Diary of a Foodie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tacos Al Pastor

Mexican food makes my mouth water. Just thinking of it sparks the water works. Al Pastor is one of those dishes that I could literally eat everyday. Every day.

In it's authentic state, the seasoned pork is attached to a spit and cooked slowly. Since I don't have a spit, I just use the barbeque grill and it gave the same effect.

Tacos Al Pastor

2 lb boneless pork roast, cut into thin steaks, about 1/3 inch thickness
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
Chipotles in adobo sauce, 2 chipotles and 2 TBSP adobo sauce
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 TBSP New Mexican chile powder
2 tsp Ancho chile powder
1 TBSP Kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
juice of one lime

Cut pork roast into thin steaks and add to a gallon Ziplock bag. In a blender, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the pork steaks and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours. Heat BBQ grill to about 300 degrees. Grill pork for 3-4 minutes per side, being sure not to overcook. Once cooked through, remove from grill and cover with foil and allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into small pieces.

Whole pineapple
20 corn tortillas, softened (I wrap them in foil and place on high part of grill while meat is cooking)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
lime wedges

Remove outside of pineapple and grill on the BBQ for 5 minutes per side. Once cooked, remove and dice into small pieces. To assemble the perfect Al Pastor Taco, place a few pieces of pork and pineapple, and sprinkle with onion and cilantro with a twist of lime. ENJOY!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of this classic dish. It may be because when I was pregnant with my oldest son, I ate it (or attempted to eat it) during a bout of all-day sickness. It didn't end well.

12 years later and I'm just now beginning to taste it without my stomach revolting. So, for a recent family dinner, this was requested and it was time to pull this out. It turned out to be quite yummy and will be going into the dinner rotation.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

2 chicken breasts
1 lb fettuccine
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, whisked
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried Parsely leaves

Bring 10 cups of water to boil with 2 TBSP salt. Once water is boiling, add fettuccine and cook 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Keep one cup of the cooking water and then  drain the rest.

While pasta is boiling,  Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and saute in pan, 6-7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting into bite size chunks.

In the same saute pan that was used to cook chicken, add the butter and garlic, cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the cream and bring to a simmer so it will thicken slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Take a ladle-full of hot cream and whisk it quickly into the eggs. This is called tempering the eggs, so when you add them to the sauce they will not scramble. Add the egg cream mixture back into the rest of the cream sauce in the saute pan and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper and parsley.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese, whisking until all incorporated and smooth.

Add drained noodles back into the pot they were cooked in, adding the alfredo sauce and the cooked, chopped chicken. Stir until coated. Serve hot and immediately. If sauce is too thick, this is where you can use the pasta water to thin it out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

Here's another one from my mom's recipe book. We ate this a lot growing up and I still love it. It's a great comfort food and can easily be converted to a soup for those cold winter months.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

8 ounce package of cubed ham (can be found in the meat section)
5 potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled til cooked through
16 ounce package frozen corn
1/3 of white onion, diced
1 stick butter
1/2 c flour
3 cups milk
2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9X13 inch pan, add the ham, cooked potatoes, corn and diced onions. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together, about 2-3 minutes. Add the milk to the flour mixture and whisk together continually. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil to have the sauce thicken. It will not thicken until it boils. Remove from heat and add the cheese and seasonings. Pour cheese sauce over the ham and potatoes, stirring to have everything coated. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

TIP: Want to make this into a soup? Increase the milk to 4 cups and add 1 cup vegetable broth and DO NOT bake. Mix together in a large soup pan.

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Do you have zucchini coming out of your ears? This time of year, gardens seem to producing an overly abundant amount of zucchini and I'm always looking for another way to get my kids to eat. vegetables. This is a great way to eat more vegetables in a non-fried form. Try them today!

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

1 large, or 2 medium sized zucchini
1 cup flour
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 egg
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley leaves
extra virgin olive oil

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and in half down the middle to create 4 equal pieces. Then take each piece and cut into matchsticks. You'll need 3 bowls to make a dredging station. In the first bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together the egg with 2 TSBP water. In the third bowl, mix together Panko, Parmesan and parsley leaves. Dredge zucchini sticks in the flour, then the egg wash, then directly into the Parmesan panko. Set aside on a clean plate while you get all the sticks dredged. Heat 3 TBSP olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Once oil heats to about 350 degrees F, saute the sticks about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with marinara sauce or ranch.

TIP: Don't want to saute? Sprinkle the dredged sticks with a bit of olive oil and bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Several months ago, the husband and I went out to dinner to a very swanky steak house. One of the sides was Green Chile Mac and Cheese. Holy. Sweet. Mother. It was so good, I ignored my steak and just chowed on the cheesy goodness.

This is my attempt at something similar but not exact. If you don't like green chiles, just omit them and eat regular mac and cheese for dinner.

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

16 oz box of elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1/2 c flour
1/3 c diced onion
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated Muenster cheese
2 cups grated medium Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
4 ounce can of roasted green chiles, diced
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper

Bring 8 qts of water to a boil in a 10 qt pan. Once it is boiling, add  2 TSBP salt and the pasta. Stir to make sure it doesn't stick together. Once pasta has cooked to al dente, about 8 minutes, drain and set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter and add the onions, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the flour and whisk it together with the butter, cooking for 3 minutes, to make a roux. Add the milk, whisking flour mixture into the milk. Bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Once it is thickened, remove pan from heat and add cheeses, seasonings and green chiles. Add the drained pasta back into the cheese sauce and stir to coast the pasta. At this point you can eat it as is, or if you like thicker mac and cheese, pour it into a greased 9X13 pan, baking it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.