Buffalo Chicken Fajitas

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas6

It’s been an interesting last couple of days.

On Tuesday it was a beautiful, sunny day here in my part of Michigan. The weather channel app on my phone was flickering with pesky red colored notifications that this huge winter snow storm was coming within the next day that would dump 6-10 inches on us, but I tried to just shrug it off. As anyone who lives in the Mitten State could tell you, our weather is by and large unpredictable and sometimes the weather reports just turn out to be flat out wrong.

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas2

Well, turns out the weather reports weren’t wrong. It wasn’t a false alarm. At all.

We had ourselves a good, old fashioned snow storm. It started early Wednesday afternoon here and continued through the night and into Thursday morning; heavy blowing snow and winds that made the roads snow-tufted skating rinks. Obviously, the schools shut down, but it also got so bad that the community colleges and state and city government offices were shut down as well so lots of people were able to have the day off from work.

I wasn’t one of them.

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas4

As it turns out, the corporation I work for is profit-driven and as such, has a high priority of staying open as often as possible in even the most extreme of circumstances. It was open the night and following day of the snow storm. Technically, the position that I have gave me the ability to take a “Sick Day” since it’s hardly EVER something I do.

But to be perfectly honest with you guys, I really didn’t want to. The thing is, I needed the money REALLY bad. It’s rough out here; y’all don’t know. I didn’t want to let something stupid like a snow storm get in the way of me bringing home my much-needed bacon. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas5

Fortunately, I’ve got a great dad who because he works for one of the school districts, had the day off. Because I’m not the best driver in the world in general (and certainly not in the middle of a snow storm) he offered to give me a lift out to my job and I readily accepted it.

It turned out to be a pretty ‘interesting’ process.

By the time he came to pick me up, the parking lot of my apartment complex was pretty much one great big snow bank. It was still pretty early in the morning so it obviously hadn’t been plowed yet. I had to walk a ways from the door where he’d parked on a curb just to avoid getting stuck.

Well guess what? We got stuck anyway.

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas1

After an annoying period of about 15-20 minutes we spent digging the car wheels out (during which I also slipped,fell and busted my behind)we finally were able to get going. I only ended up being a few minutes late for work. It was unsurprisingly a ghost town and since there were less people there to pick up the slack, the day ended up flying by with all I had to do.

Here’s the funny part: by the time I got off work, the snow storm was over, the sun had come back out, the temperature had risen and much of the heavy snow that had caused all this to-do in the first place had already begun to melt. I’ve checked the weather channel app on my phone again: apparently it’s supposed to rain get up to the mid 50’s by tomorrow….which is going to make it seem like the snow storm never even happened.

As the commercial says…”Pure Michigan.”

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas3

As an aside to today’s post I feel that I should share an important piece of information that anyone who knows me should be aware of: I love ANY food that is “Buffalo-flavored”. Anything.Buffalo chicken (specifically buffalo chicken tenders) is one of my all-time favorite foods. It’s right up there with pizza and pancakes, which is pretty darn high for me.

The great thing about this recipe (besides being delicious) is that because it doesn’t involve deep frying chicken in a crunchy breading, it’s DEFINITELY one that you could eat every day without feeling any guilt. It’s also quick, easy and something you can shove inside a tortilla: that last part should sell you on trying this dish out, if nothing else. I’ve had my share of variations on Buffalo Chicken and I have to say that besides the actual thing, this is my new favorite take on the dish. It’s SO good you guys. The sauce is the obvious star: it’s suitably spicy but the addition of the brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce gives it slightly sweet richness that’s a great compliment to the heat.

Taco Tuesday will be upon us soon…and now that you guys have seen this recipe, I’m pretty sure you’ll know what the right move you need to make will be.

Yep.You guessed it. Buffalo Chicken Fajitas.

Happy Fiesta Friday #108 to all of us, especially our co-hosts for this week,  Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.

Buffalo Chicken Fajitas


Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine

Print

Ingredients

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Flour or corn tortillas, for serving

Directions

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter, and then stir in the garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly browned.

 Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.

 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then stir in the chicken. Cook for 2 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook with the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 Stir in the buffalo sauce and cook for another 2 minutes or until everything is well combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortillas and optional toppings.

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla1

I used to be a pretty diligent breakfast eater, but as of late I’ve really fallen off the wagon with it. Whereas I used to get up early to make sure I got my breakfast sandwich all warmed up or my cereal and yogurt packed to take with me to work, the truth nowadays is that I give myself a pat on the back if I don’t sleep through my alarm and get myself dressed and out of the house in enough time to stop by the coffee shop for my mandatory latte.

Spanish Tortilla4

Yet despite my negligence for the meal itself, I’ve never lost my love of breakfast food. Sometimes me and the family will truck out for a weekend brunch, but not too often. Then inevitably, I’ll see some picture or recipe online or on television featuring breakfast food and suddenly I get mad at myself for skipping out on it so often now.

