Category: Dinner

Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Asparagus

Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Asparagus

Grillin’ & Chillin’ We just grillin’ & Chillin’, but Pepé is confused as always. He wants to know why I’m putting my sweet potatoes in the microwave when I said we were grilling. Fair question I guess. I like to put my veggies on the […]

Chili Lime Pork Tenderloin & Chimichurri Sauce

Chili Lime Pork Tenderloin & Chimichurri Sauce

Well, the Game of Thrones finale may have been disappointing, but my dinner was a hit! I originally wanted to do a pig roast. Not your ordinary pig roast, but cooked via sous vide, then on a spit. I saw the idea from ChefSteps® and […]

No Flip Chicken Quesadillas

No Flip Chicken Quesadillas

Cinco de Mayo dinner

No flip, no mess, no stress

Hey, thanks for stopping by. There are probably 40,000 chicken quesadilla recipes out there, so I have no idea how you landed here, but I’m glad that you did and I really think you’re gonna love this recipe.  I had a professional chef eat them at my house when I served them at a party I was hosting and he thought I bought them from an authentic Mexican restaurant. He thought they were amazing. Yay! (insert pat on back here) 

If you have a griddler or panini maker, you don’t even have to flip them, therefor no worrying about the good stuff flying out during the flipping process, and they cook twice as fast as they do in a skillet, so bonus! #hooray 

You can serve these quesadillas as an appetizer or a meal. This recipe makes quite a lot, so feel free to cut it in half or quarter if you want. Or… You can freeze the leftovers for a day when you don’t have time to cook. Sometimes I just freeze the mix and assemble and cook the quesadillas another day. #timesaver

Onions and Peppers for quesadillas

Cut onions and all peppers. Heat a large skillet on med/high. Add oil to skillet and once that is hot, sauté onions and peppers for about 5-10 minutes. While that’s cooking, cut up your chicken. Place that in the skillet along with the minced garlic, and cook that for a few minutes. Then add all the seasonings and lime juice and cook that for another few minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

chicken, onions, jalepenos, peppers

Divide mixture into 6 even amounts. I already used two before I remembered to take a photo.

I like to set up a cutting board for assembly. It works for building and cutting. Build two. One goes in, and then later, one comes out. You will have room to cut the finished quesadilla while the other waits it’s turn to be cooked. Chicken Quesadilla in Griddler

Griddler or panini maker make this faster and easier

Check for doneness after 2-3 minutes. Cut into equal portions. I like to serve with my awesome homemade Guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Here are some optional side dishes if you want to make it more of a meal. Delicious Jicama Mango Slaw or this easy Light Mexican Corn Salad.

What goes with Chicken quesadillas

Chicken, Cheese, Mexican, Quesadilla, Tortilla, Cinco de Mayo, Tex Mex, Easy

No Flip Chicken Quesadillas

Whether you’re looking for an appetizer or a main for Cinco de Mayo, these No Flip Chicken Quesadillas have got you covered. #timesaver
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 Medium Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breasts Cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Yellow Onions
  • 1 Cup Bell Peppers remove stem and seeds
  • 2 Large Jalapeños remove stems and seeds
  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano Regular is fine too
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Lime (juice only)
  • 12 6 Inch Flour Tortillas
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

Instructions

  • Cut onions and all peppers. Heat a large skillet on med/high. Add oil to skillet and once that is hot, sauté onions and peppers for about 5-10 minutes. While that’s cooking, cut up your chicken. Place that in the skillet along with the minced garlic, and cook that for a few minutes. Then add all the seasonings and lime juice and cook that for another few minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Heat your Griddler® on med/high (or a skillet if you don’t have a Griddler®) and start the assembly. Place one tortilla on a cutting board with 1/4 cup of the cheese on top. Place 1/6th of the chicken mixture on top of that and then another 1/4 cup of the cheese on top followed by one more tortilla. You do not need to fill these edge to edge, as everything cooks, melts and is pressed, it pushes the mix to the edges and sometimes beyond. Gently place this in the griddler, close the lid and let it cook for 3 minutes or until quesadillas are light brown. While it’s cooking, assemble another quesadillas so it’s ready to go in when the other one comes out.
  • When done cooking, place on cutting board and cut into 6 pieces. I like to serve with my awesome homemade Guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Notes

Note: The Griddler makes cooking these super easy because there’s no flipping it since it cooks on both sides at once. That also makes it faster than a skillet. Bonus!
Easy & Juicy Smoked Turkey

