Throwback Thursday – Best Foods I’ve Ever Eaten

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Hi, everybody! Sorry–long time, no post! I spent most of the past week visiting my hometown! It was a much-needed trip full of family time, canning and just enjoying the outdoors.

This Throwback Thursday is dedicated to one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten–BBQ Oysters from Desire Oyster Bar in New Orleans.

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These oysters are fried then tossed in Desire BBQ Sauce and topped with crumbled bleu cheese.  They are seriously succulent and absolutely delicious.  I literally fantasize about these oysters.

New Orleans is one of my very favorite places and my husband and I always make it a point to stop by Desire for a half dozen of these babies and some cold Abita.

Okay, I’ll stop now before I start obsessing about another trip to NOLA! 😉

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?  Are there dishes that you just can’t get out of your head?

Let me know here in the comments section!

Cheers!

Southwest Chicken Bowls

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Hey! Hope your week is going well so far.

Today, I made these delicious chicken bowls for lunch.  They are an excellent option when you’re looking for something healthy that also has a ton of flavor.

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Southwest chicken bowls combine light, fresh veggies and brown rice with protein-packed chicken and black beans.  This meal is light enough that you won’t need a post-lunch nap, but filling enough to help you power through the rest of your day without getting HANGRY.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

Reduced Sodium Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

Brown Rice, prepared according to package directions

Lettuce

Tomatoes, diced

Onions, finely diced

Suggested Toppings: Salsa, Cholula Hot Sauce, Shredded Cheese

Start by cutting the chicken breast into small, bite-sized chunks.

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Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken.  Then add in hot sauce, lime juice and remaining spices. Mix well until all of the chicken is coated with the spices.

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Heat an additional tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken.  Saute for 10-12 minutes until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

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Meanwhile, prepare the brown rice according to package directions.

Drain and rinse the black beans.  Pour into a small saucepan along with 1 cup of water, diced red bell pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder.  Cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through.

Once chicken is done, remove from heat.  It should be a beautiful golden color.

The chicken really is the star of this dish.  I also use this spice mix/method for making some awesome chicken tacos!

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To Make the Bowls:

Place a small amount of rice in the bottom of a serving bowl.

Top with lettuce, tomato and onions.  Add a spoonful each of black beans and then chicken.  Finish bowl with desired toppings.  I usually add salsa, Cholula Hot Sauce and a small amount of shredded cheese.

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There are so many topping options you could add to customize this chicken bowl: Sour Cream, Guacamole, Queso, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, pico de gallo… The possibilities are endless! 😉

And there you have it! A delicious, healthy meal that is packed with flavor, protein and filling fiber.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe!  I’d love to know what you think.  Please feel free to leave me comment below. You can also follow me on Pintest or on Instagram @m_is_for_mimosa.

Cheers!

Beer-Braised Ribs

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Happy Friday! I’m so glad it’s the weekend and it looks like the weather will be perfect for barbecuing.  

And I’ve got an awesome recipe for a weekend gathering.

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My husband is the grill master in our family and after a lot of tinkering with different techniques and recipes, we finally came up with this fail-proof method for delicious, tender ribs.  The combination of braising the ribs in beer and then grilling them results in super moist and flavorful meat that your friends and family will rave about.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Ribs & Braising Sauce:

2 racks of pork ribs (spare or baby back will work)

1 cup of beer 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tsp honey

1 tsp garlic power

 

For the Rub: 

8 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tbsp kosher salt

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp thyme

First, measure out the spices for the rub and mix them together in a small bowl.

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Next, prep the ribs.  I used 2 racks that weighed about 3 lbs total.  You can use pork spare ribs or baby backs with this method.  Beef ribs might also work, but I haven’t personally tested this recipe using beef ribs.  

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First, you’ll need to remove the thin membrane that covers the under side of the ribs.  This may seem daunting at first, but it’s really not. It can be done easily using a paring knife and there are lots of YouTube tutorials showing how to remove it quickly.  Once you’ve done this, place the ribs on a sheet pan and rub them down liberally with the spice mixture.  

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Be sure to coat the ribs entirely with a generous amount of the rub.  Any remaining rub can be saved in a sealed container or ziplock bag for future use.  

Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  The longer, the better here. 

Next, preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  

Now it’s time to mix up your braising sauce.  

The secret to this recipe is the beer.  We’ve tested a lot of different beers with this recipe and have found that a brown ale works best.  For this batch I used a local-ish beer from a brewery in Gadsden, AL.  Back Forty Beer Company’s Truck Stop Honey was an excellent compliment to the pork and is definitely a keeper for this recipe.  This brown ale is smooth and really great for drinking even if you’re not barbecuing!  I also used raw gallberry honey that I picked up from a local beekeeper at the farmer’s market.

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Mix 1 cup of the beer with apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, honey and garlic powder.  

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Wrap each rack of ribs in foil, and add 1/2 of braising sauce to each packet.  

