Tag Archives: Spicy

J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas
Chuy’s is one of the TexMex favorites that started in Austin and now has exploded throughout the south. They do everything fresh daily from the beans to the sauces and even the tortillas. They have great salsa that’s tart, tangy and spicy. Jalapeno Ranch (which I have a recipe for) is to die for. Lastly, their chicka chicka boom boom enchiladas.

They used to serve these on Wednesday’s before the became a permanent feature on their menu. When I was in Austin for work I always made sure I scheduled my trip around Wednesday so I could get my Chicka Chicka itch scratched. Thankfully they expanded their locations and as I said they made it a permanent fixture on their menu.

The Boom Boom sauce is made from hatch peppers, tomatillos, onions and of course melting cheese like American. One tweak I made is that they just use chicken on the inside of their enchiladas but I like a little more “stuff” in the middle of my enchiladas so I combined a little sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese with the roasted chicken breasts. IMG_9452

1 Roasted Chicken (shredded)
Flour tortillas
Fresh shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 lbs of American cheese (big chunk cut from deli)
2 tbs of sour cream
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of green onions
5-6 Tomatillos
2 yellow peppers
1 jalapeno (for more heat you can add a serrano pepper or two)
2 Poblano peppers (use Hatch if you can)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1/4 beer or water

1. Fire up a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Put your peppers, tomatillos and green onions in the pan to char them. Remove the tomatillos, yellow peppers and onions and set aside. Finish the jalapeno and poblano directly over the fire like below. Put those peppers in a covered bowl to let them sweat.

2. Take your peppers and slough off the skins and remove the spines and seeds. Cut the roots off the onions. Put the peppers, tomatillos, cilantro, vegetable stock in the blender and blend until smooth. If using beer add and blend slowly. If using water you can put it in at the start with the stock.

3. Pour that sauce into a non stick pan and cook on medium heat. Let it reduce a little. While that mixture is cooking down turn on your oven to 375 degrees. Also take your roasted chicken and shred it in a bowl. Add the sour cream and some mont jack cheese to the chicken. Combine well with your hands. Pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Back to your Boom Boom sauce. Add american cheese in small chunks and mix it in until it melts with the peppers. Taste and continue to add cheese to your liking. I used about 1 pound.

5. Assemble your enchiladas by spooning in the chicken mixture and rolling them up. Put them seam side down into a glass baking dish. Once you have them all snuggled into the pan top with a little boom boom sauce and mont jack cheese. Put this into the oven uncovered to let everything heat up and the cheese to melt properly. Going into the oven remember everything is already cooked so you are just heating it up. You could put it covered for longer if you needed to. IMG_9446

6. In classic form serve with mexican rice and barracho or refried beans. Top with jalapenos and or cilantro.

Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken with grilled asparagus and pickled radishes

Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken with grilled asparagus and pickled radishes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ultimate Korean Fried Chicken
Saw Judy Joo on a recent episode of FoodNetwork’s “The Kitchen”. Judy has a show that features Korean foods which are very popular in the US these days. It’s the new asian food craze over here and for good reason. Many of the dishes are clean and include a lot of fun vegetables with unique sauces.

This turned out amazing. The chicken was so crispy but bursting with moisture inside. The coating has Korean Chili flakes and other seasoning that give it a great flavor beyond other fried chicken batters.

But the sauce….”oh the sauce”so amazing. If you have trouble finding the Gochujang paste in your stores order it from Amazon (and the flakes too for that matter). It kind of tastes like fermented Sriracha. Just deeper in flavor.

Sauce Judy used grams in her measurements, I converted the largest amount to cups and then just winged it for the rest. I like soy and vinegar so I used more than she did but also backed off on the Sesame oil given it’s strength of flavor.

