Dinners

Recipe—Crock-Pot Barbacoa Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants when I need a quick fix has got to be Chipotle. You can get quality flavor packed food in a jiffy. My go to is their carnitas and my husband can’t resist their barbacoa. It is kind of funny, Chipotle’s barabcoa meat literally makes him sweat when he eats it. But he still loves it! I can’t help but laugh as soon as the sweat starts to bead up on his forehead. Does anyone else do this when they eat something with a little kick? I swear it reminds me of something from a cartoon. I love that guy.

I made this recipe and it is without a doubt a near perfect match of Chipotle’s barbacoa meat. It is a tender, juicy, flavor packed meat perfect for burritos, tacos, or even nachos. I personally love it with a side of my Cilantro Lime Rice. Muy bien!

Note: This meat definitely has a bit of heat in it from the chiles in adobo sauce so if you have a member of your household that doesn’t like heat I would either cut back the chiles or leave them out completely.  

INGREDIENTS
3–4 lb beef chuck roast
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp, garlic, minced
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2–3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3/4 c beef stock

SOME FABULOUS GARNISHES

cotija cheese
, crumbled
chopped green lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced onion
guacamole or sliced avocado
sour cream
pico de gallo
chopped cilantro
lime wedges 

STEPS

  • Trim excess fat off of the roast.
  • Spray your crock-pot with cooking spray (this helps a good deal with cleanup).
  • Place roast in crock-pot.
  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the chuck roast, in the blender and puree.
  • Pour the pureed sauce over the roast.
  • Cook on low for 8–10 hours, or high heat for 5–7.
  • When the roast is done cooking, transfer it to a large cutting board.
  • Using a large fork shred the meat and place it back in the crock-pot to soak up some of the tasty sauce.
  • Serve in a warm tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.

Recipe adapted from Unsophpisticook.

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Dinners

Recipe—Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut

One of my all time favorite restaurants in Sacramento is Scott’s Seafood. They are known for stunning presentation and of course their out-of-this-world fish dishes. One of my all time favorite meals that they serve is their melt in your mouth macadamia nut crusted halibut. It is incredible! They take an already awesome piece of fish and seem to make it more awesome then you can possibly imagine. Lucky for me (and you I suppose), they have some of their more popular recipes on their website. The other night I decided to attempt to make their popular halibut dish on my own. It did not disappoint, it was awesome! The brown butter gives the dish a salty and nutty flavor and the macadamia nuts themselves give the fish a mild sweetness and great texture. My husband, son, and I chowed down and we were in heaven! If you have a little extra time and money on your hands, and you want to impress, try this decadent recipe. It is an incredible way to enjoy halibut.

Note: This recipe is written to use an oven safe skillet. If you don’t have one, no biggie. Just use whatever large skillet you have and then transfer the fish to a large baking dish and finish off in the oven.

INGREDIENTS
4-6 oz halibut filets, skin removed
1/2 c panko
1 1/2 c macadamia nuts
1/2 lb salted butter
4 tbsp olive oil

STEPS

  • In a large saucepan bring the butter to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until it just starts to turn a golden brown color. Be sure not to burn it!
  • Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Place the panko and the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet keeping them separated.
  • Toast both the panko and nuts for 3–4 minutes or until just starting to brown.
  • Transfer the toasted panko to a plate or shallow bowl.
  • Using a food processor, or by hand, chop the macadamia nuts.
  • Add half of the chopped nuts to the toasted panko and mix.
  • Place the other half of the chopped nuts in the brown butter and stir.
  • Turn the oven up to 375º.
  • Coat the halibut filets in the panko and nut mixture making sure to cover as much of the fish as possible and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium high-heat in a large oven safe skillet.
  • One by one add the breaded fish.
  • Cook until golden brown on the bottom and then flip to cook the other side.
  • Once both sides have turned a golden brown place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 5–8 minutes depending on the thickness of the filets. When the fish is cooked through it should flake off easily with a fork.
  • When the halibut is cooked, stir the brown butter and nut mixture and then ladle it over the top of the fish.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar.