Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Master Shredder

I live in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. I truly do. I took the above photo a few weeks ago, and am just now getting around to posting it. Just look at that view from one of the windows in my apartment! In the very center, just below the highest mountain peak, you can see the silhouette of an eagle flying. Actually, there were about 20 of them just soaring about, enjoying the ocean breezes. It was incredible. A very good afternoon, indeed. And the sunset only got more and more spectacular after that, but I was too busy making dinner to get a good photo of it.

Seeing as how it had been a couple weeks since I made my pulled pork tacos, yesterday I started to get another hankering for those babies. But, my only problem was I didn't have any pork on-hand, nor did I have the time to make them. So, I went for the next best thing and threw some chicken breasts into a stock pot with a couple cans of Mexican diced tomatoes with green chiles, and let that bad-boy simmer away for about an hour and a half while I ran some errands around town.

It was chilly and rainy yesterday afternoon, and I was very glad for the spicy-hotness in this meal. These actually came out a bit spicier than my pulled pork tacos did, I think it's because I used a different kind of diced tomatoes or something, but they were still really good.

Spicy Shredded Chicken Tacos-

-1 tbsp olive oil
-2 cloves of garlic
-2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
-2 cans of Mexican diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
-1/2 cup medium salsa
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 medium onion, thinly sliced into strips
-1 red or green bell pepper, sliced into strips
-6 corn tortillas
-assorted toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, etc)

Instructions: In a medium saucepan or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chicken, cans of diced tomatoes and the salsa. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 1 hour. Remove the chicken breasts from the tomato mixture, and using the two-fork method, shred the chicken into small pieces, then return to tomato mixture. Then, in a medium skillet, heat the other tbsp of olive oil over medium, and saute' the bell peppers and onions until the onions are transparent and the peppers are tender. To serve, place filling into warm corn or flour tortillas and load on the toppings!!

My thoughts: DELICIOUS! And this makes plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. I wasn't too big on the sauteed onions and bell peppers, they sort of threw off the texture, but the flavor they added was really good, so I didn't mind them so much. I had my tacos with a nice big bowl of warm refried beans with plenty of shredded cheese on top. I could actually eat the filling mixed with refried beans sans the tortillas. It's just that good. Or as a topping for a salad. The possibilities are endless!



Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yep, It's Still Winter...

I realize that I live in Alaska, and I've come to terms with the fact that winter here lasts much, MUCH longer than it does in other regions of the US, which is why I get so giddy whenever it's sunny here. And it has been quite sunny recently, I won't lie, and I have been enjoying that. However, the sunshine also means that the daylight sun melts the snow, which turns to ice over night. Anyone who has met me can tell you that 1. I am extremely clumsy and accident prone, and 2. Me walking on ice looks like Bambi just after he was born. It's frightening. A disaster waiting to happen.

Needless to say, though, I am enjoying this winter. I have found my own ways of coping with the never-ending cold. I have great friends, my apartment is within walking distance of wherever I usually want to go, and I have a fabulous view of Kodiak harbor from my window. I recently gave my old Canon Rebel 35mm to my mom and had some film leftover on the roll inside the camera, so I decided to take a few quick shots before I popped the camera in the mail. Unfortunately, it wasn't sunny that day, but it was still pretty beautiful. There was a heavy mist settling in, and since it was the weekend I didn't have to work, which was even nicer.
I truly live in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. Even when the weather is dark and gloomy, I'm still thrilled by it. My eyes are really sensitive to sunlight, so whenever there's a cloud cover that just means I don't have to worry about toting my sunglasses with me everywhere.
It got especially chilly and windy here yesterday, so I decided to make some spicy chili to warm me up. I was craving something hearty and delicious, and this hit the spot. Here's my recipe for Chilly Turkey Chili:
-1 lb ground turkey breast
-1 medium onion
-1 medium green bell pepper
-1 tbsp chopped garlic
-2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 can kidney beans, drained
-1 can pinto beans, drained
-1 can diced green chiles
-1 can diced tomatoes
-1 small can of corn, drained
-2 or 3 shakes of Tabasco sauce
Instructions: In a large pot or slow cooker, brown the turkey on medium, then add the onions and garlic. Once the onion starts to turn translucent, add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Serve hot with your choice of toppings.
My thoughts: This chili came out fantastic. I was so full after eating a huge bowl of it, yet I still wanted more! I served it with sour cream, shredded cheddar and monteray jack cheese, and some cornbread slathered with butter and lots of honey (I like the juxtaposition of the sweet cornbread and spicy chili, delish!). This chili really hits the spot when you're 4 months into a cold winter and Spring is still weeks (or even months, in my case) away. I used turkey in my chili, since I don't eat beef, but you can use ground beef or deer even, as I've heard some of the locals do. You can vary the ingredients a lot, depending on how spicy you want your chili, for instance, you could add a diced jalapeno or habanero pepper. I added a few spoonfuls of hot salsa, just for added flavor and kick. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm about to go heat up another bowl of this delectable chili, as I have TONS leftover!