Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Calendar sale

Procrastinator's delight! My 2013 illustrated wall calendar is now on sale on the shop. Half off. YES. That's right. Half off while supplies last.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chicken Tinga Tacos

This is the perfect Sunday afternoon dish. A hearty pot of chicken braising in a mildly spicy tomato-based sauce that heats the house with currents of warm air and wafting sweet smells. There will be plenty of leftovers whose flavors ripen over the next day or two and countless ways of re-imagining and presenting the tender morsels of smoky shredded chicken and sauce. On the first night, have tacos. Next, add some shredded monterey to make smoky quesadillas dolloped generously with sour cream and sprinkled with scallions. I can't decide which I liked more.

The baking dish size may seem large for the amount of chicken, but it makes the layers of sauce surrounding it caramelize more during cooking. If you use a smaller dish, the cooking time will be longer and you may want to remove the chicken once it is cooked through and let the sauce continue to darken and cook in the oven.

Chicken Tinga Tacos
via Food & Wine

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds trimmed, skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 canned chipotles in adobo, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
24 corn tortillas
2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
Sliced scallions and chopped cilantro, for garnish

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour off the fat in the skillet.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned and softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chipotles and the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Transfer the sauce to a food processor and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake the chicken uncovered in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the meat is tender and the sauce is very thick and darkened around the edges. 

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat; discard the bones. Return the chicken meat to the sauce and heat for 2 to 3 minutes to be sure chicken is hot. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken onto each tortilla and sprinkle with the crumbled cheese. Garnish with scallions and chopped cilantro.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Business Tuesday: The challenge

Fifty books. Fifty movies. One year. One you. Over the weekend I signed on to the challenge of reading 50 books and watching 50 movies in 2013. I usually average about 30 books a year (that I keep track of here on the blog) and thought it would be fun to try to up that number this year and also to keep better track of the movies I watch.

The challenge comes with a well-designed web site where you can keep track of your lists and includes great community components for sharing book and movie recommendations. I'm off to a strong start with three books and three movies under my belt.

Here are a few great resources to help with the challenge:

Goodreads: Keep track of what you're reading, what you want to read, recommendations from other users/readers and more.

What should I read next? Exactly what it sounds like: Type in the name of a book you like and the site will generate a list of recommendations.

The New York Times bestsellers list

National Book Award winners

How about you? Wouldn't you like to join in the fun?