Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just Call Me Rachel Ray

Friends, y'all are going to be so proud of me when I tell you that I ACTUALLY COOKED A MEAL! And let me tell you, it was pretty darn' good! I was able to spend some time in Kansas City with my sister/friend Tanna (see previous blog post) and we decided to make a simple but delish meal together! I was talking about this great Mexican Lasagna that my Sister of the Suitcase, Brett, whipped together last summer during training so we decided on that with some blanched asparagus. Since I'm not quite talented enough in the kitchen to just throw some ingredients together to create my own recipe, I do what I do best, and Googled one.

The recipe is courtesy of Rachel Ray and the Food Network and takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Here it is for ya!

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken breast
We used ground Turkey
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 red onion, chopped
We used a white one
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
We went with the fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
8 (8 inch) spinach flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - twice around the pan. Add chicken and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

Coat a shallow baking dish with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil. Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve.

Blanched Asparagus
So this really easy recipe I learned from my Mom (Hi Mom!). It cooks the asparagus just enough that it's still crunchy and flavorful! All you do is get some Asparagus, cut off the ugly ends, and give them a good rinse. Bring a pot of water to a boil. A watched pot never boils. Lesson learned. Drop the asparagus in and cook until they're bright green. This usually takes 2-5 minutes. Throw some salt in there if you'd like. Have a tray of ice water ready to go and place the cooked asparagus in there to cool for a few minutes. Once they've cooled, take 'em out, pat 'em dry, and serve! If you're like me, you can season them with a little salt and pepper or eat them plain. Either way, it's great :)

Slowly but surely, I'm getting on my life goal of learning how to cook and it doesn't happen much on the road, so I appreciate it when I have the chance to help out in the kitchen. This is just one of the many fun things I had the chance to do while on my days off in Kansas City! If y'all end up trying this out or have other favorite recipes for me try out, definitely let me know :)

Blog Title Courtesy of my good friend Tanna

Location:Kansas City, Missouri


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