Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BBQ Chicken Taco Party

Tacos are a great party/hosting food. They are easy, that are tasty, and people can have exactly what they want! On Saturday night the Hubbs and I were planning to go over to another good couples house and grill. While planning things out, word got spoken that I was a good cook, so I was asked to cook. I got SO EXCITED!! I like love to cook and entertain! (even if I am prepping all the ingredients at home, bringing them to another house, and then cooking) Hummmm....potential business venture there?? Maybe??

Wanting to keep things spicy and different. The Hubbs and I decided on doing chicken instead on steak. The tacos were accompined by a grilled asparagus and prosciutto appetizer, tortilla chips with homemade salsa and guacamole, and steamed peppers and onions. Other toppings were; grated Manchego cheese and sour cream. The meal ended with grilled peaches on grilled cinnamon-sugar tortillas with sweetened sour cream.

Phew! Think I took advantage of having a grill? I think so! Here are the recipes:

~Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus w/ Lemon~
(Recipe from Serious Eats)
1 Bunch asparagus, washed, tough ends snapped off
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto*
1 lemon, zested and cut in half
Olive Oil
Black Pepper

Wrap each asparagus spear in 1 slice of prosciutto, or 1/2 slice if the slices are large (or asparagus are small). Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, and season with black pepper to taste. Preheat a gill to high heat. Place lemon halves, cut side down, and the asparagus on the grill. Cook asparagus until tender and prosciutto crisps, about 3-5 min. per side. Cook lemon halves until lightly browned, about 2-3 min. Remove asparagus from grill. Immediately squeeze the lemon halves over them, and sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temp. 

*I used 8 oz. of prosciutto and I halved each slice. I also used about 2-3 asparagus per roll because they were small and there were a lot in the bunch I got.

~Fresh Tomato Salsa~
(Recipe from Simply Recipes)
2-3 med sized fresh tomatoes, stems removed, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced 
1 jalapeno chili pepper, stems, ribs, and seeds removed, finely diced
1 serano chili pepper, stems, ribs, and seeds removed, finely diced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped 

Chop the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Place in a med bowl. Prep the chilies. Be careful while handling the peppers. Avoid touching anything else with your hands afterwards until they have been washed thoroughly with soap and hot water. The seeds can be saved and added later if the salsa is not hot enough. Just a few at a time though. Combine the chilies, lime juice, salt, and pepper in the same bowl as the tomatoes. Stir to combine. Let sit for at least 1 hr. Stir before serving. Makes about 2-3 cups.

~Essential Guacamole~
(Recipe from Serious Eats)
4-5 ripe Haas avocados
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 dashes Tabasco
1/2 c. red onion, finely diced
1-2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (from a jar w/ water) 

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes enough for 4 adults.

I had to alter this one to get the exact flavor I was looking for. The Tabasco, lemon, and sun-dried tomatoes add wonderful flavor. I  added more chopped garlic, garlic salt, and a little more Tabasco.

~Beer-Marinated Chicken Tacos w/ Onions & Peppers~
(Recipe from Serious Eats)
1 c. dark Mexican beer, I used Dos Equis Amber
2 tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper*
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8-12 taco sized corn tortillas 
1 lg. yellow onion sliced into rings
1 red, yellow, and green pepper, cut into strips

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, remove as much air as possible, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours to overnight. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat a grill to high. Place the peppers on double-layered tinfoil. Season with salt and pepper, and roll up into a package. Do the same for the onions. Place peppers and onions on grill, away from direct flame, about 7-8 min. before chicken. Turn foil package occasionally. Grill chicken until fully cooked and browned on both sides, about 4-5 min. per side. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 min. Check peppers and onions, they are done when steam comes out of the package and both are soft. While chicken is resting, warm tortillas on the grill until pliable, about 1 min. per side. Cut chicken into thin strips.
To assemble, place a tortilla on a plate and top with guacamole, add chicken, peppers, onions, salsa, cheese and sour cream, or whatever toppings you wish. Wrap up and eat!

*I did not have cayenne pepper so I used some dried hot mexican chilies

This seems like a lot, but it was very doable for someone willing to put in the effort! I made the salsa ahead of time, and also marinated the chicken for about 3-4 hours. Everything was prepped before we went over to our friends house. All I had to do was cook!

Now, on to dessert!

~Grilled Peaches w/ Cinnamon-Sugar Tortillas & Sweetened Sour Cream~
(Peach recipe from Martha Stuart - Tortilla recipe from SAB)
4 peaches
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. sour cream
3 tbsp. brown sugar
4 flour tortillas
Spreadable butter
Cinnamon-sugar mixture

Mix sour cream and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Half and pit the peaches; brush both sides with butter, set aside. Preheat grill to med-low. Spread each tortilla with butter and sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon-sugar. Place peaches and tortillas on grill. Cook peaches until charred and softened, 4-5 min. per side. Heat the tortillas until the cinnamon-sugar bubbles and caramelizes, and the bottoms are brown, about 4 min. Remove both from grill. Place a tortilla on a plate. Slice 1 peach, two halves, and place on top of the tortilla. Spoon seasoned sour cream over top, and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm.

This was a very yummy and light dessert. I have been wanting to grill some other fruit besides pineapple. Maybe next time i'll grill some bananas? Who knows! I hope you can try some of these recipes for yourself!


1 comment:

Kristianna said...

Mmmm. My mouth is watering looking at this post, especially the peaches. That is one thing we don't get here in NorCal without them being rather iffy or hauled halfway across the world. Gosh, now I really want the whole meal, but I already cooked dinner to be ready for a parents event at the elementary school this evening. Perhaps tomorrow. :)