If you missed last week’s column, I shared some of the recipes from my weekend of somewhat healthy birthday feasting: a bananas foster trifle using my grand mother’s grand mother’s pound cake recipe, chorizo breakfast hash, pour-out-of-the-local-jar salsa, and guacamole.

This week, you get the rest of the recipes I made that weekend: surf & turn fajita salad, braised chicken and buffalo barbacoa tacos – with the leftovers turned into quinoa enchilada bakes, and huevos rancheros. Additional recipes include homemade flour tortillas, creamy black beans, homemade enchilada sauce, a cilantro lime dressing, and the hub’s amazing margaritas.

Of course tomatoes and bell peppers are out of season and I have yet to seen an Arkansas avocado, but everything I could source this time of year from Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and Conway Locally Grown is noted. I used the crock pot quite a bit and the flour tortillas were way less intimidating than I expected them to be once I got to the rolling out and cooking stage. I hope you’ll give a few of the recipes a try!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Time: Depends how many you make at a time, but at least 3 hours

Servings: 32

Ingredients:

• 5 cups flour

• 5 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 teaspoons sea salt

• 1 cup shortening

• ¼ cup butter, softened

• 2 cups hot water

Method:

1) Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixer. Use the whisk to cut in the shortening and butter until crumbly.

2) Change out to the dough hook and slowly pour in the hot water. Combine and knead for about a minute until a cohesive ball.

3) Cover and let rest for an hour.

4) Cut into about 32 ping pong ball sized pieces. Cover and let rest for another hour.

5) Heat a griddle or a couple skillets over medium to medium high. Roll out each piece (keeping the rest covered) on a clean dry surface until very thin.

6) Cook each at about 45 minutes per side (you want it to puff up a bit and get a little toasty in spots). Stack and keep warm until ready to serve.

Enjoy in tacos or huevos ranchos – or heat longer and cut into pieces to make the most amazing tortilla chips!

Creamy Black Beans

Time: 16+ hours

Ingredients:

• 1 pound dry black beans

• lots of water

• 1 onion, chopped

• 2 bay leaves (A B C Nature Greenhouse & Herb Farm)

• 2 garlic cloves

• ¼ to ½ cup candied jalapenos and banana peppers, chopped (Cedar Rock Ridge)

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 bunch cilantro

• 2 tablespoons sea salt – added to taste in increments

Method:

1) Soak the beans in a bowl of water over night.

2) In crockpot, add drained beans, onion, bay leaves, garlic, and peppers; cover with 2 to 3 inches of fresh water. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

3) Chop cilantro and add to the pot with brown sugar and a bit of salt. Cover and cook for another 2 hours.

4) Taste and add more salt as necessary.

Enjoy.

Enchilada Sauce

Time: ~20 min

Ingredients: Enchilada Sauce

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 tablespoons flour

• 3 tablespoons chili powder

• ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

• ¾ teaspoon onion powder

• ¾ teaspoon cumin

• pinch of salt

• 3 cups vegetable broth

Method:

1) Heat oil in a small pan over medium. Sift flour and spices together and whisk it into the oil, letting it bubble and cook for about a minute.

2) Slowly add in the broth. Stirring occasionally, simmer for about 15 minutes.

3) Remove from heat and store in refrigerator until needed.

Enjoy: Add to spicy braised chicken, quinoa enchilada bake, etc.

Spicy Braised Chicken

Time: ~1 hour

Ingredients: Chicken

• 3 pounds chicken breasts (Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative)

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped & mashed to paste

• 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

• 2 teaspoons chili powder

• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• pinch of cayenne pepper

• salt and pepper

• dollop of olive oil

• 8 ounces beer (consider Dos Equis XX)

• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• 1 apple, chopped (Drewry Farm & Orchards)

• ½ cup enchilada sauce

Method:

1) Rub chicken with garlic, chipotle, chili powder, paprika, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne, salt and pepper. Let hang out for at least 15 minutes.

2) Heat oil in a large pan, sear both sides of chicken breasts. Remove chicken.

3) Deglaze pan with beer, then add apple cider vinegar and chopped apple. Return the chicken, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.

4) Remove the chicken and shred.

5) Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, center piece removed and hole covered with a kitchen towel), wiz up the cooking sauce. Add enchilada sauce, then return the chicken and stir it all together. Let marry until ready to serve.

Enjoy in a multitude of ways including tacos and a quinoa bake!

Chicken & Buffalo Tacos

Ingredients:

• Flour tortillas, fresh & warm

• Spicy braised chicken

• Buffalo barbacoa

• Crumbly queso blanco, chopped

• Chopped cilantro

• Lime wedges

Method: Fill tortillas with chicken and/or buffalo. Top with cheese and cilantro. Serve lime wedges and a salad of romaine lettuce, avocado, and cilantro lime dressing.

Surf & Turf Fajita Salad

Time: ~45 min

Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + a splash

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped & smashed

• 1 lime, zested & juiced

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon oregano

• ½ teaspoon onion powder

• salt and pepper

• 3 tilapia filets

• 2 pounds flank steak

• 2 onions

• 5 bell peppers

• 2 heads romaine lettuce (Kellogg Valley Farms)

• 2 avocados

• Cilantro lime dressing

• Cilantro

Method:

1) Make marinade of ¼ cup oil, garlic, lime, cumin, chili powder, oregano, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Put 1/3 of it into a bag with the tilapia. Brush the other 2/3 of it onto the flank steak. Let hang out for 15 to 20 minutes.

2) Slice onions and peppers. Chop lettuce.

3) Preheat broiler. Reserving the marinade, cook tilapia in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side until white and flakey. Set aside.

4) Broil flank steak for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest.

5) In a large skillet or two, heat a splash of oil over medium high. Toss the onions and peppers in the reserved marinade, and cook together for 8 to 10 minutes until softened and lightly caramelized.

6) Slice steak at an angle. Break tilapia into large pieces.

Enjoy: Give each plate a healthy covering of romaine, then top with peppers and onions, surf and turf, avocado slices, a drizzle of dressing, and a few torn pieces of cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup loosely packed cilantro

• ½ cup sour cream

• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 lime, zested & juiced

• salt and pepper

• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Method:

1) In a food processor, blender, or bowl with immersion blender, whiz together cilantro, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice & zest, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

2) Slowly drizzle in olive oil and vinegar until emulsified. Set aside until needed.

Enjoy.

Bob’s Margaritas

Ingredients:

• 750 mL bottle of gold tequila

• 500 mL simple syrup (1:1 water to sugar ratio – just dissolved)

• 250 mL fresh squeezed or organic lime juice

• splash of triple sec

• lime wedges & sea salt for garnish

Method:

1) Mix all the ingredients together and let merry in the fridge.

2) Serve over ice in glasses rimmed with salt and garnished with a lime wedge.

Enjoy and express appreciation for tasty things.