TruePlayerFlavor TruePlayerStyle presents recipes and resources to kill it in the kitchen

2Jan/12Off

Beer Can Chicken with Savory Rub

This recipe is something you can do on a grill, a smoker or in the oven. Since it is Winter we opted for the oven. The can of beer helps the chicken retain moisture while it cooks but it can easily be substituted using a can of chicken broth if desired.

1 Whole Chicken
1 Can of beer
1/4 Cup of savory rub, the ingredients are up to you.
1 Tbsp of olive or grape seed oil.

First preheat the oven to 350 or fire up the grill arranging the coals for an indirect heat set up (where the coals are piled to one side of the grill so you can place the chicken in the area where it won't be directly over the hot coals.) If you are using a gas grill, you can set up for indirect heat using the outside burners and leave the center burner off.

Rinse the chicken thoroughly with water inside and out and coat with oil. Take your rub and massage it onto the chicken on all sides and inside the cavity, be sure to save about a teaspoon of the rub to put in the can. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast slightly and get some of the rub in the space between the skin and flesh.

Now that the chicken is seasoned, use a can opener to cut off the top of the beer can and carefully drink half (or spill it out to mother earth) and sprinkle the remaining rub into the beer and stir. Now you are ready to stand the chicken up on the can. In a medium roasting pan, place the can in the center and carefully lower the chicken onto the can and use the can and the chicken's legs to prop up the chicken. Arrange the racks in the oven so you have clearance to slide the pan in and set the timer for about an hour and a half. I usually roast the chicken for the first hour at 350 and then lower the temperature to 325 for the last 15-30 minutes. Remove the chicken and the meat temperature should be 170 in the breast and 180 in the legs. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Rub, Beer and Chicken

Rub, Beer and Chicken

Chicken on a can!

Chicken on a can!

12Nov/110

Easy Weeknight Chili

This recipe is easy because you can use any meat that you might have. For this recipe, we had leftover (uncooked) pork tenderloin and flatiron steak from earlier in the week. You can also use ground beef or turkey.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 small can of diced green chilies
1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice
Your meat of choice (about 1 lb)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of chili powder (add more based on desired heat)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb of cubed pork tenderloin
1/2 lb of cubed flatiron steak
1 tsp flour
Juice of half a lime
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
1 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle in adobo)

Warm a large pot on the stovetop. When the pot has heated add olive oil. When that is warm add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the pork and steak and cook on medium heat until the meat is browned and about 75% cooked. The meat will continue to cook as you make the chili, so you do not want to overcook the meat. When the meat is browned, add the flour and stir. This will add a little bit of thickness to your chili. What makes this recipe so easy is that now you just need to add the beans, corn, tomatoes and juice, and the spices and stir. Let this mixture cook for about 40 minutes or until you get the desired flavor. A few minutes before you are ready to serve, add the lime juice. We think that this adds a little tang to the chili. Once you have put your chili in the bowl, top with shredded cheese (and sour cream if you like). One suggestion if you like sour cream and heat is to mix in a little bit of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobe to the sour cream. A little adobo goes a long way, so be careful of how much you add. The flavor is incredible, spicy and smoky, and will add a great flavor to your chili. We love to serve this chili with cornbread, so please see our Skillet Cornbread recipe to serve with this dish. As with most stews and soups, this recipe will get better the next day, so make enough for leftovers!

2Oct/11Off

Garlic Lime Fajitas (from McCormick’s Recipe Inspirations)

This recipe came from McCormick's Recipe Inspirations and we decided to make it when a friend gave us a package containing the ingredients pre-portioned. This meal is perfect for a busy weeknight when all you need is a few ingredients and a few minutes...

1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
1/4 Cup fresh orange juice
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp onion flakes
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp cilantro
1 Tsp oregano
1 Cup sliced onion
1 Cup sliced peppers (pick your favorite colors)
1 Large chicken breast, sliced

Combine seasonings and lime/orange juice in a mixing cup and stir and set aside.

You can cook the chicken and onion/peppers using a regular skillet, an iron skillet or using the barbecue. We used a stove top cast iron grill and it worked great.

Start by grilling the chicken and add 1/2 of the seasoning to the chicken as you grill. Cook the chicken until it is almost done, (6-7 min) and set aside momentarily.

Add peppers and onions to the grill and cook until nearly done (3-4 min). Add chicken back to the grill and stir in the remaining seasoning and cook for another 3 min and remove from the grill and cover.

