Tag Archives: jalapenos

Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Brussels

Well, we’re under a tornado watch here in Texas.  Ah the beauty of Spring in the south, right?  That all being said, I’m not really keen on taking my boys and I outside to play this fine afternoon, so I figured it was time to update my other love.  My food blog.

This spin on one of my favorite recipes by Lisa Fain, aka The Homesick Texan, will even have your “I loathe Brussels sprouts” friend’s socks knocked right off!  I’m not kidding…I am a Libra and I do not lie, I am fair and loyal and tell no tales.  It’s damn good!

So next time you see those intimidating sprouts waiting for your approval and love in your local supermarket, please do your dinner party and that loathing friend a favor.  It’s easy, unique and impressive.  It’s Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Brussels Sprouts!

*If you do not have a cast iron pan, pour the mix into a broiler proof baking dish prior to placing in the oven. 

**You can remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeno if desired…but I always ask, “why??” 😉

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved/quartered
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (1 Tbsp grease reserved)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 4oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • a  hefty pinch each of salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin

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Begin this tasty side dish by crisping up your bacon, while also bringing a stock pot of salted water to a boil.

Once the water has begun to boil, add in the prepared Brussels sprouts (stems trimmed and halved or quartered) and let cook for 6-7 minutes.  Once tender, pour into a colander and run cold water over to stop the cooking.  *Also set aside the now cooked bacon.

Preheat your ovens broiler and place a rack about 6″ from the top.

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet on low heat, melt the butter along with the reserved bacon grease.  Add in the minced jalapenos and let sweat down for 2 minutes, followed by the minced garlic for the last 30 seconds.  Next, add in the flour and whisk for about 1-2 minutes till browned and then pour in the whole milk while, again, continuously whisking.  Stir ever so often for the next 5-7 minutes as the mixture thickens.  Careful not to let it come to a boil.

Stir in 1/2 of the shredded cheese and the spices.  Keep stirring allowing for the cheese to turn into a real gooey cheese sauce.  Make sure to taste test here; I always add a bit more salt and cayenne than you may think needed.  Next fold in 3/4th of the cooked bacon and the par-cooked Brussels.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of shredded cheese all over top of the Brussels and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Careful to watch closely and do not let burn!  Every oven is so very different!

Once browned and bubbly, remove, sprinkle with the remaining bacon crumbles and allow to rest for a few minutes..it is hot!!

Serve warm and ENJOY folks!!

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Margarita Chicken Fajitas

I’m pretty sure that when one has fajitas, it is also the norm to be sipping on a margarita.  Now…how about we combine the two?  Which is really no problemo here in my casa!

The flavors and ingredients of your traditional margarita are the exact components that make a chicken flavorful and tender.  Everything about this is right!  Now add a warm flour tortilla, large dollop of sour cream, salsa and grilled veggies…oh my my my… 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2lbs chicken breasts (cut into strips) or chicken tenders
  • 1/2 quality margarita mix (NOT lime green 😉
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp margarita (kosher) salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 limes, juice and rinds
  • 1 jalapeno, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Bell pepper, cut into strips
  • Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp evoo (I used a hatch green chili infused oil..but regular is fine! 😉

Garnish

  • Tortillas
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa/Hot Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo   

    Sipping on this delight is an essential part of making Margarita Chicken Fajitas!

     

In a large ziplock bag (set into a dish in case of ‘spillage’), combine the margarita mix, tequila, salt, cumin, lime juice plus rinds and the quartered jalapeno.  Zip and give a good shake! 

       Next, you’ll add the chicken into the bag of marinade and zip on up!  Place this in the refridgerator for 1-3 hours (turning over to distribute once per hour if possible). 

 Right before you’re ready to take the marinating chicken out of the ‘fridge, feel free to slice up the onion and bell peppers!  *I like all colors of onion & pepper really, so whatever you have on hand works fine!! 

 Heat a large skillet, cast iron or grill to med-high heat.  If using a pan, add about 1 Tbsp oil and heat up till almost smoking or grease your grill so that the chicken does not stick.  

Once hot & ready (and depending on the size of pan/grill), add one-half to all of the chicken and marinated jalapeno.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until a nice brown sear occurs.  Set aside on a plate to redistribute the juices. 

   Now that the chicken is done, add the sliced up fajita veggies to the same pan and sauté till slightly browned but still crisp (a few minutes). 

   Plate the cooked chicken and veggies and serve with warm tortillas, garnishes of your choice and a cold margarita!  Enjoy!

Pork Chilé Verde 

Does everyone know that I just adore mexican food by now??  Yes, we eat this Latin culture’s goodies at least thrice weekly.  Salivating now.

What seems like a complicated, difficult and time-consuming dish, actually isn’t.  I prepped this meal in 30 minutes and then was free to walk away for hours.  HOURS my friends…all while my house took on the most heavenly aroma…

The Starting Lineup

  • 3-4 lb pork butt/shoulder
  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 8 cloves garlic (divided 5/3)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp mexican oregano
  • 2 Tbsp cumin (divided 1/1)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • EVOO   

Alright, let’s rinse and prep those veggies!  Mince the garlic cloves, chop the onions….rinse and pat dry the hot peppers and husk and rinse the tomatillos (these are actually kind of ‘sticky’, just an fyi ;)) 

 Set your oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil.  Cut each husked tomatillo in half horizontally.  Lay these cut-side DOWN onto the sheet, along with the poblanos, jalapeños and 5 of the garlic cloves (leave the skin ON the garlic here).  

 

^^^Watch closely while broiling.  Turn the peppers as needed, let ‘blister’ all over (the peppers are often done before the tomatillos).  Also, if needed, turn your sheet pan 180 degrees occasionally during the broiling period.^^^

When peppers are good and done, place in a paper lunch sack and close.  Allows to steam in bag for 10 minutes, while tomatillos finish broiling.

Onto the blender!  Add in the roasted tomatillos (skin and all), cilantro, roasted garlic (squeeze out of the papery skin), the roasted and steamed peppers (waxy skin removed), 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp salt.  Blend!! 

  

Your verde sauce is now complete!  Easy right??!  We’ll keep this in the blender and set aside.

Ok, pork prepping time.  Chop up the two onions and mince the remaining 3 cloves garlic. 

 

With a sharp knife, carefully cut the pork into rough 1″x1″ cubes.  Season liberally with kosher salt & pepper and a bit of cumin.

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot with 2 Tbsp’s of EVOO to med-high heat.  Once hot, add in the pork (about 1/4 at a time, do not overcrowd).  Sear the pieces on each side for 1 minute and set aside. 

 Once the pork is finished searing, add the onion to that same pot.  As it starts “sweating” and releasing its juices, scrape up to those delicious brown bits from the bottom of your pan. *please use the proper utensils to not scratch your cookware.  Toss the seared pork back into the onion filled pot along with the minced garlic. 

 
Ok, we’re almost ready to walk away for a few hours…just a couple more steps!

Pour in the verde sauce you made just minutes ago…looking and smelling good, isn’t it?? 

 

Next, add in the 2 cups of chicken stock and the mexican oregano.  Stir.  

   Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let the Pork Chilé Verde simmer on low for at least 3 hours…the longer the better really!!

I like to serve ours with a dollop of sour cream, garnish of fresh cilantro and warm tortillas..enjoy!! 

 

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