Stuffed Poblano’s With Red Sauce

I don’t know what’s wrong with restaurants these days but I am so tired of paying for bland mediocre food. Twice now we went to a Mexican restaurant where I ordered what was supposed to be authentOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAic Mexican food… first time I ordered a Chili Relleno and got a cold burnt poblano with a burnt red sauce that cost me over $10. The second time I ordered and trio of enchiladas with various filings and sauces, what I got was a soggy bland enchilada that tasted the same no matter what type of sauce or filling I ordered.

The sad thing is both of the places came highly recommended! So either I have become a food snob or people just stopped appreciating truly good food.

So to get past my rant, I was in the mood for some good Mexican food and decided to make my version of a fried stuffed poblano. Let’s just say despite the extra work, it was much better than anything I have gotten in a Mexican restaurant in a while and I live in Arizona……….SAD!

Check out www.cookingwithcaveman.com for more recipes and info

What you will need:

  • 4 Poblano peppers
  • 2 Cups red sauce (store bought or see recipe below)
  • 3-4 cups chicken mixture (see below)
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Frying Oil (peanut or other high temp oil)
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper

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Red Sauce

  • 6 Dried Ancho peppers, stems cut (I use dried peppers because they store in the pantry for along time)
  • 10 Dried Arbol peppers, stems cut
  • ½ White onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups of the water from rehydrating the peppers

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Filling

  • 1 Cooked chicken breast (grilled or baked with Mexican spices)
  • ½ white onion chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can black beans with liquid
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese shredded

 PrepOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Heat up your grill to medium high heat. (you can substitute the grill for the broiler if needed) While you are heating up the grill lightly coat the poblano’s with EVOO and season your chicken. Once the grill is good and hot place the poblano’s and the chicken on the grill.

Caveman Tip*** You are just looking to soften the poblano peppers on the grill and give them a little char without burning them, you want to give them that grilled flavor and get the skin loose so you can remove it.

Red Sauce Prep

Caveman Tip*** I like to put my dried peppers on the grill for a few minutes before I soak them in water, gives them a little extra smokiness.

After the dried peppers are toasted you will need to soak them covered in hot water at least 20-30 minutes to re-constitute them.Place your hydrated peppers and the remainder of the red sauce ingredients into a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Put the sauce into a small pan and simmer under medium heat.

Caveman Tip*** I wanted the sauce to reduce, that way it would concentrate those flavors give it a thicker consistency and that little bit of pop. That’s up to you, just taste it, add S&P or more vinegar to your liking, but I would recommend that you reduce it. Then just let it sit on the stove keeping it warm unit you are ready to use it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stuffed Poblano Prep

Once the peppers are soft and the skin starts to fall off pull them from the grill and let them cool. Continue to cook the chicken until its done and pull it off the grill. Just let it rest long enough so that you can shred it without burning your fingers.Once the poblano’s have cooled peel the skin off and then cut a small slit in the side of the pepper. Reach in and pull out the seeds.

Cook

Take your onions and mushrooms for the filling and sauté with some EVOO under medium heat; don’t forget to add a little salt and pepper. Once they are soft add the remainder of the filing ingredients and cook under medium heat until warm. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes giving the spices time to incorporate into the mixture and the chicken time to absorb some of that black bean flavor.

While your mixture is cooking get a pan heated up with your frying oil. You only need about 2 inches of oil at the bottom of the pan. If you have a candy thermometer it works best, you want to get your oil up to about 350 degrees. There are other tricks if you don’t have a thermometer using the base of a wooden spoon. Just give it a Google search and it will come up.

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Stuff the poblano’s with the mixture I use cheese them chicken mixture and them cheese again. Don’t over stuff them just enough so you can still close them. Next you will want to roll them in the egg wash and then liberally coat them with the panko bread crumbs.

Now, carefully lay them in the oil and roll them so that they fry on all the edges. You will want to dry them on a paper towel and then serve immediately with your red sauce.

