Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rosemary Chicken Tacos

I have a lot of cookbooks on my shelves and often people ask me if I cook from every one of them.  I don't.  Some I use for just a few recipes that are really yummy.  One of my cookbooks has a recipe for chocolate chip cookies just like the ones you buy in Costco.  I keep it on my shelf just for that recipe.  Last month, I got a new Taco cookbook.  My husband's favorite foods are tacos and pasta with red sauce.  In our house, Tuesdays are taco night.  So, when I saw a cookbook all on tacos--300 best taco Recipes by Kelley Cleary Coffeen, I thought my husband would love it!

What I found with this cookbook is that it made my mouth water and it made me want to cook.  It also sparked my imagination.  In the beginning is a great description of all the different ways to warm or fry tortillas.  Her list of equipment and ingredients was very helpful.  As I read through the cookbook, I recognized my mom's beef taquito recipe.  She uses variations of this recipe for both chicken and beef taquitos or rolled tacos.  These were a family tradition in my house around Christmas time that I miss.  I highly recommend making some of these with some guacamole!  There are several great sections of appealing pictures--that will of course make you want to have some tacos very soon.  There is also a great variety of sauces and salsas in that section of the book.  It didn't have everything I've ever wanted to make when it comes to salsa, but it had some fun ideas and we enjoyed the Citrusy Lime Salsa I made.  

Now for some specific notes...
1) My family has been frying corn tortillas for years, so I read her description carefully.  I do not deep fry mine.  I use a nonstick skillet with a little oil.  Fry it until it starts to puff up a little and then use a wooden spoon.  Place it in the middle and use tongs to fold over the side of the tortilla (to fold it into a moon shape).  Fry it until both sides are as crispy as you would like them.  Place on a paper towel lined plate when cooked.

2) Last week, I made some great tacos on a non-designated taco night.  I think it was a Thursday.  I made some chicken tacos.  The chicken was seasoned with pepper, sea salt, and rosemary.  I served the tacos with chicken, sour cream, and carmelized onions. They were yummy!  

Here's the recipe for the chicken.  
Put 1 tsp. dried rosemary, 1 tsp. coarse sea salt, and 1/2 tsp. cracked pepper in a Mortar bowl.  Use a pestal to crush it.  Slice 1 lb. chicken breasts into strips.  Place in a bowl and toss with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Then, add in the spice mixture and toss to coat.  Saute chicken in pan until cooked through.

Carmelized onions:
I thinly slice an onion.  Add 1 tsp. brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. canola oil.  Saute for 30-40 minutes over med. low heat.  If the heat is too high--they won't cook faster, they'll just burn unfortunately.  I know this from experience of trying to rush them!

This recipe is not in the taco cookbook, but I took the idea from the book.  There is a great recipe for Rosemary Chicken Tacos in the book.  I used it as a springboard.  The recipe in the cookbook calls for grilling the chicken and a creamy garlic spread (which sounds wonderful).  

When I made my version of Rosemary chicken tacos, I realized that this is what made me like this cookbook--it started my brain going.  I had put tacos in a box and not thought of them as anything other than meat or refried bean tacos.  This cookbook helped me see that there's a lot more to tacos than meets the eye!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook from Robert Rose Publishing for review.