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Fiesta Week Part 3 – Cabbage Slaw and Refried Beans

Now that you have some good taco recipes from chorizo tacos and chicken tacos, you need to have some good ides to go along with the tacos. Of course guacamole and salsa are always good choices and are pretty easy to make on your own at home. There are also a number of quality store-bought salsas and guacamole if there are some that you  like in particular and don’t have the time or energy to make them yourself. Personally, I always like the homemade better since you have more control over the ingredients and can make it just how you and your family like it the best. Anyway, I wanted to make a few different side dishes that could go well either right on the tacos themselves or right along side of them. Of course, I needed to have a classic refried beans recipe and I decided to use this one that I found on Food Network’s website from Ellie Krieger. It is very simple and can be done in minutes.

Refried Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the beans and the chicken broth and cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans coarsely with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher, adding more chicken broth to moisten the beans if necessary. Season the beans with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the cilantro leaves and serve.

The beans are very tasty and take no time at all to make. You could really do this with any type of beans that you like the best. I think black beans would be great for this well. The beans added great texture to the tacos overall and make a good side dish not just for tacos or other Mexican meals, but for things like chicken or pork entrees as well.

I also wanted to make a quick slaw to go along with the tacos, but I did not want a typical creamy coleslaw that I often make. I needed something lighter and simpler that people could put on their tacos or right on the side of their meals. This simple vegetable slaw from Bon Appetit fit the bill perfectly and only took a few minutes to make for the meal.

Black Bean and Cabbage Slaw

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups coleslaw mix

2 green onions, chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the black beans and the cumin in a small bowl and partially mash the beans. Mix the olive oil and the lime juice together in a medium bowl. Add the coleslaw mix, green onions and cilantro to the oil mixture and toss them well to coat them evenly. Add the beans to the coleslaw and toss to coat. Season the slaw with salt and pepper to taste.

Again, it is a very simple recipe that has a great fresh taste and flavor. This slaw could even be used as a taco filling all on its own if you wanted to go with something as more of a vegetarian option for tacos. All you need to do is heat dome tortillas, spoon the mixture onto the tortillas, add a little cheese and any other toppings you like, and you are good to go. I have actually been eating the slaw with my lunch the rest of the week and have added it into some salad that I made for lunch yesterday for an even better variation on regular salad.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Cooking, Holidays, Salad, Side Dishes

 

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Fiesta Week Part 2 – Chicken Tacos

To go along with the chorizo tacos and the beef tacos I had made on Sunday I also wanted to make some chicken tacos. I didn’t want to do something with just shredded chicken, which would have been easy to do with some chicken, but I wanted something a little different with some nice sauce to go along with it. I had looked at a few different recipes I found on the Internet, but then I came upon this one from Michael Chiarello on the Food Network for a chicken taco filling. It looked pretty easy to make, only used a few ingredients and I could get it done along with all over the other things I was making that day. The original recipe is for a pretty large quantity, so I ended up scaling it down quite a bit to fit my crowd and I still had a lot left over, so you could make it even smaller if you only have a couple of people to feed. The recipe shown here is in the amounts that I actually used. If you want the larger quantities, all you need to do is double this recipe.

Chicken Tacos

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 onions, minced

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 Serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper, sliced thin

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground oregano

2-3 cups chicken broth or water

For the Tacos:

Red onion, sliced thin

Lettuce, shredded

Radishes, sliced thin

Salsa (homemade or store-bought)

Guacamole (homemade or store-bought)

Flour or corn tortillas

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the vegetables are soft and nicely caramelized, about 10 to 12 minutes.

In the meantime, season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken pieces and toss the chicken to coat it well. Heat another large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Once the onion mixture is caramelized and softened, add the chile peppers, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, cumin and oregano. When the chicken is done, transfer it to the pan with the onions. Pour in the broth or water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve the tacos, place all of your  chosen toppings and the chicken filling in separate bowls along with the warmed tortillas so people can construct their own tacos.

This was a simple recipe for the chicken that yielded some great flavor thanks to the spices used. You could certainly substitute some rotisserie chicken and just heat it up with the onion mixture and spices if you have left over chicken from another meal or do not want to cook the chicken yourself. The sauce is nice and thick and clings nicely to the chicken to add another level of flavor to the dish. I would choose to make chicken tacos this way every time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, One Pot Meals, Poultry

 

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Beat the Heat with Grilled Chicken Tacos

After taking a few days off to do some fun family things, it’s back to blogging and back to the recipes. Thankfully the stifling heat we have been experiencing here in New York seems to have eased a bit the last couple of days, giving me a chance to do some cooking again and get some recipes ready to post. I still have a couple from last week that I made when it was really hot, including this easy recipe for grilled chicken tacos. This one is kind of a combination of recipes I got from America’s Test Kitchen and Bon Appetit, using the best of both them to make an easy meal that you can do on the grill or indoors.

Grilled Chicken Tacos

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 medium onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 corn tortillas, warmed (for serving)

2 avocados, sliced (for serving)

Sliced radishes (for serving)

Homemade Tomato Salsa

Whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, cumin, vegetable oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Toss the onion, garlic and chicken thighs until all are well coated. Prepare your grill for medium-high heat. Grill the onions and the chicken thighs until they are cooked through and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.

Let the chicken rest for about minutes before slicing. Serve the chicken and onions with the warmed corn tortillas, avocados, sliced radishes, the homemade salsa and some extra cilantro along with lime wedges and sour cream, allowing each person to build their own tacos how they like it.

The great thing about this meal is that it can take you no time at all to put it all together. You might actually spend more time getting the grill going then you will with actual preparation and cooking. In our house, there are rarely any leftovers when we make tacos or quesadillas. I served this alongside some black beans and rice that I made and the homemade salsa goes very well with this meal. You can also make some guacamole instead of just slicing the avocados if you prefer to have it that way.

That’s all there is for today. Just a very quick and simple recipe that is great for a summertime meal. Check back next time to see some other recipes that I have made recently, including a roast chicken and vegetables from Chef Marc Murphy. a roast beef recipe. some burgers with onion strings from Cook’s Country and more. I do have a few other recipes I’ll be trying out this week as well that I may get on here, so keep checking back. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Poultry, Rice, Side Dishes

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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