September 30, 2010

Mom's Favorite Meal (or one of them, anyway)

I don't remember if I've posted these before, but I'm gonna do it again. I found these recipes in one of Granna's cookbooks a couple of years ago, and it has become a family favorite since.

The cookbook is called, "A Cowboy in the Kitchen," by Grady Spears and Robb Walsh.

In order, the recipes listed here are:
- Chicken Burritos w/Sun-dried Tomato- Goat Cheese Pesto
- The recipe for the above-mentioned Pesto
- Pico de Gallo, for those who don't know how to make it
- Apple Crisp w/Cajeta Sauce (caramel sauce), as a dessert idea

Chicken Burritos w/Sun-dried Tomato- Goat Cheese Pesto *****

Yield: approx. 4 lg. Burritos or 10 sm. Burritos
Oven: 225 ◦F
Bake Time: 5-10 min.
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
¾ lb. Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breast, Thawed (if using breast, cut in strips)
½ tsp. Ground Cumin (I like to use a little more than this.)
Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 ½ C. Sun-dried Tomato- Goat Cheese Pesto (recipe below)
4 (12-inch) Flour Tortillas or 10-12 (6-inch) Tortillas

Tooth-Picks (optional, it helps to keep the burritos folded while baking)

Garnish (optional):
Sour Cream and/or
Pico de Gallo

1.) Make the Sun-dried Tomato- Goat Cheese Pesto FIRST.
2.) Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the chicken. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper, and toss well. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through (no pink can be seen). Remove from heat.
3.) Put the chicken on a flat surface and use a fork(s) to shred it. (This makes for a better texture than cubing the meat.)
4.) Blend in the pesto and stir until well combined.
5.) Slightly warm your tortillas on low or medium heat. (This makes it easier to fold them.) Don’t let them get crunchy, or the burritos may crack.
6.) After warming, lay the tortillas on a flat surface. Line the chicken filling down the center of each tortilla and fold the top and bottom edges in toward the center. Roll the two outer edges toward the center, enclosing the mixture.
7.) Lay each burrito down on a baking pan, seam-side down, and heat in a 225 F oven for 5-10 minutes before serving. (This helps to re-warm the pesto mixture and keep the tortillas soft.)
8.) Garnish each burrito with a dollop of sour cream and 1 dollop of Pico de Gallo. Serve hot.
(They also taste really good as leftovers, if you refrigerate them overnight.)
Sun-dried Tomato- Goat Cheese Pesto *****

Yield: approx. 2 Cups
(I suggest halving the recipe if making a single batch of Chicken Burritos)

15 Sun-dried Tomato Halves or 1 (12-16 oz.) jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
5 tsp. Roasted Garlic (or 2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder)
1-3 Jalapeño Peppers stemmed and seeded (Sometimes I leave the seeds from 1 pepper.)

½ C. (packed) Fresh Spinach Leaves, stemmed (I like to use about twice this much.)
½ C. Soft Goat Cheese
2/3 C. Olive Oil (only if using Tomato Halves)
Salt to Taste
Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

1a.) If using Sun-dried Tomato Halves- Place the Sun-dried Tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain them well. If using Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil, skip this step.
1b.) Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée.

2.) Remove the pesto from bowl and serve it at once, or store it in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
~~~~~~~Pico de Gallo5 Jalapeño Peppers stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 C. Diced Tomatoes
1 C. Chopped Red Onion
½ C. Coarsely Chopped Cilantro Leaves
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (Fresh is always best.)
Salt to Taste

1.) Mix it all up.
2.) Serve at once, or cover with plastic-wrap and refrigerate for a couple of days.
Apple Crisp w/ Cajeta Sauce (Caramel Sauce)

Yield: 8 Servings
Oven: 350 F
Bake Time: 45 min. – 1 hour.


8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
1 C. Heavy Cream

½ C. Sugar
¼ C. Flour
1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (Fresh is always best.)
½ tsp. Salt


1 ½ C. Flour
1 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Ground Cloves
¼ tsp. Salt
12 Tbsp. Cold, Unsalted Butter
Cajeta Sauce (recipe below)

1.) Butter a 9x13-inch pan.
2.) Slice the apples into wedges.
3.) Toss the apples in a large bowl with the cream, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt.
4.) Layer the apples into the prepared pan.
5.) Preheat oven to 350 F.
6.) To make the Topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
7.) Cut the cold butter into small pieces and blend it with the dry mixture, using a fork or your hands. The mixture should not be overworked. It will look crumbly.

8.) Spread the topping over the apples.
9.) Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the apples are soft and mixture is bubbling.
10.) Serve warm with Cajeta Sauce drizzled on top.
Cajeta Sauce (Caramel Sauce)

Yield: approx. 4 Cups

4 C. Sugar
1 C. Water
¼ C. Unsalted Butter
1 to 2 C. Heavy Cream or Fresh Goat’s Milk
1.) Combine the sugar and water in a large, wide, heavy saucepan and bring it to a boil. Use a pan in which you can see the color of the sugar as it cooks. Stir as needed to dissolve the sugar. Do not stir again once the mixture begins to simmer.
2.) Continue a steady boil to reduce the mixture and bring it to a light brown color. This may take 20-30 minutes. When the light brown color is reached, watch carefully as it changes to golden brown. It should be fairly thick.
3.) At this moment, remove it from the heat and slowly stir the butter into the sugar syrup.
4.) Blend in enough cream to make the consistency fairly thick, yet still golden brown in color.
5.) As sauce cools, it becomes thicker. Serve Cajeta warm. Store any extra in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. These sound soooo yummy! I hope to try some of these this week. You guys are very missed. Be blessed until we meet again.


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