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Thursday, February 13, 2014

{happy food} the best, easiest baja chicken tacos

I've been traveling a lot lately and one of the things I've missed was cooking. Last night was the first opportunity I had to make dinner and for the occasion I chose Baja Chicken Tacos. While, I love Baja Fish Tacos, Larry doesn't so I decided to try the recipe with chicken and it was spectacular. In fact in between bites we both kept repeating "Oh my God, this is so good. Let's make this every day."

It was the kind of perfect meal that you'd find at a little taco stand at the beach, the one that people will drive miles to get to. The best part of the meal actually was the Baja Sauce. It was creamy and cool with a kick, phenomenal and something that could be put to use all the time, from drizzling on grilled salmon to using it as vegetable dip. I plan on making a batch every week and keeping it refrigerated. 

The Baja Sauce and the entire meal was was actually fairly easy to make with a quick stop at Trader Joe's first. 

Happygirl Baja Sauce Recipe 

1 cup Mayonnaise
Juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons fire roasted green chiles (finely chopped)

Combine three ingredients and whisk until incorporated. Add more or less green chiles to taste. Cover and place in refrigerator for a few hours before serving to let the flavors combine. I tried this with Greek Yogurt, low-fat mayonnaise and sour cream. They were all delicious but Trader Joe's Organic Mayonnaise had the purest taste that let the lime and chiles take center stage.

Easy Baja Chicken Tacos Recipe 
1 pound package of chicken breast tenders 
2 eggs
1 cup white flour
1 cup Panko crumbs

OR buy pre-cooked sliced chicken strips available at Trader Joe's and most markets. You can also substitute fish, pulled pork, steak or a soy/veggie alternative.

1 package shredded cabbage (Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheese (shredded finely)
1 package Trader Joe's Corn & Wheat tortillas
1 container of Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Chunky Guacamole

(If you are using pre-cooked meat, skip this step)

To prepare the breaded chicken strips: 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. 
Place flour, whipped egg and Panko crumbs in three separate bowls. 
Dredge chicken tender in flour, then egg until covered then in the Panko crumbs. Set aside. Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders. 
Add chicken tenders to saute pan, cooking 4 minutes on each side.
Place chicken tenders in over for 5 minutes to finish cooking. 
Set aside to cool. 

Set shredded cabbage, cheese, Baja Sauce and Chunky guacamole out. 

Microwave tortillas for 20 seconds. If you have a gas stovetop, place tortilla on grill above flame for 10 seconds on each side. Place on table. 

To prepare tacos, spread guacamole on tortilla, followed by cabbage, chicken, cheese and Baja Sauce.

Plan trip to sunny destination anyway to escape the snow. 

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