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Chicken Taco Salad

Remember last week when I said no one needs a salad recipe? I still stand by that, and this is again NOT a salad recipe…it is a salad COMPONENT recipe.  There is a HUGE difference (sort of).  We try to eat fairly healthily, and dinner salads are a great way to pack in some extra veggies and lean protein.  But like other things, you can get stuck in a salad rut, which is where these component recipes come in handy.

This recipe is for a marinade.  In this particular instance, I marinated boneless, skinless chicken tenders, though I think it would be great on beef as well, or on seafood (for a shorter period of time).  The Latin vibe of this marinade set the tone for the salad…a Chicken Taco Salad.

chicken-taco

We marinated and grilled the chicken, and served it with chopped leaf lettuce, black beans, fresh salsa, shredded cheese and some crushed tortilla chips.  For a dressing, I whisked together lime juice, a chopped chipotle pepper, some sour cream and salt and pepper.  We didn’t have any, but avocado would be great here.

It was a great light dinner, and completely different from the flank steak salad last week. Really, there is no reason to get stuck in a boring salad rut.  Use different marinades and homemade dressings to had some variety to your healthy eating!

Honey Chipotle Marinade

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1-2 canned chipotle in adobo peppers, chopped, depending on your desired spice level
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ canola oil
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk together all marinade ingredients.  In a ziptop bag, combine protein and marinade. If marinating chicken or beef, leave in the fridge over night.  If marinating seafood, about an hour in the fridge should do it.  You don’t want the acid from the lime juice to start cooking the fish!

Determining the best cookware sets for your cooking

My long-time love for cooking has taught me that there are so many things that go into determining the best cookware sets. If you are like me, then you have probably been looking for a cookware set that not only heats quickly but evenly and perhaps is nonstick.

cookware-set

You may also be looking for a cookware set that is easy to clean and most importantly, durable as you will get good value for your money. Well, having gone through years of frustrations looking for such cookware sets, I finally found the real deal so I have taken the liberty of sharing my thoughts on some of them, just in case you find one that appears to meet your expectations.

anolon-cookware

I would say that the more a cookware set is unpopular, the higher the chances that it might just add an extra touch of magic to your cooking experience and speaking of unpopularity, the Tramontina Ceramic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set swiftly comes to mind.
This cookware set is constructed of heavy-gauge aluminum for even heat distribution, and with durable porcelain enamel exterior, I must say it is worth your money. The cookware set is also made of a nonstick interior that’s easy to clean and since it is free of lead, cadmium, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene, and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), it is perhaps one of the best eco friendly set you can ever get out there.

Another cookware set I found really worth recommending is the Anolon 12-Piece Bronze Hard-Anodized Set and let me say I won’t recommend it for mean buyers as its price is slightly higher than your usual non-stick cookware sets.

However, with a hard-anodized aluminum, this cookware set is far more resistant to scratching, warping or corrosion and is therefore highly durable. Also, being a heavy-duty cookware set, it will come in handy when you need to prepare meals that require intense heat concentration.

The last cookware set on my list would be the Circulon Symmetry 11-Piece Set. You will find it with high customer ratings in major sites and I must admit the price is quite high so exactly what makes it a favorite for many like me?

This cookware set is dishwasher safe and is also safe for use with metal utensils.

It makes use of a patented TOTAL Food Release system which are a series of raised nonstick circles that minimizes surface abrasion, thereby ensuring it lasts as long as it can get. The cookware is also fitted with a stainless steel base which makes it suitable for all stovetops.

Well, there ends my story and I hope yours should begin right them. Go get yourself any of these cookware sets and start living your cooking dreams.

Simply Mexican Breakfast

mexican-breakfast
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Ingredients

3 ripe tomatoes
2 roasted red peppers from a jar
4 spring onions
½–1 lime
extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400 g tin of black beans
olive oil
8 small flour or corn tortillas
4 large free-range eggs
1 knob of butter

Method

Make a fast and simple salsa by chopping the tomatoes, peppers and spring onions together on a big board.
Squeeze over the juice from half a lime, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season, then use the knife to chop and mix it all together. Taste and add more lime juice if needed.
Drain and pour the black beans into a small saucepan, season, drizzle with olive oil and heat through gently.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan, toast the tortillas one at a time on both sides until charred, then keep warm under a clean tea towel or foil.
Fry the eggs in a little butter and oil, keeping the yolks nice and soft.
Pop 2 tortillas on each plate and top with beans, salsa and an egg. Serve with salsa verde fresco for a bit of attitude.

Steak au Poivre

steak

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Steak au poivre sounds as if it would be difficult, but it is actually quite simple to prepare, and makes an easy and elegant (perhaps somewhat pricy) meal. Essentially it is a sautéed steak, with a quick pan sauce. This version made with black peppercorns and Sichuan pepper tastes bright but not overpoweringly peppery or boozy. If you serve it with scallion-mashed potatoes, your home cooked steak au poivre will put the best neighborhood bistro to shame.

Featured in: Mastering Steak Au Poivre.

INGREDIENTS

4 beef tenderloin steaks, 6 ounces each, cut 1 inch thick
Salt
1 tablespoon coarsely crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely crushed Sichuan pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, finely diced
1 ½ cups rich beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cognac or bourbon
¼ cup crème fraîche
1 bunch watercress, for garnish

PREPARATION

  • Put steaks in a shallow dish and season well on both sides with salt. Sprinkle black pepper and Sichuan pepper evenly over steaks. Press pepper into both sides with hands and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Put a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When surface is nearly smoking, swirl 1 tablespoon butter in the pan and add steaks. Adjust heat as necessary to keep steaks sizzling briskly.
  • Cook for 2 minutes on first side; seared side should be nicely browned. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer steaks to a warm platter.
  • Make the sauce: Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Add shallots and sauté for a minute or so, stirring, until they begin to brown. Add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Add Cognac and continue to simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche and cook until sauce is lightly thickened.
  • Return steaks to pan to warm, spooning sauce over them and turning once. Arrange steaks on platter or individual plates and top with more sauce. Garnish with bouquets of watercress and serve immediately. (Source)