Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes | July 6, 2017 | By

I have mentioned before how much I love watching cooking shows on TV. I don’t know why, but whenever I see a new chef I don’t fully trust what they have to say until I try a recipe for myself OR until I hear them say something like “More butter is always better”. A couple months ago, I found Ayesha Curry’s cooking show and fell in love with it. She was making these Pulled Chicken Tacos and served them up in Seasoned Taco Shells! Why have I never thought to give some extra love to store bought taco shells? Well, I am glad she told me to because these are incredible! I gave the recipe a try soon after seeing that episode and we have eaten them countless times since.

These Pulled Chicken Tacos are a great weeknight meal because they don’t take long to throw together. Using a store bought rotisserie chicken cuts down on your prep time! They are also great for entertaining! Set up a taco bar with lots of delicious toppings. We like ours with Cotija cheese, red cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

The first step is to soften some sliced onions in a pan and then add in green chiles and lots of flavorful spices like: ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and oregano. The first time I made these I thought they were going to be too spicy for me BUT not at all! It’s the perfect blend of flavors. They add a nice smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. After the onions, chiles, and spices have had time to mingle, it’s time to add in the tomato sauce and water. This simmers until thickened and then the shredded chicken joins the party.  

While the chicken warms through, those ordinary store bought taco shells are ready for their transformation. Each side of the shell gets brushed with oil and then sprinkled with a blend of salt, ancho chile powder, coriander, and cumin. They bake in the oven for 6 minutes until nice and crisp. Now it’s time to serve!

These quickly became a favorite in my family and I know they will be in yours too! This also tastes great the next day as a taco salad piled high on a bed of romaine lettuce!

Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbls. light brown sugar
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • For the Taco Shells:
  • 2 tsps. ground cumin
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • kosher salt
  • 12 hard tacos shells
  • 3 tbls. vegetable oil
  • Toppings:
  • Limes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Avocado

Instructions

  1. In a straight sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and green chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the ancho chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and a cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You want the sauce to coat the chicken and not be too soupy. While the sauce thickens, prepare your taco shells.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Arrange the taco shells in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle on the seasoning mix. Flip over and oil and season the other side. Bake until crispy about 6 minutes. Flipping them over halfway through.
  5. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Source: Ayesha Curry

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JeannieBird Baking Company

Here I am once again to bring to you a “Tasty Place” that I have been LOVING. Come with me to downtown Westminster, Maryland and let’s visit JeannieBird Baking Company!

Inside a charming brick building, located right on Main Street, is one of the most amazing bakeries I have ever been to. Before I even walked in the front door, I knew I was in for something special. Many people I know have visited JeannieBirds and they all said the same thing, “You have to go there and put it on the blog”. So here we are! Let’s go inside!

Before we drool over all of the delicious food, let me tell you a little bit about how JeannieBird Baking Company came to be. Bernie Vogel met his wife Jeannie while working in the restaurant business many years ago. It was their dream to open up a place of their own one day. After getting married and raising their kids, it was finally time to pursue that lifelong dream. They opened JeannieBird Baking Company and it quickly became a favorite with college kids and locals by baking delicious pastries from scratch every day. Sadly, Jeannie passed away not long after the bakery opened. I never met Jeannie, but one thing is for sure, her spirit lives on inside JeannieBirds.

At JeannieBirds they bake everything the right way…..from scratch. You would be shocked to know how many bakeries out there don’t actually make anything in house. They bring product in frozen and pop it in the oven or just set something out to thaw. When I go to a bakery, I want something delicious that has been made from scratch in that very bakery. Sadly, sometimes that is to much to ask, but at JeannieBirds that is exactly what you will find. They make it a priority to use locally sourced ingredients and will highlight whatever fruits or vegetables are in season at the time. That means no fruit tarts in December people! When I asked Bernie if they truly made everything in house he said “Yes, of course!” and I followed that up with “Even the croissants?”….YES even the croissants! Now this is my kind of place.

