Sunday, January 13, 2013

Using Christmas loot!

So, my mother-in-law gave us a Ninja Master Prep for Christmas this year - BEST. GIFT. EVER.

I have used it soooo many times since Christmas - milkshakes, smoothies, guacamole, refried beans and marinades galore! It's an amazing appliance, and we plan to upgrade to the full-on professional grade Ninja.

Anyway, enough with the shameless plug. On to the cooking!

Tonight, I decided to make chicken fajita bowls. Started out by making a marinade of about 3/4 of a cup of lime juice, 1/4 of a cup of tequila, a splash of mesquite liquid smoke, a smidgen of vegetable oil, a handful of cilantro, a quarter of an onion, a quarter of a jalapeno, and spices (garlic powder, green chile pepper flakes, fresh ground black pepper, Hungarian paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano leaf, onion powder and Kosher salt). All of that went into the Ninja, and after a few pulses, into a bowl with the chicken breast strips.

While the chicken was marinating, we got a pot of salted water with a sprinkling of the green chile flakes on to boil for brown rice. Once the rice was cooking, I turned my attention to the beans. I picked up a can of no-salt-added black beans at the store today, a blank slate to work my magic on. I sauteed some minced jalapeno, onion, garlic and cilantro in a small sauce pan, then added the beans, which I seasoned with ground cumin, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt. Turned the heat way down low and let everything simmer together and get yummy.

Finally time to cook the chicken! I dumped the bowl of chicken into a colander to drain off the excess marinade, then turned on the electric griddle. I sprayed it with a light coating of Pam Grilling Spray (awesome invention, that), then added the chicken pieces. I let them get nice and browned on one side, then flipped them and moved them to one end of the griddle so I could cook the veggies. I had sliced some bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and onion. That mixture was added to the open end of the griddle, spritzed with the Grilling Spray, then seasoned with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, the rice was done, so my wife mixed in some lime juice and chopped cilantro and fluffed it with a fork, then popped a bag of steamable sweet corn in the microwave. After the corn was done, I dusted it with a little chili powder and sea salt, and set to assembling the bowls. Rice on the bottom, then some beans, the grilled veggies, a few pieces of chicken, a couple of spoonfuls of corn, a sprinkling of cheese, a few dollops of guacamole (also made in the Ninja) and a generous helping of  Herdez tomatillo salsa. After I took this picture, I added a little bit of hot sauce to mine.

Yes, that's a marble rolling pin in the background. My wife, the designated pastry chef, swears by them. She does make some damn fine biscuits and cinnamon rolls with it.

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