Tuesday, July 9, 2013

shredded chicken tacos with mango, cucumber and red onion

a great recipe for having company over on a hot summer night. the mango, cucumber and red onion is light and refreshing, but adds lots of flavor! the chicken comes out juicy and tender since its over low heat . this can be done in a slow cooker, but i just cooked it for about an hour on low heat on the stove top.

2 lb chicken breast
salt and pepper
2 tsp paprika
1tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1 thinly sliced red onion
1 mango sliced in thin strips
1 cucumber cut length wise in thin strips
flour tortillas
serve with avocado and lime wedges

mix salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and cayenne in a small bowl, once its completely mixed rub on chicken breast and place chicken in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, so all those happy seasonings can really work there way into the chicken. next place oil skillet on medium high heat and quickly sear both side of the chicken breasts, about 1 minute per side. then cover and reduce heat to low and let chicken cook for about 30-40 minutes. while cooking the chicken you can slice you mango, cucumber and onion. put them all together in a large bowl and add chopped cilantro and lime juice with salt to taste. mix together and set aside till you're ready to build your tasty taco. when chicken is finished cooking take each breast out and shred by pulling it with two forks. when all your chicken is shredded add it back to the pan to soak up the seasoned juices in the pan. heat for about 2 minutes and remove from heat. now  build your taco to your liking!

Friday, June 28, 2013

fresh linguine with lemon garlic shrimp and shaved manchego

 this may sound like a fancy dish, but its actually really easy to make and the sauce is very versatile.  you can easily make simple substitutions and the shrimp are not necessary, however i like shrimp and they go nicely with the sauce. i have made fresh pasta many many times but i found a wonderful recipe on another web page, that explains all the how tos very clearly and gives some great tips. the page is simplebites.net written by kristen doyle and is title perfecting pasta. if you have never made fresh pasta before, this is a must read and even if you have, you'll probably find some great tips. 

1/2 lb Cooked fresh linguine
4 tbsp Butter
Lemon zest from whole lemon
Lemon juice from whole lemon
1 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 cup White wine
2 tsp fresh Oregano
1 tbsp fresh Parsley
12 extra large shrimp with shells
Shaved manchego

in pan over medium heat melt butter. then add lemon zest and garlic until fragrant, do NOT brown garlic.add the cup of white wine and turn heat up to high to simmer. i choose a sauvignon blanc but a pinot grigio would work nicely. when sauce reduces slightly you may add the fresh lemon juice, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. continue to simmer and add extra large shrimp with shells and cook until pink. i leave the shells on because they add flavor to the sauce. when shrimp are fully cooked remove them from the sauce and add pasta to the sauce pan. at this point you may remove shrimp shells if you please, but i served them on. cooking pasta in the sauce pan will help the pasta soak up some of the sauce and evenly coat it. you can now plate the pasta and sauce and leave the pan empty.  add shrimp back to your pan and warm over high heat, then add the shrimp to your pasta dish. top with shaved manchego and  serve with lemon wedges.

now i know some may think the oregano or manchego are not necessary but they work very nicely together without over powering the lemon or shrimp. i suppose a parmesan would work but the manchego has a milder flavor and that is why i choose it. this is a very easy sauce recipe that can work without an added protein, but i think chicken or scallops would work very well with this as well. enjoy the recipe and let me know how it works out for you guys.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

new york strip steak with barbecue rub and sauteed zucchini and carrots

this is one of those easy week night meals that takes little preparation but make a wonderful dinner. i experimented with the seasonings a bit and this turned out exactly how i wanted, savory yet slightly sweet and earthy. there are many barbecue rub recipes but i figured this is a good solid combination of flavors without getting to out side of the box.

2 new york strips roughly 1/2 to 3/4 lb.
5 springs of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
11/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp tomato paste
4 carrots peeled and sliced length wise
3 small zucchini sliced length wise
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

mix the first 10 spices in a small bowl until well combined, taste a small amount and adjust as you please, but remember the mix should be slightly on the salty side since its a rub and will not taste as salty when cooked on the steak. next pat the steak dry and rub mix on both sides of the steak, let them sit for about 45 minutes. while letting the steak soak up all that wonderful flavor, prepare your veggies, if you haven't already. saute the carrots first in a little vegetable oil on high heat with the parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. cover and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook them together covered  for about 4-5 minutes. the reason for this is because carrots will take longer to cook then zucchini and you want them both to be cooked but not either one to be mushy. turn off burner and let the vegetable sit in the pan covered till your steak is finished. at this point you can add your steak to a hot skillet, with just a brush of oil on the skillet. sear steak on each side for about 1-2 minutes each, turn off heat and let steak rest for 5 minutes covered in hot skillet. then remove steaks to plate and simmer the dripping in the pan. once it simmers add just a dash of flour to help thicken. this will make a lovely barbecue sauce to top your steaks with and it will only take a couple minutes. plate you vegetable with you steak, pour the barbecue sauce over the steak and you are done!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

rainbow trout with cilantro and lime

this is all new to me, so please bare with me as i know it won't be perfect or anything close to it, but i have some wonderful recipes I'd like to share and this is the first one. i made this trout dish last night, and i was superb so i felt the need to share it to my fellow foodies. i was inspired by a recipe i found on about.com. the recipe was labeled as baked whole trout, which i used for the cooking instructions, but the seasoning and some techniques were my own. this is obviously a Spanish inspired dish with some classical french technique. i should mention, I'm not a chef, i just love to cook and try new things and share with others, so here's the recipe.

2 whole rainbow trout
1 lime, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
1 cup white wine
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp minced garlic
butter flavored vegetable spray
paprika for dusting
3 tbsp butter rolled in flour

preheat oven to 475.  place a wire rack in metal roasting pan. rinse fish in cold water and pat dry. you may at this point debone the fish if you prefer, but the bones do add terrific flavor as it bakes so i recommend leaving them in and eat carefully later. in a small bowl combine 4 tablespoon white wine with cilantro, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic, mix well and rub in the cavities of the fish and on top of fish. place lime slices in and on top of the fish and sprinkle with paprika. then add a 1/2 cup of white wine to the bottom of roasting pan, paying attention to not pour over the fish. lightly spray with butter flavored vegetable oil and bake 25-30 minutes. when fish is done place fish on a separate plate and bring pan to the stove top. add remaining wine and 3 tablespoon of butter rolled in flour. bring to a simmer for a few minutes until thickened slightly. done!
 i served this with a bed of white rice, fried green plantains, some fresh sliced mango, a lime wedge and of course a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. i believe a pinot grigio would go lovely with this dish as well. i highly recommend trying this recipe and let me know what you think. its a light and pleasant dish especially for those hot summer nights. enjoy!