If I lived closer to JeannieBirds, I am pretty sure you would find me there almost every morning ordering a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a croissant. Their Ham and Gruyere Croissant is one of my favorites. As I mentioned before they are made from scratch and you can truly taste how much love went into making them. So buttery and flaky! On my last visit, I went with a Chocolate Croissant…..now that’s Heaven.

In January, they brought in a savory pastry chef. You can now find things like Mushroom and Leek Hand Pies, Pizza, Shepherd’s Pie, and Savory Galettes. On one of my visits, they were featuring a galette with prosciutto, dates, and an herbed goat cheese. Wow! I could eat one of those everyday of my life.

If you find yourself there around lunch time, they also have a menu full of homemade sandwiches, soups, and salads. I haven’t actually tried anything from the menu yet…..why? Well, every time I go in I am so in awe over all of the glorious pastries that I completely forget about the made to order items! I do know that the sandwiches come on freshly baked bread and they even make their own English muffins for the perfect bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I guess I will have to make another trip to try them for myself!

JeannieBird Baking Company truly is a special place. From the moment you walk in you are treated like family and you are sure to have a delicious meal no matter what you choose.

Thank you JeannieBirds for serving such amazing treats and keeping everything from scratch……that keeps this foodie coming back for more! 

JeannieBird Baking Company

42 W Main Street

Wesminster, MD 21157

 

Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

The weather has been beautiful lately, and that means dinner most nights is cooked out on the grill and eaten on our back porch. I just love it! I have been trying my hardest to get the hang of this whole grilling thing and I have been doing quite well, if I do say so myself. It helps when the recipe I am cooking is super simple and only requires one flip…now that I can master. These Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta are the perfect dinner for a hot Summer evening with my family.

My sister Laura made these burgers for the first time a few years ago and we have been hooked on them ever since. These burgers are a favorite for many reasons. One, they are very simple to make. Two, they grill up in no time. Three, they look beautiful. Just look at all of the colorful ingredients that go into them: Italian parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Four, and most importantly, they taste amazing!

These Turkey Burgers are perfect for a hot Summer evening because they aren’t heavy like a traditional beef burger. Now I love me some beef burgers, but this turkey burger and all its sun-dried tomato and feta cheese goodness is just what I need sometimes. They have so much flavor and pair wonderfully with a cooling Tzatziki sauce and peppery arugula.

If you are looking for a delicious burger that can lighten things up this Summer, this one is for you. Happy grilling!

Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your grill to high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 6 even patties.
  3. Reduce the grill heat to medium and lightly grease the grill. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side, closing the grill in between flipping the burgers. You may need less time depending on your grill. Just keep an eye on them so they don't over cook.
  4. Serve on a fresh bun with tzatziki sauce and baby arugula.
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Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie

Desserts, Recipes | June 3, 2017 | By

I’m a little rhubarb crazy lately, can you tell? I’m not if sure if it’s the leftover excitement from the Rhubarb Festival or if it’s that rhubarb feels like my new best friend. How many times have I passed by rhubarb at the store or farmer’s market and thought, “It’s so pretty, but I have no clue what to do with it”, and kept on walking? Shameful. Never again. From here on out, when rhubarb is in season, I am going to put it into anything and everything I can.

When I told my Grandmother I was going to be a judge at the Rhubarb Festival, she surprised me by saying that Rhubarb Pie was her favorite. How did I not know this? So I knew I better not come home from Lancaster County without some fresh rhubarb in tow to bake my Grandma a pie!

At the festival, I picked up some beautiful local rhubarb and a pamphlet that has all sorts of fun rhubarb facts, as well as previous baking contest winning recipes! I chose to make the Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie by Belinda Myers. She won many awards in the baking competition this year, so I knew this pie had to be good!

