Tofu Burrito

Before I decided to make this Tofu Burrito, I was trying to make a different dish with eggs. I tried over a few weeks to get it to work based on the directions. Easy it said. Not in the least. So I put that on the back burner to make a different dish so that I could at least get a post done this month. Have you ever run into the proverbial brick wall with a recipe?

Last weekend, my husband and I decided to play hooky from working on the house. It’s a Victorian Queen Anne and while we love old homes, it becomes a drag at times with the constant long list of to-dos. It was a gorgeous autumn day so we went hiking into the woods. Being out in nature does wonders for the mind and makes it easier to take deep breaths.

We found a fabulous cafe in our travels for lunch and my husband ordered their tofu burrito. The only complaint he had was they didn’t use cilantro (coriander leaf). Because our son also loves burritos I decided to recreate this dish for them. My son was shocked I have never eaten a burrito in my life. He looked at me like I had three heads! How have I survived? ūüėČ

Technique for Tofu Burrito

This dish couldn’t be simpler to make. Make the rice while you prepare the filling. White rice or brown rice is fine. I went with white rice as it can cook in half the time and I wanted a quick dish for the week night.

Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Cook the beans and corn until the corn thaws.

Add the hot pepper, for this dish I used a cayenne pepper from the garden. Also add the scallion (spring onion), garlic and tofu. Saut√© until the onion begins to soften. Add the chili powder, cumin and lime juice. Don’t worry about the level of seasoning until after you add the rice.

Add the sweet pepper and cilantro (coriander leaf). I add the sweet pepper last so there is a bit of crunch.

Add the rice and mix well. Check the level of seasoning and adjust as needed. I added a bit more lime juice at this point. Then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Lay out the burrito wrap. Add the shredded cheese and top with the burrito filling. Wrap tightly.

Serve with salsa and sour cream. My son said this was really good. High praise from a 15 year old and he went back for seconds.

Tofu Burrito

A vegetarian dish with tofu and black beans

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Tofu Burrito
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Our Growing Paynes

Ingredients

  • 6 burrito wraps
  • 1 cup dry white rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice, chopped
  • 2 scallions (spring onions), sliced
  • 1 cup cubed tofu
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaf)
  • 1 small sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions

  2. Blot the excess moisture from the tofu.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Cook the black beans and corn until the corn has thawed.

  4. Add the scallions, hot pepper, garlic and tofu. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the chili pepper, cumin and lime juice. Mix well.

  5. Add the sweet pepper and cilantro. Sauté again for a few minutes. Then add the cooked rice. Check the level of seasoning and adjust as needed. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Add cheese on top of a wrap and spoon the mixture over the cheese. Wrap tightly and serve.

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Chicken Flautas

I find it interesting the so called shortcuts people like to take when cooking. How so much processed food seems to be the go to when they don’t really save time or money. In fact, it’s more expensive for the most part. When I was doing my pinning on Pinterest I came across a recipe for Chicken Flautas that called for canned chicken that came already seasoned. I wouldn’t want to even guess what preservatives and junk would also be in that can. No way, thank you.

I mean, how hard is it to mix a few ingredients together and slow cook chicken? Not very hard! While I cooked the chicken in the oven, you can use a slow cooker and walk away.

Our garden is doing so much better than last year so this is dish was a great way to use what is just outside our door. I was able to use tomatoes, hot peppers and sweet peppers for this meal.

Technique for Chicken Flautas

Pre heat the oven to 300F/150C.

Mix the marinade ingredients and make sure the chicken is coated. I cooked twice as much chicken so I could use some for salads and lunches.

Slow cook for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and shreds easily. Using two forks, tear the chicken apart.

Set aside. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Saut√© the onions, mushrooms and garlic until the onions begin to soften. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken, seasonings, lime juice and chicken stock. Stir well and simmer. You want to reduce the liquid so the mixtures stays moist but isn’t overly liquid.

Heat up the vegetable oil in a saucepan to about 335F/170C.

