Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pearl Brewery... Farmer's Market and Flavors for Foodies

I'm a little upset that I missed out on a fun foodie event. No one told me about this until last night when I heard it on the news or I definitely would have been at Pearl Brewery today for the grand opening celebration of the San Antonio Museum Reach featuring a farmer's market, cooking demonstration from the Culinary Institute of America (which is housed on the grounds of the Pearl Brewery), chef's table, featuring lunch prepared with the season's freshest local ingredients from Texas farms, and the Texas Farm to Table Cafe for the food--Bison Burgers, Tacos, and more--as well as all the other fun festivities!

The farmer's market will be held every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. and will feature cooking demonstrations, a chef's table for lunch ($20.00), and of course, food! Want to take
a guess where I'll be next Saturday morning?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicken Chimichangas

The recipe for this month's Second Sunday San Antonio -- Chicken Chimichangas -- was chosen by Heather, Girlchef, since she was the first to make and post last month's recipe. Second Sunday San Antonio is a Tex-Mex foodie blog event where we cook a recipe from my cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio, once a month. Whoever makes and posts the recipe first gets to choose the recipe we'll all make next month.

If you know me, you know I can't resist making changes to my own recipes. I've noted the changes I've made in blue.
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 chipotle chile, seeded
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.)
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 (16 oz.) can tomatillos, drained and chopped (I used 6 fresh tomatillos, boiled for 15 minutes to soften.)
  • 2 (15.5 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I used one can.)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil, for frying (I baked my chimichanges instead of frying. I lightly sprayed the bottom of a baking pan with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray, then sprayed the top of the chimichangas, placed them in a 350 degree preheated oven and baked them for 20 minutes.)
Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan, cover with water and add the chipotle chile. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the chile has softened.

Remove the chile and chop it finely. Set aside.

Remove the chicken breasts and put them on a plate. Let cool slightly, then shred with two forks. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring.

Add the tomatillos and pinto beans. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly to break up the tomatillos and some of the beans.

Add the chopped chipotle chile. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Add the shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stack the tortillas together and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds.

Spoon the filling into the center of each warmed tortilla. Add the cheese. Fold in both sides, then fold the bottom of the tortilla up and the top down to form a square packet. Moisten with water around the edges to seal.

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a 2-inch deep skillet and fry the chimichangas in batches until crisp, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

I served my Chicken Chimichangas with torn Romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream.

We'd love to have you cook with us for Second Sunday San Antonio. The round-up will be posted on June 14th. Make the Chicken Chimichanga recipe (tweak it if you like) and post the picture of the dish on your blog, along with the badge and a link to this post (you don't need to include the recipe), then send me an email at gloriachadwick@gmail.com with the link to your post.

Since I was the first one to make and post the recipe for Second Sunday San Antonio this month, I get to choose the recipe we'll
all make next month. The recipe will be posted at the round-up.

I'm also sending this over to Heather at GirliChef for her Chile Contest and Cookbook Giveaway.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Taco Tuesdays... May Round-Up

It's that time of the month again... time for tacos. Taco Tuesdays is a monthly Tex-Mex foodie event featuring tacos in all their many delicious and wonderful shapes and sizes. Sometimes they show themselves as tacos, at other times they appear as quesadillas, flautas, taquitos, tostadas, or burritos, but they always appear dressed in a tortilla.

I made Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos, which directly contradicts what I just said about tacos always appearing wrapped in a tortilla. Some tacos have a mind of their own and deserve to be different. They were absolutely delicious and perfect for summer or any other time.

I also made Turkey Tacos with the leftover meat from the lettuce wraps, spicing them up with pepper jack cheese. Equally delicious.

Dee, Texas-to-Mexico, made Spicy, Sweet Veggie Tacos, using up the food she had on hand before moving back to Texas from Mexico. Maybe she should change her blog name to Mexico-to-Texas. We're happy to have her home in Texas.

Debbie, The Friday Friends, made Shrimp Tacos, saying that you can put practically anything in a taco and you don't need a recipe to create a delicious taco.

Heather, GirliChef, is trying to send us over the edge with her Puerco Pibil Tacos with a not-so-optional splash of tequila, inspired by Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Want to participate in Taco Tuesdays? Make tacos or any of their cousins or relatives--tostadas, taquitos, quesadillas, burritos, flautas, or practically anything that involves a tortilla, post them on your blog, along with the badge and a link to Taco Tuesdays, then email me at gloriachadwick@gmail.com with the link to your post. The round-up is posted on the third Tuesday every month.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dog Days

It gets hot in Texas. Really hot. Normally the dog days of summer are in August, the hottest time of the year. In Texas, the dog days are here and I almost lost my dog, Jodi, to heat exhaustion yesterday.

I took her out for a walk about 2:00 in the afternoon. It was in the mid-90s and very humid. After only ONE minute, she started panting heavily with a loud rasping noise, then vomited... the white foamy stuff. (Sorry to be gross.) Then she became lethargic and laid down on the ground.

