Monday, May 2, 2016

A Week of Chicago Eats!



We recently returned from a wonderful 6 night stay in Chicago and ate SO well. Chicago is a foodie city! My itinerary consisted of 3 restaurants a day(breakfast, lunch, dinner) and little else. Thankfully, we found things to do in between meals but the meals were definitely one of the highlights!



One thing we learned quickly is that location really is important. While there were tons of restaurants that sounded delicious, the thought of walking a mile or two, navigating bus stops, or paying for an Uber ride usually ended up killing the meal decision - with the exception of 1 spot. Thankfully, we were near some really great restaurants in the Near North Side part of town. We stayed at the Omni Hotel (fantastic!) and loved the location.

After our early flight in, we walked the two blocks for Saturday brunch at Beatrix. The restaurant has a bakery/coffee bar + table service. Evidently during the week, they also have a market restaurant that sells food in a salad bar type format by the pound.


The interior is airy, rustic, and casual. Jason was actually seated on a velvet sofa at our table - all the furniture was mix-matched.

 
I ordered a chai soy latte - it was delicious (and cheaper than Starbucks!)

 
For breakfast, Jason ordered the green chile enchiladas with scrambled eggs, roasted poblano peppers, baby kale, chihuahua and pepperjack cheese. I was immediately jealous.



I ordered the quinoa cakes with poached eggs and tomato basil sauce. It was delicious!



This was two thumbs up for us. Great service, reasonable prices, and good location.

For lunch that day, we walked over to Shake Shack. The last time we were in NYC, we missed our opportunity to try it so we were excited to finally get to! The place was an absolute madhouse on a beautiful Saturday afternoon so we took it back to our hotel to enjoy. I actually ate there twice on our trip - another time later in the week during our conference lunch break. MUCH less crowded on a weekday!



I loved the burgers, fries, and their tea was delicious. I don't really do dairy so can't attest to the shakes but the flavors sounded awesome! My friend ordered a shake and she seemed to love it. We need one of these in Charlotte :)

Later that night, we walked to XOCO, a Rick Bayless casual restaurant. He has several spots in Chicago but this one had been recommended as inexpensive but just as delicious. It's small, but even on a Saturday night we did not have a wait. You order at the counter and a hostess reserves a table for you - no table stalking needed!

To start, we ordered guacamole with bacon & queso fresco - delish!



I ordered the ahogada sandwich, which was carnitas and black beans in a tomato-chile broth. This reminded me of a french dip sandwich, in that it was amazing dipped in the broth. The broth was slightly spicy but just enough to give a nice kick at the end. The pork was tender and flavorful and the bread was perfectly grilled.


Jason ordered the cubana sandwich, which had smoked pork loin, bacon, black beans, avocado, jack cheese, and mustard. He said it was a bit spicy but delicious.


 On the way home - as if we hadn't eaten enough in one day - we stopped by Eataly. This was one of our favorite spots in NYC and while this was a smaller location, it was not nearly as crowded as the one in NYC seemed to stay. We checked out the Nutella bar:



And the temporary Limoncello bar:



And all the other goodies they have!

In our first day adventures, Jason spotted Ditkas, one of Mike Ditkas restaurants. He's evidently a legendary football guy :) Since they had a decent breakfast menu, we had Sunday breakfast there before heading to the Cubs game. We ate in the dining room (they had outdoor seating, dining room, or lounge/bar area to choose from):


I ordered eggs benedict, because if it's on the menu I can't order anything else. It was good!



Jason ordered biscuits and sausage gravy, which he liked. The gravy had a lot of flavor!



This was a nice spot; easy to get into, close to our hotel, and reasonably priced.

After a day of sightseeing, we were starving so we stopped into Giordano's for some deep dish pizza! You need to know that deep dish takes a looooong time to bake. Like, 45 minutes, so you might as well order a coke + an appetizer. Thankfully, the place has Dr. Pepper (Texas girl signing in!) and fried mozzarella sticks so we were good to go while we waited.

 
The pizza is ordered by the pie, and getting us to agree on a pizza is a miracle! We went with a meat pizza and it was loaded with layers of cheese and meat. Jason was in heaven! I pulled out most of the meat, piled it on his plate, and enjoyed the bread and cheese. I'm not much on pizza but I thought it was tasty! 1 slice must have weighed 5 pounds and I can't even begin to imagine the calorie count...


