Chicken and Shrimp Burritos

2017-03-28 17.39.02

Chicken and Shrimp Burritos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Nouvelle Cuisine, roughly translated, means: I can’t believe I paid ninety-six dollars and I’m still hungry.”

Mike Kalin

When I picked my grandson up from school today he looked at me and said “Pops……. you know what day this is ? It’s Taco Tuesday!!” Now I love Mexican food….. Carne Asada, Pozole, Chicharone and Taquitos……… but lately I’ve kind of gone off Tacos and decided that I wanted something different—– enter Burritos.

There is something about the mix of meat and rice and seasonings that I find very alluring in a Burrito unfortunately the Mexican take out places we have in the area are so heavy handed with the hot sauce that you can’t taste anything else and so I made my own.

Due to having a bunch of starving kids running amok in the house I took the liberty of some short cuts that I don’t normally use because if I didn’t I surely would have lost my sanity.

Oh and my grandson still got his Tacos.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list: 

  • 1 package of large 10″ Tortillas 
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken breast
  • 12 Shrimp – shelled and deveined
  • 5 teaspoons Vegetable oil
  • One package shredded Cheese
  • 1 8 ounce can Corn kernels
  • 1 10 ounce can Black Beans
  • 6 Spring Onions – white only, sliced
  • 1 18 ounce can Diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups Uncle Ben’s 5 minute Rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 tablespoons Salsa Verde

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot bring the water, corn, black beans and tomatoes to a boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, onions and rice. Cover and remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large fry pan heat 3 tablespoons oil, add the diced chicken, season with the chili powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan heat the remaining oil, add the shrimp and season with the Old Bay. Saute until firm – about 3 minutes. Add to the chicken.
  4. To build the burrito: Heat a tortilla for approximately 20 seconds. Place some cheese in the center of the tortilla, top with the rice, chicken and shrimp mix, salsa and more cheese. Fold the east and west side flaps of the tortilla until they meet in the middle. Using your thumbs fold the bottom flap up and over and roll until you have made your round burrito.
  5. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                          Bon Appetit

Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

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Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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It’s no secret that I love Southern food— BBQ, Smoked, Etouffe and Gumbo to name a few—- so coming up with this “dinner winner” was easy as pie and although it may appear to be a bit time consuming in the making it is definitely worth the effort.

When I first started out to make this one I had every intention to use Catfish because it is such a staple of Southern cooking however I soon found out that my local grocery store (we don’t have an easily accessible fish monger) does not sell it anymore because it is so expensive to get in and no one buys it so I did the next best thing—- Basa and since Basa is Vietnamese Catfish it fit into the recipe quite well.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 medium Basa or Catfish filets
  • 4 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Canola plus 2 tablespoons oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned Grits
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped and divided 1 for Grits 2 for Piquant
  • 1/2 cup Corn flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish.

Putting it all together:

For the Sauce Piquant…..

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, red pepper and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Serve warm.

For the Grits…..

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Slowly stir in grits; reduce heat to low, and cook until grits are tender, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter.

For the Fish…..

  1. Mix the Corn flour with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  2. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan and fry the fish until golden brown, about 10 minutes
  4. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels

To plate the fish simply spoon some grits onto the center of a plate, place the fish on top and spoon some sauce Piquant over the fish. Garnish with some green onion and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

 

 

 

 

Sausage and clam Carbonara

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Sausage and clam Carbonara

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Let me first begin by wishing one and all a very Happy New Year and may the coming year be filled with nothing but joy and happiness.

I chose this recipe for this post as it is something I have never tried before and to be quite honest I’m not entirely sure I have ever had it before in a restaurant and so it seemed rather apropos to ring in the new year with something fresh and new.

You will notice that I have rated the difficulty for this one as “Medium” and the reason for that is there is a step that is kind of tricky and if it is not done correctly you will wind up with “scrambled egg” pasta.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One large package of Penne
  • Five Sun-dried Tomato Turkey sausage – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 20 Pasta clams – Scrubbed and de-bearded
  • Three tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Three garlic cloves– crushed
  • Six Eggs
  • 12 ounces diced Pancetta
  • One medium Onion – diced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish and colour

Putting it all together:

  1. Cook the Penne in a large pot of salted water until just al dente
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large sauce pan and add the onion and garlic cooking until the onion is translucent and the garlic has infused the oil
  3. Remove the garlic and discard
  4. Add the pancetta and sausage and cook until both are cooked through
  5. While the meat is cooking crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl along with the salt and pepper and beat well
  6. Add the Parmesan to the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Set aside
  7. Add the cooked pasta, along with a little of the pasta water, to the pancetta and sausage and mix well
  8. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, about five minutes.
  9. While the pasta is cooling steam the clams until open discarding any that don’t as they are dead
  10. Pour the egg  and cheese mixture over the pasta and blend until smooth. If the pasta is too hot the egg will scramble
  11. Plate the pasta and top with the clams and some parsley

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                           Bon Appetit

Chicken and Tomato casserole

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Chicken and Tomato casserole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe comes from my Diabetes cookbook and with some embellishments from me (because I can’t help myself) it turned out to be one of the best, and healthiest,  casseroles I think I have ever made. I will most certainly be making this one again.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Eight bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • One 10 ounce tin black beans
  • One 16 ounce tin diced tomatoes
  • Three tablespoons dried Oregano
  • Three tablespoons granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives
  • Two cups Long Grain Rice
  • Four tablespoons Canola oil
  • Chicken dry rub (see Dry Rubs and Marinades)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly season the chicken thighs with the dry rub
  3. In a large non reactive bowl mix together all the other ingredients and pour into a large casserole dish
  4. Heat the oil in a large saute pan and brown the chicken on both sides
  5. Place the chicken on top of the tomato mixture and put in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the chicken hits 165 degrees internal.
  6. Garnish with Parsley and serve.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time……………..

