4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 can black beans
1 romaine heart, washed and shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 large orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
1 small red onion
1 avocado, sliced thin and seasoned
1 clove garlic, minced
2 + 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
corn tortillas, fried crisp

  • Drain and rinse black beans well.
  • Halve the onion and slice one half of it into thin rings. Dice the other half. Keep separate.
  • Mix together the cumin, paprika and oregano. Divide in half.


  • In a small bowl add the onion ring slices.
  • Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, sprinkle with salt, toss together and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • In another small bowl mix half the seasoning mixture with the other 2 tablespoons of vinegar, the orange juice and half the lime juice.


  • Generously season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet heat avocado oil until shimmering over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken breasts and sear on both sides until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to plate and rest.


  • Add diced onion pieces and half the garlic to the skillet, sautéing until fragrant.
  • Add black beans, remaining garlic and one half of the spice mixture. Cook 3-5 minutes until soft and heated through.
  • Add half of lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and set aside.


  • Shred chicken and place in a mixing bowl with half the orange juice mixture.
  • Pour the other half of the juice mixture over the shredded lettuce and top with the cilantro. Toss to coat.


  • Place a tortilla on a plate.
  • Top with a bit of the pickled onions followed by a handful of the lettuce mixture.
  • Add a spoonful of the beans followed by a spoonful of the shredded chicken and top with avocado slices.


Lard is made of animals fats, most commonly rendered hog fat. Crisco and Lard are both shortenings. Lard is shortening. BUT, Crisco is a shortening made from vegetable oils therefore Crisco is NOT lard.

LOL while this sounds confusing, it’s pretty simple really.  For this recipe because I am DESPERATELY trying to clean out the pantry AND the freezer I improvised this time, but did not reflect my changes in my normal recipe (BELOW) which is a recipe I made combining the best ingredients (for us) and cooking procedures (for me) from Guy Fieri’s version with Giada’s version of Pulled pork.

3-pound bone in pork butt, cut into 4 pieces
3 pounds refined lard
1 red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 chipotle in adobo, diced plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
1 cup beer, such as Modelo Especial
Corn tortillas, for serving

Pico De Gallo, recipe below
Sour cream
Chopped green onions, sliced or diced
Lime wedges, for serving
Radish slices, for serving

  • Remove the pork butt from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Do not remove the bone.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander, salt and oregano.
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast.
  • Bring oil to 250°.
  • Carefully add pork pieces to the hot oil. Keep pork pieces moving so they don’t stick until the are well seared on ALL sides.
  • Remove meat from lard and add onions and garlic, sautéing 2-3 minutes. DO NOT LET GARLIC BURN – IF IT DOES, START OVER!
  • Add pork pieces to roaster.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove onions and garlic, adding it to the meat. Discard oil.
  • Whisk together the beer, chipotle pepper pieces and adobo sauce.
  • Pour beer mixture over pork pieces.
  • Bake 1-1 1/2 hours. The pork should be caramel-colored with an internal temperature of 170 to 180°.
  • Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Shred the meat. Discard the bone and any gristle.
  • Add the shredded meat back to the slow cooker and toss with the onions and cooking juices.
  • Serve with Pico de Gallo, warm tortillas and garnishes.

4 Roma tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve.


Bed of Lettuce
Grilled chicken breast, chilled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/8 cup chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 lime

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving



Guisada is a a TEX MEX style of beef stew that is normally cooked slowly in a brown gravy. It can be eaten as a stew, but we prefer to eat is at street tacos. This is one of the most tender meats for yummy tacos. Using the green chile verde sauce adds a ton of flavor.

