As we leave Labor Day behind us and the structure of fall begins to take shape it is easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures of the day to day and forget to make family meal time a priority. I get it: schedules are hard to co-ordinate, and we are all so busy with work, school, sports and other activities that our time to gather together with our loved ones to enjoy a meal is limited.
One of my favourite parts about Pampered Chef are the fun, festive and FAST solutions that can be shared that help make family meal time easy. My tool of choice is the Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven – this amazing “Magic Black Pot” truly makes my life in the kitchen a breeze. The key to the RockCrok’s magic is its versatility; it is created from clay that is heat resistant, so you can sear, braise, simmer, slow cook, fry, boil, bake, broil, microwave and grill in one pan (oh yeah, and afterwards it can go in the dishwasher)! In terms of cost, I tell my customers, that if the RockCrok helps you avoid one trip to the Drive Thru per week it will pay for itself in less than 2 months.
One of my family’s favourite go-to’s are Week Night Chicken Fajitas, which satisfies all 3 meal goals – they are fun, festive and fast! I like to pair these with homemade Garden Salsa and Guacamole which is a super easy “piggy-back” recipe that can be whipped up quickly while the fajitas are cooking. Add some margaritas and in 30 minutes you have a Mexican fiesta!
Time: prep 10 min, depends on cooking method- microwave 18 min, bbq 35 min, oven 40 min
Week Night Chicken Fajitas
You will need:
- 2-3 bell peppers (any colour combo you desire), cut into strips
- 1-2 red onion, cut into strips (I chop mine finer because my kids are more likely to pick out the strips)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 jalapenos (optional and depends on your preferred level of heat – my little guys and hubby don’t enjoy a lot of spice so I eliminate completely.)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub (I also enjoy the Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub in the recipes too)
– 12 small flour (or corn) tortillas
– shredded cheddar cheese
– sour cream
– chopped jalapenos
– chopped cilantro
– Garden Salsa and Guacamole (recipe included below).
– anything else you desire
1. Using your Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven, Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, or other microwave safe, lidded cooking vessel, start adding your sliced peppers (including jalapenos if you are including them), onions and garlic (Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer quickly creates paper thin garlic slices). Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Tex Mex Rub. Mix gently to combine.
2. Lay chicken over the bed of vegetables. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cover with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Tex mex rub. Manually rub the seasoning on to the surface of the chicken.
3. Place cover on the RockCrok or other cooking vessel and place in the microwave (on high) for 10 minutes. Redistribute the chicken, microwave for another 8 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer (should be 165 degrees). If you don’t have meat thermometer, cut into the largest piece of meat, if the meat is white and juice is running clear, they are done. If not, microwave for another 3-5 minutes. Every microwave is different, which is why it is important to check.
4. Once cooked completely, remove chicken breasts and slice into strips. Mix them back in with the veggies and replace the lid to maintain the heat. Serve with tortillas and desired fixings.
This is a microwave recipe, but it can be adapted to the oven or the BBQ, but times would have to be adjusted. Depending on the cooking vessel, BBQ would take about 35 minutes and oven would take about 40 minutes at 350F.
Every kitchen needs to have a meat thermometer – use this to determine when your chicken is cooked (should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 2-3 minutes to be considered done.
Piggy Back Garden Salsa and Guacamole
I call this recipe “piggy back” because I make the salsa first and then use some of it to flavour the guacamole. For these recipes I use another Pampered Chef favourite, the Manual Food Processor (or as is affectionately known, the MFP). I love this tool because it is compact, easy to use (my kids like to take turns pumping it) and because it is manual, it really allows you to control the consistency of what you are making. You can make your salsa and guacamole as chunky or as smooth as you like it personally.
This recipes is a great use of tomatoes from your garden and is great on its own. When I make this salsa in the winter the flavors always remind me of late summer.
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 lime, juice and zest
- 1/2 tablespoon Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
1. Add 1/2 tomatoes to the Manual Food Processor (MFP), process a bit to break them open. Add remaining tomatoes, process a bit to break them open.
2. Cut onion, jalapeno (if adding) into chunks and add to MFP. Rough chop cilantro before adding it. Add pressed garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rub). Process until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Remove salsa from the MFP, but leave ~1/2 cup behind.
1/2 cup of garden salsa
2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 lime, and zest
2 gloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1. Cut avos into chunks, and roughly chop the cilantro and add to salsa. Add the garlic, lime juice and zest, and salt.
2. Combine until desired consistency is achieved.
These recipes are great to serve buffet style or family style. I love placing the components into interesting and eclectic serving vessels which contributes to the fun and festive feel of this quick week night meal!!
If you are interested in learning more about Pampered Chef, or would like to check out any of the products mentioned above. Follow one of the links below and search for (RockCrok Dutch Oven, Manual Food Processer, Garlic Slicer, Tex Mex Rub, Chipotle Rub) If you are interested in making a Pampered Chef Purchase, Brown Butter and Pink Peppercorn is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef show from Sept 20-30, 2016. If you have a Canadian shipping address, you can order via either of these links. If you live in the U.S. drop me a line and I will connect you with a consultant that can help you.
Amanda (Mandi) Fowler van Wyk
Team Leader and Trainer Pampered Chef Canada