Chicken Tortilla Torta with Poblano/Spinach Cream Sauce

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Since Gooch has been gone, Chloe's been asking us about fostering or adopting and this opportunity came Saturday after her second Lemonade Triathlon in Jonesboro....this is a beagle/schnauzer mix that's 6 weeks old and Chloe's named her Beezuz....and she's NOT HOUSE TRAINED....just sayin...

I'm so lucky that Chloe spends most of her time on National Geographic, PBS Nature and Animal Planet instead of iCarly and other shows....she took this from my tv this morning....love it...

I have to say I took a photo of Terry's cookbook so I wouldn't have to copy his fabulous recipe...you've gotta get his cookbook.

The chicken, poblanos etc...

The poblano cream sauce, delish...be sure to add your hit of heat, we needed japs and a tablespoon, at least of Asian chile paste... it may be bland for most of ya'll...




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Since Jackie's back from eating out in Omaha at the College World Series, I thought I'd make another recipe from Fresh, Lake Austin Spa, Terry Conlan.  I had a poblano pepper, cilantro that needed to be used (and man I wish Cilantro would last longer, it hates hot days), spinach and corn tortillas that were calling my name.  I think it's time for me to slim down my pantry since I had a freezer scare last week.  I gotta treat my pantry like I packed for the overseas trip.  I need to fit it all in the bag that goes in the overhead bin, just sayin.

Here goes, I love this recipe, I will take a moment and say it takes an hour to prepare, which disgusts me because of my time limits, but it's Wednesday so I love to be in the kitchen.  Spice up the cream sauce with japs, Asian chile paste or even cayene.  The recipe:

"Stacking the tortillas gives this dish a presentational panache rolled enchiladas do not achieve.  You can completely assemble the tortillas and filling (without the sauce) in advance, if you choose.  Simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and microwave until warm when you are ready to serve."

12 oz. boneless chicken breasts, I use organic, and only did 2 breasts for Jackie and me
1/2 c. sliced onion
1 garlic clove, chopped, I used 2
6 black peppercorns
1/2 t. salt, I skipped
2 poblano chiles, I had one and substituted a green bell from the garden
1 tomato, I used two roma's from Hays, my tomato plants don't have a bunch yet
12 oz. fresh spinach leaves, I used one box of frozen
1-1/2 C. sliced onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped, I used 2
1 t. masa harina de maiz or flour, I used masa
1 oz. fat free and 1 oz. low fat cream cheese, I used 2 oz. regular
1 t. cumin
1/2 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 t. fresh lime juice, I used lemon, Hays was outta limes yesterday
1/3 C. fat free sour cream, I skipped this
2 T. skim milk, I skipped this
8 corn tortillas, I used 4 since I'm serving 2 peeps

Combine the chicken, 1/2 cup onion, 1 garlic clove, peppercorns and salt in a saucepan over medium meat, add enough water to cover and bring to a simmer and cook gently, skimming as necessary, for about 20 minutes or until the chicken so cooked through.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool int he broth.  Remove and shred the chicken; set aside.  Strain the broth, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids and return the broth to the saucepan over high heat and boil until the stock is reduced to 1-1/4 cups.  Blister the skins of the poblano chiles over an open flame or under a broiler and place them in a paper bag and close tightly and set aside for 10 minutes and remove the childes, peel, seed and cut into strips.  Cut an X in the bottom of the tomato and blanch in boiling water in a saucepan for 30 seconds, peel, seed and dice the tomato.  Blanch the spinach in boling water in a saucepan for 30 seconds and drain and squeeze dry, I skipped this, thawed the frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry.  Saute the 1-1/2 cups sliced onions with nonstick cooking spray in a nonstick skillet until they are soft.  Remove 1/2 the onions and combine with the spinach in a blender and add the cumin, cilantro and 1/2 the chiles.  Puree and set aside.  Add the tomato, 1 garlic clove, chicken and remaining chiles to the onions in the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium heat for 1 minute and set aside and keep warm.  Combine the chicken stock and masa harina in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened and add the cream cheese and cook stirring constantly until the cheese melts.  Pour the sauce into the spinach mixture and process on slow speed until mixed, add the lime juice and taste and correct the seasonings (this is where I'd add the asian chile paste and some japs).  Combine the sour cream and skim milk in a squeeze bottle and shake to mix well.  Warm the tortillas and place1 tortilla on each of the 4 plates and top them with the chicken mixture and arrange another tortilla over the top of the chicken and add the spinach sauce over the tortillas. Drizzle a design on the top with the the sour cream mixture (I skipped this).  **My tip is to add 1 T. Asian chili paste and 1/4 C jalapenos to the dish to spice it up, it is somewhat "bland" so with these two additions, you should be good to go!  Adding some black beans also is a great idea.

