One of The Hub’s favorite meals is roasted chicken with crispy skin. So, for his birthday recently, I whipped this super simple recipe up just for him, and he loved it! I know you will, too!
Spatchcocked rosemary lemon chicken with garlic herbed roasted potatoes.
– 6lb whole chicken – 1 small bag red potatoes – 1 bunch parsley – 5 sprigs fresh rosemary – 3 large cloves of garlic – 2 TBS olive oil – 5 TBS softened butter – 1 large lemon zested/juiced – salt/pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Par-boil the potatoes in salted water, drain and set aside. Chop parsley and divide into two medium-sized bowls. Chop rosemary and add into only one of the bowls. Chop garlic cloves and add 3/4 to the parsley bowl and 1/4 of the garlic to the mixed herb bowl.
Add one (1) TBS of olive oil and two (2) TBS of butter to parsley and garlic bowl. Toss par-boiled potatoes into the parsley and garlic bowl. Season with salt/pepper. Set aside.
Add lemon zest and juice to the mixed herb bowl. Add remaining butter to mixed herb bowl and combine well. Season with salt/pepper. Set aside.
Spatchcock chicken. Spread mixed herb butter mixture under chicken skin and over all sides of the bird. Season with salt/pepper.
Lightly oil large heated skillet. Sear chicken skin side down in large skillet for 5-7 minutes. Carefully turn over chicken and sear on the underside for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add herbed potatoes and all mixture into the heated skillet and toss potatoes. Using a masher, lightly press potatoes to break open but not mash.
Add chicken skin side up over the potatoes and roast at 375F for 90 minutes or until thickest part of the breast is 165F. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside and lightly cover with foil to rest. Return potatoes to oven and broil until golden brown and lightly crisp.
Let me start by saying that what I’m about to share with you is the easiest, most delicious bite of fabulous I have thrown together in a long time. And, I throw together bits of fabulous frequently. This one was practically perfect in every way. Eat your heart out, Mary Poppins. The. Bomb. Diggity. Continue reading “Garam Masala Grilled Chicken Skewers”
By now you’ve figured out that I have a serious love of food.
Grandma Ollie used to hypnotize me with the movement of her wooden spoon, creating intoxicating aromas in the kitchen at the ranch with the simplest of ingredients. And, when I wasn’t at the ranch, my smoking, 500-pound, denture-wearing, narcoleptic, poem-reading babysitter (best. babysitter. ever.) would lovingly knead potato rolls then slather them with jewel-toned homemade jelly once baked, all while I sat on top of the kitchen table, anticipating the very moment she would hand over that pillowy-sweet treasure. Continue reading “Pollo con Calabaza”
Less hangry moments (they do occur if I don’t time out my meals properly)
Less body pain in the morning (if you don’t count my butt hurting from doing Turbo Jam)
Less cravings for all things formally known as “my diet” (aka Cheetos, Whatchamacallit Candy, MochaChocaLattes, and any form of beef)
Less pounds to carry everywhere I go (down 14 pounds since Day 1 – not even trying to lose weight, people)
More energy (sudden bursts of dance moves, butt squeezes, and/or squats while waiting at the microwave = more energy)
More sleep (actually getting 6 hours on average which is a record for me)
And, the most important thing I have to report on Day 21 is I’m eating everything I love and don’t feel like I’ve done much but somehow program myself to feel better through better choices. It’s not rocket surgery. Lo and behold, all it takes is moving my booty at least four times a week for 20 minutes and not shoveling copious amounts of M&Ms into my pie hole every time I pass a bowl full of them.
I have to admit that I’ve always felt nothing good came from eating sad little salads, and I was right. They totally suck!
But, cleaner eating or healthier, better choices doesn’t have to mean eating sad little salads. Kids, I’m eating bacon on a daily! I grew up eating breakfast tacos and bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. That ain’t gonna change. What did change was that instead of eating two pieces of toast, a tablespoon of butter for my two eggs, plus my three strips of bacon, and butter and jelly on my toast (don’t judge), I now have one egg cooked in the renderings from my one slice of bacon, and I enjoy one piece of toast lightly buttered. Eat what you love! Love what you eat! And, most importantly, love yourself and make simple, better choices so you can continue reading my blog!
