• summer turkey chili
    Dinner

    Summer Turkey Chili

    It has been a while since I last made chili and now that it’s getting warmer I wanted to make it a little lighter. The answer was a brighter Turkey-based chili that maintained that key heartiness but feels a lot lighter. The turkey was a really great meat for chili. Its on the leaner side and brings some light flavor. We did a mix of ground white and dark meat to keep it lean overall but also get some of that great dark meat flavor. For flavors, I used a pretty classic spice mix, but instead of going for smoky like my normal beef chili and went bright. We went…

  • taco dip
    Appetizer

    Taco Dip

    Taco Dip is the quintessential McKeown family party staple. I think this has made an appearance at almost every party regardless of the season or event. Engagement party? Yep. Thanksgiving? Yep. Christmas? Definitely. The best part is that Rob loves it too; he almost immediately took to this dip. It is dangerous at parties since its so easy to eat; people can pretty easily forget that its so filling. The best part of this dip is how simple it is. It has three ingredients: cream cheese, salsa, and taco cheese. Once you have those three you simply layer them in that order. Its best to microwave the cream cheese for…

  • adobo roast chicken
    Dinner

    Adobo Roast Chicken

    I have been looking for ways to make my roast chickens a little crispier. Normally, I just pat the chicken dry and use a little oil or butter. This generally leads to a pretty crispy skin, but not to the level that I have been wanting. So to the internet I went. The solution I tried this time around is a dry brine of the chicken. If you aren’t familiar, its basically rub the bird in salt and let it sit in your fridge for a while. By a while, I mean like hours; so this a weekend or prep the night before kind of recipe. Its a little more…

  • roast corn mole
    Side Dish

    Roasted Corn con Mole

    I will start by saying that this is probably not a true Mole sauce. It is definitely strongly inspired with warm Mexican spices and the essential dark chocolate. Mole sauces are really interesting but definitely a little intimidating. In general, I am a little nervous to try very authentic, traditional foods. More often than not there is a subtlety to the technique or the recipe that recipes sometimes just don’t capture. So I stuck to the inspiration. Corn is easily one of my favorite spring-summer side dishes. Its versatile, fun, and a great way to introduce children to cooking. I always remember growing up and shucking corn in the summer.…

  • Salsa Verde
    Side Dish

    Salsa Verde

    Who doesn’t like salsa? Not may people I am guessing. A Salsa Verde is a really great way to mix up your salsa game. It tends to be really bright and the flavor is a little different than a traditional tomato salsa. Tomatillos provide that difference. Tomatillos are a lot of fun to use. They look really funny when they have their husk on them. Tomatillos comes from the “ground cherry” family of plants. The fruit is enclosed in a papery husk that needs to be removed before use. Something else to look out for is that tomatillos is that under that husk is a sticky, waxy residue that you…

  • Brisket Enchilada
    Dinner

    Brisket Enchiladas

    Brisket is easily one of my favorite cuts of beef. It is loaded with natural flavor and when cooked right is perfectly tender. The downside is the “cooked right” part of that previous statement. Brisket HAS to be cooked slowly, its a meat that takes a low and slow approach. That’s why it is definitely a good meat for some make-ahead prep. For these enchiladas, we wanted to go with a brisket for the meat. So, cooking the meat in advance became a requirement. Pot roasting it with a lot of classic Tex-Max flavors in advance provides a great starting point for the enchiladas that would follow. I used some…

  • Roasted Chickpeas
    Appetizer

    Roasted Chipotle Chickpeas

    Today is the start of March Madness. For me, its a time for snacking and watching games. Sometimes those games lead to stress which leads to more snacking. That means I need a snack I can just keep munching on that is healthy and flavorful. Roasted Chickpeas are the ultimate healthy snack that you can munch on all day. Personally, I love a flavorful snack that isn’t sweet. Roasted Chickpeas make a really great canvas for flavor since on their own they are pretty bland. I have made them in a variety of styles in the past. You can go pretty basic or really experiment. My first batch years ago…

  • Fish Taco
    Dinner

    Seared Blue Fish Tacos

    Well, if you are Catholic, its Lent and you know what that means: no-meat Fridays!!! (There is a hilarious joke in 30 Rock about this being because the Pope owns Long John Silvers) So that basically means cheese pizza or fish. Growing up, my mom HATED fish with a passion; so it was mostly the pizza option. Rob grew up eating fish and is helping me get used to it. I think I am really starting to work out the kinds of fish and preparations that I like. I definitely prefer a firmer fish texture and I like it with a good crust to provide a nice textural contrast. I’ve…

  • burrito lasagna
    Dinner

    Taco Tuesday: Chorizo Burrito Lasagna

    This Burrito “Lasagna” recipe was definitely a little bit of an experiment. By “little bit”, I guess I really mean a lot. Rob and I were just spit balling ideas for how could we make something like tacos or enchiladas a bit different. It is amazing what you can come up with when you have these kind of experimentation brainstorms. We started with well maybe we add some rice to enchiladas and make them more like baked burritos. Rob also suggested quesadillas as an option. Then we said chorizo. So those ideas swirled around for a bit. Through a bit more brainstorming we came up with this idea for what…

  • glazed salmon taco
    Dinner

    Taco Tuesday: Glazed Salmon Tacos

    For this addition of Taco Tuesday, I am bringing my first set of fish tacos!! While I am not a huge fan of salmon, I loved the flavor of these Glazed Salmon Tacos. The glaze is a spicy-sweet mixture that really helps to offset the fishiness of the salmon. Fish tacos can really add an interesting dimension to tacos mainly because of the texture. A flaky fish like salmon makes for a nice light taco that can be perfect in the summer months. On the other side of the spectrum are fried fish tacos. These are great as they add a really nice crunchy textural element to the taco which…