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Seal the packets up so that no braising liquid will run out during cooking and place on sheet pans.

 

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Place the ribs in preheated oven and allow to braise for about 2 1/2 hours.  

Just before ribs are ready to be pulled from the oven, prep your grill.

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Remove the foil packets from the oven, open them up and place onto the grill.

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Once a majority of the braising sauce has evaporated and the ribs begin to caramelize slightly on top, remove the foil and place the ribs directly onto the grill to finish.

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Grill ribs until they reach desired color and texture.  Finish by brushing on BBQ sauce if desired.

Remove and slice into portions.

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I served these ribs with a traditional southern potato salad.  It’s just five simple ingredients: potatoes, mustard, light mayo, onions and dill relish. 

Tip: My mom’s rule of thumb for judging how much to make is to use 2 potatoes per person and then add one more “for the pot.”  Adjust the remaining ingredients depending on how many potatoes you use and according to your own personal taste.  

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To make the potato salad, boil the potatoes, mash slightly, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Add a dash of salt and pepper then chill until ready to serve.Image  Image

 

Beer-braised ribs paired with this potato salad are ideal for a spring picnic or barbecue.  Invite some friends over and enjoy some drinks and games while the ribs are cooking.  Trust me, they are worth the wait!

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  You can email me at misformimosa@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa. 

Whatever you do, I hope you have a safe and fun-filled weekend!

Cheers!

Catching Up

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Hey! My apologies for the long hiatus! I hope you all had a nice couple of weekends.  The past week has been crazy busy with family, food and fun adventures.  Don’t worry, though–I’ve got some tasty recipes coming at ya this week.

Our Easter feast turned out as awesome as I had hoped it would and my family had a great time just hanging out together.

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Of course, there were mimosas! For a classic mimosa, I like to mix 1 part 100% orange juice (my favorite is Indian River Select) with 2 parts champagne or sparkling wine.  These were so refreshing and the perfect compliment to our Easter brunch.

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That’s my grandmother’s banana pudding that I mentioned in last week’s blog post! It was so, so delicious and I was very excited to have my little nephew as an extra special helper while making this family favorite.  Sweet, fresh bananas layered with silky yellow custard and crisp vanilla wafer cookies make this meringue-topped dish the perfect dessert for an Easter meal.

Southern Fried Chicken

And this is one of the only pictures I was able to snap of my Southern Fried Chicken.  I’ve been working on this particular recipe for years and it was a huge hit with my family as usual.

Speaking of fried foods…Frying chicken can be such a pain and I generally avoid frying anything since it’s obviously the least healthy way to cook food, but I am a sucker for some good southern fried chicken. It’s great with farm fresh vegetables and awesome with some fluffly homemade waffles and maple syrup…  I mean, really…who doesn’t love fried chicken?!

It took me a long time and a lot of testing to get my own recipe just right, but I think I’ve finally got it down.

The most recent find that helped me perfect my recipe is a breading basket.  Breading baskets are inexpensive and can save you SO much time when breading and frying.  Using this secret weapon results in perfectly coated chicken and way less mess in the kitchen.

To bread chicken using a breading basket, just add your breading of choice to the bottom of the container, snap the plastic sifter into place, then lay your buttermilk-soaked chicken on top of the sifter. Now, cover with the lid and give the basket a good shake.  When you remove the lid, you should have chicken that is evenly coated and clump free.

Once you’ve finished breading the chicken, all you have to do is drop the strips into hot oil for frying.

This method would also work perfectly for breading fish or any other food that you’d like to fry or bake.

Here’s my recipe for flaky, golden fried chicken:

For the Marinade:

1/4 Gallon Buttermilk

1 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

For the Chicken

2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

3 cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 tsp Salt

1 (48 oz) Bottle of Canola Oil for frying

Begin by cutting the chicken breasts into strips.  Then, mix the spices into the buttermilk.  Place chicken strips into a gallon-size freezer bag and cover the chicken with the buttermilk mixture. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let the chicken soak overnight. If you don’t have all night, try to let the chicken soak for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to cook, heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet or enameled dutch oven over medium heat.

While the oil is heating, combine breading ingredients in a bowl or the bottom of a breading basket.  Put the sifter in the basket and place marinated chicken on top.  Cover with lid and shake until chicken is evenly coated with flour and spice mixture.  (If you’re breading in a bowl, make sure each strip is evenly coated with breading mixture and shake off excess flour before placing into the oil.)

Carefully move the chicken strips from the breading basket into the hot oil using tongs.

Fry chicken until it is cooked through and the breading is flaky and golden brown.

Remove chicken from oil and place in a dish lined with paper towels.

Serve immediately.

There you have it! Super easy, delicious, crowd-pleasing fried chicken.

I’ll be back this week with more posts and new recipes.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Email me anytime at misformimosa@yahoo.com or find me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Until next time… Cheers!