Throw a protein and some colorful things (preferably vegetables and herbs) together, and enjoy! That’s honest to goodness all I have been doing – nothing fancy. Every meal I make is filling, delicious, flavorful, and happy – just like these Chicken Lettuce Wraps! They are flavor bombs in a nice little lettuce wrapper and super easy to throw together. Check it out, follow my blog, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and keep making better choices! I know I will!
Sometimes you just need fajitas a la pajamas. In other words, you don’t have to get all doodied up to head out to your local Tex-Mex joint to have grito-inspired fajitas. You are 100% capable of delivering superstar, melt-in-yo-mouth steak, chicken, and shrimp fajitas from the convenience of your own kitchen in the convenience of your own chones pajamas (dangerous to cook in chones – let’s not be that lazy).
We’ve all been there. Sometimes ya just don’wanna. And, that’s okay! Because I have the hook up for you, and it doesn’t even involve going outside to start up the grill. Plus, it’s much cheaper, and the margaritas are endless when you’re making them at home. And, while I don’t usually promote shortcuts, this definitely does the trick for a lazy day.
First, if you’re having a super lazy day and you don’t even have any groceries, have no fear. Favor is here. While it’s not available everywhere yet, it covers most major cities, including the DFW metroplex and far North Dallas. It’s a magical button that lives in your phone as an app that you download, and when you ask it to do you a favor and pick up groceries, guess what??? Someone shows up a while later with all of the groceries you’ve asked for and no cash to exchange because you set up your account when you downloaded the app! I discovered this app back in July, and truth be told, because we love it so much, Bear decided to start running for Favor. No one is paying me for this, by the way. I’m just sharing the love because everyone deserves to have the option to stay at home in their pajamas every now and again while someone else does their grocery shopping. It works for food delivery and all sorts of things, but we’re focusing on the grocery hook up today.
1 Large Tomato
1 Medium Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Large Avocado
1 12oz Ribeye Steak
1 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
8 Peeled and Deveined Shrimp (cooked or raw works)
Now, if you do not have salt, garlic powder, cumin powder, and olive oil as part of your pantry staples, I’m very disappointed, but we’ll talk about that later. Just add those to the list if you don’t have them on hand.
If you also do not have quality tequila in your freezer, that’s okay. Not everyone is as awesome as I am. Not to mention, you don’t actually needthe tequila for the recipe, but if you have it, HIGH FIVE! You’ll need about four splashes (4 Tablespoons) to make the fajitas.
Once you have everything, get your prep work done.
French the onion and slice the bell pepper into thin strips and set both aside in a bowl. Slice the tomato into 1/4 inch discs, salt, and set aside.
Don’t know how to french an onion? No problem. I got you:
Now, cut the avocado in half. Take the pit of the avocado out, then using a spoon, scoop out the avocado meat, mash up with a fork, add salt, a squeeze of lime, zest of 1/2 lime, and a dash of garlic powder and ground cumin. Stir. Holy guacamole, Batman! Set aside.
This is when you start up your cast iron comal (flat griddle) or cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
Butterfly or pound out the chicken breast to ensure it is similar in thickness across the whole breast. If I lost you at “butterfly,” just pound out the chicken breast and don’t worry about being Michael Phelps.
Season the onions and bell peppers, chicken breast, steak, and shrimp in separate bowls using the following ingredients for EACH bowl:
At this point, the cast iron comal should be screaming hot. Cook the ribeye first. Be sure to turn on your vent fan unless you want the fire department to show up while you’re in your pajamas. It will likely smoke but not for long. Cook the ribeye for approximately 6-7 minutes each side for medium-rare to medium. Once the steak is cooked to your preference, remove from the heat and let it rest.
Next up, chicken! Cook the chicken for 7-8 minutes each side. If you did not pound or butterfly the chicken, you’ll have to cook it longer until it comes to 160-165 degrees using a thermometer in the thickest portion of the chicken breast. Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove from heat and set aside to rest.
Add the shrimp to the comal in a single layer. If you are using cooked shrimp, just heat through and flip to ensure you create a little char on the seasoned shrimp. If you’re using raw shrimp, cook for about 2-3 minutes each side or until the shrimp begin to curl into a c-shape. If it curls too much, you’ve overcooked the shrimp. So, keep watch and remove from heat when ready.