I promise to finish blogging the trip...I'm just now getting caught up on the Midsouth Kids Triathlon we're having in Wynne on August 20...the USAT sanction application was due June 20 as well as Farmfest two weeks ago, Chloe's Lemonade Triathlon last weekend, Stella's Birthday, Memorial Day weekend bike ride...it's been, and will continue to be, a fast and furious summer.  I've added pictures of Chloe's new puppy Beezuz and we're fostering a dog that looks exactly like Biscuit but yellow.  What a summer so far....

R.I.P. Gooch Man

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chloe took this last week of Gooch taking a nap on my new couch (aka his scratching post...)

Another great photo taken by Chloe...when he was about 3 months old

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gucci aka The Gooch Man Oct. 2010-June 2011

Well it's been 24 hours since we've see the Prince of Birdeye, the Gooch Man.  I have never in my life paralleled a disappearance with homicide but I have tonight.  Since we've lived in Winnie Bob's house (6 years now), we've lost Whitfield, Sootie, Kay, Strawberry, Whiskers and now my favorite of all these stray felines, The Gooch Man.  When our three cats Sootie (who was an old ass left here by a sorority sister of mine), Stawberry (a true freaky, feline) and Whiskers (who came from the Birdeye Store) all mysteriously disappeared last summer, to what I call death by those coyotes I hear on the ridge, it was a rough patch for all of us.  I spent hours calling for Whiskers that went into days.  Gooch was here last night and is always fond of his food bowl and now nothing.  No kibble eaten, no sign of his couch-scratching self.  And I'm sad really, a whole has been dug in my heart.  I can't stand cats.  I really can't stand the memory of his sorry tail scratching my new couch but the fact that he's gone, someone Chloe loved so, so much to what might have been a dog attack, really saddens me and turns my stomach.  Rest in peace Gucci Smith, aka the Gooch Man.  You were a good mole hunter and kinda grew on me.  Chloe's handling it okay so far.  We'll see in a few days.

Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows, and more Dogs...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The only ferel animals we saw were these cats near the Montmartre, the highest hilltop in Paris.  It was a beautiful view of the city...notice the "cat woman".. is that femme chatte?

This is a Borzoi in Brugge, Belgium.  After I took this shot, he freaked out just like my Afghans...very funny and peculiar...

On our last bike ride of the trip, this was taken outside of Bayeux, France

Near the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach, France


In Paris near a cafe, looks like a lounging French Brittany Spaniel....


Near Montmartre, the highest point in Paris.  This little fella was gettin some sun...


Near the Eiffel Tower park, it was a beautiful night...

These two terriers on the streets in Brugge, Belgium


A beautiful roan (I think) draft horse near Damme, Belguim

This was taken on the way to the American Cemetery Omaha Beach, France

On the streets of Bayeux, France...looks like some kind of terrier mix...Love it!


Kara and I were on a hunt for some jewelry on the city square in Damme, Belgium.  We sat the boys down at a cafe and Kara and I strolled the antique stores.  They were closed but we noticed this Flemish feline in a window...looks like a good nap to me....