CARNE GUISADA STREET TACOS serves 8-10 (my easy version)

Avocado oil
2 pound chuck roast
2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large tomatillo, chopped
1 can green chile verde sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/4 cup Mexican corn flour
1/2 cup water

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Generously season roast with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a 4-quart stock pot over medium temperature.
  • Add roast and sear each side well.
  • Remove roast to a plate.
  • Add poblano pepper, onion, garlic to the stock pot along with the seasonings for a couple minutes.
  • Stir in tomato and tomatillo and sauté an 3 additional minutes.
  • Nestle roast into mixture.
  • Whisk together chile verde sauce, broth and flour until smooth.
  • Pour broth mixture over beef mixture.
  • Cover with foil and place in oven for 3 hours undisturbed.
  • Use 2 forks to shred beef into gravy.
  • Make a slurry of the water and corn flour.
  • Add slurry to mixture and simmer on stove top 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.
  • Enjoy!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 can shoepeg corn kernels
1 medium Vidalia onion, small dice
3 small sweet red pepper, seeded, small dice
1 can original ROTEL tomatoes with green chiles, drained WELL
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, cold
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound mini rigatoni or pasta of choice, cooked al dente
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
Minced cilantro leaves
Pickled jalapenos, drained and minced

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Add the butter, corn, onions, red peppers, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, sauteing until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, chile powder, cayenne pepper and flour, stirring frequently 3 to 4 minutes until roux forms.
  • Pour in the cold milk in a steady stream, stirring vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture starts to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack. Cook until the sauce is smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the scallions, tomatoes, peppers and rigatoni, mixing well to combine.
  • Pour into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with panko crumbs evenly over the top and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Remove to a cooling rack and let rest for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with the Cotija cheese, jalapeno and cilantro.
  • Serve immediately.


2 medium fresh poblano or Anaheim chile peppers, roasted
1 small sweet red pepper, roasted
2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups Green Giant white corn niblets, drained
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 can green chiles, drained well
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425˚.
  • Grease 6 six ounce ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a 13×9 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine eggs and cream.
  • Fold in peppers, corn, chicken, cheese, bread crumbs, chives, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Pour mixture evenly into ramekins.
  • Place baking dish on center rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Add 1 inch of boiling water to the baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove ramekins from water and serve on plates.


4 chicken legs **
2 tablespoons avocado oil
6 slices bacon, diced
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
4 LARGE cloves garlic
1 cup whole milk
4 sprigs FRESH thyme, reserve 1 sprig to chop small
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 Poblano pepper
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup sour cream

  • Broil pepper to blister.
  • Place pepper in a sealed ziploc bag for 5-10 minutes to loosen skin.
  • Remove skin and seeds.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. (Dredge with egg wash and Wonder if using skinless, boneless pieces)
  • Brown chicken pieces until golden and JUST cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to drain off excess fat. Keep warm.
  • Add bacon to pan and cook until crisp.
  • Remove bacon with slotted spoon.
  • Add onion and garlic cooking 2-3 minutes.
  • Add corn.
  • Add milk and 3 of the thyme sprigs and bring to a SLOW boil, immediately reducing to a simmer.
  • Add chicken pieces, cover and simmer 30 minutes if using bone in, 10-15 if using skinless boneless pieces.
  • Add corn and cook another 15-20 minutes until liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Plate creamed corn, and top with chicken.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice and sauce before serving.
  • Garnish with thyme leaves and crisp bacon.

NOTE:** This recipe can be made with boneless skinless thighs for easy eating, BUT having the skin that gets crispy and golden does add a layer of flavor and texture that makes a GREAT presentation. When I use skinless, boneless chicken I dredge the chicken in an egg wash and Wonder flour to give the illusion of a crusty skin.

TEX MEX BLT’S minus the lettuce

These little delights are perfect finger foods for ANY football party or get together with lots of people. They have just enough kick to spark everyone’s appetite for more.  The shells get crispy and the cheesy filling gets gooey and they are soooooo easy to assemble while looking like you spent hours in the kitchen.

You can also vary the flavors for some extra alternative flavor.  Use your imagination and make up your own combinations.