Then, add the onions and bell peppers to the comal and cook until the onions become tender but not translucent. This will leave a little bite to the veggies but keep that nice charred flavor in the mix. Remove the veggies from the comal. Lastly, add the tomato discs to the comal and char on each side, approximately 1-2 minutes each side.
Dress your ribeye with some grilled onions, tomato discs, and guacamole. Slice the chicken or serve whole with the shrimp and veggies, along with slices of lime.
You now have the most amazing meal, all done in your jammies! The best part is that you also have tequila and lime at the ready; so, you can even enjoy some margaritas along with your lazy fajitas!
Earlier this summer, one of Dallas’ brightest star chefs, Omar Flores, partnered up with Alec Marshi to open Whistle Britches, a Southern-inspired casual restaurant focused on killer fried chicken, biscuits that only grandma could make, cold beer, and all the picnic fixin’s you could want in far North Dallas.
There’s been quite a bit of talk about it. Having just met Chef Flores at the Chefs for Farmers event last weekend and hearing mostly positive reviews about Whistle Britches, when a friend of mine mentioned her phenomenal experience, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
My first thought as the doors opened was, “Wow. This is really bright and open!” I loved it. It was a much lighter and inviting atmosphere than its previous space owners had created, and we absolutely loved the outdoor patio. Bright colors, fun fixtures, and natural lighting really make the space impressive and fun. The outside area has colorful chairs and an open deck perfect to enjoy now that the weather calls for outdoor seating. However, for this particular visit, we kept it indoors since e’rybody was showing up. We were celebrating my dad’s birthday!
To save time while everyone arrived (and mostly because it says it’s a 30 minute wait time), we ordered “The Whole Bird” for the table and some appetizers. Let me tell you; even if you just want a little afternoon snack, get your whistle britches over there and order the “Pickled Jalapeño Pimento Cheese.”
Guuuuuuuuuuuurl, I could eat that entire thing with a spoon and a blanket in a corner all by myself. It was such a comfort food champion; I don’t even know what to tell you. Their saltine crackers are house-made, very on-trend at the moment, but there was nothing “trendy” about how those crunchy chile-flaked wafers of deliciousness worked magic in combination with that pimento cheese to transport me directly into a huge wooden rocking chair on somebody’s grandaddy’s front porch somewhere in the South. North Dallas was not the vibe that app was rockin’. It was a tip of the hat to Southern cuisine in one unassuming countrified bite, and it was amazing.
We also enjoyed their wonderful “Creamed Corn Hoecakes;” however, the hoecakes arrived a little underdressed, as their pats of butter had flown off the side in the journey to the table. So, I didn’t get a great shot of those. They were very light and delicious, but they ain’t no pimento cheese.
When the main event arrived, the first thing that captured my nose’s attention was the lovely waft of butter dancing across my senses, coming from the ridiculously and generously sized biscuits on the table, alongside sweet local honey butter and a blueberry jam sent from the gods. They arrive as four, but Grandma Ollie snagged one right as I was taking a shot, and I don’t blame her. They were dreamy.
Immediately thereafter, all eyes were on that beautiful basket of chicken. What I remember before passing out from joy was the hot, crispy herbed crust being so unique. There was a definitive note that really separated this fried chicken from what one would expect. And, I’ve had me some fried chicken, my friends. This was special. The crust adhered so perfectly to the chicken, and the wonderful aromas circling the table were intoxicating. Even thinking of it now, I can recall that herbaceous note of the crust without being heavily crusted with herbs. It was certainly memorable.
Sides included were their creamy chive potato salad and light vinegar coleslaw. The consensus at the table was that the sides were “okay” while the fried chicken blew everyone away and the biscuits were a soul-touching experience. One side worthy of mentioning though was the macaroni and cheese. Goot Lort, it was mac’daddy delicious. Definitely get you some of that when you go.
We were most impressed with the pimento appetizer, biscuits, and chicken overall – which is probably how it should be! Their moniker bears the trio ‘Chicken – Biscuits – Beer;’ so, I would hope those would be the highlights! We didn’t get to the beer this time but believe me… there will be a next time.
Today was the first day in a week where the sun was shining and there were no clouds in sight. What better way to take advantage of the break from all the rain than with some simple grilling?!
Today was the first day in a week where the sun was shining and there were no clouds in sight. What better way to take advantage of the break from all the rain than with some simple grilling?!