For as wonderful as this pie is, it’s very easy to put together. First, it’s pie crust time. This pie didn’t come with a specific crust recipe, so I used a very simple crust that I have been loving lately. Once the dough is placed into the pie plate and made pretty (my pie beautification skills still need work) it’s on to the custard. In the bowl of an electric mixer, you will combine: sugar, flour, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. It whips on medium high for a few minutes until light and creamy. A little bit of the custard filling goes on the bottom of the pie crust, followed by the diced rhubarb, and the rest of that glorious custard. After baking for about 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set, the pie gets topped with a buttery sweet crumble and put back in the oven to get nice and golden brown.

This Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie is what rhubarb dreams about while growing in the fields. It is exactly where rhubarb wants to be……nestled between a sweet, creamy custard and a buttery, crunchy crumble. This pie is slightly tart, creamy, and crunchy all in one. After taking one bite of this pie, it was no surprise that this recipe won the 2007 Rhubarb Baking Contest. Enjoy!

 

Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie

Ingredients

  • Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4-5 tbsp. cold water
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6tbsp. butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 tbsp. coconut
  • 2 pinches cinnamon

Instructions

  1. For the pie crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until it's in pea sized pieces.
  2. Sprinkle on one tablespoon of the water at a time, tossing with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side and continue this until all the flour is moistened and a dough forms. Do not overmix.
  3. Form into a ball and roll out on a slightly floured surface. Turn and flour dough a few times, rolling out until its the size you need. Place dough in 9inch pie plate and flute the edges.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, flour, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium high speed for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour 2/3 cup of the custard into the prepared pie shell. Place the rhubarb in the pie crust and top with the remaining custard. Bake for 30 minutes. Check on the pie and if the edges are getting too dark tent with foil and bake until the center is almost set. Another 13-15 minutes. While the pie is in the oven make the crumble.
  7. For the crumble: In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Cut with a pastry blender until crumbles form. Mix in the chopped nuts and coconut.
  8. Pull the pie out of the oven and top with the crumble. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the center of the pie is set.

Notes

Pie Crust Source: The Recipe Critic Pie Recipe Source: Belinda Myers

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34th Annual Rhubarb Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village

Last weekend, I had the honor of being a judge for the “Best Rhubarb Dessert in Lancaster County Baking Competition” at the 34th Annual Rhubarb Festival! This fun and rhubarb crazy event is held every year at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. I featured Kitchen Kettle Village on the blog during my Lancaster County Foodie Adventure. Make sure you go check out all they have to offer! There are many specialty food shops that I love, and their Jam and Relish Kitchen is quite impressive. When they reached out to me about being a judge for their Rhubarb Festival, I couldn’t have been more excited!  

The baking competition was held outdoors on their main stage and featured three different categories in which people could enter their delicious treats: Pie, Cake, and Dessert. I was lucky enough to be a judge in the dessert category where we had 20 entries! I will never complain about to much dessert!

Before we started tasting, the judges were asked to choose a dessert that they thought had the best appearance for the “Judges Choice Award”. 

Once I casted my vote for the judges choice, it was time to start tasting. For every dessert, I had to give a rating in categories like appearance, taste, presence of rhubarb, etc. I didn’t realize how versatile rhubarb was! We had everything from cupcakes to tarts, Jell-O to bars; there isn’t anything you can’t put rhubarb in. Just look at all of these goodies I got to sample. Some of my favorites were: strawberry rhubarb cupcakes, rhubarb tarts, rhubarb cheesecake, and the rhubarb hand pies.

After the judging is all said and done, and the winners are chosen, all of the desserts are sold to the public to benefit the Lancaster Farmland Trust. What a great way to give back to the community in an area where farming and agriculture is so prevalent.

So how do we end the baking competition at the Rhubarb Festival? With the crowning of the Rhubarb King and Queen of course! Yes, there is a Rhubarb Festival King and Queen!

I can’t wait for the 35th Annual Rhubarb Festival. Who knows….maybe I will bake up some of my own desserts and enter the competition myself!