Flavors of the Southwest

Once again I was raiding the refrigerator, trying to use up as many of my leftovers as I could. And once again, my good friend, the Queen, paid me a good visit. This time she donned the crown as La Reina de la Cocina. This time our creations took on the flavors of the Southwest, some of my favorite foods to cook.

I built my meal around some of the smoked chicken Larry made for our Carnivores’ Gathering. A Carnivores’ Gathering. I also had some salsa that was getting a bit vinegary, which is perfect for cooking. I added some more balsamic vinegar and garlic, and that was my sauce for the chicken. Then I added some cheese on top and put it in the oven. I finished it off with the last of my roasted peppers and caramelized onions. I made some Southwestern black beans and served it over rice as a side dish, along with some of my olive bread Pane con le Olive and a smooth red blend to complete the meal.

Most people will throw salsa away once it starts to get vinegary. No, no, no. You can still use it. When it starts to turn a bit tangy, and has a bit of a vinegary bite to it, it is perfect for using as a marinate for a sauce, especially if you add more vinegar to to the mix as well. Be creative, play with your food and see what you come up with.

This time, I coated my chicken with my “new sauce” then topped it with cheese and baked it at 375* F or 190* C for about 30 minutes. The chicken was already cooked, but by baking it in the sauce, it came out so tender and moist as well as very flavorful.

When the chicken was done, I topped it with my roasted peppers and caramelized onions and sprinkled a little parsley on top. If you didn’t know this was made from leftovers, you would never be able to tell. 🙂 Larry is always amazed at how I recreate from leftovers and often times come up with just as much, or even more, from the second time around as I did from the first time around. All I can say is that it is a gift; one that I have mastered well. 🙂

!Esta muy fantastico y muy delicioso! !Que Bueno!

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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