Ma has been asking me to repeat this stuffed baby bell pepper recipe since I made it a few months back, and instead of broiling the peppers like I did last time, I put a new spin on it by placing everything on the grill. It’s quick and easy with minimal prep time.
Grilled and Stuffed Sweet Baby Bells
2 Chicken Breasts (boneless preferred)
1 Garlic Clove
2 tsp Knorr Caldo de Tomate OR Knorr Caldo de Pollo (bouillon)
1 Bag of Sweet Baby Bell Peppers
1 4oz Soft Goat Cheese
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese (1/2 of a 16oz block)
Zest/Juice of a Lime
Place chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water, and add garlic, onion, and bouillon. Bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer until chicken is cooked through, approximately 20 minutes for boneless chicken, longer for bone-in.
While chicken is cooking, start to heat up the grill and then split each baby bell pepper lengthwise and remove the seeds, creating a pocket to fill.
Once the chicken is done, remove from pot and set aside in a large bowl to cool. Shred the chicken using two forks, separating all the meat and removing any bones (if using bone-in chicken).
Add to the cooled, shredded chicken, the goat cheese, shredded cheddar, and zest and juice of one lime. Season the mixture to your taste using paprika, cumin, pepper, and garlic power – mostly equal parts. Mix thoroughly and then salt to taste.
Take the seasoned chicken and cheese mixture and gently fill each sweet baby bell pepper side generously but without mounding the top. Be sure to get into every corner of the pepper to avoid empty pockets.
Depending on your grill, gently place the stuffed baby bells onto the grill, being careful they don’t fall through. Smaller grill lines can be used to help support the baby bells by lining them up parallel to the grill lines without falling through. Use your judgement, and if your grill is too wide, use foil on the grill to avoid any peppers from falling through.
Once all on the grill, close the lid and let heat through, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Check at least once half way through to ensure the grill isn’t too hot. You can also stuff large peppers, but they must stay on the grill for at least 20 minutes to cook through at medium-high temperature.
Get you a glass of some refreshing sangria, a cold beer, or a tall glass of lemonade, sit back and enjoy popping in those cheesy, sweet bites of deliciousness while you soak up some sun. I know that’s exactly what I did today and loved every second of it!
Okay, I know! It’s been forever! And, I won’t make any excuses because I cooked plenty of times; I ate plenty of times, took plenty of pics, and I neglected to tell you any of it since September 2015. So, here’s a quick catch up… since last we spoke:
So, this is awkward.
Okay, I know! It’s been forever! And, I won’t make any excuses because I cooked plenty of times; I ate plenty of times, took plenty of pics, and I neglected to tell you anyof it since September 2015. So, here’s a quick catch up… since last we spoke:
I made a killer Pesto Chicken Bake in my handy-dandy toaster oven, using the last four sticks of mozzarella left in the fridge, a few remaining Roma Tomatoes, three skinless chicken breasts I reluctantly purchased in an effort to “be better,” and tons of garlic and basil that were in their last days of glory. I felt like I was on “Chopped” but instead of a basket, it was a molcajete full of garlic cloves next to items on my counter.
I discovered Emporium Pies in McKinney, TX, and if I remember correctly, this one was a banana cream/caramel concoction – I really can’t remember for sure. It’s all a blur. I just remember taking this picture and waking from a sugar/happiness pie-eating induced coma on the couch – smiling and with a little bit of pie crust stuck to some whipped cream on my cheek.
I hung out with my Grandma Ollie and made her some rustic braised chicken thighs with pan-roasted herbed potatoes. Easiest, no-frills deliciousness ever! She loved it. Basic but bomb-tastic and totally what I would also serve to Jon Snow if he ever came over to visit – and if wanted to bring over Melisandre as a thank you for the whole “bring me back from the dead” thing, that would be cool, too. Bear would love to chat her up, and maybe she could even whip up some magical dessert???
At some point I went on a rustic/fire-roasted kick. We went camping in the mountains, and I pulled a Chef Mallmann move. I threw
potatoes into the burning embers of our campfire, and it was amazing. We ate “fire food” for days in the woods… right outside of our air-conditioned cabin that included cable TV. It was awesome.
