Archive for September, 2011

September 22, 2011

Rick Bayless’s Pollo Pulquero (Slow- Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, and Jalapenos) with Corn Salsa

As a chicagoan, anthropologist, and foodie, I have mad respect for Rick Bayless.  With his educational background in Anthropology, Rick Bayless really gets the importance of connecting ingredients with culture, incorporating new ideas, and making home-style Mexican cooking accessible. I got this recipe from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”. This recipe for Pollo Pulquero stood out to me for a few reasons: Slow cooked meat is one of my favorite ways to have meat, the flavors sounded simple and delicious, and it was a recipe that I could easily make around my schedule. This is a great recipe to make before you leave for work, or prep the night before. And let me tell you, the aromatics from this will make your home smell amazing. Of course I had to add my own personality to the recipe, and decided to add some lime to the slow-cooker to bring a citrus flavor. I also decided to serve this with some corn salsa, as it adds a nice sweetness and texture to the meal. I promise if you give this a try, you will not be disappointed!

Pollo Pulquero:

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch think rounds

2 medium baking potatoes (Bayless calls for red skin, or yukon gold potatoes but I had some baking potatoes and they worked great, you could even use something like purple potatoes, which would work great as well)

4 (or around one pound) skinned chicken thighs*

1 cup cilantro leaves

8-12 Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and slices 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

2 diced pickled jalapenos

Half of a lime

Sea salt

This slow-cooker recipe is all about layering. I started with the potatoes on the bottom, then chicken (skin down), cilantro, onions, and tomatillos. Once layered, I poured the pickling juice on top, squeezed lime juice and added the diced jalapenos on top. Be sure to salt between each layer, as this is the only salt in the dish. I set my slow-cooker on low for 8 hours, but Bayless calls for 6 hours on high. Once cooked, I spooned out the extra juice and decided to put it in a small pot and simmer it down a little. The juice is mostly the fat from the chicken skin, but adds some more flavor. Utilizing this juice is purely optional.

Ingredients layered in Slow Cooker

*Bayless’s recipe calls for skinless thighs but my store only had skinned and I thought it would add some great flavor. You can also use pork shoulder  or beef chuck, but Bayless suggests staying away from leaner cuts as they’ll dry out.

Cooked Pollo Pulquero (before excess juice has been removed)

Quick Corn Salsa:

3 ears fresh corn

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced

7 grape tomatoes, quartered

Fresh cilantro.

Fresh lime juice.

Sea salt.

Boil corn ears until tender but not too soft. While corn is boiling, chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and place in bowl.  Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut corn off of the ear and add to bowl. Add lime juice and salt. Toss mixture.

Plate a chicken thigh and scoop of potato, onion, tomatillo. Add sauce reduction (optional). Top with fresh corn salsa.

Pollo Pulquero with Corn Salsa

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. If you only have sweet potatoes and chicken legs, you can still give this a try and it’d come out great! There is no easy way to fail at this. If you’re looking for more easy, delicious, flexible Mexican recipes, I encourage you to get some of Rick Bayless’s books and start testing things out.

Gnash On! 🙂

September 11, 2011

Mint Pea Soup with Goat Cheese

It may be a little premature for soup season, but I’ve been craving peas and wanted to try this recipe. I originally found this recipe on the Jamie Oliver iPad App. I wanted to take his original recipe and refine it a little. (And by refine I mean, use the resources I had in house.) I added some coconut milk  for sweetness, which was not in the original recipe. I also added canadian bacon to the topping to get that savory flavor without the fat of regular bacon. This is a nice hearty, filling, soup that eases your tummy and leaves you satisfied.

What you’ll need:

2 bags buttered minted peas (I bought these from trader joes but if you can’t find them pre-minted/buttered you can do so on your own by adding the two ingredients)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium russet potato

4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

1 pad of butter

2 tbs Olive Oil

1/4 cup cream

3 tbs coconut milk

Sea Salt

Pepper

For Topping:

1 slice wheat bread

1/4 cup goat cheese

3 slices canadian bacon, chopped

Method: In a large pot, saute onion, celery, and finely chopped potato in olive oil. Saute for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add broth to veggies. Bring to boil. Once boiling, add bags of peas. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and blend. Once throughly blended, add cream, butter and coconut milk. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste, and stir.

Veg and Broth boiling

Topping: In a small saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Once very hot, add chopped bread and canadian bacon. Brown. Remove from heat and toss in goat cheese. Use as garnish to soup. Enjoy!

Yummmmmm......

I’m planning on freezing some of the leftovers to enjoy on a snow day.

September 4, 2011

Browned Chicken Legs and Feta Orzo with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Hey All,

I have spent the last couple of weeks out of the kitchen and traveling around the U.S. The break from the kitchen has been nice, especially with the summer heat, but I am happy to be back! Within the last week or so, I have been trying to do a lot of brainstorming for recipes. This one, yet to be refined, is one of my recent creations. I started with the Roasted Red Pepper salsa and worked from there. Chicken legs are delicious and fairly inexpensive (even organic chicken legs), making for a great source of protein to add to your meal. I had some orzo and feta cheese in the house and I just thought I’d throw together a dish with light fresh flavors.

Browned Chicken Legs:

1-1.5 lb Organic chicken legs

Onion powder, garlic power, sea salt and pepper.

0.5 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup white wine

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Method: Cover chicken legs with spices.  Heat pan on high. Once pan is completely hot add chicken beasts. Brown each side. Add white wine and let simmer. Once wine has simmered add chicken broth and brush chicken with balsamic vinegar. Cook throughly until internal temp reaches 170.

Feta Orzo:

1 cup Orzo or Arborio Rice

1.5 cups water or chicken broth

1 tsp butter

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup crumbled feta

1/4 squeezed lemon

Chopped Fresh Basil.

pepper.

Method: Combine orzo, broth/water, and butter. Bring to a boil. After boiling turn down to simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Bring off of heat and add lemon, feta, salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil.

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa:

0.5 can Roasted Red Peppers

1 small roma tomato

2 garlic cloves

hand full of cilantro

sea salt

pepper

1 tbs olive oil

Blended Salsa

Method: Add half jar Roasted Red Pepper to small processor. Chop. Add roughly chopped tomato and garlic cloves. Chop. Add oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Chop.

Plate orzo on bottom, add greens if desired (I tried mustard greens with this but they were simply too bitter), place leg on top, spoon salsa over chicken. Enjoy!

Finished Product