Using the hot grill (or your preferred method) warm tortillas and serve on the side.

10Jan/11Off

Beef Roast Tacos

This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence's "Mexican Pot Roast Tacos" from Dinner at My Place

2-3 Lbs of beef roast
1 Tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Large onion, cut into wedges
3 Cloves of garlic, smashed
1 28-Oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 Dried jalapeno
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 Bunch fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
8 Corn tortillas
1/2 Bunch fresh cilantro
1/3 Lb of Cotija cheese, crumbled
2 Limes cut into wedges

Salt and pepper beef roast on all sides. Set pot on range and heat to medium-high with a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom. Brown roast on all sides until there is a nice brown crust - roughly 2 min a side. Add garlic and onion to the bottom of the pan while browning the roast so they begin to caramelize slightly. Once browning is complete add tomatoes and juice to the pot. Also add cumin, ancho chile, smoked paprika, dried jalapeno and cilantro. Also add about 2 cups of water and lower heat to low and simmer for 2 hours - until beef is fork tender. Once cooked, use a fork or spoon to break apart the roast and allow some time for beef to soak up the juices.

To prepare the tortillas, ideally, use a cast-iron piastra on the stove top and warm the corn tortillas on each side. If you don't have a piastra, a cast-iron skillet will work. If not a regular skillet will work just fine!

Once you are ready to plate the tortillas, scoop the beef into the tacos and sprinke with Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro.
Browning the Roast
Adding Tomatoes and Cilantro

9Jan/11Off

Chicken Chipotle Nachos with Cilantro-Avocado Crema

1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp cumin seed
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 Canned chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 Cup water
2 Cups shredded cooked chicken
'A couple dozen' tortilla chips
1 1/2 Cups shredded jack cheese (about 6 oz)

Boil chicken in medium sauce pan for 8-10 minutes, remove from water and set aside to cool. Once cooled, shred the chicken using two forks and set aside.

In a skillet heat olive oil and add onions and cook until they begin to brown. Add cumin seeds and oregano, stir for a minute, then add chilies, tomato paste, vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently stirring often to blend flavors, about 5-6 min. Add shredded chicken and stir until hot.

Preheat oven to 450 and arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle equal portions of cheese on each chip, then spoon 1 tablespoon of chicken on top of each chip.

Bake for about 5-6 minutes (should be slightly bubbly). When done, transfer to a serving platter and top each with 1 teaspoon of the cilantro-avocado crema. Garnish with a cilantro leaf and serve warm.

For the cilantro-avocado crema:

This can be made up to 2 hours ahead of time. Mix 1 ripe diced avocado, 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add salt to taste.

28Nov/10Off

Salsa Verde Take Two

You know the drill! We tweak this salsa verde recipe constantly because we have not quite reached the goal, which is to duplicate the amazing flavor of the famous Santana's salsa verde. This time I roasted all of the ingredients under the broiler, including the garlic!

1 Lb (about 10) tomatillos
2 Roma tomatoes
3/4 Cup of fresh cilantro
4 Cloves of garlic (peeled)
1/4 Tsp kosher salt
1 Jalapeno pepper
1/2 Large white onion
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Peel husk from tomatillos and wash thoroughly. Place tomatillos, tomatoes, sliced onion and garlic cloves on cookie sheet or broiler pan. Place under the broiler for about 8-10 minutes or until the skin of the tomatillos is blackened. EVERY broiler is different, so keep an eye on the tomatillos after about 5 minutes just to make sure. Remove ingredients from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Combine the ingredients in food processor and blend. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the food processor to make sure everything blends evenly. Pour contents of the food processor into a bowl and let cool. Salsa is ready to use after it cools, however, we have found that flavor improves if the salsa is refrigerated over night.

19May/100

Papaya-Avocado Salad with Papaya Seed Dressing

This recipe is adapted from an recipe originally seen in "Big Small Plate" by Cindy Pawlcyn with Pablo and Erasto Jacinto

1 Pound Mexican papaya
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tsp sweet paprika
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp toasted ground cumin seeds
2/3 Cup olive oil
1 Tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Cups of spinach
2 Avocados, pits removed and skin removed, sliced
2 Tbsp toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Cut the papaya in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, reserving 2 Tbsp for dressing. Cut the papaya halves into quarters. Now, carefully, hold fruit firmly to a cutting board and run a thin knife between the fruit and skin to separate. As always, take care to NOT cut towards yourself. Now cut the fruit on the short side and create 1/2 in thick slices and refrigerate.

