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Friday, December 30, 2011

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Fish is what was for dinner a week before Christmas. For once, it was a sunny warm day here in Lima instead of a cloudy warm day. I thought hmmmm some sort of grilled fish sounds good. So I went again to Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour and started digging through her recipes. She had yet to steer me wrong so I figured when I found one of her little Tilapia gems. I basically followed what she did with a minor adjustment or two. It was one of those few dishes where I can actually get everything it calls for without any of those Lima limitations popping up. I served it with some brown rice and a variety of grilled veggies.

2-4 Tilapia fillets

1 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
mixed veggies {enough for a side for 2-4 people}
brown rice {enough for a side for 2-4 people}
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese {more for garnish if you choose}

First I got the freaking brown rice going. Whatever Peruvian brand I bought seems to take like 45 freaking minutes. I recommend using anything that is faster than that shit. As for the veggies, I picked up whatever sounded good at the store which ended up being a little bit of white onion, broccoli, red bell pepper and carrots. I just diced and seasoned those up with some salt and pepper and put it in a foil package that had been sprayed with a little bit of Pam {or whatever nonstick spray you have on hand} I think it took about 20 or 25 minutes on the grill. I put those on right as I threw the fish into the fridge to marinate for a bit.

All this fish needs is that cup of Italian dressing, red pepper flakes, and the parmesan cheese {I used the powdered Kraft stuff for marinating purposes and then freshly grated for garnish purposes}. I just grabbed a gallon ziplock bag and poured in the dressing, pepper flakes and the cheese. I placed those tilapia fillets in there and sealed it up! I proceeded to give it a gentle shake for a couple minutes to coat everything. I also may or may not have danced around singing "shake shake shake! shake your booty!"........ Okay let's focus back now to cooking and not that silly image of me dancing and singing around. I placed it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. At some point before I started preparing this, I had the husband get the good ol' Webber Grill going. If you don't have a Webber you could use a George Foreman type grill if you so choose or even a propane grill. I plopped that fish on there and poured a little marinate over the top and after a few minutes, flipped the fish over and poured a little more marinate on the top. After a few more minutes it was done. As A result we ended up with this freaking goodness on our plates.

And since we love some Parmesan cheese up in this house, we sprinkled some on top and then dug in to enjoy!!!!! This is a definite must do again when the sun shows it's beautiful face again!

My wife is crazy

My wife is crazy is pretty much what Scott thought when I first suggested this idea of Chicken Enchilada Pasta that I had found on Pinterest which led me to Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour who made up this delicious crazy sounding idea.  Now because of my Lima limitations, I had to come up with my own modified version. I had to take some items out and replace them with what was available... This seriously was going to go one of two ways, "This is really good Anne, I really like it" or "What the fuck Annie? This is the worst thing I've ever had.". I had high hopes since the original blog was titled "Five Stars and Then Some!" and that husband had raved about it. So let's get started!

2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
 a smidge of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 green chilis, minced or diced {your choice}
Green Tabasco sauce to taste
1 packet enchilada sauce {prepared according to package directions}
1 cup sour cream
Penne pasta

Shredded Cheese {cheddar, monteray jack, or a blend}
Green Onions
Black Olives
Sour Cream

I started off by boiling those chicken breasts and chopping up everything that needs to be chopped up. I also made up the enchilada sauce according to the packet directions during this time too. When the chicken was done cooking, I reserved it's water to cook up the penne pasta. 

Let's really get cooking now! Like usual I just do a little splishity splash of the olive oil and get it heating up. Then I tossed in the garlic, onion, red pepper and chili and stirred that up. This part only takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

Mmmmmmm... Looking tasty already! Now I threw in the shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, and started throwing in some dashes of the green tabasco. The first time I made it I used like 3/4 of a small bottle. Might have been slightly on the excessive side because it was spicy but good. This time I used significantly less and it was still amazaballs good.  I let this stuff simmer for about 10 minutes to get a nice good happy marriage of flavors.

Now right before serving I stirred in the sour cream then dished some on up.  The first time my optional topping choices were cheese, green onion, tomato and sour cream. This time I swapped out the tomato for some avocado and both ways were good.