Easy & Juicy Smoked Turkey

Pepé Wants to know if it’s Legal to Smoke Turkey?  Um, well Pepé, it’s not that kind of smoking, so yes, it’s totally legal. We will not be interrupted by the police today. Now, the fire department… Uh… Well, hopefully not. We are just gonna […]

Juicy Smoked Pulled Pork

Juicy Smoked Pulled Pork

Why do men get all the credit?   Grilling at my house is usually me gathering everything, taking it and a beer to my husband, making all the side dishes, seasoning the item or items to be grilled, getting my husband another beer, entertaining guests, […]

Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

Pepe & Claude sombreros

Is there time for tasty taco tuesday tongue twisters today?

Pepé and Claude challenge you to come up with some tasty taco Tuesday tongue twisters of your own while we make these easy and healthy fish tacos, but don’t talk with your mouth full (that drives my hubby crazy). It’s the Tuesday before Cinco de Mayo and these two are getting ready to have their own little fiesta. Señor Pepé and Señor Claude were getting in the mood to make these ‘excelente’, healthy and easy fish tacos by starting out with a margarita. You know what doesn’t go with too many margaritas? Tongue twisters.  Actually, they kinda do… I’m not gonna lie, it’s hilarious. Good thing these tuesday tacos don’t take too long to make. You will be done eating before your tongue is too twisted to talk about Tuesday’s tacos today.

You can use other fish if you like, I just prefer halibut. It’s also a lot healthier and faster since it’s not breaded and deep fried. 

Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. You can put your sauce into a squeeze bottle or zip lock bag so you can squeeze it onto your tacos, or just spread it on the tortillas before you add your other ingredients. (sorry I forgot to take a picture of that, but I’m sure you get the idea)

fish taco spice blend

halibut with spice

Season halibut with salt and pepper, then combine the cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic pepper in a bowl (I like to double or even quadruple this season mixture and put it into a spice jar that I saved – it can be used to season many other recipes). 

garnish for fish tacos

Slice all your garnish.  

avocado with small seed

Pepé and I were thrilled to see such a tiny seed in the avocados.

halibut tacos

Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a griddle, skillet or in the microwave. It only takes about 8-12 seconds in a microwave, so be careful not to overcook tortillas. 

halibut for fish tacos

Slice halibut into small pieces. I use two per taco, but it depends on the size of tortillas. I used 6 inch tortillas, but size really doesn’t matter. 😉

halibut fish tacos

Assemble your tacos with desired garnish and enjoy! 

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Easy & Healthy Fish Tacos

These are some really easy and healthy fish tacos that with a little prep, you can be enjoying them in 30 minutes.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Pound Halibut filets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Flour Tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Seasoning Mix

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice (fresh squeezed and strained of pulp)
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder

Garnish

  • 1 Large Jalapeño (thinly sliced)
  • 3 Ounces Red Cabbage (sliced or shredded)
  • 3 Ounces Onions (I used red, but it won't matter)
  • 3 Ounces Radishes (sliced)
  • 1/2 Large Avocado (sliced)
  • Cilantro (chopped and optional)
  • Lime Wedges

Instructions

  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. You can put your sauce into a squeeze bottle or zip lock bag so you can squeeze it onto your tacos, or just spread it on the tortillas before you add your other ingredients.
  • Season halibut with salt and pepper, then combine the cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic pepper in a bowl (I like to double or even quadruple this season mixture and put it into a spice jar that I saved – it can be used to season many other recipes). Sprinkle fish with mix and set aside. Slice all your garnish.
  • Heat skillet on medium high. After skillet is hot, add oil and let that get hot for a minute, then add the seasoned fish fillets. Let them cook on each side for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a griddle, skillet or in the microwave. It only takes about 8-12 seconds in a microwave, so be careful not to overcook tortillas. Assemble your tacos with desired garnish and enjoy!