Grilling the asparagus gives the smokey / char flavor and the soy marinade compliments the entire dish. Finally the pickled radishes are perfect for this. The chicken and sauce are crunchy and deep in flavor and the radish comes in and cuts those flavors with a sweet acidic refreshing palate reset. So nice after two bites of the chicken and asparagus to drop in a radish to shake it up.

This is an easy dish but there are some steps and if you want the chicken crunchy and the entire plate to come together at the same time you will be multi-tasking. I suppose you could make your asparagus and put it in the oven at 150 or 200 to keep warm while you fry your chicken.

Chicken tenderloins and thighs (I used skinless and boneless)
Oil for frying

1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch or corn flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 grinds black pepper
2 chicken drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wings with tips (bone in, skin on)

Oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch or corn flour
1/4 cup fine matzo meal
1/4 cup AP flour (you could use GF here)
2 tablespoons Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
2 1/2 teaspoons onion granules
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (237 grams) water
1/3 cup (75 grams) vodka
2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)

1/2 cup cornstarch or corn flour
1/4 cup fine matzo meal
1/4 cup AP flour
2 tbs Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 pinches of Kosher Salt

1 cup water
1/3 cup vodka
2 tbs Korean chile paste (gochujang)

Pickled Radish
Sliced Radishes
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Gochujang Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
3 cloves garlic

Soy Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch of Asparagus
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
2 tsp of Ginger diced
1 tbs of Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
Green onions diced
Toasted Sesame Seeds


1. Make your radishes by washing and cutting them into chips or discs. Mix your water, sugar and vinegar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add radishes and refrigerate.

2. Prep your chicken by trimming, washing and drying them well. Mix your pre-coating and take your dried chicken and coat so that everything is dusted white. Set your chicken on a wire wrack and let it is rest for an hour. The batter is thin so you want this dry so that it will stick to it. IMG_9369

3. While chicken is drying, make your Gochujang Dipping Sauce by mixing everything into a small pot and bring to a simmer and turn it down a little and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
4. Prep your Asparagus by cutting the thick woody area off and the then use a peeler and remove some of the bottom. (optional). Mix your soy mixture and coat asparagus and let them marinate for a few minutes.

5. Okay now go ahead and pour your oil in a smaller pot so that the oil is deeper than it would be as if you poured a thin layer in a cast iron skillet. Given the batter is thin you need depth in your oil because this will stick to the bottom. Also take a grill pan on another burner and heat it up to medium. You are about to multi-task.
Go ahead and get your radishes out and pour your sauce into a dipping bowl and get your plates ready.

6. Frying the chicken. When your oil hits 350 degrees. May your batter by mixing your dry ingredients into a large bowl. No in a separate bowl mix your water, vodka and paste until blended. Pour it into the dry ingredients and stir well. Take your dry coated chicken and dip it into the batter until well covered. Pull the chicken out of the batter and shake off excess batter. Dangle your chicken in the oil (be careful) and cook half of the chicken piece for about thirty seconds before releasing it into the grease. Down over crowd and fry your chicken in batched until browned an crunchy. Remove and let it rest on a wire wrack. IMG_9377

7. While your chicken is frying add your asparagus to your grill pan and char it for about 8 minutes. Just work on your chicken and while frying move the asparagus around. Once done I dipped it back into the marinade and then plated it by cutting some green onions and topping it with toasted sesame seeds.

8. Add you radishes and a few crispy chicken strips to the plate and eat. So good.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ultimate-korean-fried-chicken.html?oc=linkback

PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I mentioned this in an earlier post but growing up, Chinese food wasn’t a staple in my mom’s kitchen. In fact I can’t recall ever having it outside the occasional mall egg roll or going to a place my best friend’s mother liked. PF Chang’s was a place that opened up my aperture on Chinese food. When I had their General Tso Spicy Chicken and the Lettuce wraps I couldn’t believe it. It was fresh and balanced with sweet and heat.