Spanish Tortilla2

Lately I’ve been getting cravings to have breakfast for dinner more often in lieu of typical ‘entree’ dishes. Instead of chicken or roast or stew, I find myself craving cereal & milk, pancakes, waffles, biscuits smeared with jam, sausage and (of course) omelettes. So for the past two weeks or so, I’ve been eating breakfast food for dinner pretty regularly. Today’s dish is one of those dishes, and I knew the first time I made it that I wanted to share it on the blog with all of you guys.

Spanish Tortilla5

When I first came across the recipe, the name was somewhat of a mystery to me; when I think of a ‘tortilla’, I usually imagine some kind of flour or corn tortilla being involved in there somewhere. (Which, I know probably betrays a lot of my inexperience in Mexican cooking). The interesting thing about this dish is that there’s really no flour or corn tortillas involved in it at all. But that definitely doesn’t take away from the taste; so far as I’m concerned they can call this thing whatever the heck they want to, it is GOOD.

Don’t flip out on me guys, but this was actually my first time cooking with chorizo. I’ve eaten it before of course, but never bought and used it as an ingredient before in my own kitchen. I can safely assure you that I’ll be certainly be using it frequently from here on out, particularly in my omelettes. Chorizo and eggs are a match made in Heaven; the smoky flavor of the meat works so well with the blank canvas of the eggs. The addition of the Yukon potatoes in the tortilla really helps to ‘bulk’ it up and make it even more filling and hearty.

Spanish Tortilla3

There’s really only one tricky part to pulling this dish off, and that’s the part where you have to turn the tortilla over in the skillet as a whole to finish cooking the other side. Don’t flip out: so long as you have a decent non-stick skillet, a large rubber spatula, and a large plate set to the side, you can easily pull this off. Follow the recipe directions, be patient and careful with your wrist action and you’ll be fine.

I ate a wedge of this Spanish tortilla with salsa and Frank’s Red Hot sprinkled on top with two slices of buttered/jellied toast on the side for a DELICIOUS Breakfast for Dinner meal.

Try it, mmkay?

(Happy Fiesta Friday #107 co-hosted this week by  Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Su @ Su’s Healthy Living)

***************************************************************************************************

Spanish Tortilla

Recipe Adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2015

Print

Ingredients

  • 7 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 to 4 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, dried and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 ounces Spanish style chorizo, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 4 thinly sliced scallions

Directions

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the chorizo, stirring occasionally until the chorizo is browned and the fat as rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet to a small bowl and set aside.

Toss 4 tbsp of the oil, the potatoes, onion, 1/2 tsp of the salt and the pepper in a large bowl until the potato slices are thoroughly separated and coated in oil. Heat 2 tbsp more oil in the 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the potato mixture to the skillet, and set the bowl aside (do not rinse). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof rubber spatula, until the potatoes offer no resistance when poked with a paring knife, 22 to 28 minutes. (some slices may break into smaller pieces, but that’s ok).

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and remaining 1/2 tsp salt into the reserved bowl until combined. Using a heat-proof rubber spatula, fold the hot potato mixture, red peppers, chorizo and scallions into the eggs until combined, making sure to scrape all of the potato mixture out of the skillet. Return the skillet to medium high heat, add the remaining 1 tsp oil and heat until just beginning to smoke. Add the egg-chorizo-potato mixture and cook, shaking the pan and folding the mixture constantly for 15 seconds; smooth the top of the mixture with the heat-proof rubber spatula. Reduce the heat to medium,cover and cook, gently shaking the pan every 30 seconds, until the bottom is golden brown and the top is lightly set, about 2 minutes.

Using the spatula, loosen the tortilla from the pan, shaking it back and forth until the tortilla slides around. Slide the tortilla onto a large plate. Invert the tortilla onto a second large plate and slide it, browned side up, back into the skillet. Tuck the edges of the tortilla into the skillet.Return the pan to medium high heat and continue to cook, gently shaking the pan every 30 seconds until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Slide the tortilla onto a cutting board, cool for at least 15 minutes. cut into wedges and serve with salsa and hot sauce (like I did.)

Red Velvet Cookies N’ Cream Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Cupcakes1

So,  prior to around February of last year, I was never really much of an “Oreo” kind of girl.

I didn’t dislike them, but whereas I know some people who have this obsession with the chocolate sandwich cookie, I was pretty much able to pass if that blue and white container got passed my way or put underneath my face. I don’t know, I guess that somewhere along the lines of me transitioning from a little kid to a teenager, I just kinda lost my taste for Oreos.

But last February, that kiiiiiiiinda changed.

Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Cupcakes3

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that Oreo’s decided to “up their game” so to speak and push out this line of different flavors of cookies that started with the Golden Oreos that are golden sandwich cookies, then follow it up with other flavors like Mint, Birthday cake, peanut butter, S’mores and during holiday seasons flavors like pumpkin or peppermint. It must be something that’s working out for them pretty well because they keep doing it. I couldn’t really speak on the majority of the flavors they’ve released, but there is one I can give a staunch endorsement to:

The Red Velvet flavored Oreos.