Notes

I learned that it's better to strain the pulp from the lime before adding it to the chipotle sauce, otherwise it clogs the squeeze bottle.
Whole Roast Duck

Whole Roast Duck

What the Duck? A friend of mine was visiting from out of town and he was going through some life changing events. He decided he was going to be more adventurous when it came to the foods he ate, so Pepé and I suggested a […]

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

More Soup for You! Who remembers “The Soup Nazi “ character from the NBC series Seinfeld that ran from 1989 to 1998?  The owner of the soup kitchen was not a patient man, but he evidently made a incredible bowl of soup which would cause […]

Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

deep dish turkey pot pie

You and your family will gobble this up

I was making a turkey pot pie recently when my hubby came home from work and informed me that there were several turkeys gathered on our front lawn (15 to be exact). I said, “are they protesting? Do you think they know I’m making a turkey pot pie?” Pepé said, “Tell those turkeys that it’s a chicken pot pie”. Although we live in an area that has quite a bit of wild life, we have only seen turkeys in our front yard about 3 times in the past 13 years. This year has been different, we see them all the time now. I recently took a video of them crossing the street. Pepé and I still get excited when we see them. We are hoping to find some of their tail feathers to put in a vase for some fall decor.

Wild Turkeys in our front yard

A friend of ours, who lives in Boston and is a very talented decorator, does this every year because they find turkey feathers while walking their dogs. By the way, this really happened. I would have been making a chicken pot pie, but I had some leftover turkey in the freezer and wanted to use it up instead of thawing and cooking an entire package of chicken. You can use chicken in place of turkey or any other poultry for this recipe… After all, it’s your pie. As always, make it your own. If you don’t like my choice of veggies, pick your own. I strongly recommend precooking the potatoes at least halfway (if you choose to use them) because otherwise they might not cook all the way and you’ll  have crunchy raw potatoes in your pie. You can boil them as I suggest below or even microwave them if you’re in a hurry.

HomeGoods cutter/press, fall leaves

I found these cute leaf shaped cutters/presses and Pepé and I just love them. We had no idea that we would be using them for a savory pie crust when I bought them, I just thought I would use them for cookies or a sweet pie.  You don’t have to make your pie this fancy. You can just place the upper crust over the whole pie, but always leave vent holes in your upper crust so the steam can get out, otherwise you will have quite a mess in your oven. If placing a standard full crust on top, crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together.

Let’s get started on our Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

Peel and cut up potatoes, put them in a pan, cover with water and simmer until fork tender or at lease half way done (about 15 minutes).

pastry cutter, butter, flour

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Make the crust. In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter until crumbly.Then add water and mix with your hands until smooth.

Pepe rolling out the pastry dough

Divide dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Roll the 2/3 section of dough 1/8” thick and wide enough to fit your pan with just enough to trim off the edges. I used a 8” square and 2” deep casserole dish.

dough placement

Fold your dough in half so it’s easier to handle, then place it in your dish.

sautéed onions, carrots and celery

Heat a deep skillet on med/high. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until carrots are slightly tender.

Then add 3 TBSP flour and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in minced garlic and cook for one more minute. Pour chicken stock and milk into the skillet. Add thyme and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens which will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Add Turkey and remaining veggies including the cooked and drained potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pepe filling turkey pot pie

Gently pour filling into prepared pie crust.

pastry leaves on top of turkey pot pie

Roll remaining 1/3 dough portion and either place it on top, crimp edges and cut small slits for steam to vent, or use cookie cutters/presses to make a decorative crust. Lightly brush the top crust with milk and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

beautiful deep dish turkey pot pie

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Deep Dish Turkey Pot Pie

This is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey or chicken and is always a great comfort food anytime of the year.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 Cup Cold Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Cold Water Might need 1 or 2 more teaspoons

Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (can use oil, bacon fat, or combination of each)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

Filling

  • 2 Cups Cooked Turkey
  • 3/4 Cups Onion (Chopped)
  • 2 Cups Potatoes (1/2” to 3/4” Cubes)
  • 1 Cup Peas (Frozen)
  • 3/4 Cups Carrots (Sliced)
  • 3/4 Cups Celery (Sliced)
  • 2 Large Cloves garlic (Minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme (or 1/2 TBSP dried)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Peel and cut up potatoes, put them in a pan, cover with water and simmer until fork tender or at lease half way done (about 15 minutes).
  • While that’s happening, make the crust. In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter until crumbly. Then add water and mix with your hands until smooth. 
  • Divide dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Roll the 2/3 section of dough 1/8” thick and wide enough to fit your pan with just enough to trim off the edges. I used a 8” square and 2” deep casserole dish, but you can use a round deep pie pan as well. Fold your dough in half so it’s easier to handle, then place it in your dish.
  • Heat a deep skillet on med/high. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until carrots are slightly tender. Then add 3 Tablespoons flour and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in minced garlic and cook for one more minute. Pour chicken stock and milk into the skillet. Add thyme and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens which will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Add Turkey and remaining veggies including the cooked and drained potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently pour filling into prepared pie crust. Roll remaining 1/3 dough portion and either place it on top, crimp edges and cut small slits for steam to vent, or use cookie cutters/presses to make a decorative crust. Lightly brush the top crust with milk and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Pour chicken stock and milk into the skillet. Add thyme and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens which will take about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add Turkey and remaining veggies including the cooked and drained potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Gently pour filling into prepared pie crust.
  • Roll remaining 1/3 dough portion and either place it on top, crimp edges and cut small slits for steam to vent, or use cookie cutters/presses to make a decorative crust.
  • Lightly brush the top crust with milk and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Warm and Tasty Chicken Posolé (Pozole)

