Saturday, April 30, 2011

Penne With Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Asparagus? Check
Penne noodles? Check
Balsamic Vinegar? Check
Butter? Of course!

These are the main ingredients to this wonderful and very simple pasta dish. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish for the simple fact that it was meatless. What's that you say? You didn't think I liked dishes without meat?? Yes, yes it's true. Sometimes I feel like I need to go a day without eating meat. I consume a lot of it, so a day here and there without any meat is just fine by me.  My carnivore husband would not agree, in fact he even suggested next time I make this to add chicken. Not gonna happen though, I love this dish just the way it is. I do like to be healthy whenever I can be, though from my list of recipes you would never know that. :)

Penne With Roaster Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. light or dark brown sugar
1 pound Penne pasta
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done, 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the butter and vinegar mixture. Toss to combine well. Add in the asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blue Cheese Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

I am in love with blue cheese! I love it in dressing, on burgers, just plain, in salad, I'll eat it in any way, shape or form.
We recently bought a big container of blue cheese from Sam's Club to fulfill my need for blue cheese. So far we have used it for burgers and to put on top of salad. So of course I loved the idea of making a homemade dressing! Like I said before, if I can make I would much rather do that then buy it. 
Now I have to thank Hidden Valley Ranch for their lovely blend of ranch mix. It is the main dressing my husband and I eat. Some day I will come up with my blend of ranch mix that I like, but for now Hidden Valley Ranch is fulling my needs.
 For all you blue cheese dressing lovers, try this recipe and enjoy! I finished my salad with a big smile on my face as I liked the last bit of dressing off my fork.

Blue Cheese Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup Light Mayo (Lets be honest here, I never use light mayo! Best Foods/Hellman's is our favorite mayonnaise.)
1/2 cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt (I used sour cream, it tastes the same, if you can't find the Greek Yogurt)
1 cup Lowfat Buttermilk
1 Pkg Hidden Valley ranch Dressing mix (powder mix)
1 cup or 8 oz of Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola crumbles

Mix all ingredients together throughly. I usually keep my dressings in a Pyrex dish, then I had the brilliant idea to put the dressing in a mason jar after it was mixed. (Sometimes it takes a while for me to catch on to brilliant ideas that people have been doing for years.) 
After it sits in the fridge overnight, it is the best Blue Cheese dressing ever!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Pie

You must try this pie!! It is wonderful!
My husband loves cookies and cream ice cream, so this pie was right up his alley.
I loved the hot fudge and Cool Whip on top, and lets not forget that amazing Oreo cookie crust! I saw this recipe on Jamie Cooks It Up! at the beginning of this month. When I went home both my sister-in-laws had made it and they highly suggested I make it when I returned home.
I decided it would be a lovely dessert for Easter Sunday to cool us off in this hot Texas weather. It hit the spot right on!
It is a very simple dessert to make. I even made it easier by getting a pre-made Oreo cookie crust. Though next time I would make my own, I am the type of person that if I can make it I would rather do that then pay for one that is made already. I only bought one this time, because I forgot the recipe said to make the Oreo crust. 
I don't think this pie is going to last long in our freezer with Dave's love of cookies and cream. :)

Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Pie 

45 Oreo Cookies (about three sleeves)
4 T melted butter
1 half gallon Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, softened
1 C hot fudge
1/2 an 8 oz container Cool Whip
Mini Chocolate Chips (optional) 

***Note: You'll want to let your ice cream hang out on the counter for about 15 minutes before making the pie. 
Thank you very much. End of note***

 1. Put 30 of your Oreo Cookies in a small food processor. Grind them up into fine crumbs and pour them into a small mixing bowl.
2. Pour the melted butter into the crumbs and stir to combine. 
3. Press the crumbs into a Deep 9 inch pie plate. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly into the pie plate.
4. Put the remaining Oreo Cookies into the food processor. Grind them just for a few seconds. You just want them to be coarsely chopped here, not smashed to smithereens. Unless you like crumbs in your ice cream. If so, be my guest. Smash the heck out of them.
5. Scoop your softened ice cream into a large mixing bowl. Add your chopped (or smashed to smithereens) Oreos to the ice cream and fold them in. (I though the ice cream had enough so I didn't add any extra.)
6. Spread the ice cream out evenly over your tasty crust.
7. Carefully spoon the hot fudge onto the ice cream and spread it around. Yum. 
8. Spread the cool whip on over the top of the fudge.
9. Wrap that bad boy up with some plastic wrap and get it into the freezer. Let it remain there for at least 4 hours.
10. Take the pie out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with mini chocolate chips, if you so desire. (I used mini Oreo Cookies on the top instead of chocolate chips.) Then....slice it up....serve it up...put your feet up....and enjoy! You deserve it!