Place the filling on flour tortillas. I accidentally bought quinoa flour gluten free tortillas. I was a bit worried that this would end up a failure. Thankfully they fried up well. Roll the tortillas tightly and spear with a toothpick. Fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain and place on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the extra oil.

In an attempt to keep this somewhat healthy, I served it over a bed of lettuce. I chopped up a fresh tomato, a spring onion and cilantro to top along with queso fresco. You can also serve with dollops of sour cream or guacamole.

Chicken Flautas

Slow cooked chicken, seasoned with hot peppers, then wrapped in deep fried goodness.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Chicken Flautas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Our Growing Paynes

Ingredients

Shredded Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Chicken Flautas filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 mushroom, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro (coriander leaf)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Tomato and Spring Onion

  • 1 tomato, coarsly chopped
  • 1 small spring onion, chopped
  • dash lime juice
  • sea salt to taste

Completing Chicken Flautas

  • 1/2 deep sauce pan of vegetable oil
  • 12 half 8" flour tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco

Instructions

Shredded chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.

  2. Mix the ingredients together in a baking dish and add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is nearly covered and coated. Bake for 3-4 hours until the chicken is fork tender. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Set aside.

Chicken Flautas filling

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Sautè the onions, garlic and mushrooms until the onions start becoming soft. Add the peppers and the chicken. Mix in the seasonings, lime juice and chicken stock. Simmer until the liquid is nearly reduced to zero. You want the mixture moist but not overly wet.

Tomato and Spring Onion

  1. Add the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Completing the Chicken Flautas

  1. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of filling onto each half tortilla. Roll tightly and secure with a toothpick. Heat the vegetable oil to 335F/ 170C. Deep fry the flautas until golden and crispy. Drain and place on kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.

  2. Place the flautas on a bed of lettuce, top with the tomato and spring onion along with the cheese. Serve immediately.

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato

I’ve discovered, in our local co-op, a sweet potato called Hannah Sweet Potato (sometimes called a yam) which has a lovely flavour without being overly earthy like the normal sweet potato. I found a recipe for Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato by Simply Quinoa that looked interesting. Something easily adaptable to what I had on hand.

I was struck, as I made this while watching the rain come down for weeks on end, how lucky we are to have readily available ingredients. If we have a bad season in the garden it isn’t make or break. I’ve been watching Wartime Farm on YouTube which is a documentary about what the farmers had to go through in the UK during WWII. The historians living as they did in the ’40’s struggled with the wet weather. During wartime it would be catastrophic. If you like history and/or homesteading, it’s a fascinating 8 part series.

I do wonder how many people would thrive or survive in those conditions now. We live in a time of buying one use items, fast food, fast fashion etc. I do hope the trend of getting back to basics continues. There are a lot of skills that shouldn’t be lost.

Technique for Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato

Here is my version of this dish based on what we had and what we like. But that’s the beauty of this dish, very versatile.

Roast the sweet potatoes and cook the quinoa according to the directions. Rinse the black beans and drain. Chop the veg. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet.

Start by sautéing the garlic, scallions and mushrooms.

Add the beans and corn. Cook for several minutes as the corn is frozen when tossed in. Add the spices and lime juice.

Near the end of cooking add the pepper. I always add the pepper so it just cooks but still stays crunchy. I really don’t like mushy peppers.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through cut them in half. Combine the quinoa, tomatoes and veg together. Spoon over the potatoes and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Add a dollop of sour cream and serve.

It’s a very inexpensive, very filling and very tasty meal.

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato

An inexpensive flavourful vegetarian meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Our Growing Paynes

Ingredients

  • 2 Hannah sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and cooked
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1-2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp habanero flakes optional
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tomato, coarsely chopped
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream to top

Instructions

  1. Bake the sweet potato at 400F/200C in the oven until tender. Cook the quinoa according to instructions on the packet.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Sautè the garlic, mushrooms and scallions for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the beans and corn along with the spices, lime juice and cilantro. Cook for several minutes then add the pepper.

  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, slice them in half. Combine the veg, quinoa and tomato then spoon over the potato halves. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream. Serve while hot.

