I’m never sure what to name these things. As far as I can tell, either name would work. I didn’t start out to make these. I wanted to grill some chicken breasts that I bought several days ago but didn’t freeze right away. I took my silver hammer and pounded the breasts semi flat, I didn’t spend too much effort on them. Poured some olive oil into a hot pan to grill them-I was thinking along the lines of grilled chicken salads. Decided to add some seasoning to them other than salt and pepper, and dragged the fajita seasoning out. Got me thinking, “hmm…fajita?” I sliced up some green peppers and some red onion, added some yellow onion, decided to toss in some fresh mushrooms. Added some ancho sauce, it was a bit dry yet so I splashed in a half cup or so of chicken broth. Was starting to come together.
I warmed some tortillas directly over the gas burner, let them scorch just a tad, and laid them out on a plate. Piled a generous heaping of the chicken veggie mix and garnished with green onions, shredded cheddar, salsa, and a bit of sour cream. Good stuff!
Yeah, yeah. Been there and done that.
Deal with it. This is seriously good stuff. I did make this batch a bit differently than the last few. I used the counter top roaster to cook the pork and added a bunch of onions and dried peppers to the pan with the meat. Cleaned a head of garlic and slipped most of the head into slits cut here and there on the roast. Took the powdered dried peppers I made a while back and gave everything inside the pan a good dusting with that, along with some onion powder and plenty of ground black pepper. Poured in a good quart of chicken stock and turned it on to 350. I shoved a temperature probe into the sweet spot and set it to beep when it got to 165. Worked like a charm.
I took the cooked roast out and set it to cool on a board and then strained the peppers and onions and other solids from the juices left in the pan. Ladle off the fat from the good stuff or do as I did–put the bowl into the freezer until the fat hardens and you can lift it out.
Drag out the blender and dump in the solids you strained from the drippings and the defatted juices and pulse to puree, add chicken stock or water to make it thin enough to pour back into the pot. Those chilies and cooked onions with a few cloves of cooked garlic make a super duper flavoring. I enhanced mine with a few chipotles in adobo sauce. The juice of a lime will work well in there.
Shred or chop the pork when it is cool enough to handle. Peel off the fat and gristly parts. Dump the meat into a big stock pot, add some hominy, a few more onions cut up into largish pieces, add enough chicken stock to cover well. Add the puree of peppers and onions and bring the pot to a simmer, keep it there for at least an hour, longer is better. Give the broth a taste and adjust for salt and heat. Add more pureed chipotles, perhaps with some red pepper flakes or whole dried chilies. Knock yourself out. I like a good bit of oregano in mine, I put in a good tablespoon-that’s in 5 quarts or so, maybe 6, of soup.
I’ve been wanting to make a mess of these ever since we got some tasso from that mail order outfit down in Louisiana. I also received some dried red beans that were highly, and repeatedly, recommended.
I suppose everyone with a Grandma from New Orleans has a secret family heirloom recipe for red beans and rice. I’ve followed a couple that were subtly different but remained the same in essence: Basic recipe is to sweat some of the trinity in bacon grease, add sausage/ham/chicken/some kind of meat to brown it some, then dump in some soaked beans and cover with stock or water. The pot simmers for a few hours, spices are added, rice is cooked, onions are chopped and pretty soon you have a great dinner.
Today I printed out Emeril’s recipe and carried it to the kitchen. I followed it pretty well with a few changes, nothing major. (Didn’t have enough celery so I chopped up some bok choy–don’t tell!) Emeril calls for a ham hock, I used some sliced, smoked, ham diced into smallish cubes. I sprinkled in some cayenne like the recipe said, and also sprinkled on some of the homemade Cajun seasoning I made up a while back from this recipe.
I used some Tabasco at the table over mine, and sprinkled on some extra creole seasoning and the result was pretty warm. Mrs J’s portion was nearly too hot for her but she managed like a real trooper.
Not at all concerned that I’ve blogged these before because this is about what we eat and we eat these a lot. And we just had lobster! Quit your complaining. Well, you can complain about the terrible picture situation. Good luck with that. [Edit: Yay! Bloggoddess TaMara fixed the template!]