If any of you can explain to me how to fix the spacing on this I would greatly appreciate it! I don't know why some is singled space and some is doubled it. It annoys me greatly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed pepper anyone?? This is was an extremely large stuffed pepper, Dave and I found the two largest ones we could find. :)
I didn't realize how much I enjoyed stuffed peppers until I had one at Dave's brother Kelly's house for dinner one evening. Thank you Kelly for introducing me to some delicious food!
 I really love the stuffed peppers I posted about a while ago. I also really enjoyed the Mexican twist in this new stuffed pepper recipe.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. (about 1/2 of 1 1/4 oz. pkg) taco seasoning mix
2 cups water
2 small tomatoes
1 cup instant white rice, uncooked
4 large red or green bell peppers
1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Brown meat with onions in skillet on medium heat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; simmer on low heat 5 min., stirring occasionally. 
Stir 1 cup of the remaining water into seasoned meat in skillet. Add tomatoes; mix well. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut tops off peppers; discard tops and seeds or dice up remaining pepper and throw into meat mixture. Mix salsa and remaining 1/2 cup water in bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Stand peppers in baking dish.
Add 1 cup of cheese to meat mixture; stir. Spoon into peppers; top with remaining cheese. Cover.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until peppers are tender. Serve with sauce from baking dish.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now I know a lot of people aren't fans of tuna casserole, lets use my husband as an example. It's just not his favorite thing. I happen to LIKE tuna casserole. I crave it every once in awhile. For those of you who also crave and like tuna casserole I think this is worth trying!
I used fresh mushrooms instead of canned mushrooms, I am not a big fan of canned mushrooms. If you don't like mushrooms just leave them out. I love cracker crumb toppings too! This recipe also calls for the new Philadelphia Cooking Creme. I would definitely try more recipes with this cooking creme.

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 tub (10 oz.) Philadelphia Original Cooking Creme
2 cups egg noodles, cooked
2 cans (5 oz. each) chunk light tuna in water, drained, flaked
1 cup frozen peas
1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushrooms, undrained
8 Ritz Crackers, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 350. 
Combine first 5 ingredients in 1 1/2-gt. casserole; cover. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and butter. Stir casserole; top with crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until topping is golden brown. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Texas Wild Fires

    For those of who you who are interested in the wildfires going on all over Texas, this past March was the State's driest March on record. On my flight home I was talking to a nice rancher from Post, Texas, who said his some of his neighbor's cattle was consumed by the fire. They got cornered in by a fence and had nowhere else to run to. We are desperate for rain here. The high winds and with just mainly dry brush to burn the fires move quickly.
Dave said you could smell smoke in the town the day before I got home. From the window of the airplane I could see some damage the fire has done around Lubbock.
 I was sent a link yesterday to some pictures. It is the website of the Atlantic Magazine Take some time to look at them, they are very interesting. It is crazy how the fires have destroyed so much in such a short amount of time. My prayers are with the families that have lost their homes and livestock. My heart also goes out to the family of the volunteer firefighter that passed away in the fire. 
There was even some wildfire firefighters from Utah in a picture, I am glad to see we are getting help from close by states.
Here is a preview of one of the pictures:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Now I know Easter has past, and I should have posted this recipe before Easter so you could make it Easter Day. One day I will be as cool as the other food blogs and try recipes before the Holiday arrives so you can enjoy them.