I just thought she was having trouble breathing. She's had the rasping noise before when we've gone on long walks but it always subsides when we come inside and she rests. I had no idea she was in the beginning stages of heat exhaustion. I scooped her up in my arms, brought her inside, gave her a drink of water, but she kept panting, with the rasping noise, as if she couldn't get enough air.

I rushed her to the vet and they put her on oxygen, gave her a shot of subcutaneous fluid, and wet her fur to help her cool down. Her temperature was 104 degrees. She's all better now, to the tune of $112.00. If her temperature had been 105 or above, she could have gone into heat stroke, collapsed, and died.

It happened so fast. I've taken her out for walks on hotter days and she's had no problems. I have another dog that I took for a walk at the same time and she was just fine. The vet explained that since Jodi has so much fur, that was part of what caused the heat exhaustion. Most people associate heat exhaustion and heat stroke with dogs being left in a car, but it can happen any time the temperature and humidity are high.

The dog days are here, folks. Please take care of your beloved pets. This link for heat exhaustion in animals tells you about the warning signs and offers instructions for what to do if your dog experiences heat exhaustion.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chile Rellenos Casserole

I was in the mood for Chile Rellenos, but didn't feel like frying, so I created a Chile Rellenos Casserole, baking it instead of frying. I also wanted a quick, easy recipe to feed two.
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted
  • 1 (8 oz.) block Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded, divided
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Mexican style diced tomatoes
Roast the peppers over an open flame (I have a gas stove, so I roasted mine on top of the burner), turning with tongs until they are evenly blackened. Put the roasted peppers in a plastic zip-lock bag, seal, and let steam for 20 minutes.

While the peppers are steaming, shred the cheese and open the can of diced tomatoes. Pull out an 8-inch round casserole dish from your cabinet and set it on the counter top.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I used my toaster oven because it was just too hot (95 degrees) the other day to turn the oven on.

Gently, with your fingers, peel the blackened parts off the peppers. With a sharp knife, cut a slit from top to bottom, being careful not to cut all the way through. Remove the seeds.

Gently mold some of the shredded cheese into logs and place inside the peppers. Overlap the cut edges of the peppers to enclose the cheese filling.

Put a couple spoonfuls of the diced tomatoes in the bottom of the casserole dish. Place the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce, then pour the remaining diced tomatoes over. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top, place in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

How's that for quick and easy? Only three ingredients... a quick easy meal on a busy weeknight. I served mine with brown rice and pinto beans.

I'm sending this recipe over to Heather at GirliChef for her Chiles in May Giveaway contest. What's she giving away? A copy of my new cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio, dried chiles, and chile pepper refrigerator magnets. There's still time to enter through the end of this month, so head on over to her blog and check out the contest.

Update on the Return of the Chili Queens Festival: Just got some good news. The CASI chili cook-off part of the festival is still on for the 24th, but haven't heard yet on the other activities.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Second Sunday San Antonio... May Round-Up

Happy Mother's Day!

Welcome to the second round-up for Second Sunday San Antonio, a Tex-Mex foodie blog event where we cook a recipe from my new cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio, once a month. Part of the fun of this is to see what the same recipe looks like when it's prepared by different people and how people may have changed it to suit their tastes.

The recipe we made, chosen by Chef Bliss, was Pork Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce.

Heather, GirliChef, loves a good competition and jumped right on the recipe. She was the first to make and post the recipe, with a few tweaks.

I made the recipe with a few tweaks of my own.

Debbie, The Friday Friends, a self-proclaimed procrastinator who also became a grandma of twin preemies, Eli and Emerson, two days ago, followed the recipe word-for-word and said it was so GOOD!! Since she'd never worked with serranos before she had to make margaritas to go with dinner. Or maybe it was before dinner.

Tiersa, Chef Bliss, who chose the recipe this month, waxed poetic about the recipes in my cookbook and added her own healthy flair to the recipe.

Since Heather, GirliChef, was the first to post for this month's Second Sunday San Antonio, she gets to choose the recipe we'll all make next month. She chose Chicken Chimichangas.
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 chipotle chile, seeded
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 (16 oz.) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
  • 2 (15.5 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil, for frying
Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan, cover with water and add the chipotle chile. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the chile has softened.

Remove the chile and chop it finely. Set aside.

Remove the chicken breasts and put them on a plate. Let cool slightly, then shred with two forks. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring.

Add the tomatillos and pinto beans. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly to break up the tomatillos and some of the beans.

Add the chopped chipotle chile. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Add the shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stack the tortillas together and cover with plastic wrap. Place in
the microwave and cook for 30 seconds.

Spoon the filling into the center of each warmed tortilla. Fold in both sides, then fold the bottom of the tortilla up and the top down to form a square packet. Moisten with water around the edges to seal.

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a 2-inch deep skillet and fry the chimichangas in batches until crisp, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

As I was typing this post, I was simultaneously thinking about the changes I'd make to this recipe. One of the changes I'll be making is to use fresh tomatillos instead of canned. Another change I'm planning to make is I won't be frying these chimichangas since I'm not real keen on frying. That's all I'm going to say for now. You'll have to wait to see what I've done when I post my Chicken Chimichangas later this month.

We'd love to have you cook with us for next month's Second Sunday San Antonio. The round-up will be posted on June 14th. Make the recipe (tweak it if you like) and post the picture of the dish on your blog, along with the badge and a link to this post (you don't need to include the recipe). Send me an email at gloriachadwick@gmail.com with the link to your post. If you're the first one to make and post Chicken Chimichangas, you get to choose the recipe we'll all make next month.

As an added bonus, if you make the recipe before the end of May, you can also submit it to Heather at GirliChef for her Chile Contest and Cookbook Giveaway. One of the ways to win is to make a recipe with chiles in it and this recipe qualifies because there's a chipotle chile in it. The prizes are a copy of my cookbook, dried chiles, and chile pepper refrigerator magnets.

Since Debbie and Tiersa posted their versions of Pork Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce this month (which has chile peppers), they can also send it to Heather for her chile round-up. Procrastination can be a good thing sometimes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Margaritas and Cinco de Mayo... A Day Late

Happy Cinco de Mayo... a day late. I really was planning a post for yesterday, complete with the history of Cinco de Mayo and some delicious Tex-Mex food to celebrate, but I just didn't have the time. Want to hear my excuses? They're good and they're true. I'm not making them up.

My daughter, Jennifer, is a firefighter (she works 24-hour shifts) and I watched my grandsons all day Sunday and Monday because she picked up an overtime shift on Monday. I didn't cook anything special because my grandsons only like quesadillas and beans. And then the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Market Square in San Antonio was canceled (probably because of the swine flu), so I couldn't really get into the spirit of things. And then, before I knew it, it was Tuesday and you know I have this thing for tacos on Tuesday. It's probably good that I didn't go downtown on Saturday to celebrate because I might have passed out from the heat or from too many margaritas I would have been drinking to keep myself hydrated, not to mention intoxicated.

Yesterday I was doing research for the a new cookbook I'm writing, cruising the web for info on margaritas (yes, there's going to be some good margaritas in the new cookbook. I know how much all of you enjoyed the margaritas at my cookbook's birthday party) and I found Margarita Texas. Oh happy day! I love this website. A young couple created this site to document their journey through restaurants in Texas to find the best margarita.

So, to make it up to you for not posting anything for Cinco de Mayo, I'm offering you margaritas from Margarita Texas... lots of margaritas... 52 to be exact. But please don't drink them all at one time. Pace yourself.

Or not. If you love margaritas and you're really thirsty, maybe you'd like to drink the world's largest margarita... the Big Rita.

Big Rita is 18 feet high and 12 feet wide. Big Rita weighs 64,000 pounds. That's 32 tons of margarita... 44,800 20 oz. drinks. That should last you for a while.

Let's have a drink to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day late. There's enough margaritas to last us for the rest of our lifetimes. Meet you in Margaritaville!

Oh, you want some food to soak up all the tequila? Okay. Recipe Girl made Margarita Cupcakes for Cinco de Mayo.

Enjoy! BTW, I don't want you guys to think I'm a lush; actually I'm not a drinker. I never touch the stuff. NOT!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turkey Tacos

Since I had some leftover meat from the Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos I made last week, I decided to wrap them in a flour tortilla and make some changes to the toppings to vary the taste a bit. They were a little bland the first time around so I added pepper jack cheese to give them a little more spicy heat.

I warmed the flour tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. After the first side browned and the tortilla puffed up, I flipped it over and added warmed refried beans, a sprinkling of Mexican Blend cheese, the warmed, seasoned turkey, and a generous sprinkling of pepper jack cheese. Additional toppings included sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and chopped Romaine lettuce.

These were perfect with the extra bit of heat from the pepper jack cheese.

Do you love tacos? Want to make tacos, or any variation of tacos, for Taco Tuesdays? The rules are easy because tacos are easy. Post your tacos on your blog with the badge and a link to Taco Tuesdays, then send me the link to your post at gloriachadwick@gmail.com. The round-up is posted on the third Tuesday each month.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chile Contest and a Cookbook Giveaway

Yesterday, I mentioned that Heather at GirliChef and I had cooked up a giveaway contest for the month of May. I'm still not going to tell you what it's all about; you'll have to visit GirliChef to find out the details, but I will tell you that it involves cooking with chiles and winning a copy of my cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio.

Heather made Chile Rellenos with Sauce to start the contest. These look so good that I'm going to make them this month, and probably a few more chile recipes. If you've never made Chile Rellenos before, you don't know what you're missing (they're absolutely delicious) and Heather walks you through it, step-by-step, with instructions and photos.

Heather is also giving away some chile prizes so I thought I'd toss in a few chile pepper refrigerator magnets to the winners on her blog.

GirliChef and her hubby, MexiChef, are both fantastic Tex-Mex cooks. She has a lot of really wonderful recipes on her blog, so click on over and check them out. We'll have you cooking with chiles in no time. And you could win a copy of my cookbook and chiles!

Want more chances to win my cookbook? Teresa, Mexican American Border Cooking, is giving away two copies of my cookbook and will draw the winners tomorrow. She's been making recipes from my cookbook every day this past week. All you have to do is visit her blog and leave a comment.