 The next afternoon, we found ourselves hungry and at the Macy's on State St. They have lots of food options but we stopped at the Seven on State St food court area and ordered from Frontera Fresco, a Rick Bayless spot.

I ordered the chipotle shrimp quesadilla, which came with a side salad. It was flavorful, delicious, and inexpensive! Jason also ordered a quesadilla and liked his, too. At 2pm on a Monday, this place was deserted and a nice spot to rest after lots of walking.


 That night my conference began so we walked over to Jake Melnick's Corner Tap for a quick dinner. The weather was gorgeous so we scored an outside table. This was probably the only real miss of the week. While the service started out great, she disappeared halfway through our meal and I actually had to leave him at the table waiting for the check in order to make my conference on time.

The menu was expansive and fairly reasonable in price. He ordered BBQ pork nachos and he liked them. Huge portion - we could have split them!


I ordered a chicken sandwich that was supposed to be marinated and grilled. What they neglected to mention was that between the marinating and grilling, someone rubbed cayenne pepper all over it. My face nearly melted off trying to eat it. The chicken was also not cooked as thoroughly as I like so the texture was unpleasant towards the center of the sandwich. I gave up and noshed on his nachos instead.


Overall? We wouldn't go back.

On Tuesday, I did lunch with a friend and we stopped into Saks Fifth Avenue, located right across the street from our conference, to dine at Sophie's.



The cafe is on the 7th floor looking out onto Michigan Ave. It's bright, airy, and really lovely.



In Chicago dollars, it wasn't anymore expensive than the multitude of spots surrounding us but perhaps had nicer ambience and better service.

I ordered the sandwich and soup combo, which also had a mixed green salad. I chose the mushroom cappuccino soup and the tuna salad sandwich - both were delicious. My friend ordered a sandwich and fries - she chose the togarashi fries so we could try them. They were tasty but very spicy!



Judging by the lunch crowd, this may be a hidden gem! It was really nice with great service. Reminded me a bit of the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus!

That night, we decided to try Sayat-Nova, a local Armenian restaurant recommended to us by some friends at the conference. It's a small, narrow spot located just off Michigan Ave. It's dark and cave-like inside and on one end, had a small jazz band performing.



We love baba ghannouj - and usually fight over it - but this version was mostly flavorless. The bread was good, though!


 I ordered the beef kebabs, served with a cup of red lentil soup. The soup was delicious!


 The beef was incredibly tender and a quality cut of meat. Loads of flavor!


Jason ordered the chicken couscous and was disappointed in his selection. The couscous needed a sauce and the one that accompanied it was too spicy to use. The chicken was tasty, though.

The service was hit and miss but overall, we'd dine there again. The live music was a plus!

For dinner the next night, we landed on the Grand Lux Cafe. I realize this is a chain spot but there aren't any near us so I figure it doesn't count :) It's owned by the same group as the Cheesecake Factory, and you can tell once you get inside. Big menu, huge restaurant, over-the-top interior, etc. We scored and were seated right at the windows facing Michigan Ave.


 I ordered the almond crusted trout and it was delicious!


Jason ordered the cedar planked BBQ salmon, and he liked it. Guess we were feeling fishy?


The service was great - some of the best of the week - and the food was tasty. Chain or not, it hit the spot.

Thursday brought my foodie highlight of the week - dinner at Girl and the Goat!

 
Even booking a reservation 2 months out, the best I could do was a 4:45pm reservation. Unlike our grandparents, we don't typically have dinner that early BUT it worked out perfect! We ate early that day, explored the entire Museum of Science and Industry until nearly closing time, and then took an Uber car to the restaurant. By the time we arrived, we were starving.

 
The interior is beautiful - tall ceilings, industrial modern tables, and great artwork. We lucked out and were seated at a two topper right at the front window. Everyone who food blogs knows natural light is where it's at ;) I was afraid it'd be high end and stuffy but it was anything but. Our waitress was friendly and casual, explaining the menu and advising us to order around 4 items for 2 hungry people (we ended up with 5).

 
The menu was separated into vegetables, fish, meat, bread, oysters, and goat.


It was SO hard to choose but we finally landed on 5 choices. The waitress chose which order to bring them out in.

First out was the roasted beets with green beans, white anchovy, avocado creme fraiche, and bread crumbs.




I ADORE beets, but hate turning my kitchen purple, so I especially loved this. Who knew you could add all those things to simple roasted beets and create such magic? The portion was huge and we weren't able to even eat half, sadly.