TEX MEX BLT’s minus the Lettuce 
3-4 packages phyllo pastry cups – thawed
1 pound bacon, cooked well and crumbled into very small pieces (very fine ground beef/shredded beef)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese  (today I used a Jack and Skellig Sweet Cheddar combo)
1/2 cup medium Cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise (not Low-fat)
1 can Rotel original, drained REALLY well (when I use shredded beef I trade this for a 4 ounce can of diced jalapenos that I chop very fine)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Blend the mayonnaise and cheeses together.
  • Fold in the tomatoes and bacon.
  • Scoop evenly into the cups (this will fill about 36).
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until starting to brown and get bubbly.

NOTE:  These shells are pretty small so cut any larger chunks of tomato into smaller pieces to make them easier to fill. I did a couple second run through in my mini food processor.


A true Barbacoa uses parts of a cow that I prefer not to use, so when I ran across this recipe I thought it was wonderful. I think of this as a Mexican Sauerbraten. You do serve it shredded, but this was so pretty I just had to show you the before shredding picture.

1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup beef broth
1 medium Walla Walla onion, slivered
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast

  • Place the lime juice, vinegar, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cloves, cumin, oregano, pepper, salt and cloves in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Add broth and pulse until well blended.
  • Place roast in slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
  • Cook on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Shred meat into juices.
  • Prepare rice 20-30 minutes before ready to serve.
  • Serve over rice.

3 cups water
2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

  • In a large saucepan combine water, rice, butter and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.


Chipotle chiles add a nice smoky heat to the sauce.  Serve this piquant chicken with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and chiles, and sour cream.

3 pounds skinless chicken breast
1-1/2 cups oil
2 cans Chipolte Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 (can) 16 ounce whole tomatoes, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large bunches green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • Drain peppers, retaining sauce. Finely chop peppers and set aside.
  • In a heavy skillet, add 1/4 oil and heat until hot.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour and stir mixture until roux is a nice caramel color.  Set aside.
  • In a 4 quart heavy pot add 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil and adobo sauce.
  • Cook on low heat until brown in color.
  • Add onions, celery, garlic and stir until mixture is sauteed.
  • Add roux, a pepper or two depending on your heat index and whole tomatoes, while continuing to stir to keep mixture from sticking to bottom of pot.
  • Slowly add chicken broth while stirring to blend all ingredients together.
  • Add all seasonings, sugar and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Turn down heat, and add green onions and parsley.
  • Heat remaining oil until hot.
  • Slowly add chicken and pan-fry until slightly brown. Salt and peppering generously.
  • Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Slowly add chicken to the sauce and cook for about 45 minutes.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.


It’s finally turned cold here and all thoughts are on soup. While I can’t have the meatballs yet, hubby can and I will do the broth only.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 Jumbo Egg
1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sprigs of cilantro, minced fine
1/2 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups chicken stock
1 avocado, sliced
white cheese or sour cream for garnish


  • In a small food processor grind together the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and onion until well blended.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, breadcrumbs, rice and seasoning mixture until well blended.
  • Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and set aside.


  • In a sauce pan heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute’ until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and sea salt, cooking for 5 minutes until soft and tender.
  • With a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes to a blender and puree with chicken stock.
  • Return the tomato and chicken stock to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer and add the meatballs, cooking for 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  • To serve, place a few meatballs in each bowl and cover with ladles of soup.
  • Garnish with avocado and a sprinkle of white cheese or sour cream.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.


3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I use cheddar or a jack and cheddar mix)
2 green onions, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Cook macaroni al dente per package directions. Drain.
  • While macaroni is cooking, brown beef and pork in large skillet along with shallots and garlic.
  • Drain off all fat in a colander.
  • Add tomatoes, chiles, black beans, tomato paste and seasonings to skillet and blend well.
  • Add meat back in, stirring to blend.
  • Add macaroni and gently stir to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  • Baked covered 30 minutes until bubbly.
  • Uncover and add cheese, baking another 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
  • Sprinkle with green onions for garnish.