A Bayeux Biscuit cousin...Parlez-vous Anglais?
What fun it was to take shots of the multiple animals on our trip.  Here's a taste of them...And I will say that during our bike rides and touring there were no loose dogs...the only animals that were stray were near Montmartre in Paris.  On our four long days of cycling (100 miles through Belgium, France and Holland) we weren't attacked once by a stray dog...and there were no squirrels, armadillo, possum or other roadkill.  It was beautiful everywhere!  More details soon...

Spindini, Memphis

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I love Spindini....

Me, John and Joy Shepherd, Becca and Neall Jackson and Martin

This is blurry and the other photos the waitstaff took were too,
I blame this on that new camera Jackie got me...it's tricky to use..

After dinner, Neall and Becca invited everyone to their condo
along Beale and there was this beautiful Memorial Day Fireworks
Show...what fun and thanks for inviting us all!

I had to add Chloe's new baby chicks...these teenagers will be ready
to roll soon with the other Big Mamma Brown Egg Layers...get going girls...

Chloe loves to baby the "baby chicks"....here they are a week ago...
yes, they do grow so, so fast...

Here's Chloe with Oreo, the latest Birdeye stray dog, he's a doll,
totally house trained, great with kids, dogs and cats, a dream really!
I can't keep him, if we did, we'd have no room to foster.  Spay and Neuter,
people....it's the only way to help the unwanted animal population....
Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!  How great it was to celebrate many cyclists birthdays at our dinner in downtown Memphis.  Lisa Blanton, Beth Malone and my birthdays were all recently.  What's great about our crew is that we enjoy celebrating birthdays...I wish, wish I could still figure out how to post a calendar to the blog that would have birthdays.  I have spent so many hours trying to figure it out that it drives me NUTS! 

Anyhow, Spindini was opened in 2007 by Judd Grisanti, a well known family that owns many Italian restaurants across Memphis.  Jackie and I have been to Spindini many times but this was our first time with such a large crowd.  We had a reservation and our waitress Lauren was great with our party of 15.  It was really nice that we had that back room where we could talk loud about Amsterdam and cut up and that's what we did.

For dinner, I ordered my old standby Speghetti Bolognese, a simple spaghetti in a perfect meat sauce.  Jackie and I split the Mia Nonna Salad, otherwise known as My Grandmother's Salad, with mixed greens, tomatoes, pepperocini and Italian Vinaigrette.  It was perfect for two and the dressing was super light. Jackie had the Manicotti and loved it as well.  Tara Burton let me try her Lobster Pizza and it was perfect and thin with fresh spinach.  My sweet friend Joy Shepherd arranged a homemade Carrot Cake made by someone from the hospital and lemme tell you, it was delicious!  It was two layers with a delicious cream cheese icing.  It went perfect with the hot coffee Lauren served.  The coffee was strong, just the way I like it.

I noticed on Spindini's menu they have a farm with organically grown produce and their own honey bee colonies at Woodland Farms in Holly Springs, Mississippi.  I love when we see restaurants getting their ingredients nearby rather than on a Sisco truck.  I will say Chloe and I watched a honey bee documentary on PBS about the alarming decline in the honey bee population.  It is scary!

Thanks to everyone that rolled out to celebrate and a toast to Neall and Becca for working so hard on our local sales tax for parks, roads and jobs!  Thanks too for the great Viking Cooking School certificate, Kara and I are working on coordinating an upcoming class.  And we also celebrated Jimmy and Beth's engagement and upcoming wedding, how exciting!  I promise to finish blogging the trip overseas soon.

The beauty of Spindini is it's fabulous location on Main Street, just blocks from Beale Street, FedEx Forum and all the downtown sights.  Spindini's elegant Italian menu is wonderful and with local organic produce, makes it even more fabulous.  You won't be disappointed at Spindini, not even with a large crowd.

Spindini, 383 South Main, Memphis, TN,  http://www.spindinimemphis.com/ 901-578-2767