Next up was the goat carpaccio with smoked trout roe and olive-maple vinaigrette.


I'm a sucker for carpaccio and have usually had it topped with capers. The roe served that same role as capers - a nice bite of smoky salt. It was unbelievably delicious, though Jason decided he didn't like the texture. More for me!

The ham frites we had next were delish. They are topped with dehydrated powered ham, which gave a meaty, salty bite to each fry. The sauces were amazing, too. One is a smoked tomato aioli and the other a cheddar beer sauce. Yum!



We also ordered the goat empanadas, which were topped with a strawberry salsa and served on an avocado smear. Since the carpaccio is light in flavor, this was our first real chance to taste goat, which neither of us remembered having before. The empanadas were stuffed with meat and really delicious. This was probably our favorite!



To end, we enjoyed the calamari bruschetta with clam baguette, goat milk ricotta, goat bacon, and green tomato. I could have eaten this as my meal all on it's own! The calamari was cooked perfectly and the flavors were just delicious.



The service was outstanding; our waitress was great as were the various food runners and managers wandering about. For the amount of food (not to mention quality!), I thought it was a downright steal of a meal. I'm so glad we trekked out of the downtown area to enjoy it!

Before leaving town the next day, Jason had to try the pot roast nachos he spotted on the menu at Ditka's so after checking out of our hotel, we wandered over for lunch. This time, we ate in the lounge area.

I ordered a lunch combo of soup and sandwich - it was very good! I chose the grilled chicken avocado sandwich and a cup of crab minestrone soup.



Jason ordered, of course, the nachos. I think they were everything he hoped they would be :)



On my must-do list was a stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes. I just had to see if they lived up to their reputation!



Once I saw the cupcake smothered in sprinkles, I knew my choice. Jason ordered the lemon meringue. And... we ordered 3 pupcakes for my babies (who practically inhaled them when we got home).

 
We didn't use the ATM but I was fascinated by it. Charlotte, we need a cupcake ATM!



The sprinkle cupcake was 'eh' - I mean, I ate it but it wasn't anything big. His cupcake, though? One of the best we've ever had. It was AMAZING.

All in all, we noshed out way through Chicago and had a blast. Let me know if you have any questions about any of our stops!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Herb Pasta and Meatballs (one pot!)



Incredible flavor made in just 1 pot - pasta included! Meatballs are browned and then nestled in a creamy herb based sauce and cooked alongside egg noodles. This recipe is quick, easy, and perfect for busy weeknights!

Spring usually means longer days spent outside - whether it's yardwork, ball practice, or just enjoying the sun. I always find that I hibernate in the winter evenings but am anxious to get out of the house when it's so beautiful outside! Charlotte in the spring is especially lovely so I've been reaching for quick and easy weeknight meals. Who wants to stay inside and cook or do dishes? This recipe is perfect!

You quickly mix together Boursin cheese and ground beef to create small meatballs. Brown the meatballs in your pan, remove, then make the creamy herb sauce. Once it's going, you add the quick cooking egg noodles and browned meatballs back in the pan to finish cooking. Add a little more Boursin and some chives and you've got dinner!

Boursin cheese is a soft cheese - often flavored - found in your specialty cheese section of the grocery store. I used garlic and herb but you could switch it up. 


Herb Pasta & Meatballs
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package garlic and herb Boursin cheese
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
8 ounces egg noodles
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Combine beef, 5 tablespoons Boursin cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and gently combine. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook meatballs until well browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs to plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Add the onion to the reserved fat and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and stir, cooking until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broth, noodles, and wine and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to med-low, and cook, stirring often, until pasta begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through and noodles are al dente, about 4 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the  remaining Boursin cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Source: adapted from Cooks Country Magazine

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Charred Eggplant with Chermoula



Quick charred eggplant slices are topped with a complex, bright, and flavorful sauce. The perfect side dish for your spring grilling, or paired with your favorite kebab recipe!

I don't use eggplant much, and for that reason, I'm not overly comfortable with it. I wasn't even sure this recipe would be a winner, though I knew the sauce sounded right up our alley.

Thankfully, the eggplant was easy to cook and tasted amazing with the sauce! The char on the eggplant gives great flavor and the sauce takes it over the top. It's bright, fresh, and perfect for spring. Chermoula is a traditionally Moroccan marinade or sauce typically comprised of fresh herbs, spices, and oil.Though chermoula sounds super fancy, it's embarrassingly easy to make thanks to your food processor. You can even whip it up a day or two ahead of time if that makes your meal prep even easier!



