Diary of a Foodie

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Braised Jerk Chicken Tacos

This is my 100th Post on In The Kitch with T Mitch. That's very exciting...for me, at least. I hope you have enjoyed and tried some of the recipes I post on here. As a simple home cook, I wonder if I am even getting my ideas across or if my recipes make sense to anyone but me.  Please let me know your thoughts or ideas you would like to see in the future.

Braised Jerk Chicken Tacos

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 TSBP Jerk seasoning (can be found at any grocery store)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 TSBP apple cider vinegar
1/3 c orange juice
1/3 c honey

In a crockpot or an oven safe pot with a lid, place the chicken inside. Sprinkle with seasonings. Add garlic, onions, vinegar, orange juice and honey. Cook in crockpot set to high, for 4-6 hours, or in oven set at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours. Remove chicken from pot and cover with aluminum foil, allowing meat to rest for 15 minutes. Once chicken has rested, use hands or two forks to shred the meat. Add the meat back into the cooking liquid to await assembly.

Taco Toppings

1 whole, fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1- 14 ounce can black beans, drained and heated through
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, diced
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
15-18 corn tortillas, softened (to soften a tortilla, add 1 tsp vegetable oil to a non-stick skillet over medium low heat, turning tortillas after 15-20 seconds, then remove them to a plate for assembly)


Take softened, corn tortilla and add shredded cheese to center of tortilla. Top with black beans, shredded chicken, pineapple, green onions, and cilantro. Eat warm.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Key Lime Pie

I'm not usually a fan of key lime flavors. It is usually fake tasting (artificial flavoring) or too tart. I hate tart and sour things. YUCK. So, in this lime curd, it is a perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Key Lime Pie

Lime Curd

1 stick butter
5 limes, zest and juice
1 3/4 c sugar
4 eggs

 In a stand mixer, cream together butter, zest and sugar until smooth. Add the juice of the limes and the eggs one at a time, mixing on low. Transfer mixture into a large sauce pan and cook over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often. DO NOT LET THIS BOIL. While it is cooking, it may look curdled, but just keep stirring and let it cook and come back together. When it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, it's done. Remove from heat and cool in fridge completely before using it.

1- 9 inch graham cracker crust (premade are great!)

 Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whip together heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or with hand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks appear. Pour cooled lime curd into the prepared pie crust. Pipe whipped cream onto curd in any pattern you would like. Don't want to pipe? Just spread whipped cream over the pie evenly. Keep pie in fridge. Serves 8.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Caprese Chicken Linguine

Sometimes dinner ideas come to mind just based on what I have in the house. This is how this recipe came about. I was looking in the fridge for some inspiration and I had all the ingredients for a caprese salad. Knowing I needed to turn it into a full meal, I added chicken and
pasta and this was created. The entire family ate it and asked for seconds. Hope you like it too.

Caprese Chicken Linguine

1 lb linguine
2 chicken breasts
1 lb grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1- 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
2 eggs
8 oz fresh, part skim mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 TSBP fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot. While waiting for water to come to a boil, heat 2 TSBP olive oil in a large saute pan, over medium high heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts. Once oil is hot, cook chicken, about 7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove the chicken and dice it into bite size pieces.  Add pasta to boiling water with 1 TBSP Kosher salt. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. While pasta is cooking, add halved tomatoes to the same pan chicken was cooked in, lowering heat to medium.  Saute tomatoes for 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer for another 5 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the chicken broth and tomatoes. Turn the heat off and add the two raw eggs. Using tongs, toss the eggs with the cooked pasta and broth, until all pasta is coated with the eggs.  This will create the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add the Parmesan cheese and diced chicken and toss again. Top with diced mozzarella cheese and the basil. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

This past summer, I was asked to make cupcakes for a friend's wedding. She requested a creamsicle cupcake, based on one of their favorite treats. After literally weeks, and batches and batches of cupcakes, I think this one turned out rather close to the original flavors. Creamy, orangey, vanilla flavors combine to make this fantastic!

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
 3/4 c water

Place paper liners in muffin pans. Yields about 18 cupcakes, or 36 mini cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and sugar, creaming together until smooth with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Once smooth, add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla, salt, baking soda and powder. Mix until well incorporated. Add ONE cup of the flour and mix well.  Add ALL the water and mix again. Add last cup of flour and mix. Using a one ounce ice cream scooper, scoop batter into the paper liners. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until baked through. You can test doneness by lightly pressing your finger in the middle of the cupcake. If you see a fingerprint, they are not done. if it bounces back, they are done. BUT BE CAREFUL. Obviously they are hot.

Remove from oven when done, and using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole in the middle of each cupcake. This is where the orange curd will go. Let cool.

 Orange Curd

4 TBSP butter
 2 oranges, zest and juice
 1 cup sugar
 2 eggs

In a stand mixer, cream together butter, zest and sugar until smooth. Add the juice of the oranges and the eggs one at a time, mixing on low. Transfer mixture into a large sauce pan and cook over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often. DO NOT LET THIS BOIL. While it is cooking, it may look curdled, but just keep stirring and let it cook and come back together. When it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, it's done. Remove from heat and cool in fridge completely before using it.

Once cupcakes are cooled, spoon in about 1 TBSP of curd into each cupcake. Set aside and make whipped cream frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting

2 c heavy whipping cream
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 TBSP vanilla extract
With a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk together all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Pipe into filled and cooled cupcakes. Store in fridge. Can garnish with orange zest.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

For a recent holiday party we attended, I wanted to make a dessert that was appropriate for the season. Mint always seems wintery to me, so I set off to make a new Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake. This recipe uses my basic chocolate cupcake recipe with a new frosting and a new minty addition.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 stick butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c sour cream
1 t vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2/3 c water
1 cup mint and chocolate chips (found next to chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together softened butter and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat together. Add sour cream, vanilla, baking powder and soda, and salt and mix until well incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and mix on low speed til totally mixed. Add 3/4 of the flour and mix well. Add ALL the water and mix. Add the last 3/4 c of the flour and mix well. Fold in mint and chocolate chips. Using a one ounce ice cream scoop, divide the batter into the liners. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25, or until done. Let cool completely before frosting.
Yields about 18 cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c heavy cream

In a double boiler (a sauce pan filled 1/3 full with simmering water and a glass bowl on top for the chocolate and cream), add chocolate and cream, stirring until smooth. Take cooled cupcakes and dip the top into the chocolate. Let cupcakes set for about 5 minutes before eating.

Balsamic Garlic Pot Roast

Sometimes, I really don't want to cook. As someone who LOVES to cook, this doesn't happen very often. I do also  have 4 man-children to feed, as well as a hungry husband that needs to be fed. (As a side note, why are they never FULL? Even after a big meal, they immediately go foraging for snacks.) But I digress... this is a simple recipe that you can throw in the crockpot and just forget about it until dinner rolls around.

Balsamic Garlic Pot Roast

2-3 lb, top round roast
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP worchestshire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Add 1 TBSP vegetable oil to skillet and brown roast on all sides. Once roast is browned, place it in a crockpot set to HIGH heat. Add the garlic, Balsamic vinegar, worchestshire sauce, and bay leaves. Cover crock pot with lid and cook for 4-6 hours, or until fork tender. Let meat rest, covered with tin foil, for 15 minutes, before slicing. Serve with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.  TIP: You can cook carrots or potatoes in the crockpot with the pot roast.