                       Bon Appetit

 

 

Braised Oxtail

  • Servings: ”3-4″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Braised oxtails

Oxtail is one of those ingredients that a lot if not most people avoid simply because of its name and the image that it conjures up…… a tough stringy piece of meat with no flavour to it but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Oxtail can add such a rich depth of flavour to a dish (ever had oxtail gravy with Jamaican rice and peas?) or it can equally stand on it’s own as a main….. it just has to be treated right. It also happens to be a quite inexpensive cut and quite frankly I love it.

This recipe comes to us via my 56 year old Canadian Cook Book and so that is why it is being listed under Retro Recipes and as the book has no pictures in it the one I am using I borrowed from thinkeatbehealthy.com.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One oxtail cut into short lengths
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons fat
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt or 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 4 small onions
  • 1/2 clove of garlic

Putting it all together:

  1. Dredge the oxtail in flour; brown in hot fat
  2. Add the tomatoes, water and seasonings; simmer, covered until tender, about 2 hours
  3. Add the vegetables; uncover and simmer again until the bones are free of meat and may be removed.
  4. Add the lemon juice and if necessary thicken the stock with flour and water.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time……..

                       Bon Appetit

Margherita Penne with sweet Chorizo

  • Servings: ”4-6″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Margherita Penne with sweet Chorizo

I was watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network earlier in the week and the phrase “signature dish” kept getting bandied about and this got me started thinking about my signature dish and how, being somewhat eclectic, I don’t really have one so I guess I will continue to change and warp recipes until such time that I come across one that is me.

This particular recipe comes to us courtesy of our annual Milk Calendar where the recipes contain Canadian dairy products but, as usual, I have twisted it a bit by adding some things and subtracting others until it is one that suits me much to the chagrin of my lovely wife who looked at me and stated “… you simply can’t use 100% of someone else’s recipe can you”…. and you know she’s right.

Here’s how we do this one….

Shopping List:

  • 12 ounces Penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp Canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8-10 ounces of diced Sweet Chorizo
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes— cut in half
  • 1/2 cup grated Canadian Parmesan
  • 12 1 inch mini Canadian Bocconcini (or any other kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves- chiffonade
  • Romano and Parsley for dusting

Putting it all together:

  1.  In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta until al dente
  2. In a second large pot heat the Canola oil and saute the Chorizo for about three minutes then remove from pot
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic,thyme,salt and chili flakes if using them and cook for a minute
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for about one minute
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and whisk for between 3 and 5 minutes or until smooth
  7. Add the heavy cream and whisk until it starts to thicken
  8. Stir in the tomatoes, Chorizo and Parmesan
  9. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot
  10. Pour in the sauce and toss, stirring for about two minutes over medium heat ensuring pasta is coated
  11. Stir in the Bocconcini and basil
  12. Serve with a dusting of Romano and parsley

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time………

                  Bon Appetit

Habaneros baby

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This picture is of just some of the Habaneros that are currently residing in my Herb Garden and these things have been breeding like rabbits leaving me with the “I don’t know what to do with all of them” conundrum so I mentioned it to my boss and he suggested a Habanero paste and as intriguing as this might be I figured I would start with something a little easier and make—— HOT SAUCE.

Now most people know some hot chili peppers like Jalapenos or Cayennes but Habaneros may not be as well known outside the hot chili pepper clubs so let me give you a very brief run down on these things. Chilies as you may know are rated on the Scoville Scale which is the scale used to rate the heat intensity of a pepper and of course the higher up the scale the hotter the pepper. For instance a sweet bell pepper rates a zero while Pure Capsaician (this is the chemical in peppers that produces heat) is rated at 15,000,000 and this is hotter than U.S. grade pepper spray. To further illustrate the various heat levels Jalapenos, which most if not all people are familiar with, rate between 3,500 and 8,000 on the scale while Habaneros sit at between 200,000 and 350,000 so suffice it to say that only someone with a death wish would want to eat one of these things by itself so when  using these things be careful and ALWAYS use disposable gloves.

Here now for your tongue burning pleasure is my version of Hot Sauce………

Ingredients:

Eight to ten Orange Habaneros – I will use the orange for the color effect on the finished product

Four to six garlic cloves- peeled

One small onion – chopped

Three tablespoons Canola oil

Four tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

Juice of three limes

Two tablespoons sugar

Putting it all together:

In a medium sauce pan heat the oil (medium heat) and add the onions, Habaneros and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn brown- stir continuously

Reduce the heat and add the remaining ingredients cooking until the tomatoes break down

Pour the contents of the pan into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth

Strain the contents through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate for a minimum an hour– Also remember that the longer you let it sit the better the flavors marry together.

Now obviously you can adjust the heat level of the sauce by using more or less of the Habaneros or by substituting a different type of pepper altogether. That’s the beauty of a recipe……. making it your own.

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

So until next time…………….

                                                               Bon Appetit