Its been a while since I have been able to really cook, like really break down and cook something.  We have been way to busy.  So finally this week I broke down and decided that no matter what I was going to make these tacos tonight.  They have been on my radar for a while and was looking forward to making them.  Its been a long week knowing this is what I had to look forward to on Thursday.  Well today was Thursday and my stomach is full, almost too full after my repeat visits up to the counter.

chipotle pork tacos with grilled pineapple salsa

I must caution that even though they may look delicious, and they are; they do take quite a while to make, I wish I had thought of that prior to starting them that they would take longer than I thought, by you live and learn I guess.  With that one caution here is the recipe.

1/2 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ancho chile poder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 slices of fresh pineapple, 1/2″ thick
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tbsp thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
soft corn tortillas

Begin by mincing chipotle, then combine with olive oil and rub evenly over pork.  In another bowl combine oregano, chile powder, cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper.  Sprinkle spice mixture over both sides of pork and let pork stand for 30 minutes.  Prepare the grill for a hot fire.  Once the grill is ready oil the grate with vegetable oil or cooking spray.  Once the grate is good and hot throw pineapple on over indirect heat, cook 5 minutes per side.  Once pineapple is cooked chop roughly and combine with ground chipotle pepper, remaining salt, cilantro, lime juice and onions in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Grill pork over indirect heat until an instant read thermometer reads 145°F.  Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes on the counter.  Roughly chop, prepare tortillas according to their instructions.  Pack each with equal parts pork and pineapple salsa.  Enjoy

Its sweet, its spicy and delicious.  This is a recipe I think that will make its way into the rotation, this was a good dinner and will make an excellent lunch tomorrow.

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Cooking chicken is like walking into a Jelly Belly store, you know there is potential but there are so many different choices you are not sure which one will lead you astray and that is the direction I feared I was headed tonight when I was making this chicken.  After making the wet rub, for lack of a better term, I took a taste and it was well not good.  Hoping for the best I pushed onward.  Much to my surprise the resulting chicken was not half bad, in fact I may make it again.

Now that is some good looking chicken.  Even the simplest of recipes can yield a complex result on occasion.

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp melted margarine
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Grease a glass baking dish.  Wash chicken under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside.  In a bowl combine all ingredients besides chicken and mix until uniform.  Spread mixture over entire surface of chicken, rubbing into the meat.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes until done.

While not my favorite chicken recipe of late, I mean its no Curried Chicken, this wasn’t half bad and we may make it again at a later date?

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In our quest to eat way more chicken than any one person should, we have arrived at ways to make chicken number 2.  Southwest Stuffed Chicken, now this is actually a really easy recipe to make.

2 large chicken breasts
1/2 c corn
1/2 c black beans, canned or thoroughly soaked
1/2 c salsa
1 1/2 tsp ground chipotle peppers
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 c half and half
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
pepper-jack cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Mix salsa, corn, beans, 1/2 tsp chipotle, and cumin in a bowl set aside.

Grease a glass baking dish big enough to hold both breasts.

Rinse and dry chicken.  Slice chicken to make a pocket to put stuffing in, don’t slice all the way through.  Spoon in half of stuffing or as much as will fit into each breast, use toothpicks to hold shut and place in pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF.

While chicken is backing prepare glaze by combining half and half, remaining chipotle and basil in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and pour over the breasts after 30 minutes in oven.  Bake chicken for 10 more minutes or until the center reaches 160°F.

Serve over rice.  Top with sour cream, cilantro and/or pepper jack cheese.

I served mine over a simple rice made this afternoon in the rice cooker consisting of rice, cumin, garlic, onion, jalapeno, paprika, turmeric and a touch of oil.

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Needed a quick lunch today so I decided to bust out the rice cooker, the most versatile cooking machine I own.  Starting going through the fridge and cupboards to find what I could throw in to make a tasty lunch, here is what I ended up with.

Chipotle Pomegranate Rice and Chicken in Rice Cooker

White Rice
Chicken Breast
Pomegranate Seeds
Ground Chipotle
Ground Smoked Spanish Paprika
Old Bay (lets face it old bay makes everything better)
Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce (just a hint)
Lime Juice
Whole Grain Mustard

Threw all that in the rice cooker and let it do its magic.  And it is magical.

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A while back I came into luck and had received a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and had been saving it for something special.  Well that time has arrived and like the title says what happened as a result ‘ain’t yo mamma’s corn bread’, its a smokey, mildly spicy kick in the pants that will continue to remind you that you ate this delicate piece 30 minutes later.  Now usually I make corn bread with chili to help absorb the bite, not so with this corn bread it may become a staple to stand on its own.

With our company pot luck in mind I decided I might cook a dish up to remember and as we were asked to bring a ‘dish to pass’ what better dish to pass than some innocent looking corn bread.  So with that you might want the recipe which I scavenged out an old issue of Cooking Light, so here it is.

Chipotle Bacon Corn Bread

1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 c fat-free buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 tbsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°F

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Combine buttermilk, butter, chiles, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Fold in bacon. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Of note in the haste of preparing this dish I did forget to include the baking powder and it still came out very nicely.

Well tomorrow will be the taste test, will have to see if I come home with any leftovers.

Edit: The cornbread was a hit last week at the potluck, infact it was so good I made another batch today minus the bacon to go with our chipotle and black bean soup, should be a spicey/tasty combo.

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