I love deviled eggs! David loves deviled eggs! These deviled eggs are divine!
Now I love brown eggs, there is just something about them that I can't get over. Maybe it is the color and each one is unique. When they are fresh farm brown eggs that is even better! But for some reason the eggshell is more thick then white eggs. So excuse my sad looking deviled eggs, I did all the tricks in the book and only one peeled nicely. So they are rustic looking to say the least. 
Try these deviled eggs! You will love them! A big thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker for this recipe!

Deviled Eggs
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon spicy brown mustard
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 dozen ice cubes. Pour off water from saucepan and gently shake pan back and forth to crack shells. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon and let cool 5 minutes.
2. Peel the eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Transfer the yolks to a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mashing the mixture against the sides of the bowl until smooth.
3. Arrange the egg whites on a serving platter and fill with the yolk mixture, mounding the filling about ½ inch above the whites. (I put the yolk mixture into a sandwich baggie and snipped off the end and piped it in that way. You could also use a nice decorating tip with a piping bag, or just a good ol’ spoon. Whatever floats your boat!) Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Note: You can make the deviled eggs up to 2 days ahead. Wrap the peeled egg white halves tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap and place the filling a zipper lock plastic bag, squeezing out all the air. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.

Easter At Our House

I hope you all are having a wonderful Easter! I know I sure am!
When Dave and I got home from church I had an Easter basket waiting for him, and 8 eggs to find. For being almost 30 he loved hunting for the eggs I hid! :)

Dave searching high 

and low for eggs

With his basket full of goodies

I found sport Easter eggs, and I made my own Easter grass out of newspaper. :) 
I put some money in each egg instead of candy, so Dave can smoke this:

A beef brisket! He has been wanting to build a smoker out of a steel drum, (I think I told you about that) so the money goes toward buying supplies to make the smoker.

Like I said before though I hope we all remember the true reason we celebrate Easter!! I am forever grateful! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Happy Easter! 
I hope you all get to enjoy some good quality time with family and friends.
I hope we all remember the reason we celebrate Easter. 

I also hope you all get to enjoy some good food as well! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Update On My West Texas Garden

My garden is.....surviving, that is a good way to put it. Some of my plants are doing quite well, others....not so much. The hot heat and strong wind that blows here in West Texas is a little too much for some of my young plants.

Here is one of my planter boxes, you will notice the dried up leaves on a couple of plants. If you look real close in the back you can see my peas growing like weeds! :)

This is one of my jalapeño plants, the leaves are drying up from the wind. At least that is my conclusion, cause I water my plants 3 times a day cause of the heat.

This little guy is one of my other jalapeño plants....yeah its dead. A weed is also in this picture! Blast those weeds. I ended up pulling this plant out, and also the weed.

This is my strawberry plant, I am not sure if it is going to make it. I sure hope it does, I would love to have some fresh strawberries picked from the vine.

The carrots are still going strong! Dave is looking forward to dipping them in ranch dip. He is also looking forward to these:


I am hoping they will reach out and start growing up the metal grate I have placed behind them.

This is my other planter box, I have pulled a couple of plants that died from this planter box as well. 

I have tomatoes!! This little guys are growing on the lemon boy tomato plant. I love seeing stuff grow!

This is the topsy tury tomato plant. I was thinking this plant would be the first one to have some tomatoes, but I was wrong.

I also have a new addition to my little garden. 

I needed basil for some pizza I am going to be making next week, basil is expensive for just a few leaves. Dave saw this plant at Sun Harvest which was just a dollar more then the little container of the stuff. 
We didn't plant it outside, I didn't want the leaves to burn to a crisp since it is suppose to get just partial sunlight. So we are keeping it inside, on an old plate, and I move it to sit in the sun for a little bit then move it back to its new spot on our so called pantry. 

Over all, I would say things aren't turning out quite like I thought. But there is progress none the less! This is going to be an ever on-going learning experience for me. I am enjoying it, and can't wait to see what is in store for me by the end of growing season!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Trip Home

For those that follow my blog I am sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. I went home to Utah for a week and since returning home haven't had to blog yet. 

David was kind enough to let me fly home for a week so I could spend time with our families and attend my future sister-in-law's bridal shower. I thank him for lending me out for a week. :) 
Now I didn't do a good job of taking pictures on this lovely trip but I will post some that I have. 
I got to spend time with my family, go visit the Carl Bloch art display, watch a nephew's soccer game, ate wonderful food, went shopping, see my cousin Krystyn from Arizona, hung out with Dave's family, hung out with great friends, visited my Grandma, took care of those crazy chickens, cooked, and just got to relax for a week.