Jill and I are still trying to control our carbs so a lettuce wrap seemed like a good choice tonight. I love how easy and fast this dish comes together. You can whip these up in no time and totally impress your palate, family, friends etc..
1 lbs of ground chicken (pork works too)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbs of grated fresh ginger
¼ cup of diced water chestnuts
½ cup of fresh cilantro
1 diced jalapeno (seeded)
1 bunch of green onions diced (cook the whites and save green for topping)
3 tbs of Hoisin sauce
2 tbs Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Rice wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha
1 head of Bibb/Butter lettuce

2 tbs of Chili oil
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs Sriracha
1 tbs of sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
Red Pepper Flakes
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of onion powder
1. Make the sauces by adding everything and mixing is well until combined. Set both aside.

2. Prep your lettuce by washing and drying each piece. Also chop all your veggies because this goes fast.

3. On to the meat. Heat up a tbs of olive oil or chili oil in a medium heated pan. Brown your ground chicken and break it down into small bits. Drain liquid/fat

4. Add the white and light green parts of the green onion and jalapeno and stir for about 3mins with the meat. Now add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes.

5. Next add your liquids and stir for about 8mins stirring often. Turn off the heat and add the water chestnuts, green parts of the onion and the cilantro.

6. Serve the meat, lettuce leafs and sauce.. Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala #2

Chicken Tikka Masala #2

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala #2
I am still on the search for the best recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. There is a joint here in town that has a magical sauce. I have been chasing it. I just love this stuff.

To those who are heavy into Indian food I know this is the equivalent to something like a California Roll in sushi terms but I still like it. On the other hand, those of you who think you don’t like Indian food you should dip your toes into these waters. Chicken Tikka Masala is a distant cousin to Italian’s creamy tomato vodka sauce or France’s tomato soup. There isn’t any curry in it for those who are curry concerned. All that said it is spicy but in the best of ways…. slow creamy heat that just builds into a perfect eye and lip sweat.
Serve over steamed rice with warm naan bread. It’s spicy, creamy, “tomatoy”, smokey goodness.

Adapted the sauce from the lovely Aarti Sequeira, FoodNetwork.

2-3 Boneless Skinless Organic Chicken breasts and thighs
1 cup of fresh yogurt
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of fresh minced ginger
1 tbs of minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of fresh cinnamon
1 tsp of Kosher Salt

6-8 cloves of minced garlic
2 inch knuckle of fresh ginger
3 dried serrano peppers (remove the seeds to decrease spice)
8 oz of fire roasted tomatoes
8oz of water
1 heaping tsp of Garam Masala
2 heaping tsp of Paprika
pinch of cumin
2 tsp of Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

1 tbs of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
cilantro to top

1. Cube your chicken into bite sized chunks and add to a Ziplock with the marinade ingredients. 24 hrs.

2. Heat up a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat and cook your chicken. (discard marinade). Set aside
3. Add everything in the second section into a food processor and blend for 6-7 minutes…
Pour this mixture into a pot with the butter and simmer for 15mins. Then add your grilled chicken and let it meld with the sauce for about 10-15mins. Watch and add water as necessary. Finally add your cream and cook for 10mins.
With Cream
Serve hot over steamed rice topped with fresh cilantro and accompanied with oven warmed naan bread.

Spicy Flank Sandwich with grilled onions and Chili Cotija Mayo

Spicy Flank Sandwich with grilled onions and Chili Cotija Mayo

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spicy Flank Sandwich with grilled onions and Chili Cotija Mayo
I was recipe trolling the other day and ran across a recipe by Joshua Bousel posted. You can find him on twitter @meatwave. Coming off my detox a sandwich sounded pretty good with an evening of College Football. This one didn’t disappoint I loved the flavors and textures. You have chilies, tangy limes, buttery spicy flank, grilled onions, creamy mayo with good toothy bread.

