Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Fajita is a Tex-Mex pint sized term for little meat strips. The word fajita did not appear in print until 1971, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The exact time in which the dish was named fajita is unclear.

Fajita is taken from the Spanish word “Faja” meaning “strip”, “band”, “sash”, or “belt”, and that would make sense, as fajitas are strips of meat.

Fajitas are really a Tex-Mex invention. The ingredients used are some popular ones used in Mexico. But the Mexican did not make the first Fajita.

We did have a blog guest speaker who spoke on this matter about Mexican verse Tex-Mex food on May 5th of this year (2014). The theme was Tastes of Mexico.  Read more what our guest speaker had to say on this matter. – HERE-

Now for our featured recipe: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas, and here is what you will need.

Spices for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of dried ground cumin

1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic

Place all of the spice in a small mixing bowl.

lime juice, olive oil and sea salt for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

To the dry spices add 3 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh juice  from half a lime), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt or sea salt. I personal use Himalayan salt as it has all of the trace minerals the body needs, it is unlike table salt which has had all other minerals remove. Also when using sea salt or the Himalayan salt you can use less, than you would if using the table salt.

Now that the wet ingredients have been added, mix in well with the dried spices. Set the bowl aside.

one pond of chicken breast for Gralic Lime Chicken Fajitas

 

You will need one pound of chicken breast. It may not seem like much, as one pound is two breasts, but once they have been cut into to strips, you have plenty of meat, for 4 to 6 servings.

using plastic bag to marinade chicken strips

I don’t like using plastic bags or any plastic container to store left overs, as plastic doesn’t breath, and the food spoils faster. I only use plastic freezer bags to freeze vegetables and meats. But I make an exception to marinade meat, as it is in the bag a short time.

Take the chciken strips and place them into the bag and pour in the spice mix, using a spatula to scrape the bowl and get every drop of mix. Seal the bag and put into the refridgerator for 30 minutes or more.sliced sweet peppers and yellow onion for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Before removing the meat from the refrigerator to cook, slice into strips 6 to 7 sweet peppers using red, orange and yellow colors. Also cut into thin slice one small yellow onion, and set aside.

cooking Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas

 

Heat a large ceramic coated frying pain on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and any marinade, and cook for 5 minutes while stir continuously. Next add the sweet peppers and onion, mis in and continue to stir while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees internal temperature).

Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas -up close-

Warm some 100% whole wheat flour tortillas and spoon chicken mixture and roll up. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.

Here we have a side of quinoa with black beans, onion, corn, and chili pepper mixed in. We prepared the quinoa according to packaged instructions, using one cup of quinoa, and one cup of chicken broth and 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

For dessert, check out our favorite coffee cake: Chocolate Mexican Coffee Cake, and to be honest with you, we don’t know if it is a Mexican recipe original, but it sure tastes good!!

 

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Orange Chicken Salad

Orange Chicken Salad

Salad usually comes before the main course. But you rather waste no time and prefer to eat the leafy greens at the same time with the main course dish. Here at Splendid Recipes and More, we feel the same way, and that’s way we have Salads as a Main Course. It is categorized rightly so, because it has leafy greens and includes a meat together on the same plate. Check out more of our Salads as a Main Course by linking here.

Making a meal in this way saves time, because you serve the salad and meat at the same time. Also Salads as a Main Course packs some protein, so you’ll leave the table feeling full.

Chicken breast in our opinion is one of the best top protein foods! 4 ounces (100 grams) of cooked chicken breast has about 23.5 grams of protein. It also contains minerals like magnesium, and potassium. Including vitamins-A, K, B-3, and B-6. It is simple to use cooked chicken breast cold for salads, and for hot meals. It is a meat that is easily digested.

Our featured recipe is Orange Chicken Salad, and here is what you will need.