Warm and Tasty Chicken Posolé (Pozole)

Did you know that Pozole means “hominy”? I grew up eating Pozole or hominy all the time, but it was just dumped out of a can, seasoned with butter, salt and pepper, and heated up on the stove. To be honest I still like it […]

Tomato Basil Chicken Tart

Tomato Basil Chicken Tart

You say tomato, I say tomato! Tomato, tomato… I recently found this video and I just have to share it with you because I think you will enjoy it. It has so many things I like even if it reminds me that I’m older than […]

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Pepé said, “Oh la la…

What a nice rack!”

Alright, alright… calm down everyone. He was talking about the herb crusted rack of lamb. Where was your mind? Pepé was all excited because he thought he was going to get to “French” the rack of lamb. “Frenching” is when you trim the fat off the bones and they are very clean and pretty. But, since I bought them from our Aldi Grocery store, they were already trimmed for us. I’m not sure Pepé would have been successful in trimming them anyway because I’ve never seen him do this before. He’s quite confident most of the time, but not always successful.

I did not grow up eating lamb. I don’t think I had my first bite of lamb until I was in my 30’s. I was quite a picky eater when I was a kid, but I have more than made up for that now. I recently watched Gordon Ramsey demonstrate how to make these on his show “Master Chef”. He talks fast and they don’t show you every detail. Nor do they do they give you the recipe for the herb breading. So, with much guessing and tasting, here is what I came up with and they were quite delicious. The breading is a very pretty bright green. Makes me think of springtime.

Heat oven to 425°. Blend all breading mix ingredients in a food processor and set aside.

Season lamb generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat oil in a skillet (I used an iron skillet) on medium high until it just barely starts to smoke. Sear the lamb for a few minutes on each side.

Halfway through the process add both halves of the garlic (cut side up) and the thyme to the skillet. Once seared on all sides, place the garlic and the thyme in the middle and place the lamb on top of them. Add butter and baste the lamb for a few minutes. Then place the entire skillet and contents in the oven for 4 minutes. Pull lamb out of the oven and brush with Dijon mustard. Dip the lamb in the breading mix to coat the meat on all sides (not the bones).

Shake off any excess. Place back in oven for an additional 4 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130°-135°. Remove from oven and let lamb rest for about 10 minutes.

Slice each close to the bone, plate and serve.

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Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Elegant rack of lamb with a flavorful herb crust.
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Cuisine: French
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 2 Racks Lamb 6-8 bones each (Frenched)
  • 1 Large Head garlic (Sliced in half so you have a top and bottom)
  • 1 Large Handful Fresh Thyme (Stems on)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil Extra Virgin
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

Herb Breading Mix

  • 3/4 Cup Tightly Packed Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese (Grated)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425°F.

    Blend all breading mix ingredients in a food processor and set aside.

    Season lamb generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a skillet (I used an iron skillet) on medium high until it just barely starts to smoke. Sear the lamb for a few minutes on each side. Halfway through the process add both halves of the garlic (cut side up) and the thyme to the skillet. Once seared on all sides, place the garlic and the thyme in the middle and place the lamb on top of them. Add butter and baste the lamb for a few minutes. Then place the entire skillet and contents in the oven for 4 minutes. Pull lamb out of the oven and brush with Dijon mustard. Dip the lamb in the breading mix to coat the meat on all sides (not the bones). Shake off any excess. Place back in oven for an additional 4 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130°F-135°F. Remove from oven and let lamb rest for about 10 minutes. Slice each close to the bone, plate and serve.

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