Adobo Chicken Arepas

 Adobo Chicken Arepas are very similar to  Mexican gorditas. A corn cake prepared with fine white corn flour and warm water on a hot comal until light golden brown in color. For a quick weeknight meal, I like to enjoy them stuffed with cheese and served witha warm salsa over top. Add a fresh green salad with some avocado for a complete, meatless meal. I wish I had some better pictures to share with you, but I pulled this from some of my older recipes. I thought it was good enough to share as is. As I sit here typing up this blog, I am thinking of a warm arepa with a nice poached egg on top…warm salsa…oh my! I do have a picture of that! LOl! Heading to the kitchen!

Arepa with Poached Egg, Warm Salsa, Stuffed with Cheese!
Arepa with Poached Egg, Warm Salsa, Stuffed with Cheese!
Adobo Chicken Arepas
Adobo Chicken Arepas

For  Chicken
3 boneless chicken breast or thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 cups seasoned adobo sauce(chile paste) link below or a chile ancho based salsa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

For Arepas
2 cups white corn flour for arepas “PAN” brand
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups warm water
Olive oil

 

PAN brand white corn flour for making arepas
PAN brand white corn flour for making arepas
Arepas with cheese mixed into the dough
Arepas with cheese mixed into the dough

For Veggie Saute
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced into small strips
1 poblano pepper, sliced into small strips
1 jalapeño, sliced into small strips
1 small red onion, sliced into small strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown for 4 minutes per side in a preheated skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir together the adobo sauce andbroth, add it to the skillet with chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove chicken from sauce, shred all the meat and return it to the sauce. Continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes until the sauce reduces and becomes thick. Taste for salt as it cooks down.

2. While the chicken is cooking, in a bowl, combine the corn flour, salt and baking powder. gradually add in the water and use your hands to work in to a dough. Work the shortening into the dough until smooth. You can make 6 large arepas or 12 small ones. Roll the dough into balls, transfer to a plate, cover with plastic and set aside.

3. To finish the arepas, preheat a large nonstick skillet or comal to medium heat for 5 minutes. Using your hands, form the dough balls into patties. If making small arepas, they will only be about 3 inches wide. Cook on hot pan, brushing both sides with olive oil for about 5 minutes per side. If possible, cover the arepas while they cook, the steam created will help with the cooking process. Transfer to a plate lined with wax or parchment paper, keep covered.

4. For peppers, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet, preheat to medium for 5 minutes. Add all of the peppers and onion. Season with salt, oregano and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the vinegar and continue cooking for another few minutes. Cover and set aside.

5. To serve, carefully slice the arepas open, fill with chicken, garnish with avocado and cilantro. Serve the sauteed veggies on the side or you can add to the inside of arepa. Yields up to 6 servings.

Notes: Link for making adobo sauce.. You could use any dried chiles, such as chile ancho or guajillo as well to prepare the adobo.
http://www.hispanickitchen.com/profiles/blogs/chile-new-mexico-sauce

Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak ~ Loving the Fresh Herbs from the Garden

Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak! Who knew? I certainly did not know that you could enjoy a flavorful marinated steak in such a short amount of time. It makes sense to me now.  A hot, grilled steak with a tangy marinade poured directly over it while still hot. It soaks up that marinade beautifully! I came across  a version of this  recipe in a grilling magazine I was reading while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital.  I am not fond of hospital waiting rooms, as I am sure no one is. So when I do have to spend time in one, I bring my best  cooking magazines to pass the time. As I started to read more about this reverse marinating, I just could not wait to try it at home. So, I picked up a one pound flat iron steak to test this  method out. And what better way to showcase a steak than a fresh mix of chimichurri prepared with fresh herbs straight out of my garden. All I can say, is that I will never marinade another steak overnight. I am looking forward to trying this same method with some pork or chicken. I will keep you all posted!Reverse marinated grilled chimichurri steak

1 pound flat iron steak
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Granulated garlic

 

Grilled Flat Iron Steak
Grilled Flat Iron Steak

 

For Chimichurri/Marinade
3 tablespoon parsley
3 tablespoons cilantro

2 green onions
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
4 cloves garlic
1 chile serrano or jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Juice of 3 key limes or 1 regular lime
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup olive oil

* I also added 1 teaspoon of crushed red chile flakes to the marinade, but it’s optional

 

Fresh herbs from the garden made for the best chimichurri/marinade
Fresh herbs from the garden made for the best chimichurri/marinade
Chimichurri work wonderful in this reverse marinated steak recipe!
Chimichurri work wonderful in this reverse marinated steak recipe!

