medium-low heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Just as the foam subsides, sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the starchy taste from the flour; don’t allow it to brown. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and simmer for 8 minutes to thicken. Once you have a good base, fold in 2 cups of the shredded Jack cheese; mix until completely melted into a sauce. Stir in the prepared salsa verde until incorporated; remove the green chili cheese sauce from the heat.
Make a quick salsa by combining the cherry tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl; season with salt and pepper, tossing to combine.
To build these awesome nachos: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Get a very large oven-proof platter and cover it with a few handfuls of tortilla chips, follow with a portion of the shredded chicken, a coating of the cheese sauce, and a nice sprinkle of the remaining shredded jack. Make 3 or 4 layers of the nachos, depending on the size of the platter. Bake the nachos until they are all hot and gooey, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Spoon the tomato salsa over the top of the nachos and serve with the sour cream on the side.