Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some like it HOT!

Some like it HOT!

Jalapeños - One or three for you?

Call it a husband/wife project, but somehow we set off this weekend by making homemade salsa. We’ve not actually made it before, but with a recipe called “Busy person salsa recipe”, how could we not become a great motivation to attempt to make this type of food, mostly as we here in this family all love salsa so much!

Oh - so pretty!

With recipe in hand, the chopping blocks and knifes on the counter, we were ready to begin. Soon children folded into the project as it all proceeded smoothly and quickly. We were surprised how easy this recipe really was to work with, and how wonderful it is to have our large supply on hand to eat now.

Chop, chop, chop!

Here’s what you need to proceed if you care to mimic us in our kitchen endeavors;

Busy Person’s Salsa Recipe!

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Approximately 2 quarts of (Roma)tomatoes
  • 3 Jalapeños and 1 Hungarian wax pepper, as you like it – mild, medium, or HOT!

(We added all but one jalapeño, but feel we’ll add it in now for a better bite to the spiciness, but next time we'll add more yet for even better spicyness.)

Chop all the tomatoes, onion, garlic, green pepper and place into a bowl. Mix together; add a bit of salt and a ½ cup of white vinegar. Adjust the hotness as you like it (wink).

This recipe makes approximately 5-7 pints of salsa. Yummy yum!

Finely chop those tomatoes up!

Two work faster than one!

To preserve; boil in kettle to desired thickness and immediately pour into clean canning jars and seal tightly

To freeze; place 2 cup portions into freezer bags (or more depending on your family’s needs) and stack the bags horizontally, laying them flat to freeze. It may be a bit liquidy, and/or more mushy when unthawing, but simply drain a bit of the liquid before consuming and mash the consistency up a bit more if necessary.

If you’re like our family and consume rather large portions of the spicy stuff, or if you’re making this for a large upcoming Thanksgiving family gathering, why not place several portions into nice canning jars to give others as a harvest blessing?

All blended together looking just so very tempting!
We ate some right away.

Nacho chips and fresh salsa.

Renee's Fast and Easy Fajitas;

While we were on a Mexican flair theme, and while the chopping blocks were already out, I proceeded with dinner plans, deciding upon “fajitas”. My fajitas fixings are also very easy (!), and it’s a nutritious and healthy meal for the family, whipped up in no time at all. The secret is to have cooked strips of fresh chicken (cooled in the fridge ahead of time, a day or two is just fine, great for leftovers!) ready to go.

I gathered and cut;

  • One large red pepper into long strips (we aren’t BIG green pepper people here, so red is good!)
  • One white onion into long strips (you know, stand the onion root end up, cut long strips down the length of the onion, followed by chopping the root off. Voila, easy cutting!)
  • 4-5 cups of precooked chicken breast strips, or whatever you have on hand.

Place an extra large frying pan on the stove, and turn the heat to high. Add a little butter, or olive oil to the center of the pan and quickly roll it around the cover the entire bottom area. Add the onion to one area, the red pepper to another and finally, add the chicken to the last, dividing the pan into three sections. Stir each section a bit at a time, mostly to to rotate the heat and keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Within a few seconds, turn the heat down to simmer, place a lid on top of the pan, and allow all to cook as necessary. Saute the onions and red pepper until al dente (clear, not mushy) and take care to continually heat the chicken as well, browning it as you go.

  • Shred cheddar cheese and place in a bowl.
  • Shred lettuce strips and place in a bowl.
  • Have some soft tortilla wraps at hand for assembling the dinner finale.
  • Condiments of your selection - salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

Place the plates on the counter or table and allow everyone to “make their own dinner” fajitas. Easy! The kids love it! Mom loves it too!

A variation of the above;

Renee's Fast and Easy Quesadillas;

Place soft tortillas on the countertop. Fill the entire area of the flat tortilla with the chicken/onion/red pepper mixture. Place some shredded cheese over top offering a light sprinkled coating. Place another soft tortilla on top of the ensemble. Heat a frying pan on the stove (use two or three if you have a lot to make for a larger family), add a big of non stick coating or light olive oil first, then carefully pull over your two filled tortillas (looks like a tortilla sandwich by now), and heat up in the frying pan, one side at a time until the cheddar cheese has melted inside, acting like glue to keep the two tortillas sealed. Using a steel spatula, scoop out and place onto a chopping block, cutting it with a French cook knife into four pieces (MATH!) Serve with a green salad. Not hungry right now? Cook this quick meal up, cool and freeze for another day. Freezes well!

Ta da!


P.S. Yes, my family is used to having photos snapped during our kitchen times. NO, they aren't allowed to eat until mom snaps that last photo of the final product, but behind me is always another sample to get something into their mouths FAST, mostly as a reward for a job well done...snicker, snicker, and just for YOU Denise!!!