Upon returning from the wilderness, I needed a taste of home, and so I indulged (using the term loosely here – I eat it all the time) in one of my favorite weekend comfort foods, menudo. Tipico’s in Dallas or off Beltline in Carrollton, TX has the BEST! And, what makes menudo taste even better??? Horchataaaaaaa! Just say it with me… “Horchataaaaaa!” Doesn’t it make you happy just saying it??? Horchataaaaaaa!
I pretended I was mining for rubies and that I hit the motherload. So, I took a picture and then decided to eat the pomegranate because who was I kidding? I was hungry. There were no rubies. This pomegranate was the object of my desire, and I delighted it in, okay??? It was delicious.
I decided I should really start paying attention to my food allergies and that I should try not to drink milk straight-up anymore. So, I began a love/hate relationship with almond milk. I searched for “how not to hate using almond milk for pancakes,” and this recipe popped up. It was UH-mazing! I love these pancakes and have added all sorts of twists and turns to these bad boys. I make banana nut, blueberry, lemony, and bacon-filled pancakes using that recipe as a base, and it’s fantastic! Go almond milk! And, yes, I use Silk, but they didn’t pay me for that. Silk! Are you listening??!!!??
I made all sorts of stuff and played various versions of refrigerator “Chopped” like “I’m hangry and want something sweet – what goes with frozen almond slivers and a slightly browning apple?” I have to say, I’m pretty good at this game.
I had some huge wins in the kitchen, and I had some serious failures, like when I decided to try almond milk when making Brazilian Pan de Queijo instead of real milk – yeah, no bueno. Or, “no boa” as it were.
I got in touch with my inner cat-lady.
I made new friends with random animals waiting for their people on cool evenings, a.k.a. prepared to dial the cops if the dude with the dog in the car didn’t return very quickly, even though it was 60 degrees outside. He did, and the dog was definitely very happy and healthy.
I wondered about the various types of fabrics that could have possibly been used to hold this mariachi in place while he beautifully belted out such high notes.
And, I visited severalnew spots in DFW, as well as Phoenix, Chicago, Kansas, Atlanta, Oklahoma, and a few other places during my business travels. And, many of those visits will find their way here!
So, there you have it! We’re all caught up!
Thanks for being patient – thanks for following my adventures via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram , and thanks for checking in.
Consider this my official re-entry into the stratosphere. We’ll chat soon… I promise! Horchataaaaaa!!!!
Recently, our Aunt Sophie came up to see my Ma, and in order to make life a little easier and to give Ma some extra time to visit, I offered to make several meals ahead of time for the week. Normally, Ma has to cook dinner for my brother, nephew, and grandmother. So, the goal was to make a few large one stop meals that could be complemented with a quick dinner salad and that’s it. One of the meals was a Creamy Penne Rigate with Chicken, Ham, and Peas in an Alfredo sauce with Panko, Parmesan, and Mozzarella topping. When Aunt Sophie arrived, we all ate dinner together, and it was such a hit that she asked for the recipe so she could make it for her grandchildren when she returned home to San Antonio.
Before I post this, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did use a store bought Alfredo sauce for this particular recipe. I know. I know. It’s a horrible thing to do, but because I was making 7-9 large meals in one afternoon, I didn’t make a bechamel like I would have done normally because I needed to save some time. I did, however, doctor the jar, which made me feel a little bit better about my atrocious deed.
Creamy Penne Rigate with Chicken, Ham, and Peas in Alfredo topped with Panko, Parmesan and Mozzarella
1 Large Onion Quartered
2 Individual Packages Baby Carrots
1 Tablespoon Whole Rainbow Peppercorns
2 Tablespoons Knorr Chicken Bouillon (Caldo de Pollo)
4 Large Garlic Cloves Smashed and Peeled
4 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Whole Smoked Ham Cubed
1 Package Frozen Peas
2 Jars of Best Quality Alfredo Sauce (OR make a bechamel sauce and add copious amounts of Parmesan to the sauce)
1 16oz Box Dry Penne Rigate Pasta
1/2 Cup Panko Crumbs
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan (OR freshly grated)
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella (OR hand torn in small pieces)
2 Tablespoons Butter Melted
Preheat the oven to 375°
Fill a large 6-8 quart pot with warm water up 3/4 of the side. On medium high heat, add quartered onion, baby carrots, peppercorns, bouillon, garlic and chicken breasts to the water and then bring to a low boil. Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings. Strain the broth and transfer the onions, carrots, peppercorns and garlic to a blender. Add broth to the mixture in the blender about half way, just to help liquefy the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Return the ingredients from the blender to the broth and place back on low heat to keep warm. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred by using your hands or by using two forks to separate the meat. Place shredded chicken in an extra large bowl and add the cubed ham, frozen peas, 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, then set aside. Add the two jars of the best quality Alfredo sauce you can purchase, and then when the jar is empty, add the seasoned broth halfway up each jar. Place the lid back on the jar and shake vigorously to remove all sauce from inside the jar, then add both jar remains into the extra large bowl with the other ingredients.
