Joss' Island
No Can Beato This Taquito, or Pizza!
Posted 1/5/2014 3:35:00 PM

I don’t know where I was in 2013. There was nothing remarkable about that year – no highlights, no big things. Well, with the exception of a great Christmas with friends and a trip to Canada in July (where we had a good party with my family and I saw fireflies for the first time). I also didn’t seem to do much cooking in 2013. I didn’t make it enough of a priority. I am pretty sure I spent the better part of the year cleaning the house…and funny thing is – it’s still dirty. I sit here typing my blog when my next priority is to vacuum and fold laundry (it’s NEVER done!)

So, my New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to do things that fill my soul. I want to read more, volunteer – and yes, cook.

I ended 2013 with “No Can Beato This Taquito” and I began 2014 with “Cajun Crab and Asparagus Pie.” At the end of the day, BOTH of these are easy recipes – but there are aspects of both that will take some time.

Let’s start with the Taquitos. I felt like taquitos were a great thing to eat on New Year’s Eve. They are fun and they are a good last thing to have before you start that New Year’s diet (which I am on…which of course is in stark contrast to my resolution to cook more!)

In Guy Fieri’s book, this recipe is actually three in one. NOW – you don’t HAVE to make the home made salsa or the guacamole, of course you can use store bought. But, in my quest to cook every recipe in his book – when there is more than one recipe included in one of his meals, I make sure to do them all.

The time consuming part of this meal was making the sauces. SO, if you are planning on making these for Big Game Sunday (which would be perfect) get started ahead of time. You can do the Tomatillos Salsa the day before, and the guacamole has to be eaten within 2 hours (so you’ll have to make that one pretty close to your party).

I don’t know how Guy would have felt about this, but I actually grilled my tomatillos (which you can find at Foodmaxx at the end of the produce section) in the George Foreman Grill! My outside grill has been pushed underneath my overhang by my house for the season – so it’s not easy to drag out and I need a new grill pan. I also could have broiled them, but I had bread for another recipe rising in the oven. I will tell you the George Foreman worked beautifully for the tomatillos. You just have to cut them in half and rub them all over with olive oil. Make sure you have that little plastic catch at the bottom of the grill though – cuz the juices RUN!

Overall, the taquitos turned out beautifully – better than I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Though, they were not as tightly wrapped or as round as regular taquitos (probably something wrong with my method) This recipe calls for 24 taquitos and since my New Year’s Eve gathering was rather small, I had plenty of leftover ingredients. So a couple of days later, I put the chicken into a pan with a bit of olive oil and warmed it up and used the corn tortillas to make chicken soft tacos – they turned out REALLY GOOD.

Next up, the “Cajun Crab and Asparagus Pie.”  My best friend was coming over for the night and this woman LOVES CRAB. Ever since we were kids – it’s been her favorite food. I remember going to the Red Lobster and watching her expertly pick apart this crustacean with nimble fingers. I can do it too…I am just not as adept at it. There were times where I would send crab meat flinging into the booth behind us.

So, knowing she loved crab, I saved this recipe for her.

But first, I must tell you, I have an admission to make…I did not use Guy Fieri’s “Prime Time Pizza Dough” to make the recipe. I used my Aunt’s recipe (I need to ask her if she will give me permission to share the recipe!) I did do Guy’s dough recipe once with whole wheat…and it didn’t go well (which I am pretty sure is my fault…it usually is!) So – I wanted to go with something I knew and trusted, especially when it came to making this recipe for my friend.

Buying the crab was an adventure – crab is EXPENSIVE!!! Fresh crab meat that was picked out was 34.95 a pound! THIRTY FIVE BUCKS for a pound of crab! So, after torturing the guy at the seafood counter for a bit by having him measure out different amounts of crab meat and then showing me how much one or two crabs would be – I ended up buying one crab and crossing my fingers that I had bought enough.

I got home and realized that I didn’t have a crab cracker!!! Fortunately, I ran into a neighbor who invited me in for a glass of wine and she lent me hers. Otherwise, it would have taken 1800 man-hours to take apart the crab.

After a glass of  wine and good conversation with the neighbor, I went home to set apart dismantling the crab. After picking, pulling and cracking I was able to get MORE than the ¾’s cup of crab meat that is needed for the recipe.

Next up was the “Cajun Alfredo Sauce” that is used on the pizza.  I was a bit worried about this, because after you create the roux, the ingredients cook up FAST. But have faith as you do this – and realize that this might cook a bit faster than Guy says – because the sauce turns out BEAUTIFULLY. If you can help it, do not put the sauce in the fridge before you put it on the  pizza. I did, and it makes it kinda hard to spread.

Finally, I topped my pizza, put it in the oven and it was ready just as my friend pulled up to the door. I gave her the first bite (which I don’t normally do, usually I try all of my food before I hand it off to someone else, so I don’t embarrass myself) and she truly LOVED the Cajun Crab and Asparagus Pie. I did too.

One final note – I did do another recipe back in 2013 that I did not blog about (I honestly never got around to doing the blog) it was for the “Cherry Cobbler Pizza.” This is one where I really should have taken Guy’s suggestion and used a whole wheat crust. If you use a plain crust for that pie…it’s very plain tasting on the bottom. I might make it again – and this time do it right!

Next recipe (unless I change my mind) will be Chicken Pozole. This involves a chicken neck, heart and liver…I am hoping I won’t have to go back and torture that guy behind the meat and seafood counter to get these things!

I am so glad to be focusing on cooking again. I forgot how much it fills my soul to do it. Maybe for 2014 there will be some highlights – I know the Cajun Crab and Asparagus Pie was one of them!

A note on the pictures – the taquito picture also has some salami and pepperoni bread slices in it from some bread that I made. I know, it’s a weird thing to serve together, but I wasn’t standing on ceremony on New Years Eve.

Posted By: Joss  

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