 

1. Pat the steak dry and season lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic on both sides. Set aside and let steak come to room temperature for at least 35 to 40 minutes.

2. For chimichurri/marinade, you want to finely chop all of the herbs, chile and garlic. I do not suggest doing this in the food processor, trust me, lol! Combine all of the ingredients well and taste for salt. Cover and set aside.

3. Prepare outdoor grill and preheat to medium/high heat for a good 15 to 20 minutes. I have a charcoal grill, so I had to make sure the coals are nice and hot.

4. When ready to grill, brush grates with oil, add steak directly over the hottest part of the grill. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on how wel you like it. If using a gas grill, close lid, but if using charcoal you could leave lid open. I took my steak off when internal temperature was between 125 and 130 degrees F for a medium rare. 

5. Remove from heat, transfer to baking dish and pour all of chimichurri marinade over the steak. Tent (cover loosely) with foil paper for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice thin and against the grain. Yields 4 servings. Pour any excess marinade over steak before serving.

Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak
Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak

 

Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak
Reverse Marinated Chimichurri Grilled Steak
You must have some warm, toasted crostini for this steak to soak up all that wonderful chimichurri
You must have some warm, toasted crostini for this steak to soak up all that wonderful chimichurri

Chicken & Rice and a Little Spice! Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo, a green version of the arroz con pollo I typically prepare. On most days, my recipe is more tomato and sweet pepper based, but I was having one of those days in the kitchen. You know those days, when you find yourself with ingredients at the end of the week that really need to be used up.  I had three big poblano peppers and a pack of defrosted chicken thighs I had to do something with. Everytime I prepare arroz con pollo, it takes me back to that great episode of “I Love Lucy”. She was going to meet Ricky’s mom for the first time and wanted to impress her by preparing a Cuban style arroz con pollo. There are many dishes, just like this one, in Latin America that are so similar when it comes to preparing them. They all vary slightly in the ingredients, but the basics are the same. And the warm, comforting feelings of home and Mom’s  or Abuela’s cooking are all the same as well. This is a great recipe to prepare for large family dinners and it can be prepared a couple of days in advance. Although there are only two of us, I like this recipe because it’s freezer friendly and we can enjoy it another night when I don’t have time to cook. 

 

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients 

For Tomatillo Poblano Sauce 
1 1/2 pounds poached tomatillos
1 poblano, roughly chopped
1 serrano, sliced
1 roma, quartered
2 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

 

Nicely seared and browned boneless chicken thighs are my favorite to prepare arroz con pollo
Nicely seared and browned boneless chicken thighs are my favorite to prepare arroz con pollo

 

Seasoned and browned chicken thighs going into the tomatillo poblano braising sauce for arroz con pollo
Seasoned and browned chicken thighs going into the tomatillo poblano braising sauce for arroz con pollo

 

You will also need
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
Cumin
Olive oil
1 cup white onion, diced
2 poblanos, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I like to use jasmine rice)
Cilantro for garnish
Lime slices or wedges for garnish

 

I really enjoy garnishing all my rice dishes with a little fresh lemon or lime and cilantro
I really enjoy garnishing all my rice dishes with a little fresh lemon or lime and cilantro

 

Directions

1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients for the tomatillo poblano sauce. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt and set aside.

2. Season the chicken on both sides with, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin to taste. In a large dutch oven style pot, preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Brown and sear the chicken for 4 minutes per side and remove from pot.

3. In the same pot, add the onion, poblanos and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute for another 5 minutes, adding a little more oil if needed. Pulse the tomatillo poblano sauce in blender to mix again and then pour all the sauce into pot.

4. Once it comes to a boil, add the chicken pieces back into pot making sure that most of the chicken is covered. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. The rice will stick a little to bottom of the pot, so you could gently move the rice with a silicone spatula during cooking. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Fluff rice with fork before serving. Yields 6 servings. Garnish with lime slices/wedges and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

 

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo