Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick and Easy Taco's - With A Twist

Good evening everyone! If you regularly watch any form of TV, you’ve likely seen your fair share of kitchen gadgets advertised as miracles and timesavers. There’s one ad in particular that’s been making the rounds lately that I find extra humorous. The “Perfect Tortilla Pan” promises to turn your average everyday tortilla into a delicious taco bowl and all you have to do is use this $10 gadget! (Plus additional shipping and processing) Wow!

What if I told you, you already had the means to make your own taco bowl? Don’t believe me? Take this short quiz. Do you have one of these:

Can you do THIS with it? (flip it upside down):

If you answered yes to both questions – congratulations! You too can make your own delicious taco bowls. All for the low, low price of $0. I think my way is better – and when you top it with tonight’s recipe, I think you’ll agree.

The Recipe: Chicken Taco Bowls
Original Recipe From:

What You’ll Need:
(Serves 2)

2 Large Chicken Breasts (Diced into ½ inch cubes, trimmed of fat)
4 Corn Or Flour Tortillas (Small – 6 inch)
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Salsa (Your choice of variety)
Taco Toppings (Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream) of your choosing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
If you’re using corn tortillas, remove them from their packaging and soften them in the microwave for a few seconds before you begin. Corn tortillas have the tendency to crack if they’re not softened before you cook them fully. If you’re using flour tortillas, you can skip this step. They’re typically soft and pliable enough to avoid cracking even under intense heat.

Spray each tortilla with a light spritz of cooking oil (just enough to lightly coat each side). Next, position the tortilla over an upside down cupcake / muffin pan (the tortilla should go in the center of four cups – as pictured). Press down in the center of the tortilla and work with the edges until the rest between the crevices to form a bowl. Repeat until all of your tortillas are on the tray (you may need to do multiple batches if you have a shortage of muffin tins or a surplus of mouths to feed).

Place the muffin tins in the oven and allow the shells to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and crispy.

While the tortillas are cooking, turn your attention to the chicken. Toss the diced breasts in a bowl with the garlic powder and salt until they are completely coated. Next, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes, undisturbed, until the pieces turn golden brown. Flip the pieces and allow them to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until they’re cooked through.

Next, add in the salsa and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly until the salsa thickens around the chicken. (This takes about 5 minutes). Your tortillas should be nearly done by now (amazing how that worked!)

Spoon about ½ cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla bowl and top with lettuce, tomato or whatever you prefer (we went with sharp cheddar cheese). Serve and enjoy!

The Results:

This was the first time I’ve crisped a tortilla in the oven, and I can safely say it will not be the last. The taco bowl was crispy and yet full of really great flavor. We didn’t add anything to the shells at all, but the flavor seemed enhanced by the short time in the oven. The chicken taco filling was no slouch either. Juicy chicken surrounded by fresh salsa and topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese – it’s hard to beat those simple flavors. The best part is, two of these little bowls weigh in at 400 calories. They’re filling, delicious AND low calorie. The culinary trifecta.

That’s all we have for you this evening. We’re back next week with two brand new recipes. Until then,


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