Tomatillo Steak Salad

Autumn may be flowing in, thank goodness, but I’m not above having a nice salad. ¬†Even though it wasn’t intended. ¬†How would a salad happen accidentally? ¬†It’s easy when you are having a flighty moment.

I definitely knew I wanted to do grilled skirt steak with a tomatillo sauce. ¬†I was thinking a rustic type of sauce to act as the veg portion of the dinner. ¬†That didn’t work out as you will see.

tomatillo-dressing-1-2016

We didn’t have much luck with growing tomatillos the past few years so we didn’t attempt it this year but luckily the farmer’s market had some. ¬†Our garden has produced a bumper crop of hot peppers. ¬†I just wish tomatillos weren’t so sticky once you peel the papery covering off. ¬†Cut the tomatillos in half and keep the pepper whole. ¬†Fire up the grill and roast the tomatillos and pepper until they start to char. ¬†You don’t want charcoal veg as a result so keep an eye on this as it will cook quickly.

tomatillo-dressing-2-2016

As I said my plan was to have a rustic meal but I realised a grilled potato and a bit of steak wouldn’t cut it. ¬†When I did up¬†the sauce it became more of a dressing rather than a veg side. ¬†So salad it was! ¬†Using a food processor add the tomatillos and pepper. ¬†I kept the seeds to give it a kick. ¬†Throw in a couple of cloves of garlic, a teaspoon or so of cilantro, and a few splashes of lime juice and olive oil. ¬†Blend.

tomatillo-dressing-3-2016

I kept the steak simple seasoned with sea salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce.  Because it is grass fed be careful on how hot you cook it.  Sear then lower the heat.  Keeps it tender. Slice the steak and top with the tomatillo sauce. Any leftover sauce can be frozen for later.

Mexican Stuffed Mushroom and It’s a Freaking Clock

I should preface this post by saying I have friends that are teachers and they are excellent at what they do.  But as in every profession you will have a good number of bad apples.  As anyone who has been out and about this week would have heard, a smart kid got arrested for making a clock.

We live in a culture that celebrates the empty headedness of the Kardashians rather than celebrate and encourage kids to use their brains.  So a 14 year old who is smart and mechanical made a clock.  The teacher decided it was a threat and it escalated from there.  He gets hauled off in handcuffs and while charges were dropped he is still suspended!

What should have happened, instead of the knee jerk reaction the teacher went with, was the 14 year old brings in a homemade clock. ¬†The teacher not understanding should have taken 5 seconds to ask the student what it was. ¬†Why it’s a clock, and I made it. ¬†Oh cool. ¬†End of. ¬†But no, school security is called then the police. ¬†What I find incredibly sad is not once did common sense prevail. ¬†You have several adults involved up to the point he is removed from the school and no one thought anything was wrong with this scenario. ¬†And the school is saying now they did nothing wrong, they even sent home a memo patting themselves on the back, and they claim they can give him a good education. ¬†If this happened to my child they would not go back to this school.

And you wonder why we’re in the state we’re in. ¬†On the flip side it is heartwarming to see MIT, NASA, and even the White House supporting him. ¬†I bet he’ll go far.

The other night I needed a quick meal for my husband and I. ¬†Because of my back and hip, I can’t walk both dogs so I have to wait for my husband to come home. ¬†Which means some nights we are looking at a late dinner. ¬†Therefore I need something that can cook quickly but still be delicious.

We had some ground beef to use up so I bought large portobello caps and planned on doing a stuffed mushroom with Mexican flavours.

Mexican mushroom 1 2015

I am finding with the days getting shorter I’m losing the light! ¬†Natural light is so important for photos but alas unless I make dinner at lunch time I’ll be out of luck.

In a skillet with a bit of olive oil brown the ground beef.

Mexican mushroom 2 2015

Chop up some onion, garlic, sweet pepper, and hot pepper.  Saute to soften the onions.

