Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Bring it on home.
Enjoy some easy tailgate eats. Have friends call dibs on arriving with a different item and it's a breeze.

Grilled Chicken Fajitas with You'll Never Look Back Homemade Salsa
Makes enough to serve 6 to 8
Prep: 15 min., Grill: 12 min.

Game Plan: Get your chicken and vegetables ready for game day grilling on Friday night. Plan to place them in separate Ziploc bags to hang out in the refrigerator overnight. Pack in an icy cooler just before heading out the door.

1 (2-lb.) bag frozen chicken tenderloins, thawed
1 Tbsp. McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. oil
3 medium yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 bell peppers, cut into quarters (red, yellow, or green-- let your wallet decide)
Juice from 1 lime
Flour tortillas (Wrap in foil and warm them up on the grill.)
You'll Never Look Back Homemade Salsa
Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped avocado

Combine first 3 ingredients in a gallon-size Ziploc bag with 1 Tbsp. oil, push out as much of the air as you can as you seal it. Coat chicken well with seasonings by gently shaking bag. Place onions and peppers in a Ziploc bag with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and refrigerate overnight.

Grill chicken over direct medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill, squeeze with fresh lime juice, and slice, if desired. Grill onions and peppers 6 to 8 minutes per side or until tender. Slice peppers, if desired. Serve in warm flour tortillas with You'll Never Look Back Homemade Salsa and desired toppings.

The Extra Point: Easy enough to consider for a weeknight meal. Nix the tortillas and toppings if you like and serve with the salsa over rice and warm seasoned black beans.

You'll Never Look Back Homemade Salsa
Makes 5 cups (Enough for the crowd to snack on with chips while grilling the meal.)
Prep: 10 min.

You'll wonder why you ate salsa from a jar all of those years when you see how easy it is to make... and nothing beats the fresh taste... nothing.

Game Plan: Prepare Thursday or Friday night.

1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves (a few stems aren't going to hurt you)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped: Mild- seeded and membrane removed/Moderate: half seeds and membrane added/ Medium: all seeds and membrane added/ Really, Really, Really Hot: add the entire darn jalapeno-- seeds, membrane, and all.
3lbs. plum tomatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt (You have a lot of vegetables to season.)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 11/2 limes

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor fit with a blade and pulse several times. Add a few tomato wedges and process until well blended. Add roughly half of the remaining tomatoes and process until well blended. Pour into a large plastic container with a lid. Pulse remaining tomatoes until slightly chunky and add to the mixture. Stir in salt, pepper, and lime juice. Taste it and adjust seasonings, if desired. Remember the chips will be salty-- so proceed accordingly. That's it. Easy enough?

The Extra Point: Use leftovers in meatloaf, with grilled meats, or add anywhere you may add a can of diced tomatoes.

Have fun at the parade. Always hoping no one rains on it.


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