Charred Eggplant with Chermoula
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray
2 medium eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices

Add the cumin, coriander, rind, salt, paprika, red pepper, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. With the processor on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until just blended.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add a layer of eggplant slices to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes per side, or until tender and slightly charred. Remove to a platter and repeat the process with the remaining slices.

Drizzle the prepared sauce over the eggplant and serve.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light April 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wingstop Copycat Lemon Pepper Boneless Wings



You can easily make lemon pepper boneless wings that taste just like the ones you love at Wingstop! Crispy, buttery, and loaded with lemon pepper, these zesty boneless wings will disappear before you know it!

Wingstop is our favorite wing spot, though they have been hard to find here in North Carolina! While all their flavors are tasty, the lemon pepper is out of this world good! Instead of driving nearly 30 minutes away to get our lemon pepper fix, I decided to try and recreate it at home!

Boneless wings are easier to make than you'd think. You're essentially making chicken nuggets and then coating them in a sauce. I like to double coat my chicken and then let it rest in the fridge to really help that breading stick throughout the frying process. It works like a charm - I didn't lose the coating on any of my pieces! Once they are browned, you're ready to simply toss them in a buttery lemon pepper sauce before serving.

They are crispy, juicy, and bursting with lemon pepper flavor. This will be your family's favorite meal of the week!


Wingstop Copycat Lemon Pepper Boneless Wings
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
Flour (I use several cups)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and pepper
10 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a separate shallow bowl, add a few cups flour and lots of salt and pepper.

Using tongs, coat each chicken piece in the egg first, followed by flour, and again in egg, and a second coat of flour. Place all the battered chicken on a plate and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Once ready to fry, add 2 inches of oil to a deep pan like a Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees. Add the chicken and fry in batches for 5-6 minutes, or until well browned on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

In a large bowl, melt 10 tablespoons butter in the microwave at 20 second increments or until melted. Whisk in the lemon pepper seasoning. Add the chicken and toss gently to coat all the pieces.

Serve hot.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin



Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and incredibly delicious! This easy recipe results in unbelievably moist and tender pork which can be cooked either inside or outside on the grill.

Pork tenderloin is probably one of my favorite cuts of meat, thanks to it's moist flavor and lean meat. While easy to prepare, I tend to get in a rut and reach for the same ol' recipes. Pork tenderloin is perfect on it's own, without being buried under sauces or other ingredients. Unlike chicken, it needs just a good crust of flavor to make it shine. Which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight meal!

This rub needs no time to marinade and uses staple pantry items. Depending on the weather, you can either toss it on the grill or make it in house. It was a particularly rainy evening when I made it so I did it in the house and it was perfect!

Serve it alongside two of your favorite veggies and dinner is made!


Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
vegetable oil

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the pork and oil. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 450. 

Rub the pork with about 1 teaspoon oil and then rub and press the spices to all sides of the pork. 

Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the hot skillet and drizzle in some oil. Add the pork and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Flip the pork and reduce heat to 400; cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 155F.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

***IF GRILLING: Preheat your gas or charcoal grill. Once the pork is well coated with the spice mixture, place the pork on the grill. Cover and let cook over medium-heat for 17-20 minutes, turning several times, or until the internal temperature reads 155F. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Source: adapted from Betty Crocker

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie (1 pan - no bowls!)


This cookie will change your {baking} life! A gooey, chocolately, warm cookie is prepared and baked in the same skillet! You know what that means? No bowls, no mixer, no mess - yes!

I love baked goods... and I like the idea of baking until I get to the pile of dishes spread all over my kitchen. And can we talk about the flour that gets everywhere? All that sifting and stirring... mixing and resting... it just begs for me to stop by Costco and grab something sweet there instead. If you love that part of baking, you'll be sad making this cookie. But for those like me, that really just enjoy the eating part of baking, this will change your life.

You literally mix the ingredients right in the pan, press it down, and bake. 20 minutes later, you're noshing on hot, gooey chocolate chip cookie. You can mix in other kinds of chips, nuts, sprinkles, whatever floats your boat. My husband drowns his in ice cream while I like to eat it in it's purest form. Regardless of your method, you won't regret trying it.