Okay let’s talk flank/hanger/skirt steaks. This cut can be great but if you don’t treat it well it can be shoe leather. All of you “well done” people hear me out. When my wife orders a filet medium well or well it pains me and likely the chef cooking it. You can go well done on a filet and still have a fairly tender piece of meat but you try that with these cuts and when you bite into your sandwich you will get he bite that pulls out all the meat and slaps your chin. Also crucial is how you cut the meat. If you don’t cut it at 30 degree angle and against the grain you will also get a chewy slice of meat.

I adapted this and enjoyed it so much I am putting it in my “best of” rotation. Really enjoyed it.
Sourdough Baguette
Flank Steak
Yellow Onion

Cotija Mayo
1/4 cup of Dukes Mayo
Crumbled Cotija cheese
2 tbs of sour cream
1 tbs lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Slap Ya Mama
1/2 tsp Tajin

4 limes juiced
3 tbs olive oil
3 jalapenos (seeded)
Handful Cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
two slices of onion (not used on the grill)
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
2 pinches of Kosher Salt
1 pinch of cumin

1. Trim and tenderize your flank with a toothed mallet. Get a good even thickness so that it cooks evenly. Now take the marinade ingredients and blend them up until smooth. Pour into a ziplock with the meat and let marinate for 6hrs up to 24hrs.

2. In medium heated pan or grill place your sliced onion (brushed with olive oil) and your flank. You will cook it for 3-5 mins each side. Just enough to crust the outside but leave the inside medium.

3. While your steak and onions are cooking make your mayo by combining all the ingredients and stirring, tasting and adjusting. You will want to balance your chili and lime juice. Spicy, tangy and cream is the goal.

4. Remove steak and let it rest 10 minutes to loosen up. Wipe your pan and butter your bread and place it on grill to get some nice marks and toast the butter.

5. Mayo on both sides of the baguette and place your grilled onions and carefully sliced flank (against the grain at 3045 degree angle) Top with Cilantro and enjoy.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup


Today was the first chilly day of the fall with a docket of great college football games. A spicy soup seemed like the natural choice. Now I just make this up and don’t measure so I’ll do my best to recall how I made it. I will say, I love this stuff and ended up eating it several times over the weekend. It is GF, DF, Paleo but does contain some brown rice (optional).


Package of Organic Chicken Tenderloins
2 containers of Organic Chicken Broth
2 carrots diced
2 stalks of celery
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
2 Jalapenos
1 Yellow onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves (pressed)
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado topping
1 cup brown rice
2 tbs of Ancho Chili Powder
2 tsp of Paprika
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tbs of Mexican Oregano
2 tbs of Happy Tomato Salsa
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Go ahead and dice up all your veggies. For the jalapenos I use have as is and then I remove the seeds and spines of the larger half (stem to mid pepper).

2. In a oiled (olive oil and coconut oil) medium-high heated large pot sweat your onions, celery and carrots until the onion is soft and translucent. Add your peppers and garlic and stir carefully ensuring your garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Add your spices and stir for one minute and then add your broth and bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.

4. Cube your chicken and rice and let it simmer for an hour. Add some cherry tomatoes and Happy Tomato Salsa let it simmer for another 30mins. Finally serve with avocado.


Grilled Chicken Lettuce Taco

Chicken Lettuce Taco

I grilled up three chicken breasts the other day (see Chicken Kale Salad) for some lunches this week. I had a salad yesterday so decided to go Mexican today. While at Central Market the other day a guy was handing out samples of a salsa called Happy Tomato Fresh Salsa . My wife brought a jar home and I tried it for the first time and it’s really great. All natural and organic with a lot of locally sourced ingredients. Very fresh and it reminds of La Taqueria in College Station ages ago. www.happy-tomato.com


Organic Free Range Chicken Breast
Organic unrefined Coconut Oil
Penzey’s Buttermilk Seasoning
Penzey’s Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning (lemon peel, K Salt, Pepper, garlic, onion)
Smidge of Kosher salt

Happy Tomato Fresh Salsa
Avocado (1/2)
Lime Juice
Bibb Lettuce

I made the chicken the day prior and cut it up and served cold. Avocado sliced and diced with lime juice to keep from browning. Happy Tomato Fresh Salsa or anything that is organic, sugar and chemical free.
Assemble like tacos or fajitas.


