Better Chicken Fajitas

Some like it hot, I don't like the othersFrom the September – October 2005 issue of Cook’s Illustrated come some amazing fajitas. The key here is the 15 minute marinade, and reserving a little to toss on the vegetables and chicken after you grill them.

Better Chicken Fajitas – Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:

* 1/3 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
* 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
* 1 jalepeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
* salt and ground black pepper
* 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
* 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, don’t separate rings
* 1 large red bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, and seeded
* 1 large green bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, and seeded
* flour tortillas

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Chicken Fajitas

Taco Flavored KissesIngredients:
* 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 tablespoons lime juice
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
* 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
* Salt and pepper

Vegetables
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
* 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
# Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin. Even better is to buy the less expensive thinly sliced chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish.
# In a blender combine 2 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
# In a large skillet over medium heat oil. Add onions and peppers and cook until they are tender and begin to brown. Transfer to serving dish and put it in the oven to keep warm.
# Toast flour tortillas for about 30 seconds per side and keep warm in an aluminum foil pocket.
# Grill the chicken on each side for a few minutes.
# To serve slice chicken into even strips. Serve hot with onions and peppers, grated jack and cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Killer Quesadillas

Remember the runaway meatball, like that but flat and flour.Cook’s Illustrated – March & April 2005

I little more work then putting them in the microwave, infintely better taste.

Ingredients:
* 2 flour tortillas
* 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack and/or cheddar cheese
* Vegetable oil from brushing tortillas
* Kosher salt

Directions:
# Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Place tortilla in skillet and toast until soft and puffed slightly at edges, about 2 minutes. Flip tortilla and toast until puffed and slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Slip tortilla onto cutting board. Repeast to toast second tortilla while assembling first quesadilla. Sprinkle half the cheese over half of tortilla, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge. Fold tortilla in half and press to flatted. Brush top generously with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside. Repeat to form second quesadilla.
# Place both quesadillas in skillet, oiled sides down; cook over medium heat until crisp and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Brush tops with oil and sprinkly lightly with salt. Flip quesadillas and cook until second sides are crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer quesadillas to cutting board; cool about 3 minutes, cut and serve.

Cooling the quesadillas before cutting and serving is important; straight from the skillet, the cheese is molten and will ooze out. finished quesadilla can be held on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven for up to 20 minutes.

Andy’s Guacamole

Did you know that avocados grow on trees?The original plan was to have Andy build us a bar in exchange for stay at our house when he moved to New York. Well the idea for a bar has turned into an idea for a table, neither of which have started construction. Some might be upset for Andy’s failure to hold up his side of the arrangement, but I haven’t mentioned yet that Andy taught us how to make amazing guacamole. I guess we can wait another year for the table.

Andy’s Guacamole

Ingredients:
* 3 Haas Avocados (chopped)
* 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
* 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
* 1/2 white onion (chopped)
* 1 Jalapeno pepper (minced)
* 1 green chili (diced)
* 1 dried habanero chili (minced)
* fresh cilantro (diced)
* garlic powder
* salt & pepper
* 1 cubanella pepper (chopped)
* Mango (chopped)
* Chili pepper (diced)
* Spicy red pepper (chopped)
* 2 Limes (juiced)

Directions:
Combine everything except for the avocados and mangoes in a large bowl. Mix it up well and have a bag of chips to taste the salsa at various stages. I’d suggest adding the habanero last…it’s fiery hot. Then add the avocados and mix until it is at your desired consistency. I prefer it as a creamy guacamole with some small chunks of avocados in it.

When you taste it, it should be pretty hot, that’s where the mangoes come in to cool it down and provide some sweetness. It also seems to take a while for the flavors to mix well, that’s why it’s suggested to let your guacamole sit for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Try experimenting with different types of peppers for different flavors and colors of guacamoles. The key is many different types as they each have their own taste and ‘time to fire’. Some are hot right away, others are hotter after a few seconds. Sara recommends that you have some sour cream handy to protect yourself from the habenero. If find it uneccessary but its all a matter of taste.

Warning: This guacamole may not seem hot at first, but is down right burning if you try to stop eating it.