pico de gallo

Chicken Taquitos!

I had such a response last night when I shared this on facebook that I decided I might as well write something up here too. Besides, I’ve been radio silent for a stretch because life has turned into a hectic MESS lately and this gives me something to post quick and easy. Hopefully it doesn’t wear on my fb friends to see this again so soon. 😛

These down and dirty chicken taquitos were Don’s brainchild and really very simple if you have a fryer. We used canned chicken (whole chicken cooked and shredded would be EVEN better but when you need quick, canned gets the job done), black beans, our homemade pico, and a little finely shredded cheese that we mixed together in a bowl. We spooned maybe a little more than a tablespoon in a white corn tortilla that we rolled up and fried. It’s pretty simple and straightforward.

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A couple of tips:

  1. We warmed the tortillas in the microwave first by alternating a damp paper towel between each tortilla, only stacking 3-4 at a time, and heating them for 30 seconds. This makes them soft and easy to work with.
  2. When rolling them up, you have to roll them tight. I can’t really tell you HOW exactly to accomplish a perfect roll because the ones I rolled, opened up and the goods exploded out the ends. I was demoted from rolling. Don didn’t have a problem. I swear mine looked the same! But somehow he rolled them tighter, without ripping them, so that they stay closed in the fryer. Whatever taquito rolling kung fu master.
  3. Another trick for keeping them closed in the fryer was to fill the fryer basket full, which for us was three. They were kind of sandwiched together which helped keep them closed as well.

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We didn’t time the length of frying. We just watched them and took them out when they were golden. My guess is it might be have been 3-5 minutes each. We served them with a dip made of sour cream and hot sauce mixed together.

EPIC.

chicken taquitos

I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it’s going to work or whether I’m going to fall flat on my face. 
~ Johnny Depp

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Eggplant, Peppers, and Squash, Oh MY!

Last week we helped pick vegetables from a friend’s 2 acre garden. We spent about a little over an hour picking long rows of squash and cucumbers, then a bit of eggplant and peppers. We were sent home with bags of all these wonderful veggies, and more.

Okra, eggplant, squash, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

I was a bit overwhelmed by it all but we managed to devise a few ways to stretch and store it.

I made pico, enough to fill two quart size mason jars. It is so good. I could almost sit and eat it all day.

I made a small batch of spicy, roasted red pepper tomato sauce. I varied the recipe a bit, adding a little red wine, jalapenos, chili garlic paste instead of regular garlic, a little onion powder, parsley and basil. Using my previous post as a base for how to roast the tomatoes you can pretty much add whatever spices or flavors you want in your sauce. I’m really pleased with how the sauces are coming out. I made another huge batch a couple of weeks ago that is in the freezer as well.

Don sliced the okra in 1/4 inch thick pieces, blanched it, and froze it in neat one-cup servings for easy use. He plans to try using it as a thickening agent instead of corn starch in future dishes.

I filled 9 quart size mason jars with squash, sweet onion, cucumbers, and the peppers (banana peppers, jalapeno, and little red peppers of some sort) and pickled them with our sweet-spicy pickle recipe. Makes for great party food or just everyday snacking.

I also made some spicy cucumber salad. Mmm…

We saved a few tomatoes for everyday use, a few squash for mashed squash, and peppers for spicing up dishes. And we still have all the eggplant. We’ve been meaning to grill some as a side dish but our dinners have just not been shaping up in that direction. Hopefully it will keep for a bit so we can enjoy it too.

What a blessing. Thank you Phyllis for sharing your garden with us – and with Abraham’s Tent, a local soup kitchen.

When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree; when drinking water, remember who dug the well.
~ Vietnamese proverb