Place the papaya seeds, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, paprika, salt and cumin in a blender. Blend and slowly add the olive oil, until smooth.

Either using one large serving dish or individual salad plates, and lay a bed of spinach as a base on the plate or plates. Dress the greens with a few Tsp of the dressing. Build the salad by alternating slices of papaya and avocado across the greens. When complete sprinkle the salad with some toasted nuts, drizzle with some additional dressing and freshly ground black pepper. Place remaining dressing on the table for service.

16Feb/100

Salsa Verde

We tweak this salsa verde recipe constantly because we have not quite reached the goal, which is to duplicate the amazing flavor of the famous Santana's salsa verde. Now this is a good problem to have since it means we have salsa verde on hand at all times for use on everything from tostadas, or pork tacos or heuvos rancheros.

Please let us know how yours turns out!

1 Lb (about 10) tomatillos
3/4 Cup of fresh cilantro
2 Cloves of garlic (peeled)
1/4 Tsp kosher salt
1 Jalapeno stemmed, seeded
1 Habanero stemmed, seeded
1/2 Large white onion
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Peel husk from tomatillos and wash thoroughly. Slice tomatillos in half and place flat-side down on cookie sheet or broiler pan. Place under the broiler for about 10-12 minutes or until the skin of the tomatillos is blackened. EVERY broiler is different, so keep an eye on the tomatillos after about 5 minutes just to make sure. Remove tomatillos from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Combine the cilantro, garlic, habenero, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and tomatillos in food processor and blend. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the food processor to make sure everything blends evenly. Pour contents of the food processor into a bowl and let cool. Salsa is ready to use after it cools, however, we have found that flavor improves if the salsa is refrigerated over night.

5Feb/100

Huevos Rancheros (Para Dos)

2 Large eggs
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
2 Fresh corn tortillas
1 Large avocado
1 Cup of pinto beans (or refried)
1 Cup shredded mild cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1/2 Cup salsa (can also use salsa verde)

Slice avocado in two, remove pit and cut into long slivers and set aside.

Warm beans on low heat in small-medium sauce pan and simmer while preparing eggs. To add an extra kick to the beans, feel free to add a few dashes of hot sauce. Add butter to frying pan with medium-low heat and fry two eggs. While eggs are cooking, shred cheese. When eggs are done, remove from pan and add tortillas to the pan to heat. When tortillas are heated, place on plate, add beans, cheese and eggs on top. Add sliced avocado and salsa.

To add a little more heat, add chipotle sour cream by mixing 1 Tsp adobo sauce and 2 Tbspof sour cream.

Heuvos Rancheros

Heuvos Rancheros

27Jan/100

Grilled Pork Tacos with Tomato, Corn, Cilantro and Avocado Salsa

1 Pork tenderloin (roughly 1 - 1.5 lbs)
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chile powder
1/2 Tsp Cayenne powder
1 Tsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic powder
1/2 Pint grape tomatoes
1 Avocado
1 Red onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 Can sweet corn
1 Lime
1 Can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 Pint low fat sour cream
1 Package of corn tortillas

Butterfly pork tenderloin and combine next 7 ingredients for dry rub. Sprinkle rub liberally all over the pork and take care to rub the seasoning into the meat well.

Prepare coals for BBQ or set gas grill at medium heat and grill pork for 10 - 12 min each side or until slightly pink in the center. Rub will char on the grill and add fantastic flavor to the finished product. Remove meat from the grill and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

For salsa, chop tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and add to a serving bowl. Slice avocado and add with corn to the bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the salsa and stir; lime juice adds nice flavor and preserves wonderful colors of the ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

To make chipotle sour cream, add 1/2 to full pint of low fat sour cream to a bowl and add 1-2 spoonfuls of adobo sauce from the can of chiles for mild spice. You can adjust the spice higher by adding more sauce or seeding & chopping some of the chiles and stirring them in.

Warm tortillas over coals or over medium heat on the gas grill for about 30 seconds a side. If you prefer, you can warm the tortillas in the oven by wrapping a stack in a damp paper-towel and baking for 20 minutes at 250 degrees. If you need to micorowave the tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper-towel and microwave on high for 45 - 60 seconds.

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