Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pecan Fest 2010! Going Nuts With Pecans part 3 Pecan Encrusted Chipotle Chicken And Spicy Carrot Soup With Roasted Pecans!

The last few days had been pretty hectic.  I had been working a lot, and trying to celebrate "Pecan Fest 2010!" with my girls. That's them below. Bella my dog, who I almost lost to parvo as she was a rescue.  Wouldn't you know when I take her to the vet to get shots and get fixed, she had just contracted the virus.  But she beat it! Gidgette (black and white) the newest member of the family, and Miley the senior of the trio.
     Love them as much as I do it would be a lie to say they are not a pain when your trying to cook.  Throw a camera in the mix and it can seem daunting.  But I'm learning to feed them just as I start to prep.  It kept them busy and filled their little bellies, which meant less interruption. 
     You may remember on day one of "Pecan Fest 2010!" that I mentioned in my quest to find some recipes that I had posted on a few forums for some ideas.  Lots of pecan encrusted sea foods where mentioned.  One of my few banes.  Seafood.  I'm very picky and rarely eat seafood outside shrimp. I love shrimp!  Then I came across a reply that said simply- put it in a food processor and make a flor or a meal! Thanks Butter is Better of the ChowHound community for your idea!  So I built on her idea and found numerous recipes, don't go in totally blind.  Good thing I did to because it needed to be baked.  Pecans are prone to scorching.
     I enjoy spicy food. I often wonder why as every orifice on my face is pouring out some kind of liquid. Tears.  Sweat.  Sinus.  Why we find pleasure in it I don't understand.  But I know I'm not alone.  A few years ago I did some experimenting with fried chicken recipes.  My ultimate success I believe was to add Tabasco to the egg/buttermilk wash.  But I also got my hands on some chipotle powder....
     To go with my chicken I found a Carrot Cumin Soup with Toasted Pecans on Epicurious.com which was perfect because I had never made a soup from scratch by myself.  And I planned on putting the chicken on salad.  My own homemade Apple salad dressing, and we had a sweet and spicy balance to test my culinary skills.

                                                         Here's what you need for the Spicy Carrot and Roasted Pecan Soup:
1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
2 or 3 large carrots
1/2 teaspoon cumin ( I thought it was a little much. I'm cutting back next time)
salt to taste
2 cups h2o
less than 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (I used a 1/2tsp and it was too spicy)

For the pecans:

I used 4 table spoons crushed pecans
1 1/2 teaspoon butter
a pinch of salt
a pinch of chipotle powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add your butter to a preheated sauce pan and cook your onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they are soft.  Add your carrots, cumin, salt, chipotle powder and cook for one minute while stirring. 
Add water and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until carrots are very soft.  On a baking sheet place your pecans and bake in the middle of the oven for 8 minutes or so. You will smell them when they are done.  Toss the pecans in butter, salt, and chipotle powder to taste.  Puree your soup until smooth, divide soup and pecans between 2 bowls.  And your soup is done!


What you'll need for the Pecan Encrusted Chipotle Chicken:
2 chicken breast
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 cup crushed pecans
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder divided (1/4 for the coating, 1/4 for your wash)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
a healthy dose of Chipotle Tabasco
I also found a "chopped chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce spread"
I cheated and used a sad mix from the store.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small mixing bowl combine your buttermilk.  And to taste, the Chipotle Tabasco and chipotle in Adobo sauce spread.  Top off with half of your chipotle powder and whisk thoroughly.  Place the chicken inside the bowl to marinate and cover.  You can use a zip lock off some sort if your prefer.  Let the chicken soak for at least 15 minutes, or go the extra mile and go overnight!  I did not. I wish I had. 
When you are ready to go combine pecans with your spices and flour in a dish large enough to bread your chicken in.  Coat your chicken and place in a preheated pan, under medium heat, with half of the oil per piece. One piece of chicken in the pan at a time!  The pecans color quickly and it worth the time, which is about a minute per side.

Gently lay your seared chicken breast to a baking sheet.  It should take 10 to 15 minutes.  Let the chicken rest and it will be much easier to slice.
Grab what ever salad mix you've made, or bought like I did.  Portion two plates and top with your sliced chicken.

You may rightfully be wondering why I left the dressing until the end when it would be the first thing you should make and plop into the fridge.  Here's why...

Apple Salad Dressing:

A complete and utter disaster!  It was edible but not one I would share with even my Mom. 

I could really use some help here!  Anyone out there know of any Apple Salad Dressing recipes?  I looked around but didn't find what I was looking for. All I could really find was stuffing recipes. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated!
All in all I call "Pecan Fest 2010!" a success.  I had a blast with the girls (my pets), and tested myself in the kitchen.  It had it's ups and downs.  It had highlights and bloopers.  I look forward to next year!  Still have a load of pecans so I'm sure you'll see a recipe or two pop up under the "Recipes! Yours and Mine!" folder.  Speaking of which any blogger that has any recipes they would like to share email me a link and I will be happy to post it!(under the recipes tab). Or link a similar recipe at the bottom of this post. I also have a group on Facebook called "Wichita Falls Foodies" 59 members strong now and growing, post links, and share your culinary delights!  I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy the dishes I've shared over the last few days.  Thanks to all my readers! Happy holidays!

Love Food, Live Life!

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  1. I love pecans and can always always always use new recipes that include them! These all look delicious, although my favorite has to be that soup!

  2. The Soup was delicious! Torn between that and the French Toast! Tanks for the feedback!