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taco tuesdayz: korean bbq chicken tacos

oh how i love a taco tuesday. and a taco monday, or sunday, or any day that ends in y.

lately i’ve been coloring outside the taco lines. instead of just using more traditional, south of the boarder flavors and ingredients, i’m mixing things up. living in southern california we are exposed to so many different flavor profiles and ingredients, and why not put those delicious combinations into our favorite vessel?

korean bbq chicken tacos

serves: 10-12 tacos

prep time: 15 minutes

active time: 45 minutes

inactive time: 1 hour

total time: 2 hours

ingredients: 1.5 lbs chicken breast. 1 large yellow onion, diced. half a pink or green apple (gala, fuji, pink lady, granny smith, honeycrisp are all good options). 5 garlic cloves, minced. 1 tbs finely chopped ginger. 2 large green onions, white and light green parts chopped. 2 limes, sliced into wedges. 4 cups chicken stock. 1 cup brown sugar. .5 cup soy sauce. .25 cup mirin. .25 cups vegetable oil. .25 cup rice wine vinegar. 2 tbs sesame oil. 1 tbs honey. 2 cups sliced cabbage (i like to buy the pre sliced mix because i never use the whole cabbage). 1 tbs sesame seeds. handful of cilantro seeds. 12 medium sized flour tortillas. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper.

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start by making the vinaigrette for your cabbage slaw. combine your two oils. reserve 4 tbs of the oil for cooking your chicken. combine the remaining oil with the vinegar, 1 tsp of your minced garlic, juice from two of your lime wedges and half the salt and pepper.

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whisk well till the vinaigrette is combined. drizzle 3-4 tbs of vinaigrette over your cabbage and add your sesame seeds.

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toss well to combine and set the cabbage aside.

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then heat your remaining oil in a heavy, large pot. season the chicken with the remaining salt and pepper. cook your chicken until golden brown on both sides. about 4-6 minutes a side. do not over crowd your pan. you may need to cook the chicken in batches. DO NOT worry about cooking the chicken through. you are going to continue cooking it in the liquid. you are worried about getting a really nice golden brown on each side to add flavor to your chicken and your pan. when you have cooked all your chicken, set it aside.

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add in the onion and apple and stir well, scraping up any tasty brown bits you can. cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

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add in the ginger, remaining garlic and the green onions. cook until the garlic is fragrant. about 1 minute. pour in the mirin, scraping up any remaining bits of flavor off the bottom.

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cook until all the liquid has evaporated. stir in the soy sauce and the brown sugar.

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add the chicken back to the pan and pour in the chicken stock. squeeze in the juice of two more lime wedges and throw the wedges in with the liquid. if your chicken isn’t completely covered,

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add in some water until the chicken is covered. bring the liquid to a boil. reduce the liquid to a slow simmer and cover the pot.

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allow the chicken to continue cooking until it is pull apart tender. about an hour. once your chicken is pull apart tender, remove it from the liquid.

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use two forks to pull apart each chicken breast and add the chicken back to the liquid.

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when you are ready to assemble your tacos, lay out your tortillas. top with a large spoonful of pulled chicken. top with cabbage slaw and a few cilantro leaves. garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

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xo, a

korean bbq chicken tacos

serves: 10-12 tacos

prep time: 15 minutes

active time: 45 minutes

inactive time: 1 hour

total time: 2 hours

ingredients: 1.5 lbs chicken breast. 1 large yellow onion, diced. half a pink or green apple (gala, fuji, pink lady, granny smith, honeycrisp are all good options). 5 garlic cloves, minced. 1 tbs finely chopped ginger. 2 large green onions, white and light green parts chopped. 2 limes, sliced into wedges. 4 cups chicken stock. 1 cup brown sugar. .5 cup soy sauce. .25 cup mirin. .25 cups vegetable oil. .25 cup rice wine vinegar. 2 tbs sesame oil. 1 tbs honey. 2 cups sliced cabbage (i like to buy the pre sliced mix because i never use the whole cabbage). 1 tbs sesame seeds. handful of cilantro seeds. 12 medium sized flour tortillas. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp freshly ground pepper.

start by making the vinaigrette for your cabbage slaw. combine your two oils. reserve 4 tbs of the oil for cooking your chicken. combine the remaining oil with the vinegar, 1 tsp of your minced garlic, juice from two of your lime wedges and half the salt and pepper. whisk well till the vinaigrette is combined. drizzle 3-4 tbs of vinaigrette over your cabbage and add your sesame seeds. toss well to combine and set the cabbage aside. then heat your remaining oil in a heavy, large pot. season the chicken with the remaining salt and pepper. cook your chicken until golden brown on both sides. about 4-6 minutes a side. do not over crowd your pan. you may need to cook the chicken in batches. DO NOT worry about cooking the chicken through. you are going to continue cooking it in the liquid. you are worried about getting a really nice golden brown on each side to add flavor to your chicken and your pan. when you have cooked all your chicken, set it aside. add in the onion and apple and stir well, scraping up any tasty brown bits you can. cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. add in the ginger, remaining garlic and the green onions. cook until the garlic is fragrant. about 1 minute. pour in the mirin, scraping up any remaining bits of flavor off the bottom. cook until all the liquid has evaporated. stir in the soy sauce and the brown sugar. add the chicken back to the pan and pour in the chicken stock. squeeze in the juice of two more lime wedges and throw the wedges in with the liquid. if your chicken isn’t completely covered, add in some water until the chicken is covered. bring the liquid to a boil. reduce the liquid to a slow simmer and cover the pot. allow the chicken to continue cooking until it is pull apart tender. about an hour. once your chicken is pull apart tender, remove it from the liquid. use two forks to pull apart each chicken breast and add the chicken back to the liquid. when you are ready to assemble your tacos, lay out your tortillas. top with a large spoonful of pulled chicken. top with cabbage slaw and a few cilantro leaves. garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

beef bolognese

six weeks. that’s all we have left till we are a family of three. i know i can’t possibly prepare myself for how our lives are about to change. 

