Monday, June 24, 2013

The Someday Cowgirl's Fajitas

I love grilling season!  Here in the Midwest, we grill until we get tired of traipsing through ice and snow…..

I love chicken fajitas!  Juicy marinated chicken, grilled sweet onions and peppers, a dollop of Mexican crema… 

I’ve always considered fajitas to be a pretty healthy dinner.

Until recently……

My husband and I were excited to try a Mexican restaurant in the city that has been gaining lots of attention and is known to be “really authentic”. 

Since it was lunchtime, I opted for two simple chicken tacos.  Upon receiving them, I thought whoa Nelly!  What’s with all of the grease?

We both have had truly great fresh Mexican food, but not today. 

Here is my long-time recipe for grilled chicken fajitas – sans the grease….

2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
8 flour tortillas
1 sweet Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Mexican crema or sour cream
Cheese optional – if you choose this option, go with a mild Mexican variety such as Chihuahua

For the Marinade
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one lime
1 c margarita mix, nonalcoholic
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together marinade ingredients.  Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or longer if you have the time.

Drizzle sliced peppers and onions with a couple of tbls olive oil.  I like to grill them in a stainless steel basket over medium-high heat.  Grill chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink. 

Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them on top rack of the grill until warm. 

Slice chicken.  Serve with peppers and onions in tortillas, sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with cool Mexican crema or sour cream.   

Enjoy your fresh and delicious fajitas! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Green Chile Chicken Casserole

Crazy storms late last night (or very early this morning) left many of us in the Midwest seriously tired and zombie-like today.  Alas, a good warm and cheesy, brown and bubbly dinner with our families always helps to get us back on track.   

This Mexican enchilada-style dish is one of our long-time favorite weeknight dinners.

It’s the green chilies that make it – but don’t be shy, they are very mild.  The more the merrier for us.    

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
4 oz. diced green chilies
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese such as Chihuahua
10 6” corn tortillas – each torn into about 8 pieces
11 oz. cream of chicken soup
Cracked black pepper to taste

Sour cream
Sliced black olives
Your favorite salsa

Heat oven to 350°.  

Spray an 8” x 8” glass dish with cooking spray. 

Combine chicken, chilies, 1 cup cheese, tortilla pieces, cream of chicken and pepper. 

Add to dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, your favorite salsa, black olives, jalapeños or all of the above!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Someday Cowgirl in Paris - Part Deux

Staying at a resort outside of Paris gave us a great opportunity to take road trips to neighboring towns.  We headed toward Provins, a medieval city, that our concierge suggested.  After driving about an hour through a beautiful countryside full of yellow flowering fields (we guessed these were mustard plants), we arrived in Provins.   
As soon as we entered the city, it was as if we had taken a step back in time - a huge step back to the 11th century.  This is when you start to understand how young the United States really is.  We were in a European town that was 900 years old - surreal. 

We squeezed our mid-sized SUV rental (small for our standards) into a spot, obviously intended for a smart car, and headed for a bite to eat and some shopping in the boutiques in lower Provins.
Since the French aren't big on lunch, this became a difficult task, as most of the cafes were closed and wouldn't be open until later in the evening. 
After a quick lunch of a creamy Croque Monsieur and a bit of wine at a small shop that sold ice cream and gourmet teas, we headed to upper Provins. 

Navigating our way through the town’s narrow streets, we marveled at the architecture of charming homes built long ago, watching our steps along the uneven cobblestones. 
Around the bend, we came across Caesar’s Tower, a castle and the symbol of Provins, that overlooks the city. 

It was lightly raining at this point and the skies were becoming more cloudy, so we stepped into a little museum.  Using the very small amount of French that I had learned in preparation for our trip, I politely asked the woman behind the counter if she spoke English.  With a very stern look on her face, she shook her head to the tempo of a firm no. 

We decided that we really didn't want to hang out in a museum anyway, so my husband and I huddled under our one small umbrella and continued up the hill.

At the top of the hill, stands a church - Saint Quiriace.  The church was constructed around 1200, but it was never fully completed due to lack of funds under the reign of Philip IV. 

Gazing up at the church's dome, I knew we were about to feel transported back in time upon entering.  The doves in the eaves were making eerie noises.  In many ways I found this church more incredible than Notre Dame - just the earthiness of it, like it was about to crumble around us.