Friday, November 28, 2014

November 23 -- Taqueria Style Tacos

I have been seeing a lot of taqueria style tacos, with shredded chicken, cilantro, onion, sour cream, and a little bit of cheese. It is all wrapped in a corn tortilla. So easy, but so perfect.

I took the chicken and sauteed it in a bit of oil with a variety of pepper, New Orleans spice, black pepper, a little cayenne, enough to give it a kick but not to overpower. Then I shredded it with a fork. In a food processor, I put the onion and cilantro together and pulsed it a couple times to get a rough cut. I spread in the sour cream and the white queso crumbling cheese.

For the tortillas, I used flour tortillas since I do not like the texture or flavor of corn tortillas. I did as the recipe said and put the tortillas right on the burner until they were slightly browned.

It was a perfect lunch if you like the flavors and it saved the calories with tons of shredded cheese.

The recipe is here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16 -- Shrimp or Chicken Scampi

This is one of my favorite dishes from one of my favorite books written by one of my favorite writers.

In 1995, Mr. Kuralt traveled to his 12 favorite places, living in each for a month. January was New Orleans and he included a recipe for Chef Goffredo's Scampi la Riviera.

I know I can't do it justice. I overcooked my shrimp, but here it is. The way the flavors come together is like magic, who knew that butter, lemon juice, and vinegar could come together to make such a flavor. I added a chicken breast since I didn't have enough shrimp, they come in 3/4 pound bags.

Scampi la Riviera
2 lbs. large shrimp
1/2 cup butter
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 mint leaves
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon paprika
pinch of oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shell the shrimp, leaving only the tail shell. De-vein and rinse the shrimp and place them in a large cast-iron skillet atop a thin layer of olive oil. Season them with salt and sprinkle them with paprika. Bake in the over for 7 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and add lemon juice, chopped mint, garlic, vinegar, and parsley. Sprinkle on a little more olive oil.

Place the skillet on a medium flame.

Add a bit of water and the butter and oregano. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, or until the flavor is concentrated and the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat a spoon.

Top with parsley and serve.

November 9 -- Stuffed Chicken

This was a homemade recipe that really wasn't much, just some comfort food since it's now dark when I do my weekend cooking.

I split some chicken breasts, partially thawed and butterflied them. I cooked them at 400 for 10 minutes while the stuffing was on the stove top. I put stuffing inside and folded over the chicken and put it back in for 5 minutes under the broiler.

While it was broiling, I made a can of green beans and a bit of sour cream and butter sauce, reduced in a sauce pan and lightly whisked. I poured that over the green beans for some flavor and then the rest over the chicken.

It wasn't anything spectacular but it made lunch for the week.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 2 -- Taco Salads

I like tacos and I like eating the bowl so this is a double win for me. Taco salads are simple and it is much better to make your own taco bowls rather than the store bought bowls.

To make a taco bowl you flip either a ceramic bowl or a coffee mug. Spray with non-stick cooking spray then drape the bowl over the bowl to make the indentation. After 10 minutes at 400, carefully remove the shell from the bowl. I usually use a spatula to carefully flip my bowls. You can allow them to cool on the baking sheet.

For the filling, brown your meat and add taco seasoning. Drain off the fat and set aside then open the balance of your toppings. Place the meat on the bottom, then I like black beans, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cheddar. Make sure all the vegetables are well drained so they don't leak through the bottom of your bowl. Put in a taco bowl, now with the flat bottom down, and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Add the cold toppings, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole, and enjoy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October 26 -- Shrimp and Spinach Risotto

Ever since Phyllis shared with me how easy risotto was to make, I've been not afraid to make it. This recipe had it all, hidden vegetables that you don't taste, shrimp, and a fine flavor with only 405 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat.

The recipe is here. The only change I would've made is choosing the larger shrimp. The medium shrimp were small and took a long time to untail. Other than that, I was loyal to the recipe and it came out fine. It was good but may not be so good I'll do it a second time good.