Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fajita-rita

Another successful dinner last night. So far, I haven't gotten sick of the intense satisfaction each time I make something new and it tastes good. Each time we eat at home instead of spending $$ at a restaurant. And each time I can take credit for putting a smile on someone else's (ok, Andy's...) face because of something I made. It's a damn good feeling.

Before I go any further, it's been a while since the blog mascot has made an appearance. Here he is lying on his own doggie, doing his best melancholy face:



The inspiration struck me to make chicken fajitas yesterday afternoon, so that I did. I told myself I was going to take a night off from Bittman, but that plan failed miserably of course. I made:

*Chicken fajitas with onions and peppers and side dish-y stuff
*Tortillas

*Mexican Rice

First, the fajitas. I just used a Lawry's seasoning packet that we've had in the pantry forever. It was fine. I also have used up 5/6 bell peppers I bought at Costco. I'm well on my way to eating a whole thing of Costco produce before it spoils, which I've never been able to do successfully before. Woohoo! For the fajitas I used one orange and one red (half of each, actually). I snacked on the remaining halves while I cooked. Best healthy snack!

Yummy veggies in the pan:


Along with the fajitas, I sliced up an avocado, diced up a tomato, and served Trader Joe's pineapple salsa on the side. Yums.

So, the tortillas were kind of a flop, literally and figuratively. I had them in the oven all stacked together, wrapped in foil, at 250 for about 30 m
inutes. Not the optimal time and/or temp. Need to figure that one out somehow. Some were hard and undercooked, others were too moist and falling apart. Thoughts, anyone? It's okay though, there was still plenty of food.

Onto my favorite thing, the rice! Rice and tomatoes have both been my favorite foods for pretty much my whole life. Any time I get to combine them, I get a little giddy. I just found this (note to self: add to to-do list). Anyways, I used The Best Recipes in the World for the first time to make Arroz a la Mexicana (pg. 517).

I had never made rice this way! Oh my goodness! Not that I've made rice many ways, I've just consumed massive quantities of it. I always kind of wondered how restaurants achieve a certain consistency for rice (I can't quite describe what I'm talking about-- it's just yum), and I figured it out! I don't know which (or all) steps of the recipe achieve that texture, but it worked! So in this recipe, you basically cook the rice in some oil for 10 minutes until it's golden brown.



Then you add a puree of tomatoes, garlic, and onion and cook some more.



Then add chicken stock and actually cook the rice for 30 minutes. SO interesting! Very novel to me. I can't wait to try it again!



As usual, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I had leftover fajitas with avocado over rice for lunch today. Sorry if it just looks like gross blurry leftovers...it was really good. At least my cute birdie salt shaker is in the background.




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