Mexican mushroom 3 2015

When the meat is halfway cooked start cooking the mushrooms at 350F/175C.  Because the mushrooms are big they can take awhile to cook.  Add a few mushrooms, sliced, to the meat mixture.  Season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and hot sauce.  The amounts are up to you depending on how hot you want your dish.  Add a splash of lime juice and some cilantro.

Mexican mushroom 4 2015

Spoon the mixture onto the mushroom caps and top with shredded cheese.

Mexican mushroom 5 2015

Bake until everything is heated through and the cheese has melted.  Top with salsa and sour cream to serve.

Mexican mushroom 6 2015

This is very filling without being too heavy. ¬†And I love the spice of this dish. ¬†ūüôā

Spicy Sausage and Bursting with Pride

It’s been quite the week with the kids and the end of year celebrations. ¬†Even though I’m not a fan of so called graduations at a level below the end of high school I still enjoy cheering them on. ¬†Our son had his 5th grade recognition and received the President’s Award for Academic Improvement. ¬†Each child had to do a mini speech about their favourite memory from school. ¬†They did really well. ¬†It’s not easy speaking in front of a crowd. ¬†And the poor kid was struggling through a cold from hell.

Our daughter had her 8th grade recognition yesterday.  Somehow she managed to go four years straight without missing a day of school.  I have no idea what that is like.  I was always sick growing up.  She also achieved high honours 11 out of the 12 quarters.  We are so proud of our kids and what they have achieved so far.

It’s quite something to see how they are doing on their journey.

We had a chilly day a week ago and my son requested pasta so comfort food was on deck. ¬†A local farm had some lovely jalapeno sausages. ¬†Good ones too, not like the mealy ones we kept getting at the co-op. ¬†So I’ll have to buy them as she has them!

Because of the jalapeno I wanted to go with Mexican flavours to highlight the heat.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 1 2015

Begin by browning the sausages in the skillet with a bit of olive oil. ¬†Brown all the sides but don’t worry about cooking all the way through. ¬†They’ll be finished off in the dish.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 2 2015

Set aside and add a few cloves of garlic, chopped, and a few mushrooms, sliced.  Saute until the garlic is softened.  Then add chopped peppers and scallions.  Cook for a minute or so then add a chopped tomato.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 3 2015

Add a cup of homemade stock and bring to a simmer.  Slice the sausages and add to the mixture.  Next add a tablespoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of chili powder, a couple of teaspoons of cumin, and salt and pepper to season.  Chop up some fresh cilantro and stir in at the end. Once the sausage is cooked through add the pasta and toss well.

Jalapeno sausage and pasta 4 2015

Top with a bit of sour cream and shredded cheese. ¬†I really liked this as comfort food. ¬†Loads of flavour and colour. ¬†And it chased away the chill. ¬†ūüôā

Tostadas and That Boy has My Number

It’s Mother’s Day stateside tomorrow. ¬†Luckily we have the kids this week and I suspect I might be spoiled once again with fabulous food and having fun with playing games. ¬†Perfect if you ask me. ¬†ūüôā

As a parent there is always the worry that your child will resent you for being, well, a parent.  I constantly worry about that being a step-parent.  Yesterday, as my son and I were going a few rounds of I forgot my water bottle at school and I forgot my homework, he showed me what he had to do for writing a short paragraph.  The assignment was to write about what he appreciated.  It was all about how he appreciated his two moms because we help with his homework, we care, we teach him street smarts, and we love him.  You can not stay annoyed with your child when presented with this!  I even missed the words that were misspelled.  Does he know how to play me or what?  LOL  It also means the world to me when I get to read stuff like that.  Being bonus mum to our two kids is such a gift.

This past Monday, in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d make homemade tostadas. ¬†I’ve been playing round with fresh corn tortillas but haven’t really liked them. ¬†Well I should say they worked for soft tacos but I was underwhelmed with the flavour. ¬†I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. ¬†Recently we went to an authentic Latin restaurant that had amazing food and wouldn’t you know it, I’ve been making them correctly! ¬†So I decided to play with adding some ingredients to punch up the flavour first.

Before we get to the tortilla bit the meat has to be prepared first.  I chose to slow cook the steak in the oven like I did with the pulled pork.  Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.  I did a quick mixture of 2 tablespoons of chili powder, a couple of teaspoons of cumin, salt and pepper, and a few dashes of adobe seasoning.  Rub the steaks and put into the baking dish.  Add 1/2 a cup of chicken stock and a couple of tablespoons of fresh lime juice.

Tostadas 1 2015

This needs to cook for about 4 hours.  Like the pulled pork you want the meat to easily be shredded.  This is the most difficult part of the dish.  So you can see this is an easy dinner to make!  I wanted to make twelve tostadas about 4in/10cm in diameter.  In a bowl add 1 1/2 cups of masa, a tablespoon of chili powder, and a pinch of salt.  For the liquid you need a cup.  I added a tablespoon of lime juice and then the rest was water to make up that cup.

Tostadas 2 2015Mix well and then knead until the dough is fully incorporated.

Tostadas 3 2015Divide into 12 equal pieces and form them into balls.  Line both sides of the tortilla press with cling film and place a ball of dough in the middle.

Tostadas 4 2015

Press down to flatten.

Tostadas 5 2015

Heat up a dry skillet on medium high.  Cook the tortillas about 30-45 seconds on each side.  They will puff a little bit and start to brown.

Tostadas 6 2015

Wrap the cooked tortillas in a tea towel until it is time to fry.  This keeps them warm and soft.  Set aside as you prep the rest of the meal. Shred the beef and add chopped pepper and onion to the beef and cook for a few minutes.

Tostadas 7 2015Keep the beef warm while frying the tortillas in vegetable oil.  As you fry them transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen roll.

Tostadas 8 2015

Once done layer all the ingredients.  For mine I layered sour cream, cheese, salsa, tomato, lettuce, and avocado over the beef.

Tostadas 9 2015

This was a fun meal to have. ¬†It is super easy to make and it’s fun for the kids to assemble their own with what they want. ¬†And the lime and chili in the tostadas worked really well.

Pollo a La Espa√Īola

If you are a parent you know watching your kids grow is fascinating, sometimes frustrating, and most of the time a wonderful thing to watch.¬† You also know it isn’t a continuous curve of growth.¬† They’ll tick a long and suddenly there is a leap forward.

Our daughter tried out for the Honors Band for our state.  They pick the best 8th graders to participate.  Last week they had the day of rehearsal and they practice all day long before the concert.  A lot of hard work went into the pieces they performed and I was blown away at how well they did.  The music was very technical and sounded excellent.  I was sitting there thinking how far she has come in just a few years.  She is really coming into her own on so many levels.  It is a joy to watch.

Our son has been making leaps of his own.¬† We had a great parent teacher conference last week.¬† He’s seeing the result of hard work in his report card and his teacher is encouraging him to speak up for the class.¬† Apparently a student at school was wiping the white board and posters have gone missing.¬† So the principal made an announcement to the whole school that the 5th grade can no longer move about the school without a teacher.¬† My son thought this terribly unfair so his teacher is encouraging him to meet with the principal to discuss this. What a great opportunity!¬† His teacher said to us that he was confused about the way the issue has been handled so we are all curious what the answers are going to be.

On to the food!¬† ūüôā

I bought some chicken thighs to do a Spanish dish called Pollo a La Espa√Īola that I found in a cookbook I found at our library sale.¬† It’s called The Complete Spanish Cookbook by Pepita Aris.

It’s a mild but flavourful dish and relatively easy to make during the week when it is hectic.

Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

In a large skillet heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  Rub paprika on all sides of the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper.  Pan fry both sides to brown.

Pollo a La Espanola 1 2015

Place in the oven to finish cooking.¬† In the skillet add about 3/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped, and a 1/2 cup of pancetta.¬† I use uncured pancetta and sometimes it doesn’t have the full saltiness.¬† Just something to keep in mind when adjusting the seasoning.