instead of worrying about the changes to come, i am focusing on quality time with wes while i still have it. 

so before i never worry about what he wants for dinner again, i decided to cook up some of his favorite dishes. 

i have made a couple of versions of bolognese for the blog, but this classic version is his favorite. it is his number one requested meal and i know you will love it as much as he does. 

beef bolognese

serves: 4-6

prep time: 10 minutes

active time: 30 minutes

inactive time: 20 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 1 lb ground beef. 3 slices of bacon, chopped. 1 yellow onion, diced. 2 carrots, diced. 2 celery stalks diced. 5 garlic cloves, mince. 1 tbs chopped fresh basil + a few extra leaves to thinly slice as garnish. 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. .5 tsp chopped fresh thyme leave. .5 cup dry white wine. 2 tbs tomato paste. 32 oz diced tomatoes (1 large can or two small cans will work). 2 tbs honey. 1 cup milk. 1 tbs kosher salt. 1 tsp freshly ground pepper. 1.5 lbs of your favorite pasta for serving. .5 cup grated parmesan cheese for serving. large heavy pot.

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start by heating your pot over medium heat. when the pot has warmed, add in your bacon. cook the bacon, stirring every few minutes until the bacon is very crispy. about 5-7 minutes. use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel (to reduce any excess fat) and set it aside.

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leave all that delicious bacon grease in the pan, you will use it for your veggies. turn up the heat to a medium high heat and add in the onion, carrot and celery (mirepoix) to the pan and season with about a third of your salt and pepper. stir well to combine and then allow the veggies to cook down, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are translucent. about 5-7 minutes.

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add in the garlic and fresh herbs. stir everything well to combine.

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push the veggies to the sides of your pot to make way for your ground beef. season both sides of the meat well with another third of the salt and pepper and add it to the pan. allow the beef to sear for about 3-4 minutes a side before really mixing it in with the veggies and breaking it up.

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pour in the white wine to deglaze the bottom of your pan. use the fresh liquid to scrape up any delicious browned bits from the pan and then allow the liquid to reduce till it is pretty much gone.

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stir in the tomato paste and add your bacon back to the mixture.

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pour in your diced tomatoes, honey and the remaining salt and pepper. stir everything well. bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat so the liquid is at a steady simmer. allow the sauce to cook down for 15 minutes. while your sauce is cooking, boil a pot of water and cook your desired pasta (i used linguini) to the package instructions. once you have let that sauce cook down, skim off any fat that is pooling at the top of your pot and discard it.

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stir in the milk and allow the sauce to continue to cook down for another five minutes.

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in a bowl, toss together the cooked pasta and sauce. serve hot topped with a little fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

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xo, a

beef bolognese

serves: 4-6

prep time: 10 minutes

active time: 30 minutes

inactive time: 20 minutes

total time: 1 hour

ingredients: 1 lb ground beef. 3 slices of bacon, chopped. 1 yellow onion, diced. 2 carrots, diced. 2 celery stalks diced. 5 garlic cloves, mince. 1 tbs chopped fresh basil + a few extra leaves to thinly slice as garnish. 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. .5 tsp chopped fresh thyme leave. .5 cup dry white wine. 2 tbs tomato paste. 32 oz diced tomatoes (1 large can or two small cans will work). 2 tbs honey. 1 cup milk. 1 tbs kosher salt. 1 tsp freshly ground pepper. 1.5 lbs of your favorite pasta for serving. .5 cup grated parmesan cheese for serving. large heavy pot.

start by heating your pot over medium heat. when the pot has warmed, add in your bacon. cook the bacon, stirring every few minutes until the bacon is very crispy. about 5-7 minutes. use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel (to reduce any excess fat) and set it aside. leave all that delicious bacon grease in the pan, you will use it for your veggies. turn up the heat to a medium high heat and add in the onion, carrot and celery (mirepoix) to the pan and season with about a third of your salt and pepper. stir well to combine and then allow the veggies to cook down, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are translucent. about 5-7 minutes. add in the garlic and fresh herbs. stir everything well to combine. push the veggies to the sides of your pot to make way for your ground beef. season both sides of the meat well with another third of the salt and pepper and add it to the pan. allow the beef to sear for about 3-4 minutes a side before really mixing it in with the veggies and breaking it up. pour in the white wine to deglaze the bottom of your pan. use the fresh liquid to scrape up any delicious browned bits from the pan and then allow the liquid to reduce till it is pretty much gone. stir in the tomato paste and add your bacon back to the mixture. pour in your diced tomatoes, honey and the remaining salt and pepper. stir everything well. bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat so the liquid is at a steady simmer. allow the sauce to cook down for 15 minutes. while your sauce is cooking, boil a pot of water and cook your desired pasta (i used linguini) to the package instructions. once you have let that sauce cook down, skim off any fat that is pooling at the top of your pot and discard it. stir in the milk and allow the sauce to continue to cook down for another five minutes. in a bowl, toss together the cooked pasta and sauce. serve hot topped with a little fresh basil and parmesan cheese.