1 pound large chicken breasts (about 3) skinless, boneless

1 cups orange marmalade jam

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional

16 ounces of mix greens: Spinach, Arugula, and Chard

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut and sliced chcickne breast meat for Orange Chicken Salad

Cut chicken into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and slice each piece in half  vertically.

prepaing sauce for Orange Chicken Salad

Using a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add jam, vinegar, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Mix all ingredients together and bring to a small simmering boil.

preparing sauce and chicken breast to cook for Orange Chicken Salad

Next add sauce to a large mixing bowl, and toss in chicken pieces. Mix together until chicken is well coated. Then pour into a baking pan. Use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl, getting  every last drop of sauce. Put in heated oven for 30 minutes or until meat is done, turning meat once.

Remove, and allow to cool about 5 or 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce into a large salad bowl (the sauce is your salad dressing). Next add greens, and mix until greens are well coated.

Orange Chicken Salad close-up

Plate the leafy greens and top with cooked orange chicken. Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of marmalade in center. Serve and enjoy!!

 

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Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

When your hungry but to tired to make a big deal about preparing something to eat can be discouraging. But isn’t it great when you just go looking through the refrigerator to see what you have, and you come up with a simple idea. That’s what happened here with our Sweet Pork and apple Wrap.

homemade tortillas

 

The day before we thawed out some pork loin pieces. But by dinner time I was just too tired. So we just boiled the pork in water with some garlic and cooled it down and put it away in the refrigerator. That same day some home made tortillas were made.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I came up with, our featured recipe: -Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap- and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

The amount of ingredients for the wrap depends on the number of wraps you want to make. The recipe we are preparing makes about 5 to 6 wraps.

1 cup cooked pork loin pieces, thin sliced, about 1 -inch

1/4 lb. snap peas

1 red apple, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick, do not peel

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 teaspoon Maya Coffee Rub (bought at Whole Foods Market)*

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

* If you don’t have a Whole Foods Market near by, here is a similar if not the same recipe you can use for the coffee rub spices…

⅓ cup fresh ground coffee (dark french or Italian roast)

¼ cup cocoa powder (dark Dutch cocoa)

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.

mixing oil and spices for Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

In a large mixing bowl, add and combine well, the oil, vinegar, and coffee rub. Next add the cooked meat, vegetable, and fruit, and mix with the wet coffee rub until meat and produce are well coated. Keep in mind we are not marinading the meat and produce, as the meat is already cooked. The coffee rub is going to give the meat mix a great flavor.

cooking Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Next add avocado oil to a large frying pan over med-high heat. In the Splendid Recipes kitchen, we always use ceramic coated pans (link here on some good reading about ceramic coated pans verses Teflon or non-stick pans).

When the oil is heated, add the meat mix and cook until the snap peas turn a brighter green, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Sweet Pork and Apple Wrap

Once meat mixture is warmed, remove from heat. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of mixture on to an open tortilla in the center. Fold tortilla up into a wrap or burrito.

Plate and serve, 2 wraps per person.

We want to add, if you let the cooked meat mixture set awhile, the apples seem to have a sweet onion taste. That is how Splendid Recipes came up with Sweet Pork and Apple Wraps. If you like these wraps you might like our Oriental Chicken Wraps.

 

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Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

This recipe focuses on the roasted vegetables as a side dish. We did use skinless chicken thighs (bone-in) as this is my families favorite part of the chicken. Though I do prefer, de-boned, skinless chicken breast.

You can roast these vegetables with about any meat you wish, including fish like Salmon or Halibut. The blend of seasonings that we used are common culinary herbs with the zest of citrus fruits, orange and lemon. This seasoning blend is well suited for many uses in the kitchen, like adding spice to a fruit salad, or add it to a grain, such as quinoa. For lean meats, you can use the citrus herb seasoning as a dry rub before grilling.

The seasoning consists of  the following:

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried sage

1 tsp. fennel seeds

Mix the ingredients together in a spice grinder and store the blend in an airtight container.

