So instead of going through the usual dinner prep, I will share a couple of my latest culinary adventures. I am sitting in the living room and the patio door is open. I can smell the breeze as it shyly seeps into the room. It really smells like Summer-to-be, even though Winter is still here. So odd. I can only imagine how it will feel in April and March. Ahhhhh. :-)
But... I digress--(said Sophia-style from Golden Girls). Tuesday I had the extraordinary pleasure of making fajitas, Steven Raichlen style. If you've never heard of him, he has a cookbook entitled Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin American Cooking. There are a number of different recipes, from Tres Leches to Tamales to Chimichurri to Arroz con Gandulez to Garlic Plantain Puree to Paella to Lamb Fricasse! I am loving it. I always feel proud when I can add recipes to my arsenal that are exclusively of my Boriquen heritage. And even more than that, I love diversity--in my neighborhoods, my jobs, and in my food, so I appreciate the vast array of regions the recipes are drawn from.
Que Dios te bendiga...que tengan salute buena y bien aprovecho!
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup Mojo marinade or all of the marinade in the recipe that follows:
3 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and chopped (or leave the seeds in if you like your food spicy!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 small avocado, chopped and drizzled with extra lime juice
1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat sour cream
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 11/2 cups salsa of your choice
2 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded, and sliced
2 red or yellow bell peppers, roasted, seeded, and sliced
2 medium onions, sliced thin and roasted
10 scallions, roasted
8 fat-free flour tortillas (we used Mission Artisan Style: Ancient Grains and they were the bomb!)
Place the chicken in a glass dish or bowl large enough to accomodate it. Blend or process the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, or overnight, like I did. If you do not want to make your own marinade, you can buy Mojo Criollo, located in the Latin aisle of most supermarkets. This was what I had on hand.
Preheat a grill pan (or skillet) and broiler. The original recipe calls for grilling/broiling the different vegetables at different times, but I found the easiest thing to do was to use the broiler and add all of the vegetables to a baking sheet.
Roast veggies about 6-8 minutes, turning them occasionally until the peppers are nicely charred and the scallions are charred and wilted. Carefully slice the peppers, seeding the bells and seeding the poblanos only if you don't want the extra heat. Return sliced peppers to pan.
While the veggies are roasting, cook chicken on hot grill for 3-4 minutes per side til no pink is left in the center and juices run clear. Slice against the grain (in the same direction the fibers of the chicken run in) on cutting board and keep warm.
Serve fajitas with toppings listed above, or get creative and come up with your own.
To get really authentic, heat a cast iron skillet in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Place cooked chicken and vegetables in the skillet (you will hear sizzling), and serve at table. Be careful not to touch the skillet with your hands!
Smoky Chicken-Tomato Soup
2-4 canned chipotle peppers ( de-seed if you don't like your food spicy)
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp lard or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 lb bonless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces ( I always opt for a little larger)
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 cups chicen stock
2 sprigs epazote
Salt and pepper
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Grill the tomatoes until nicely charred. Carefully remove the burnt skin and quarter the tomatoes. Place chipotle peppers and tomatoes in blender or processor and process until smooth.
Heat oil in a large pot. I used my braiser. Oooooo, I love, love, love my braiser. I am actually disappointed when I can't use it to cook!
Add onions, garlic, and most of scallions to pot. Cook, stirring often, till veggies are soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato mixture. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until thick and fragrant. Stir in chicken, chickpeas, stock, and epazote. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Re-season with salt and pepper if desired.
You can't see too much of the yumminess in the picture, but trust me, it's wonderful.
Garnish with remaining scallions and sip to your heart's content. :-)