Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chicken Tacos

Greetings blog readers! I feel like I’ve been a little behind on my blogging lately, but I’m back today with a great recipe for chicken tacos.

I love this recipe because it incorporates three of my favorite things: a crockpot, laziness and Pepper Jack cheese. Plus the tacos are relatively low-fat and taste great with a Corona. My main squeeze told me that these tacos were better than the version served at our local Mexican restaurant so I will take that as a big old compliment. Now if I can just learn how to make pizza we’ll really be in business! So, anyone have any good pizza recipes?

Chicken Tacos

16 oz container salsa
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
15 oz can black beans
1 package of 6" corn tortillas
Sliced Pepper Jack cheese
Tomatoes, chopped
Avocado, chopped
  1. Place chicken, salsa and black beans in crockpot. Cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 5 hours (adjusting temperature as needed for frozen chicken).
  2. Using a gas stovetop, char the tortillas slightly by placing each one individually on a burner for a few seconds until it's slightly blackened around the edges. Please use caution when doing this and watch your tortillas closely to make sure they don't go up in flames!
  3. Make the tacos by layering the tortillas with the cheese on the bottom, followed by the chicken mixture with the tomatoes and avocado on top.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Emeril’s Fish Provencal – My Favorite Summer Dish

A few years ago I was browsing through Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine and found this recipe for Emeril’s Fish Provencal.
Photo via Martha Stewart
Note: mine never looks this pretty, it's okay though, it still tastes delicious!

The recipe doesn’t look like anything special, but I have to tell you the taste is absolutely amazing and the recipe quickly became a favorite.  It’s so perfect for a summer day, and the big bonus is that it’s also super healthy – high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acid, lycopene filled tomatoes and cancer fighting dietary fiber in the zucchini. 
Now that I’ve made this about a zillion times, I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe:
1.      When I don't feel like dealing with the grill, I cook mine under the broiler for 20 minutes instead.
2.       Instead of haddock or cod, I used bluefish this time……….but only because it was on sale at the store.
3.       I love Penzy’s Northwoods seasoning so I always use it instead of the Italian seasoning and anise seeds. Plus that saves me from having to buy a random ingredient like anise seeds.
4.       If I have an open bottle of wine in the fridge, I usually add a little splash of wine to the packet.
5.     I used thinly sliced shallots instead of Vidalia onion.

Totally delicious with a glass of white wine, out on the patio!

How about you? Do you have a go-to summer favorite

Monday, June 13, 2011

Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Whiskey Gravy

We just returned from the absolute best vacation ever in Disney World. Everyone say yay for Disney World! Who knew that Disney was so much fun for adults? We were like two big kids running around to all the rides, picking out which things we wanted to do next… now we have the added bonus of being old enough to fully experience the Epcot World Showcase (a.k.a. the international beers and snacks of the world).  Huge score.
Photographic evidence of us finishing our vacation with French champagne & crepes
Now we’re back to reality, sigh. I think we’re both feeling a little bummed to be back to the real world so I decided we needed a little comfort food pick-me-up to start the week.  That and I had a pot roast in the freezer that was starting to feel a little neglected. Hence, slow cooked pot roast with whiskey gravy! Which, by the way, to add to the huge list of reasons why I love my slow cooker…..did I mention that we don’t have air conditioning here and that the thought of using the oven in 90 degree weather is not so appealing? I’m just saying, expect lots of slow cooked love this summer.

Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Whiskey Gravy

1 1/2 pound beef roast
10.25 oz can beef gravy
10.25 oz warm water
A few handfuls of baby carrots
1 onion, cut up
3 small russet potatoes, cut up
2 tsp flour
1/4 cup whiskey
salt & pepper to taste

1. Place beef roast in slow cooker and surround with vegetables. Pour the can of gravy over top, and add one can full of warm water to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.
2. At the end of the cooking time, remove roast and veggies from the slow cooker and strain the juices into a saucepan on the stove.

3. Mix together the flour and whiskey (I usually shake mine in a mason jar to get out all of the lumps) and whisk the flour mixture into the juices in the saucepan to create a gravy. Add salt & pepper to taste and bring to a rolling boil, stirring or whisking frequently.
4. In the meantime, slice the beef and add it back to the slow cooker along with the cooked vegetables. When the gravy is done, pour it back into the slow cooker and put the cooker on warm until ready to eat.

*Note: I used a roast straight from my freezer, you may need to reduce the cooking time if you are using a piece of meat that is not frozen.
Yum - looks good enough to eat!