The fresh ingredients you add to the seasoning when ready to use are:

1 1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Here are the vegetables you will need, but keep in mind, you can use just about any vegetable you like:

vegetables neede for Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Here we are using 2 zucchini squash, 2 crookneck squash, 2 carrots, about 15 Brussels sprouts, and 1 small to medium eggplant. Note if you are going to bake some chicken or fish with the vegetables, you may not use the amount that is called for, due to spacing in the baking pan.

pouring season mix into baking pan

In a mixing cup add the zest of both citrus fruits, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the herb seasoning mix. You may want to add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. To the dry mix add 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil, 2 tablespoons of honey or 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 cup orange juice. We used the juice of a fresh Navel orange. Of course it juiced almost 1 cup. One fourth cup was added to the mix, and the cook got their dose of vitamin-C (he drank the rest). This is optional, add 1 minced fresh clove of garlic.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet till well combined and pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Now if you don’t like meat, than maybe you will want to look away as we show you the next step.

putting chicken thighs over seasoning face down

Next, depending the meat you want to use, place meat into pan. Here we used skinless chicken thighs, placed bone side up. If using fish with skin on, place fish in with meat down.  Bake in a preheated oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Placing chopped vegetables into baking pan to roast

Remove pan from oven and turn thighs over and arrange chopped vegetables over and around meat. If you are going to just use the vegetables only, than pour wet seasoning mix into baking pan, add vegetables and roast for 30 minutes in the 400 degree oven.

Place baking pan back into oven and cook another 30 minutes. This will insure chicken meat is cooked to 165 degrees internal temperature and will roast the vegetables.

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Remove roasted vegetables to a serving dish, then place meat on to a serving platter. Pour or spoon as much of the seasoned liquid as you like over the roasted vegetables.

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables with Baked Chicken Thighs

Plate and serve.

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Baked Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

Plated Baked Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

1/8 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. smoked chipotle

½ tsp. black pepper, ground

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3 tbsp. brown sugar, heaping spoons

½ cup tomato sauce

3 lbs. pork ribs

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees

In a small bowl mix the first 5 ingredients well. Add brown sugar, mix in till well incorporated. Next, add tomato sauce, stir till well mixed.

Remove pork ribs from package and lay on to a baking sheet. Brush sweet and spicy mix onto meat until well coated.

Baked Sweet and Spicy Pork RibsPlace in heated oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until meat is no longer pink (meat should reach 165 degrees internal temperature). Remove place meat onto a serving platter and serve.

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Keeping Your Family Safe with a Reliable Meat Thermometer

Meat Thermometer

Meat thermometers can do two things for you.  They can prevent you from overcooking and drying out your foods as well as prevent you from spending fortunes in medical expenses.

Government health regulations are very particular when it comes to foods being prepared at certain temperatures.  Those certain temperatures are set to ensure that no one eating the foods prepared is going to become ill from being undercooked.  It is especially important in facilities that prepare meals for numerous people.

But for you and your family it is just as important that because it is hitting home.  Using a meat thermometer is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that everyone is safe to eat the foods prepared in your home.

There are two types of thermometers that can be used.  One that you leave in the meat while cooking and the other you stick it in the meat and take an instant read temperature.

Some thermometers are digital, some have voice responses that speak to you and then there are those that will tell you the temperature with a hand remote from 300 feet away.  The gadgets of convenience are not nearly as important as the timely accuracy that you are really wanting.

Let’s take a look at several thermometers and discover which are best at giving you the quickest accurate readings.  As well you’ll want to know which thermometers can take a wide range reading.  Meaning, how well it does in going from 0 to 450 degrees.

We won’t compare prices because most meat thermometers are $30 or less.  If you find higher priced thermometers it will because it has added bells and whistles like, opening the oven door for you.  But remember, that’s not what’s important when it comes to being safe.