Here are a few pictures, like I said I didn't do a good job taking pictures. I forgot to take pictures of friends and family at functions.

I am down to 8 chickens now, and "Bird" remembers me!

I still love to see a basket full of fresh eggs. These eggs taste so much better then the ones I have to buy at the store.

My Mom and Shaylee

Caden all ready for his game later

Chan during his soccer game

Robin at her bridal shower

Some family and friends at the shower

more friends and family

me, Aleisha and Krystyn


Krystyn, Me and Charie

Spring was all around me back home, unlike back here in Lubbock where most things are still brown.

All these flower pictures were taken in my parents back yard.

I love tree blossoms!

My Dad cooked me up a surprise meal my last night there.

It was delicious! It was a shrimp pot, with corn and potatoes and little sausages. We also had some grilled pineapple, and cheddar garlic biscuits.

The only picture I took with my parents, not the greatest one of us but perfect none the less. :)
I had a wonderful time! I look forwarding returning in June for the wedding of Robin and Nick.

I will be posting about my little Texas garden soon! And I have future recipes to post once I have made them. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cinnamon Biscuits

Now these aren't biscuits and gravy, I say that because I have had some biscuits and gravy turn out just like these. :) That is hot icing drizzled over the biscuits. 
I will admit something to you all...I struggle with cooking breakfast foods. There I said it. Besides bacon and scramble eggs I am not great in the breakfast food area as much as I would like to be. 
My goal is to make wonderful, light and fluffy biscuits one day. And the only way to make that is happen is to practice, practice, practice! I even bought new biscuit cutters to help with my practicing.
These biscuits where in the line up so I could practice. Now there are actually suppose to be raisins in these biscuits, raisins and I are still trying to get along. So far I still don't like them in too many things. Though David was disappointed that I left them out. Maybe next time I will add them, cause I will definitely make these again! They were even better the next day heated in the microwave for a few seconds.

Cinnamon (Raisin) Biscuits

For the biscuits:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk

For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp. milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) (I added it)

Preheat oven to 450F degrees
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in vegetable shortening using a pastry blender or a fork until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in raisins and buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times.
Roll dough to about ¾ inch thickness and cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a mini biscuit cutter, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make sure not to twist the biscuits as you cut them. Just push down and then lift the biscuit up. 
Bake for about 9-10 minutes for 3-inch biscuits and for about 6-8 minutes for mini biscuits.
Now for the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, vegetable oil and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until completely mixed. Drizzle over hot biscuits or dip the tops of the biscuits in the glaze. I like to double dip mine for a nice thick glaze on top!


I LOVE bread! All sorts of bread, sandwich bread, hard rolls, sweet rolls, crusty bread to dip in oil and balsamic vinegar and of course flat bread. 
Naan is a wonderful Indian flat bread to go along with that delicious butter chicken! I know lots of you have never heard of Naan, it is made just like regular dough. But instead of letting it rise a second time to make it puffy, you roll it out the pieces into almost a rectangle and bake it on a hot stone in the oven and becomes nice and fluffy. You can serve it warm or cold, I much prefer them warm and fresh. 
Naan is prefect to add to any meal! Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe uses it to make pizza with too.

Naan - Indian Flatbread

*Note From Mel: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
*Makes about 12 pieces of naan
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon sugar
3-4 tablespoons, melted butter
Pour the milk into a liquid measure and heat in the microwave until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and the yeast has activated. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, pour the mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour (proceed with the second paragraph of the recipe). If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Proceed as directed below.
Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed that cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface (I like to use my roul'pat for this) and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. (If you don't have a pizza stone, try grilling the dough on a lightly oiled outdoor grill or use a hot griddle to bake the naan - you'll have to experiment with cooking times but I've seen either of those methods used with cooking naan also.)
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll each piece into a circle about 6-8 inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Lay the circle of dough on the hot pizza stone and spritz lightly with water. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Cover with a towel and let the naan cool completely or serve warm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken

