Monday, October 27, 2014

Crockpot Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

I have to make a confession. I never really got into eating at Chipotle until about a year ago. Fast Mexican food just never appealed to me. Until one day, on a trip home from Vegas, hubby and I decided to make a pit stop at a Burger King in Barstow to pick up some food for our daughter . I know, I know. Being a foodie that I am, what in the world and am I doing feeding my child junk food??? Hey, it was quick and my daughter was hungry. Every now and then, we make an exception. Anyway,  Burger King happened to share the same parking lot with Chipotle. I didn't really want to eat Burger King, so I decided to give Chipotle a shot. The line was almost out the door, so I figured that was a good sign. Or else, they thought they same as I did in that they didn't want Burger King either. So after waiting in line, I decided to order a burrito with shredded beef (aka Barbacoa) and all the fix ins. Man, that burrito was huge. But after that first bite, I was hooked. I know that there was no way that burrito was healthy, but boy was it good. Even hubby was hooked.

Fast forward to a few months ago. Skimming through Pinterest, I came across a few recipes for Chipotle's Barbacoa and thought, hmmmm. Now there's an idea. So I decided to give
this recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian a try. What I loved about this recipe was that it was a slow cooker recipe. It looked pretty easy and it really was. The flavor was spot on with the barbacoa I get at Chipotle. I served it with my recipe for green cilantro rice which tasted exactly like Chipotle's rice. I added a homemade mixture of tomatoes, cilantro and onions as my salsa, topped it with some sour cream and we had an instant Chipotle Burrito. This recipe made a huge batch of shredded beef, so I was able to freeze a few servings to eat on a later day. Can't wait to get into it again.

3-4 lb chuck roast, fat trimmed
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 Tbsp. oil
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground clove
2-4 chipotle peppers (from a can, packed in adobo sauce depending on how spicy you like it)
1/2-1 Tbsp. adobo sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1) Cut roast into large chunks. Sprinkle all sides with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, reserving the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

2) In a blender or food processor, combine vinegar, garlic, black pepper, ground clove, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, broth and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

3) Heat a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and sear beef on all sides. Place beef in slow cooker. Pour sauce over beef and tuck in bay leaves into mixture. Cook for 5-6 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.

4) At the final hour of cooking, shred the beef using 2 forks to pull it apart. Season with salt to taste and stir sauce completely. Cook for another 1 hour. Serve as a burrito, taco, or salad with rice, pico de gallo (salsa), sour cream, guacamole, beans, etc.

Monday, October 20, 2014


I was reading up on the news on Yahoo one day and came across this recipe for Panzanella. I've always seen Panzanella being made on cooking shows or featured in a restaurant on TV, but I've never had it. I always loved the croutons in my salads, so I imagined it was like eating a bowl full of croutons.  So I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you that its even better than eating a bowl full of croutons. Its fresh and light and tangy and so full of flavor. Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed it that we ate huge bowl fulls of it as a main course. This is my new favorite salad.

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 anchovies, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1) Combine all the ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl. Allow to sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

2) While whisking, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream until fully incorporated. Set aside.

1 loaf of day-old french bread, torn in large pieces
2 lbs. tomato, large diced
1/2 cup red onion (or any sweet onion), sliced thin
2 medium cucumbers, large diced
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn in large pieces

1) To assemble the salad, place all salad ingredients in the a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to meld. Or if you like your bread to have a bite, you can eat the salad right away.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Zucchini & Corn Fritters with Cilantro Sour Cream

I just love fresh corn on the cob, but I've always wanted to make something else out of them. Enter Pinterest. I've been seeing quite a few recipes on corn and zucchini fritters like this one from Girl versus Dough and I thought it would be a great way to sneak in some veggies for the kiddos. I made a go at it and also made some dipping sauce to go with it. Score! The little one loved it. The older one, not so much. But mommy thought it was so yummy. This recipe makes quite a few patties, so I decided freeze a few to eat later whenever I need a corn fix. Such a yummy way to use up corn and zucchini.

1/4 cup oil
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup corn kernels
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1) In a large bowl, combine eggs, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Add zucchini and corn and combine thoroughly. Add the flour and stir thoroughly until there are no pockets of flour in the dough.

2) Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a pan over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scoop filled about 1/4 full, pour batter into oil and cook on both sides until golden brown. Place cooked fritters on a paper towel to drain the oil. Serve warm with cilantro sour cream.

Cilantro Sour Cream
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
salt & pepper to taste

1) Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.