Thermometer Performance Reviews

Brand

Accuracy

Reading Time

Range

Overall Score Consumer Reports /100

Overall Score Amazon /5

Polder 360 Dual Probe

Excellent

Very Good

Excellent

92

3.1

Taylor Weekend Warrior 806

Very Good

Excellent

Excellent

84

3.6

AcuRite

00648

Good

Excellent

Excellent

72

2.6

Taylor Classic 1470

Very Good

Poor

Excellent

67

3.3

Maverick ET 64

Excellent

Very Good

Good

66

4.1

Polder THM-372

Excellent

Very Good

Good

65

3.4

Oxo 1051105

Excellent

Good

Good

64

1.5

Kitchen Aid SS

Very Good

Fair

Good

49

4.5

Taylor Connoisseur 501

Very Good

Poor

Good

25

4.2

There is wide range in the score variances and quite a difference in ratings between Consumers Reports and Amazon ratings. For your information the numbers from Consumers Reports comes from several rounds of testing, whereas the scoring system from Amazon is directly related to consumer feedback.

Some brands are instant check while others are leave in while cooking, but which type you choose is a matter of your preference. And that fact that some are digital and some aren’t, played no role in the ratings. That also is a matter of preference. Most importantly you now know which thermometers you are going to get the best readings from.

What Others are saying About Meat Thermometers:

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Slow Cooking, is it Safe?

crock-pot and recipe book

In early times past, food stuff such as roots, vegetables and meats were wrapped in leaves and placed on warm or hot rocks that made a ring around a fire. The wrapped food was left there for a long period of time. Early cooks discovered that cooking this way tenderized tough plants and meats, and released more flavor into the food. This concept or type of cooking was carried over into  pot-based cooking over fires and eventually to stoves.

This tradition of slow cooking was first commercialized by the Naxon Corporation with its electric slow cooker intended only for beans. Rival Corporation bought Naxon in 1971. Rival redesigned the slow cooker and branded the bean cooker as the crockpot. The original crockpot’s stoneware liner wasn’t removable. Than In 1974 the product was redesigned with a removable liner, for easy cleaning. Aside from cosmetic changes and the addition of larger sizes, crockpots remained virtually unchanged until the introduction of a programmable crockpot in 2001.

Some disadvantages to crockpot cooking are: vitamins and nutrients are lost because of enzyme action during cooking. Raw beans must be boiled before cooking to remove an enzyme that can cause food poisoning. Canned beans do not require boiling, as they are boiled in the canning process.

A slow cooker is certainly convenient, but if not used correctly there is the potential for food-safety hazards. Temperatures between 40° and 140°F fall into the so-called “Danger Zone,” since bacteria thrive in these temperatures. When using a slow cooker be sure to take precautions that keep food from being in the Danger Zone for too long. To avoid the Danger Zone, never add frozen ingredients to your cooker, refrigerate any ingredients you’ve prepped ahead in separate storage containers and bring liquids to a simmer if you’re cooking on Low before adding them to your cooker to give the heating process a jump-start. Never attempt to cook a whole chicken or roast in your slow cooker: large hunks of meat won’t cook thoroughly enough in the slow cooker. So when cooking with meat, make sure it’s cut into smaller pieces that will cook throughout.

The US Food and Drug Administration state that bacteria grow the fastest between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the meat, it needs to be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill most bacteria (poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and ground meat to 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Even if your food is eventually cooked to the proper temperature, if it stays too long in the 40-140 range, it will house much more bacteria than if cooked properly.

When possible, preheat the Crock-Pot before you add the food. This process will ensure the food is not kept at a temperature that allows bacteria to grow rapidly. In addition to preheating, setting the temperature to a high setting for the first hour before switching to the low setting will help to ensure the food reaches the correct, safe eating temperature.

It is recommended to never use a crockpot to reheat already cooked foods, but have been stored in the refrigerator. Also it is worthy to note, that crockpots bought with in the last 5 to 6 years do cook faster than the older models. Therefore, not leaving the raw foods to long in the temperature danger zone (40 and 140 degrees).

 

 

This was received in an e-mail from my former place of employment:

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Sources of information: 7 Tricks for Better Slow-Cooking in Your Crock Pot    Safety Tips Regarding Crock-Pots    Crockpot History

 

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