In a separate medium size soup pot, fill 1/2 up with the warm broth and then add warm water up 3/4 of the side of the soup pot. You should still have some broth left in the original pot continuing to stay warm at a low heat. Bring the water/broth mixture to a boil. Add the box of penne rigate to the boiling water/broth mixture, and stir the penne rigate frequently for 6 minutes or until the pasta is almost done but still under cooked. Remove the under cooked pasta from the water/broth mixture and transfer the pasta to the extra large bowl with the other ingredients and thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Discard the water/broth mixture.
Once all the ingredients are completely incorporated and coated with the sauce, transfer the entire contents of the extra large bowl into a deep lasagna baking dish or large disposable foil roaster for easier clean up. Once the mixture is evenly distributed in the pan, ladle approximately 3/4 cup of the warming broth over the entire mixture. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan, mozzarella, and Panko alternating evenly over the entire surface of the mixture. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted butter evenly over the entire mixture to help the Panko and cheese brown in the oven. Create a loose foil tent to avoid touching the top of the mixture but seal around the ends to cover the pan.
Place in a 375° oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the Creamy Penne Rigate is warmed through. Remove from the oven and remove the loose foil cover. Place back into the oven and set the oven to Broil. Carefully watch the Creamy Penne Rigate while it is browning under the broiler. Once the browning process starts, it will go fast.
Once the panko and cheese topping becomes golden brown and bubbly, remove the Creamy Penne Rigate from the oven carefully and then turn off the oven completely.
Since 2009, food lovers, bloggers and the like have convened at the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) to explore food, writing, and technology, all while indulging in some of the best wine and food anyone can find at a conference. This year, I am partaking in the fun and leaving Bear and the cats to fend for themselves for a few days. To ensure the refrigerator doesn’t grow something funky, I decided to create a lil’ something from what we had already in the fridge and leave a good meal behind.
I started out with a large onion and three beautiful Poblano peppers just hanging out ready to be consumed. I French cut the onion and julienned the Poblano, then added about six large cloves of chopped garlic to the mix.
In a large skillet, I heated up a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium high heat and then added the mixture to sautee until the onions started to get translucent and the Poblanos became relaxed.
While that was going, I chopped a couple of chicken breasts into bite size pieces and then seasoned the chicken with Knorr Caldo de Pollo (chicken bouillon a la Mexicana), cumin powder, and garlic powder. I didn’t add salt because the bouillon has loads of salt. Once the onion and Poblano mixture was nice and tender, I created a well in the center of the pan and then added the chicken to the center. After the chicken began to start browning on one side, I stirred it all together and created another well.
This time, I added 3/4 cup of white rice to the well and allowed each grain to be coated with some oil and to be toasted up nicely. Once the rice started to turn from opaque to a solid white, I went ahead and combined everything together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to lift up any fond (yummy tasty bits that get stuck to the pan when cooking).
In a measuring cup, I added the remaining smoky salsa I had made a few days ago, along with two tablespoons of table cream, making about 1 cup of liquid and then added hot water to the mixer to make it just over 1 1/2 cups total. You can use tomato sauce, chicken stock, or even use some of your favorite jarred salsa that you have on hand, as long as it totals double the amount of rice. I simply used what I had on hand. I added the liquid to the skillet and combined well, scraping the bottom of the skillet once again to incorporate that delicious fond.
