Tag Archives: Cumin

Chicken Fajitas

26 Feb

chicken fajitas I remember, growing up, that chicken fajitas were a big deal.  Not only were they a welcome break from the Hamburger Helper lasagna, meatloaf, and grilled chicken (all of which I love, by the way), but when mom made chicken fajitas, we felt like royalty.  Now that I’m (sort of) all grown up, I enjoy this sizzling entree at restaurants from time to time, but every once in a while you gotta MAKE something that just says, “WOW!  We are special.”

Serve with spicy cheesy refried beans and a garden salad.

Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • Salt
    • 2 T canola, safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil (a high smoke point oil)
    • 1 large onion, sliced lengthwise (root to tip) into 1/4-inch strips
    • 3 bell peppers of various colors, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

Marinade

    • 2 T lime juice
    • 3 T olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Extras

    • 8-12 flour tortillas
    • Taco sauce
    • Sliced avocado
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Thinly sliced iceberg lettuce dressed lightly with salt and cider vinegar

Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag.  Add the chicken, shake well to cover, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.  This can be prepared in advance and marinated in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours, but allow to sit at room temperature for an hour before cooking.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off excess marinade.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt.

Heat a large cast iron frying pan on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and, once the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the chicken breast pieces.  Work in batches, if necessary.  Allow the chicken to sear for 2-3 minutes then turn the pieces over and allow the second side to sear for another 2-3 minutes.

Stack seared chicken on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to retain heat and finish cooking as you saute the peppers and onions.

Add another tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and, once the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the onions and peppers to the pan.  Using a metal spatula scrape up the leftover browned bits from the chicken and stir to coat the onions and peppers with the oil and brown bits.  Evenly spread the onions and peppers in the pan.  Leave them to sear undisturbed for 2 minutes, allowing them to blacken a bit.  Stir and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

chicken fajitas02

If chicken is not quite cooked through, place it back in the pan for a minute or two.  Slice the chicken against the grain into strips and serve at once with the peppers and onions, some warm tortillas, and your favorite toppings.  I opt for diced tomatoes or a good pico de gallo, guacamole and shredded cheese.

Recipe inspired by simplyrecipes.com

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

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Classic Two-Meat Chili

22 Feb

classic two meat chili01I found this recipe in some slow cooker cookbook but have found, over time, that I prefer just about everything prepared by some method other than a crockpot.  The flavors of this soup are very well balanced and I have always loved the addition of the ground sausage so I had to adapt it to a stovetop method (didn’t take too much genius).  I sometimes eliminate the “spicy” from the sausage and/or the beans, depending upon my mood, what’s stocked in my cupboard and what’s available at the supermarket.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Jimmy Dean spicy ground pork sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 28 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 30 oz can spicy chili beans, undrained

In a dutch oven or other heavy pot, cook ground beef, sausage and onion; drain.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for at least an hour (up to 3 or more hours) to allow the flavors to meld.

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Ground Turkey Mexican Lasagna

21 Sep

I served this to my husband and my mother and, upon asking them what they thought the ingredients were, they both began with “hamburger.”  The recipe called for ground chicken but I found ground turkey to be quite a bit less expensive and didn’t know if there would be much of a difference.  I still don’t know if there’s any difference, but the turkey was very good.  The texture was almost identical to ground beef and, with all the seasonings, the flavor was indistinguishable as well.  This makes a pretty big pan but I was okay with leftovers on this one.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 1/2-ish tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Salt
  • 8 (8 inch) spinach flour tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil- twice around the pan. Add turkey and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

Coat a shallow baking dish (I used a porcelain 9×13 pan) with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil.

Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with extra Taco Bell medium taco sauce (that stuff is da bomb).

Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray.

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Hot Bean and Cheese Dip

22 Feb

Ingredients

  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  (16-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
  • 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1 cup tomatoes and the next 7 ingredients (1 cup tomatoes through chiles). Spoon tomato mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with remaining tomatoes.

Yields 4 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

Recipe adapted from SouthernLiving.com

Thai Red Curry Paste (a la Jennifer)

14 Feb

I was making a dish that called for red curry paste.  I couldn’t find it in the grocery store so I thought I’d google it to see what the ingredients were, and then make it myself.  To my dismay it was a somewhat complicated recipe requiring a food processor (which Derek dropped and broke) and including ingredients I don’t typically stock (i.e. lemongrass).  So I took a number of the ingredients I had stocked in my cupboards and came up with a product with which I was quite pleased.

Whisk together the following:

  • a good, long squirt of hot sauce (I use Huy Fong brand of Sriracha hot chili sauce or, as I like to call it, “rooster” sauce)
  • three cloves garlic, minced
  • a few dashes of ground ginger
  • a dash of fresh ground pepper
  • a dash of cumin
  • about 2 T. soy sauce
  • a small squirt of anchovy paste (or oyster or fish sauce)
  • a couple dashes of sugar
  • a dash of chili powder

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Broiled Flank Steak with Warm Tomato Topping

22 Jan

Let the steak stand while you heat the topping. Fill out the meal with orzo, and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  ground cumin, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1  (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2  cups  grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper; sprinkle evenly over steak.  Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once.  Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and jalapeño to pan; cook 1 minute.  Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.  Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.  Serve tomato topping with steak.

Chicken Corn Chili

11 Jul

Ingredients:

  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper sauce
  • 2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 32 oz can chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cup prepared chicken stock or broth

 

1.  Heat oil in a deep pot over medium high heat.
2.  Add vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, reducing heat if veggies start to stick.
3.  Stir in diced chicken and season with chili powder, cumin, and cayenne sauce. Season with a little salt, to taste.
4.  Add corn, tomatoes, and broth. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.
5.  Garnish chili with chopped scallions.