I write this post to you from the Albuquerque airport. I have a 5 hour layover since my flight out of Phoenix to Salt Lake City got canceled. Did I mention I have to sit here for 5 hours??? Yeah not fun. But at least I can post about food while I am here. :)

Now I know what you are thinking, butter chicken? Its not what you think. This recipe only calls for 3 tablespoons of the good stuff to give it a rich silky texture. You have noticed by now I love to be adventurous in my cooking and eating habits. Now I must say this recipe I found from Mel's Kitchen Cafe isn't true ethnic authenticity. With that being said, it is full of flavor and absolutely delicious none the less! David and I gobbled up our plates in no time. I think little kids would even like this dish. It could be considered a quick dinner as well, it was fairly simple to make. The only problem I had was finding garam masala, and cardamom. I found both in a bottle at Sun Harvest which is like a Whole Foods, but there were both expensive. Luckily they had the spices in bulk so I could buy a tablespoon of both.

Indian Butter Chicken

Note: Mel lightened up the recipe using fat free half-and-half in place of the heavy cream. If you don't want to buy a special ingredient and have heavy cream (or regular half-and-half) on hand, they will both work just fine. I used heavy cream, cause I'm not counting calories. :)
*Serves 6
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeño, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds (about 2-3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Hot cooked rice for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro for extra garnish
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook stirring, constantly for another minute.
Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half and half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Stir. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened.
Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Tacos

I am speechless about this tacos. I loved everything about them and I have no idea how to describe how wonderful these loaded tacos are!
For any of you who read this blog out of all the recipes I have posted I would NOT pass this one up! 
I have mentioned before that I like all of the Pioneer Woman's recipes and I have another one to add to the list.
I loved crunchy tacos, so taking the taco shells filled with a little bit of meat and frying them in oil was a fantastic idea!
You have got to be careful though while frying them in the oil, it gets hot and the oil splatters. Please take caution!
Don't be afraid to get messy with these tacos, they were messy while I was making them and messy while I was eating. I enjoyed every minute of it! Yes, I did eat all 4 of those tacos on that plate. My stomach is well fed. :) I halved this recipe and I got 8 tacos out of it.

Chicken Tacos

16 whole Corn Tortillas (small size) (I used the yellow corn)
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Pieces
Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder To Taste (or Use Taco Seasoning)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
1-½ cup Finely Grated Cheese (cheddar Or Cheddar/jack Mix)
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce (Chulula Or Other Brand) (I used green Tabasco sauce)
2 cups Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce (or Any Lettuce)
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Canola Oil, For Frying Tacos

*Be careful frying with hot oil!*
Season diced chicken liberally. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes. Dump in the diced green chilies. Stir and cook until chicken is totally done inside. Turn off heat and set aside.
Have all other ingredients—grated cheese, sliced lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce—ready.
Also have a plate ready, as well as a stack of five or six paper towels to hold in your hand.
To fry the tacos, heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Place some chicken in the middle of a tortilla, then fold tortilla in half. Clamp the tortilla shut with a pair of heat-proof metal tongs, then carefully lay the taco—one side down—in the oil. As you lay it in the oil, use the tongs to hold the top side down for a few seconds to form it in place. Once it stays put, repeat with two other tacos. Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or when each side gets light golden brown (not too brown.)
One at a time, remove tacos from the pan with tongs, holding sideways as you remove them to allow oil to drip out of the sides. Place the taco in the stack of paper towels. Fold the sides and corners around the taco to tightly hold it, then give it three or four shakes to remove excess oil. Remove it from the paper towels and place on a plate. Repeat with other tacos in the pan.
As you continue frying the other tacos, have someone carefully place some grated cheese inside the tops of the tacos (gently pry them open just enough to place the cheese in). Then just let them sit until ready to serve—the cheese will melt as it sits in the warm taco.
To serve, garnish in this order: a smear of sour cream, dashes of hot sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomato. You’ll need to slightly open up the tops of the tacos to get all the garnishes in there.
Tacos will be hot for a minute or two after frying, so don’t rush into eating! They’ll stay nice and warm for a little while after frying.