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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Tacos!

Tacos Tonight!
Let's Dish

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I’m using two fresh herbs for my tacos.  Oregano from my garden and fresh cilantro.

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First the vegetables, then some added ingredients to make these tacos extra special.

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I’m using ground pork for this recipe. The reason for that is, because it’s much cheaper per pound.  I’ll also will give my secret on how I make that happen in the directions for the taco meat recipe below.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

If you want my recipe for my Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans, you can type the keywords (Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice) into the search bar at the top right of my home page and push “GO”.

Pico de gallo

If you’d like my recipe for Pico de Gallo, you can just type the key words ( Pico de Gallo) into my search bar at the top right of my home page and push “GO”.  Usually I’ll use grape tomatoes for my Pico, but I  thought, for tacos, using diced Roma tomatoes would work much better for this dish.

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If you want to check out another one of my guacamole recipes, you can type in guacamole into the search bar at the top right of my home page and push “GO”. This specific recipe will be available below.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 12 tacos- 4 servings.

Main Ingredients:
2 boxes of crunchy shells or 1 package of soft corn tortillas
2 packages of store bought “Mexican blend” shredded cheese

Ingredients For Guacamole:
3 diced avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 a minced Fresno chili or jalapeno (reserve the other 1/2 for taco meat)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients and directions for both of my other two recipes, Cilantro Lime Brown Rice, and Pico de Gallo, can be found by using the search bar at the top right of my home page. Type in the specific recipe title and hit “GO”

Directions For Guacamole:
Place all the ingredients into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocados while mixing with the other ingredients. Wrap plastic directly over the guacamole, covering bowl tightly, and place into the refrigerator.

Ingredients For Taco Meat:
No oli is needed for this type of  pan ( 1 tablespoon of olive oil if using a different pan)
2 pounds of ground pork
1 onions diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 the reserved minced Fresno chili (substitute jalapeno)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 package of taco seasoning mix (McCormick blend)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon of ground chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground paprika
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
2 limes cut into wedges to serve with tacos

Directions For Taco Meat:
Set the pan on med-high heat. Add the ground pork, diced onion, minced Fresno chili, minced garlic, and tomato paste into the pan.  Using a wooden spoon break up the meat. Let the meat brown, and the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Once the meat has a nice brown color, add in the seasoning packet, Kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer uncovered for another 25 minutes.

At this point all the liquid and seasonings have absorbed into the meat to make a delicious and beefy flavored taco meat. Turn the heat off and add in the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves.  Mix those through and transfer to a serving bowl.

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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During the colder months here in Florida, I love making one pot meals like soups and stews. Chili is definitely one of our favorites. I’ve played around with some recipes for this dish and found this to be the one I like the best. It’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep. The best part is… everything’s done in the slow cooker!

The night before, pour 1 pound of dried Great Northern beans into a large bowl. Cover the beans by 3 inches with water, cover and place on the counter. The next day, drain and rinse the beans to remove any excess starch.

Total Time: 6-6 1/2 hrs 15 mins
Inactive Prep Time: Soaking beans overnight
Prep Time:15 min
Total Cook Time:  6hrs 45 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 pound of, soaked and rinsed, dried Great Northern beans
2 stalks of celery chopped and cut into half moons
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 cans of chopped green chilies
1 large diced sweet onion
1 died green bell pepper
1 quart of chicken broth
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup Masa
1 package of frozen sweet corn
1 lime juiced and 1 lime cut into  wedges for serving
1 cup of grated Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 reserved for serving
2 avocados, slice for garish
chopped fresh cilantro for serving
corn tortillaschips for serving

Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and Kosher salt. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken. Add the beans, celery, garlic, canned  chilies, onions, and diced bell pepper.

Pour in the chicken broth, put the lid on and cook on low until the beans are cooked, the vegetables are soft and the flavors are combined, about 6-61/2 hrs.

Mix the milk with the Masa in a small bowl then add to the slow cooker. Add the frozen corn right, from the freezer, and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker, then add the lime juice, sprinkle in the Monterey Jack cheese and stir to melt.

To serve: Ladle the chili into a bowl and garnish with extra cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, and a lime wedge. Place a few tortilla chips in or on the side for garnish.

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California Style BLT With Avocado

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A Bacon Lettuce And Tomato sandwich is a staple in American cuisine. Having only a few simple items means, I need to use the best ingredients I can find. That way I can take this sandwich to a different level of deliciousness. A thick cut apple smoked  bacon, thick sliced heirloom tomatoes and leafy greens makes for a great sandwich. Avocado gives this sandwich a taste of California.

Then there’s the bread. It has to be one that compliments what’s inside. I think buttered and toasted Ciabatta bread is the answer.

Ingredients:
8 slices of thick cut apple wood bacon
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
leafy greens
1 sliced avocado
pesto mayo

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
Place the rack in the lower third of the oven. I use a foiled covered baking sheet with a rack. This makes for crispier bacon because it cooks the bacon from all sides.  The bacon should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Check the bacon progress after 12 minutes. Once fully cooked, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel.

On medium heat, in a cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Then rub one side of the bread in the butter and flip it over and rub the other side. Once both sides have butter on them I let them toast upright in the pan. I’d say about 2 minutes per side.

I like to spread a light coating of *pesto mayo on each the top and bottom slice before placing the lettuce down first, then the bacon, then tomato, with a very light sprinkling of Kosher salt, and then the avocado with another sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper. Finally finishing off with the top slice of buttered Ciabatta. This is my secret to making a great BLT With Avocado.

*pesto mayonnaise
Mix 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of fresh basil pesto.

 

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Sweet Potato Burgers

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It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding recipes that don’t include meat and any even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. These sweet potato burgers are so satisfying and flavorful the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain flat bread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. This sweet potato burger is delicious.

There are some great choices to use as vessels for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but, they do offer gluten-free flat breads. I used one of these hinged flat-breads as a stencil. I used a piece of parchment paper to draw the outline of the hinged-flat bread. Then I just laid it over the gluten-free flat bread, and cut it out using a paring knife. and now I have a gluten-free hinged bread. There’s always a way. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something as natural as possible. That’s why I choose baby’s pureed apples as an ingredient. What’s more natural than that!  Ok, so here’s how I start.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Pesto Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 sliced avocados
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper

Sweet Potato Burgers
3 med-size sweet potatoes
2-15 ounce cans of drained and rinsed Cannelini beans
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup of apple puree
1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Arugula leaves (to top burgers)
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground corriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the basil mayo, take a 1/2 a cup of good mayo and mix with 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto. Stir to combine. You can make your own pesto or buy the basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannelini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture. Add in the egg, apple organic baby puree, chili powder, ground corriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the mixture to be somewhat firm. The fact that there is no meat being used, the bread crumb ratio may vary slightly. It’s important that the consistency be similar to a ground meat mixture. Form the sweet potato mixture into 6 burgers. Note:  Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for about 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties.

In a large skillet, on med heat, heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the skillet in batches. I cook 2 at a time. Cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate line with paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked. If needed, add a little more olive oil and butter.

Note: To keep the cooked patties warm, place them into a preheated 200-225 degree oven until the other patties have been cooked off. You can also refrigerate the other patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them off.

Serve the burgers on the flat bread with a basil pesto mayo, arugula, and slices of avocado.

 

 

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