It’s a bit much for a weeknight recipe but definitely worth the work! This dish goes great with my Spanish Rice

Spicy Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Turned out to be just one of those weekends where things are just not going right. Had to go into the office on Saturday morning for a few hours to make sure things were going well. Unfortunately, I felt a cold coming on the day before and yes, stuffy nose and all, Saturday morning. I hate colds! On top of all that – it’s been raining for 2 days straight!  Now I know that most of you will go “really, rain for two days? What’s the problem?” However, I live in Arizona and this is not common for us; it’s supposed to be my favorite time of year.  Always sunny with temps in the upper 60’s and low 70’s.

With the rainy weather and “cold temps” (yea sorry, cold temps for me!), I was in the soup mood and Cavewoman was all for it. Being that I made chicken noodle soup a few weeks back, I decided I wanted something different. I decided to tackle a spicy Udon noodle soup. Traditionally, I am a huge chicken noodle, chicken and dumpling, & chicken pot pie fan – but I wanted to change it up with spicy zesty Asian flavors. That’s where the Udon noodle soup idea came in.

Being that I was a prisoner in my home, (rain and all) I went all out and made my own chicken broth. This really isn’t something I would recommend because nowadays you can buy chicken broth for a lot cheaper than you can make it. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t beat the flavors of homemade but for $10 a bowl, you can make it a lot cheaper with store-bought broth. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out my chicken broth recipe; if not, don’t be shy and buy the broth, I have plenty in my cupboard.

For more great recipes and tips go to http://www.cookingwithcaveman.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. bacon fat (or other oil)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero, seeded and chopped (or 1 small jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 3 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast recipe follows
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 (7-ounce package) udon noodles, prepared according to package directionsoyster1[1]
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 2 baby bells chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, for garnish (optional, adds a good crunch)

 

Prep

Grab a small stock pot and fill it with about 8 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Add your chicken breast and bring the water just to a rolling boil. Then you will want to reduce the heat to a simmer and let the chicken cook. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Once it’s cooked set the chicken aside and let it cool and then shred it with a fork.

Caveman Tip*** If you boil the chicken it will seize up and get tough. You want to gently boil or simmer the chicken. I also like to add some dried herbs to the water to help add flavor to the chicken. You could also bake it or grill it whatever you want to do.shiitake01[1]

Cook

I like to use the same stock pot as I cooked the chicken in, less dishes to clean. To the pan add the bacon fat or oil and give it a medium heat. Next add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onions become soft, stirring frequently.

Once the onions are soft, add the 8 cups of chicken broth and the diced habanero. Now turn up the heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Let the broth simmer for about ten minutes with the lid off.

Caveman Tip*** By letting the brother simmer with the lid off, it will reduce the liquid slightly and give you a more concentrated flavorful broth. Always taste the broth at multiple times this will give you an idea if it needs more salt or other seasoning. I can’t say this enough; always taste your food as you cook.

While you are finishing you broth get a pan out and cook your noodles as the package describes, don’t forget to salt the water.Shredded Chicken

Caveman Tip*** I like to boil my noodles in a separate pan from the broth that way I can salt the noodles and the starch released from the noodles doesn’t get in my broth.

Once the broth is where you want it add the shredded chicken, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid on. This will allow the beautiful flavor of those mushrooms to infiltrate that broth and give it an earthy flavor.

Grab a bowl; place your noodles in center and ladle the broth in. I like to garnish with a little cilantro, bean sprouts and red baby bell peppers.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

What you will need:

  • ¾ Cup Butter
  • 2 Cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Cup Ranch Dressing (Or Blue Cheese)
  • 1 grilled boneless chicken breast cut into 1/4” cubes
  • 4 Green Onions Chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Feta cheese
  • 4 -8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese (depends on how cheesy you like it)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pizza dough (Fresh & Easy and Trader Joe’s has great pizza dough you can purchase) or check out Caveman’s recipe for pizza dough

Prepare the buffalo chicken goodness:

In a liquid measuring cup, combine your cornstarch and water together until it makes a slurry.  Set aside.

Over medium heat, melt together ½ cup butter and 2 cups Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.   Add your chicken to the sauce and bring it to a gentle boil. Let it simmer for about ten minutes so the chicken to start absorbing the flavor. Add your cornstarch mixture to the sauce so it will thicken and continue to simmer under low heat until you are ready to put it on the pizza.

