Welcome to Sharing is Caring Thursday where I will share a post from someone else’s blog, site or news with you and give some of my thoughts on it too. You might recall that I cook and feed people as a way to show my love for them so I’m looking at this as a way to continue showing my love for others.
Today Sue has shared something she made last weekend! In my own defense regarding the number of times I cautioned against “soggy” food, it’s because most soggy food is something that makes me all irky. That said, I’m super proud of what she accomplished and learned from this endeavor! Yay Sue! (Photos to follow)
One of the best things about summer is picnics. Eating outside, in a casual atmosphere, catching up with old friends and making new ones – what could be better? So when Albany Eats invited me to a potluck picnic, I was psyched. Then I realized that I’d agreed to a potluck meal with foodies. Me, preparing and bringing a dish to a party with people who actually know how to cook?
So, I turned to my friend Cute~Ella for help. She gave me an idea she’d come up with that works cold, and would therefore work for the picnic. Taco Bites. Of course, I had to “Sue” it up a bit – aka, make it easier.
Cute~Ella’s recipe called for chicken breasts, beans, rice, onions, salsa and cheese. Of course, her kitchen is probably full of most of that at any given time. But I wasn’t in her kitchen.
So first, I had to decide how to handle the beans and onion issue. I don’t like beans, and though I like the flavor of onions, I’m not much of a chopper. I also had to address the chicken breast issue, because though I don’t mind breast meat for a dish like this – that’s also too much chopping. I knew it had to be dry, because Cute~Ella said that like a dozen times in her email. Ultimately, this concoction would be filling scoops, and you don’t want the scoops to get soggy.
Here’s what I did:
I went to the store – twice. The first time, I forgot my wallet, since I’d changed purses the night before. The second time, I bought:
Chopped Chiles (canned)
I browned and drained the chicken (don’t forget, dry). Then I put it back in the pan and added the taco seasoning, which was flavored with onions and jalapenos (onion problem solved). While that was cooking, I opened the chiles. Turns out – they’re kind of wet, but not drainable. Ummmm… Heat! I tossed them in the pan with the chicken, making sure to break up the chicken as small as I could while it cooked.
Remember I mentioned Cute~Ella wanted me to use rice? But I didn’t buy any. I may not have ingredients on hand, but I do always have leftovers. So I took a pint of white rice from Chinese food earlier in the week, put it in a bowl with just a splash of water, and microwaved that for a minute. Then I mixed some taco seasoning to that and - viola! - seasoned rice. Since it was white rice, that was plenty of starch – which solved the bean issue.
By now, the chicken was seasoned, chopped and mixed with the chiles, so I added it to the bowl. While that cooled, I went back over to the supermarket to pick up the cheese I forgot to buy the first…er, second…time. When I got home, I was able to mix the cheese in with the chicken and rice. Once that was mixed well, I spread my scoops out, and dropped a tablespoon of my mixture into each scoop. I topped each off with a dollop of chunky salsa.
Since my dish was deeper than one layer of scoops, I took another suggestion from Cute~Ella. Using wax paper to separate, I added layers of scoops, and finished each off with the chicken and rice, then salsa. You’re impressed that I have wax paper in my kitchen, aren’t you? Don’t be. It’s left over from when I had a roommate who cooked.
As I was layering and scooping, I taste-tested using a small sample on a broken scoop. Pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.
What have we learned?
Always make a list when you’re working with a recipe
Ground chicken takes a while to drain, but it can be done
Work with what you’ve got and what you like
Always make sure you switch your wallet back if you have an event the night before
When buying a house, it’s important that it be close to a supermarket
Happy picnic season!
If you have a post to share, please feel free to send it on over for me to share with others! It should be cooking or food related and lets aim for positivity!