Immediately, I covered the skillet and reduced the heat to medium low and left to simmer covered for 25 minutes. Whatever you do, DO NOT remove the lid. The key to perfect rice, alone or with a protein or veggies, is to start on medium high, then add one part rice to two parts liquid, let come to a boil, immediately cover and reduce to medium low for 25 minutes completely covered and undisturbed. You will have perfect rice every single time – we can both thank my cousin Normie for that tip. It changed my rice game forever. I even usually just cut the heat off once the time is up and leave it covered until ready to serve. Best rice advice, I’m telling ya. Check out this rice from a few meals ago. ——–> Right!?!
Once the Poblano Arroz con Pollo was done, I sliced a few salad or cherry tomatoes for a pop of color and freshness. Now, I can enjoy the IFBC knowing Bear has some amazing Poblano Arroz con Pollo to devour!
I can’t wait to share what I discover at the conference. From what I understand, we’ll enjoy an amazing tasting of Seattle’s very best restaurants, specialty shops and more, and if that isn’t enough, I have tons of restaurant visits planned… Seattle, here I come!
Look, I will be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for anything fried, chocolatey, or bacony; so, Ida Claire already had a leg up on the “OMG! Love!” list with me, but I’m no sell-out. Just because you say you’re deep fried and delicious doesn’t mean I’m taking the bait.
I’m alive! It’s been too long; I know. So, here’s what gives: I have zero excuses, and I simply ate/cooked a great deal, took pictures, took videos, posted to social media and totally ignored you. I’m an honest engine – what can I say? It’s the truth. I’m also good at dusting off, moving forward and trusting you can do the same; so, let’s virtually shake hands, make up and get Mash’d!
Four words: Fried Chicken and Ribs.
I’ve known about this place for a while and thought it was about time I went in to see what all the hub-bub was about.
Mash’d features American fare with a twist, infusing a library of house-made moonshines into a variety of unique offerings across the menu. Their bar and beverage menu is killer. Every drink we ordered stealthily delivered a mighty wallop with every smooth and graceful tasty sip. They incorporate infused moonshine into just about everything, and it works. Watermelon-infused moonshine, blueberry-infused moonshine, vanilla bean house-infused moonshine – good Lord, these people have caramel moonshine for those special occasions where you need a little more sugar with your alcohol! It’s brilliant!
Their moonshine magic also works its way into their mussels and bbq sauce. Mmmmm, bbq sauce. Their Bootleg Ribs are no less than spectacular. I’ve eaten a lot of ribs. These moonshining masters know what they’re doing with these babies. They’re fall-off, lip-smacking, finger-kissing, hum-while-you’re-chewing spectacular. And, it’s not like bbq-place ribs. Totally different animal. (well, not different animal but you know what I mean) These are more like “slow-roasted, basted in moonshine bbq and finished on the grill individually” sort of amazing. The flavors are sweet and spicy, tangy and salty, smoky and rich but not smokehouse sort of ribs. And, they’re served with a fresh and crisp coleslaw and “MASH’D tators” that need a little MASH’D makeover.
Those potatoes were the ONLY thing on the menu we tasted that were sub-par in comparison to the bar the other dishes had set. The appeal was that they were named as if they were some sort of special treat, and when they reached the table, they were just plain ol’ slightly garlic and cheese enhanced potatoes plopped on by a scoop that someone at Luby’s may have lost. They were just out of place, man. Totally out of place with everything else they had going on. So, if you get any dishes with the spuds, sans the Shepherd’s Pie, sub them out with coleslaw. Believe me, you’ll be happier for it and not feel like you just saw your childhood hero pick up a $20 bill someone else dropped and put it in his own pocket. Those tators were just wrong for the brand this place has clearly worked hard to build. All it would take is a little lemon zest – just sayin’.
But, let’s move on because that little side dish incident shouldn’t deter you from enjoying every other damn thing on the menu. And, let me say that the use of the potatoes on the Shepherd’s Pie is fabulous. They slather spiced meat and veggies on a pastry crust and top it all off with Parmesan-loaded mashed potatoes, a huge punch of flavor in a creamy bite.
Another killer dish was The Chicken. They serve up hot, crispy, juicy marinated fried chicken atop a soft bun with fresh, cold coleslaw and pickles. Chick-Fa-Who? Chick-Fa-What? This sandwich is just what the doctor ordered – she may not be AMA certified, but trust me – she wants you to eat this.
Overall, a killer vibe, outstanding service and badass food that will require some serious naptime after consumption.