Prepare your toppings:

Sauté the Jalepeno’s in EVOO until it’s soft and then set them aside

Using your other ¼ cup of butter, sauté garlic under low heat for about 15 minutes, this makes a garlic butter sauce for the dough.

Assemble:

**Caveman Tip: Get yourself a nice ceramic pizza stone; they last forever and work perfect in the over or on the grill. Since I got mine we probably make pizza twice a month and the great thing about pizza is the options are limitless so experiment and have fun with it.

**Caveman Must: Pull the dough out of the fridge and let it rest at least 30 minutes before you start working it. You need to make sure that dough is at room temperature.

Using your counter, spread out some flour this is so the dough doesn’t stick to the counter as you are rolling it. You will probably need to sprinkle a little on the rolling pin as well.

Lightly dust the pizza stone with corn meal

Gently roll out the dough and the place it on the pizza stone.

**Caveman Tip: For crispy dough preheat the stone in the oven at 450⁰F this really helps. If you do that you are going to need a second pizza stone or one of those really large spatulas. It can also be tricky transferring the pizza to the stone. If you decide not to preheat the stone it will turn out just fine as well. I like to cook the pizza on the grill this allows the stone to heat up a lot quicker being so close to the flame. Just be careful not to get it to hot and burn the bottom of the pizza. You may have to slide the stone over to indirect heat after a few minutes to let it finish cooking.

Now that you have the dough rolled out, coat the dough with a thin layer of your garlic butter sauce, followed by a thin layer or your ranch dressing. Add a generous amount of your buffalo chicken mixture.  Top with jalapenos, Feta, Montery Jack Cheese and then sprinke top with green onions.

Bake in oven or grill at 450⁰F for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is lightly brown and melted.

Pull it from the oven or grill and let it rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.

Sorry about the half pictures but being the caveman I am I needed the other side to be a meat supreme!

 

Blackened Chicken Rub (we like it spicy…)

 

What you will need:

  •  1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • ¾ tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  •  ½ tbsp. thyme
  • ½ tbsp. red pepper flakes

 

Combine all the above ingredients and store in an air tight container until ready to use.  Shake and make sure they are mixed well.

  • 1-2 Limes (to squeeze lime juice)
  • Chicken breasts, (boneless works best depending on what you’re making but bone in  hind quarters are just as delicious)

Apply

Take the defrosted chicken breast put in a bowl and squeeze lime juice on both sides.  Let the chicken sit in the bowl for 5-10 minutes. Pull the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle liberally with seasoning and let sit another 10 minutes.  This allows the chicken to come up to room temperature prior to cooking.  **Caveman’s Tip: cooking cold meat on a hot grill makes the meat contract resulting in a tough, potentially dry meat

Prepare the grill

Get the BBQ ready, either coal or propane, I prefer having a propane grill for this because it’s usually a weeknight meal and after work I don’t have time to mess with the coals.  Heat the grill until hot, on a propane grill I get it up to 500°F.

 Cook

Put the chicken on the grill. Sear until the chicken is a deep red color with dark black grill marks on both sides.  (I like to have the grill lid open at this point because it allows me to sear off the chicken without overcooking it)

Still on the grill, move the chicken to indirect heat, off to the side. (I prefer to cook at this point with the grill lid down now) Continue to cook for 8-15 minutes depending on the breast size.

**Caveman Tip:  People often get hesitant when cooking chicken and tend to turn it into chicken jerky. I always use a good reliable instant read thermometer when cooking chicken and pork so I can make sure it always ends up plump and juicy. Chicken can be so flavorful when cooked correctly. (Please check out my blog on cooking the perfect chicken for more info)

Check the temperature of the chicken and make sure it’s 150°F and then remove it from the grill. 

Wrap it in foil or a container with a lid, and let it sit for 5-8 minutes. This allows the chicken to finish coming up to temperate without drying it out. It also allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Put the chicken on a cutting board and slice to serve, I prefer this in tacos, burritos and even a good salad.