Polo a La Espanola 2 2015

Cook until the onions soften then add a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and a few teaspoons of fresh thyme.¬† I added this because we didn’t have any parsley like the recipe called for.

Pollo a La Espanola 3 2015

Stir and bring to a simmer.  Add about a cup of chopped bell peppers.  I love how colourful this dish is.

Pollo a La Espanola 4 2015

Adjust the seasoning with paprika and the salt and pepper.

Pollo a La Espanola 5 2015

Serve with rice of your choice and enjoy!

On a side note, it seems I can no longer do my posts in the classic mode.¬† Not thrilled with that and I’ve noticed that pictures I post are showing as smaller than they showed before.¬† The files sizes are the same as before.¬† Any idea on how to fix that?

Jalapeno Relish – Think It’s Finally Hot Enough!

Before we rolled up our sleeves and tackled the house we had to contend with frost warnings.¬† After a flurry of pepper picking I had to do something with them so they didn’t go to waste.¬† Because we have a lot of hot peppers, jalapeno relish sounded like a good idea.

Not only was a it a good idea it is a really quick relish to make when you list is long.  In fact it is faster to do it than this post!  I followed this recipe for the most part to make my relish.

Jalapeno relish 1 2014

This is all done in the food processor.¬† I sliced about 12 jalapenos and 1-2 Ring O Fire peppers.¬† I figured I was going to make this really hot for my husband.¬† I keep trying with the heat but while he enjoys the hot stuff I make it doesn’t seem to blow him away like it does me.¬† He likes things spicy!

Jalapeno relish 2 2014

Add 4-5 cloves of garlic, half a small onion, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, and a large handful of cilantro.

Jalapeno relish 3 2014

Pulse away until you get the consistency you want.  Freeze or can the extra relish.

Jalapeno relish 4 2014

And yes this blew him away.¬† ūüôā¬† Finally!¬† It’s hot enough to use sparingly on dishes.

Taking Risotto South of the Border

You know when you get a flash of inspiration and get excited, tell someone, and their response is “Erm, ok”?¬† That was my husband and me last night!¬† He had asked for risotto but I wasn’t in the mood for the usual one we do.¬† After debating in my head what to do I decided on doing a chilli sort of risotto.¬† I think that bit is what my husband wasn’t excited about as it brought to mind beans and the like.¬† I reassured him that I was thinking of the flavours instead of a full on chilli.

This is an easy dish to prep ahead of time if you are rushing about.¬† Our daughter tried out for the football team (soccer) at school and she did well enough to get on the A team.¬† Which considering she hasn’t played since she was about 5 was an excellent effort.¬† So we now deal with the practices and games, including a practice last night.¬† Hence the prep in advance.¬† First game this afternoon!

Southwestern risotto 1 2014

In a saucepan bring to a boil homemade chicken stock.  You will need 4-5 cups depending on how much aborio rice you use.  In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter then add a small chopped onion to saute.  Once the onions have softened add 3 chopped cloves of garlic and saute for a couple of minutes more.  Then add 1-1 1/2 cups of aborio rice to the skillet and stir well.  Add a few splashes of lime juice and chipotle tabasco sauce.

Southwestern risotto 2 2014

Add a cup of stock and stir well.  Gradually add the stock, letting the aborio absorb the liquid.

Southwestern risotto 3 2014

As the risotto cooks begin to add the seasoning.  I added ground cumin, chilli powder, ground cayenne pepper, and dried oregano.  When the risotto is halfway cooked add half a cup of frozen corn and a few sliced mushrooms.

Southwestern risotto 4 2014

After a few minutes add a chopped bell pepper and a sliced jalapeno.  Keep adding the stock.  When it is almost cooked add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and some chopped tomatoes.  Stir well and adjust the seasoning and the lime as needed.  Add a few chopped teaspoons of fresh cilantro and serve.

Southwestern risotto 6 2014

Grate some more parmesan cheese over the top and add a dollop of sour cream on top.  My husband and the kids really enjoyed this twist on risotto.  I loved the heat in this dish.  Of course, if you want the spice to knock your socks off add more hot pepper!