You guys.

They.are.DELICIOUS.

Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Cupcakes4

Trust me: I don’t even LIKE Oreos like that. But when my brother in law bought them for my sister on a whim to try because he does like Oreos, she insisted that I try  one.

And from there, it was just a done deal. Oreos had officially won me back.

Great for them. Bad for my hips.

Last year I was all kinds of annoyed because Red Velvet Oreos were started as just as a seasonal product that would only be sold during the Valentine’s Day season. However, my sister now tells me that because they were so popular the company’s decided to sell them year-round.

I repeat: great for them. Bad for my hips.

Red Velvet Cookies and Cream Cupcakes5

I wasn’t going to do a Valentine’s Day recipe this year, but at the last minute on Friday I shrugged and thought, “Eh, why not?”

Since I’m a Single Lady this year again I figured that I may as well do a post/homage to the Red Velvet Oreo who had me hooked at first bite.

This recipe is pretty easy. The chocolate cupcake is soft and moist and serves as the supporting actor to the main star: the frosting in which I mixed crushed Red Velvet Oreos that gives it that pretty pink tint and the distinctive taste of those darn yummy cookies.

Happy Valentines Day to all those who are celebrating with S.O. or by themselves- and to those still at the Fiesta Friday #106 Party co-hosted this week by  Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower.

***************************************************************************

Red Velvet Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes

Recipe Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Print

Ingredients

For Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring

For Frosting

  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • About 12-15 finely crushed Red Velvet Flavored sandwich cookies, plus extra for decoration

Directions

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

Heat the milk until hot but not boiling; pour over the cocoa powder in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly.

Whisk in the sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the tops spring back, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

Beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until just combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the milk until fluffy, then add the crushed sandwich cookies. Frost the cupcakes as desired, breaking the extra sandwich cookies in half and pressing them down into the frosting.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes2

Remember my post last year for when I made Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, where I mentioned that I bought myself a Ninja Blender?

Well, my Ninja went to Ninja Blender Heaven guys. At least, the pitcher and the lid did. Fortunately the actual base/machine part is fine.

Yeah, there’s a story to this one too.

We had ourselves a regular homicide here. Murder in the first degree…. by a dish washer.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes3

Before you guys call me an idiot, in my defense let me just say that I’d always been able to wash the pitcher and lid of my Ninja in our previous dish washer without any issues whatsoever. I wouldn’t say that they’re made of plastic, it felt much thicker than that and not the kind of thing that would easily melt or be destroyed in a dish washer.

But  the dish washer in our new place is much newer than the old one and I guess that means that they get a LOT more hotter.

You can tell where this story is going. I washed the pitcher and the lid in the dish washer and when I opened the door to take them out and put them away, I saw the ridge of the pitcher and the grooves of the lid had been melted so that they were…wavy.  Also, unusable.

I wasn’t a very happy camper.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes1

The good thing about these kinds of appliances is that it’s actually possible to purchase separate pieces of the whole thing. I went on the Ninja website and it turns out another pitcher won’t put be back anymore than about 40-50 bucks (plus shipping). This was significantly less than what I paid for the machine as a whole, so that was a huge relief to me.

Still, it didn’t solve a new problem that I had. I wanted to make scratch sweet potatoes and for the particular recipe I wanted to use, I had planned on using my blender. Yet another setback. But as with my Chicken and Biscuits snafu, I just diverted to plan B and decided to use my hand mixer. The potatoes probably wouldn’t be quite as smooth as they could be if they’d been pureed in a Ninja, but whatevs. Personally, I’m fine with a few lumps in my spuds.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes4

Okay, so I know this one may sound….weird.

Vanilla bean with sweet potato; at the least it sounds like something you’d eat with dessert, right?

Except, no. It isn’t really. I was even somewhat surprised myself at how well the vanilla works with the sparse other seasonings here to make this really work well for a savory side dish. There IS an obvious sweetness, but there’s still a pretty good balance with the salt, pepper and onion powder. This dish was RIDICULOUSLY easy to do, it just required a little bit more time for me to get the sweet potatoes to the consistency I wanted them at using my hand mixer. If you guys have a heavy duty blender like a Ninja or a food processor, I’d definitely recommend using it in lieu of the hand mixer if for nothing else, to be able to spar the strain on your wrists.

But regardless of whatever way you prepare them, I think you’ll like how these turn out.

Happy Fiesta Friday #105 where I’ll be linking this post up to. The party this week is co-hosted by Lily @ Little Sweet Baker andJulianna @ Foodie On Board.

**********************************************************************

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes


Recipe Adapted from Food and Wine

Print

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • Onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a fork and bake for about 35 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly, then peel and transfer them to a standing mixer or to a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream with the butter and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla bean.

With the stand mixer (or hand held mixer) running, carefully pour the vanilla cream into the sweet potatoes and beat with the paddle attachment (or the beaters on the handheld mixer) until smooth. Season the sweet potatoes with onion powder, salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and serve.