So in the end, it turns out that I am not crazy. Well at least when it came to this dinner idea I wasn't. Other times could be debatable. This dish is a must if you want to do a little something offbeat but amazing!

Please Sir, I want some more.

 ** I posted this one on my other blog, but I figured I'd copy and paste it over here where it belongs**

Why yes little Oliver Twist, you may! Since I've developed a new found love/addiction for Pinterest, I have come across another lovely blog with what seems like endless fantastic recipes. Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour has led me to great things like an amazing chicken enchilada pasta and a fabulous Italian chicken soup. Tonight's meal of choice was the Italian chicken soup. The fun part of these recipes is that I get to put the "I'm in Peru and I can't find that shit" twist on it. So here goes my version of the Italian chicken soup! Oh and I cut her recipe in half too since there is only two of us versus I believe four on her team. Plus another "oh and" I get to have the joy sometimes of trying to remember how many grams is equal to how many whatevers.

250g or 1/2 box of some cute shaped pasta {I used little baby shells}
olive oil {I don't measure that crap, I eyeball it accordingly}
2 chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium/large carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 fresh jalapenos {in my case I use a random safe looking green chili I've used before} diced
1 can {28. oz} whole tomatoes, diced {don't question this just do it}
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. minced fresh oregano {dried is okay too}
3  cloves crushed garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan Cheese shavings or shredded as desired
To get started I gather up all the above shit except I leave the cheese and heavy cream in the fridge. Then I proceeded to cook my pasta according to the time listed on the package, drain it, toss with a smidge of olive oil and set aside {there's going to be a lot that setting aside thing going on for a minute}. Also while I had that going on I boiled up those chicken tits till they were cooked through. Now she does hers in the chicken broth but I didn't and that's okay cause I was making this my own little Peruvian way. Once the those chicken tits are cooled enough to tear apart, I got to shredding. Again set aside the shredded chicken. Since I had pasta cooking and chicken boiling, I started on the dicing up of the various veggies. Once those are all diced, I set those aside too.
I would say this brings us to the question of "Why on Earth would I dice up a can of whole tomatoes when I can just buy a can of already diced?" Well according to our good friend over at Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour - The whole tomatoes have more/better flavor than that of the already diced canned tomatoes. Since this was my first time whipping this up, I decided not to argue and just go along with it. You can use a can of diced if you like. I won't judge. Anyways, if you do it this way just pull out the tomatoes with a spoon and dice those babies up followed by putting them back in the can with their juices.
Now bust out your large pot to fit all this shit into, grab that olive oil and go splishity splashity with some of it {enough to coat the bottom of the pot} and getting heating up. Now toss in your onion, carrots, celery, chili and garlic and stir that around like a Merry-go-Round real quick. It should look a little something like this:

I let that goodness cook up for about 10 minutes while I occasionally stirred and sipped on a diet coke {you may have whatever beverage you like}. At about that 10 minute mark, I tossed in that shredded chicken, poured in the broth and plopped in those tomatoes with their juices. It should look just like this:
 If somehow it does not look like this, I don't know where you went wrong and you are probably screwed and should never ever cook again.
Anyways stir that baby up and sprinkle in some pepper and about 2 small dashes of salt. Now just bring that up to a boil, cover and simmer on low for like 30 minutes {I say 30 minutes because it was a little too early to eat dinner and I wanted to wrap some presents, but really just simmer long enough to heat it through and get those flavors mixing}
About that oregano! I did not have fresh {neither did Pearls} So what she did {and me too} was take the dry, add some broth and a splish of olive oil and saute that until it makes your house smell yummy, so just a few minutes. Then I added that to the pot at the above mentioned 30 minute mark and I let it simmer for about another 15 minutes. Just before I dished us up, I poured in the heavy cream plus that precooked pasta and gave it a good stir while I had Scott shredding up that parm. Scooped some up into two bowls sprinkled some parm on top. It looked a little some like this:

Ta-da!!!! I served some ciabatta bread with olive oil and basalmic on the side. It had great flavor and would be good anytime of year. It's filling enough but not so heavy you can't have it on a summer day. I would say this was a win. That's right Charlie Sheen, this soup was "winning".