I blogged this recipe nearly 5 years ago (!!!) and, while I've made it dozens of times since, neglected to give it a better pic and more love (typically because my husband is already slicing it up before I can grab the camera!). Regardless of what I throw in, it's consistently good.


Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1.5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. While it's preheating, add the butter to an 8 inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven. Watch carefully and remove once the butter has just melted; leave oven on.

To the melted butter, add both sugars and vanilla and stir until well combined. Let rest for 5 minutes, or until the pan is warm but not very hot.

Crack the egg into the butter/sugar mixture and use a fork to whisk until well combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the pan; carefully mix together until it starts to become a thick dough. Add the chocolate chips and continue stirring to combine. 

Using a spatula, press the dough into the bottom of the pan, making sure it's even.

Bake in preheat oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are browned and set and the center is soft. Allow to cool slightly before slicing into wedges. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beef with Broccoli



An easy version of a favorite Chinese take-out dish! Tender beef is marinated then quickly cooked along with fresh broccoli. Restaurant quality... at home!

I love love love Chinese food! I tend to rotate between several different dishes but, if I trust the restaurant's meat quality, beef with broccoli is one of my top choices. Have you ever ordered beef at a restaurant and gotten chewy, cheap cuts of meat instead? Yeah, that's why I love making things at home!

Beef with broccoli is super simple to make. This recipe uses a quick marinade to ensure your beef is fork tender and quick cooking helps the broccoli from being overcooked and limp. The sauce? Flavorful, not runny, and enough in the pan for you to smother your rice in.

I'm not the only one scooping out sauce to drizzle all over my rice, am I?

Put down the take-out menu and whip this up instead!


Beef with Broccoli
For the marinade:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5 lbs flank steak, cut into thin strips against the grain

For the rest of the dish:
1 cup low sodium soy sauce 
4 tablespoons brown sugar
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sherry
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb broccoli florets

In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Place the sliced steak into a gallon size ziplock and pour the marinade ingredients over top. Seal, toss gently, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 

When ready to cook, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour, and sherry. Set aside.

In a large wok or pan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the broccoli and saute for 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high and carefully add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the marinated steak and half of the prepared sauce. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the broccoli and remaining sauce and saute another minute.

Serve hot.

Source: adapted from Rainy Day Gal

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crispy Shrimp Tacos (Encamaronadas)



Melted cheese, chopped shrimp, and salsa are folded into a corn tortilla and fried until crispy. These tacos are quick to make (just 15 minutes!), done in just 1 pan, and will disappear before you know it!

Tacos are sorta a big deal in Texas. You can buy them just about anywhere - though the best are usually found at a taco stands set up in parking lots. Don't worry - it's not as shady as it sounds. And while I've found a few solid taco options, I do miss some of the variety found in Texas.

Thankfully, I found a great recipe to make at home! These tacos are heads above most of the restaurant tacos I've ordered. The crispy shell you achieve through frying automatically makes them fantastic but the stuffing is also amazing! I took a Rick Bayless recipe (he's the best!) and streamlined it a bit to make it more weeknight friendly. Honestly, these don't even need to be for dinner - they would be amazing at a Super Bowl party or the like. I refuse to admit how many we plowed through the night I made them. They are addictive!

Don't be discouraged if you don't master the taco flip the first time. I tore my first tortilla and lost my stuffing but thanks to the cheese holding it all together, it still fried up okay and tasted great - it just wasn't pretty. The key is to not over-stuff them or you'll lose half the shrimp in your pan.

Shrimp cooks up super fast so have everything ready to go - you should be able to make this in 15 minutes, start to finish. You could dunk them in sour cream or guacamole if you feel so inclined but they certainly don't need it!


Crispy Shrimp Tacos
8-10 corn tortillas
3/4 cup store-bought refrigerated salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
vegetable oil, for frying

In a deep skillet over medium heat, add a swirl of oil. Once hot, add the salsa. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the diced shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are just about cooked through (they will finish cooking in the taco). Transfer the shrimp/salsa mixture to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

Add a heavy film of oil to the skillet and heat to medium-high. Once hot, place a tortilla in the oil and cook a few seconds. Using tongs, gently flip and then add a couple tablespoons cheese and, using a slotted spoon, about 1 tablespoon shrimp/salsa filling. Using tongs, carefully fold half the tortilla over to make a taco. Gently press flat. Cook until both sides are crispy, about 2-3 minutes a side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Source: adapted from Rick Bayless


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