Chili Roast Beef Sandwich

Chili Roast Beef Sandwich

You can see my recipe for The Chili Roast Tacos for the chili pot roast. Of course I had extra and decided to make a sandwich. Jill and I love eating pot roasts the next day (cold) on a sandwich with mayo and horseradish. Given that my Chili Roast is on the spicy side I didn’t think it required any heat from the horseradish.

Block sliced Cheddar, Bibb lettuce, Tomatoes and of course Duke’s Mayo.

Asian Chicken Ramen Soup

Asian Chicken Ramen Soup

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Ramen Soup
Last week I posted a recipe with Dan Dan Chicken Noodles. Jill loved it so much she asked me to try more recipes with ramen. Dan Dan has a peanut buttery flavor so to change it up I wanted to keep it more chicken soup like.

I marinated the chicken in Soy and Sriracha so it does have more of an Asian flavor profile than a chicken soup. In fact, it has some real heat that will make your eyes sweat but that’s how we like it.


2 Chicken Breasts
Soy Sauce (low sodium)
1 tbs of sesame oil

Ramen noodles
Bunch of Green onions
1 small can of Water Chestnuts
2 Bok Choy (chopped)
Several sliced shitake mushrooms
4 garlic cloves minced
1tbs ginger (grated)
3 cups of Chicken Broth
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tbs chili oil
3 tbs of miso (red miso soup mix)
Sriracha, cilantro, peanuts to top
1. Slice your chicken on a 45 degree angle and then marinate your chicken overnight in soy, Sriracha, and 1 tbs of Sesame Oil.

2. Cut all your veggies because it goes pretty fast.

3. Medium heated pot with 1 tbs of chili oil and 1tbs sesame oil. Add your chicken and the marinade until cooked. Now add you chicken broth and miso and then dump your veggies in. Eyeball how much more chicken stock you need based upon if you want it more soupy or “noodley”.

4. Add your ramen noodles and cook until the noodles are done. Serve with cilantro and more Sriracha. Slurp.

Bang Bang Popcorn Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Bang Bang Popcorn Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Bang Bang Popcorn Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Was thinking of making a sandwich out of these and decided to forgo the bread and make a lettuce wrap out of it. You could certainly also make an eclectic club salad out of it too. It’s a versatile chicken nugget with a little more heat than what you might serve to the kids.
adapted from the crepes of wrath. http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/  Sydney Kramer has a great food blog. Check her out.

Two Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
1 Bibb Lettuce
¾ cup of AP flour
½ cup corn starch
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 beaten eggs
Blue Cheese Crumbles

1 cup of buttermilk
1 tbs Kosher Salt
1 tbs of Tabasco
1 tbs of SlapyaMama
2 tsp of Black Pepper


¼ cup of Dukes Mayo
2 tbs of Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tbs of Honey
1 tbs of Franks Hot sauce
Dash of Tabasco
1 diced green onion

1. Marinade your chicken overnight. Go ahead and cut your breasts into bite sized cubes and allow the marinade to tenderize and flavor the chicken.

2. Make your sauce by combing everything in bowl and whisk together. Put it back in the fridge and let it set.

3. Lets cook the chicken. Set up your assembly line by pouring your chicken and marinade in a bowl and then stir in flour, corn starch and egg until pasty. Pour your Panko in another bowl and dredge your chicken and then put into the medium heated skillet with oil. Dredge enough so that they chicken doesn’t touch each other while frying. Remove and set aside on a paper towel.

4. Serve on Bibb Lettuce with a drizzle of the sauce and top with Blue Cheese crumbles and cilantro. As mentioned you could also make a salad and use the sauce as a dressing and add more veggies or even make a sandwich out of it.