Thursday, May 7, 2009

Soft Chicken Tacos with Lime and Avocado

So many recipes, so little time…

For the past 3+ weeks, as I have been recovering from an asthma attack and have done only as much in the kitchen as I felt like doing, I nevertheless continued to peruse food sites and blogs. The result is a sheaf of recipes that I want to try, yet there are only so many meals in a day. I could pretend that we are on a cruise ship and serve 6 or 7 meals a day; but then both Jack and I would become quite round, and that is definitely not a good thing.

So I have a binder, my “to try” binder, where I place all recipes until I’ve tried them. It is very full now, and I have to start working from this. After I initially try a recipe, I will then write down my changes/ comments, and if there are a lot of them I will retype the recipe into MasterCook, and then file this recipe into one of my huge mega-binders. Unfortunately, the mega-binders become a final resting place for many recipes since there seem to be too many new ones that I want to try and I neglect to return to the favorites. I have to figure out how to remedy this (I did try making a list, but that didn’t work; any comments from those who read this are welcome!).

Tuesday, May 5, was Cinco de Mayo. An excuse for me to plan a Mexican meal, although I really don’t need an excuse.

As luck would have it, I was gone from 10am to 5pm on that day and thought that the recipe I chose would be easy to put together quickly. Well, it was, but I printed it from the AllRecipes website without reviewing it.

Now, I know that we eat healthier meals than many people, and it has become second nature for me to increase the veggies in a dish while decreasing the amount of meat and full-fat dairy. I forget about that sometimes, and when I arrived home and started to cook from the recipe for Lime Chicken Soft Tacos, I was reminded.

After saying “what’s this?” several times, I sat down with a pen and started to write in the numerous changes. The person who submitted this recipe said that it made 10 servings, but there was only one taco per serving, each containing 2-1/2 ounces of chicken, and 1-1/4 teaspoons each of shredded cheese, lettuce, and a single medium-sized chopped tomato divided between the 10 tortillas. This made absolutely no sense to me at all. There was also a procedural error where the recipe instructed to sauté the cubed chicken breast over high heat for 20 minutes. Chicken breast is very lean, and to sauté over high heat for such a long time will surely dry it out.

These tacos, as the recipe directs, are heavy on meat and way too light on vegetables. And only one taco would not satisfy me, let alone my husband. Even though it was getting late, I made some notations then started on my own version which, no big surprise, we enjoyed very much.

I used 8 ounces of chicken breast to divide between the tortillas, and used more lime juice than the recipe called for, plus added ground cumin and chili powder for more flavor. To the recipe I added additional cheese (not a lot, because I used queso fresco and it is not lowfat), tomato, onion, avocado, and lettuce. I also added light sour cream mixed with skim milk to add a creamy and smooth note to the spicy meat, this is similar to the Mexican crema.

The final result is a wonderfully delicious soft taco. The chicken has a decidedly lime-y taste, and all of the other flavors combine and will make your mouth very happy indeed. :)

Now, the recipe calls for 4 tortillas, although I actually used 5 (Jack had one more than I did) and we definitely had enough filling for the extra one. I also sautéed diced red bell pepper, then added frozen corn and edamame and a splash of lime juice for a side.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Soft Chicken Tacos with Lime and Avocado

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

4 whole corn tortillas -- heated until soft, per package directions, and placed in a

tortilla server or wrapped in a clean dish towel to keep warm

1 small tomato -- diced

1 cup shredded lettuce

2 ounces queso fresco -- crumbled (or sub shredded Monterey Jack)

1 large green onion -- thinly sliced diagonally

1/2 medium avocado -- chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro -- optional

3 tablespoons light sour cream

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 teaspoons olive oil

8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- cut into 1/4" wide strips

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon powdered chipotle pepper -- optional

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove -- minced

Prepare the tortillas and keep warm. Prepare the vegetables and cilantro and place in separate serving bowls. In another small serving bowl, stir the sour cream and skim milk until smooth. Set these aside.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the chicken strips until they turn opaque and very lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes. While the chicken cooks, mix the water through minced garlic in a small cup. Add to the chicken and stir. Simmer for a few minutes until there is barely any liquid remaining.

Transfer chicken mixture to a covered serving dish. Place on the table along with the tortillas, vegetables, cilantro, and sour cream. Make your own!

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Per serving: 445 Calories (kcal); 18g Total Fat (4g Saturated); (35% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 77mg Cholesterol; 466mg Sodium

1 Comment:

Laura said...

Great minds thinks alike--and so do ours, apparently. :) There will be some soft, albeit corn tortilla, tacos appearing on my site soon. Yours look great--and boy the original recipe sounds odd.