Queso-Smothered Chicken Fajita Burgers

Who needs tortillas?

I mean, I do. Gosh, any world without tortillas is one I do NOT want to live in.

But you don’t need tortillas. At least, not for this “burger,” anyway. And it’s actually how this burger came about. Fajita Night with tortillas that ended up being moldy easily turns into Fancy Burger Night.

Cheesy, messy, fork-and-knife Fancy Burger Night.

Queso-Smothered Chicken Fajita Burgers

And while we’re confessing super, insanely deep things: Can you believe I almost didn’t serve these on a bun? The defeat of finding that those fresh-made tortillas weren’t so fresh after all, I nearly made the fajitas into a salad.

Guys. A salad.

Cooler heads prevailed (thank you, Jason!) and we ended up with Queso-Smothered Chicken Fajita “Burgers” instead. And it was a good thing, too. Because 1) Those tortillas had inflected a pain that only a messy burger could fix. And 2) EAT ALL THE CARBS AND CHEESE AND MORE CARBS.

Queso-Smothered Chicken Fajita Burgers

Because guess who has 2 half-marathons on the calendar, a dried queso drip down the front of her shirt, and a belief that, after 2 cherry margaritas, mustache selfies will never get old?

[giggle]

THAT GIRL.

Queso-Smothered Chicken Fajita Burgers

Juicy chicken fajitas smothered in queso and served burger-style.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lime wedges
  • 4 burger buns
  • Chile con Queso

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Brush the chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the chicken 6-7 minutes each side, until juices run clear.
  5. Grill the vegetables on a vegetable pan next to the chicken (or a double-folded sheet of foil with a few holes poked in it), stirring occasionally, until nicely charred.
  6. Let the chicken set at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Top each burger bun with sliced chicken, a generous mount of vegetables, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a scoop of melty queso.
  8. Serve with a fork, knife, and my favorite skinny margarita.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

I grew up 40 minutes north of the 4th largest city in the United States. And it might as well have been 200 miles from the nearest civilization.

Back then, it was the last-Dairy-Queen, barely-a-dot-on-the-map before you hit that stretch of 59 that turned into 2 parts speed trap, 1 part scary hillbilly cop movie, and 1 part I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The grocery stores was tiny, the WalMart was even smaller, the town shut down on Friday afternoons during football season so everyone could stand in line at the concession stand under the bleachers for Frito Pie and a coke.

Not “Coke.” But coke. You probably called it soda or pop (or paaaaahp, giggle). But here in Texas? It was all coke. Whether you ordered a coke, asked for a coke, or were offered a coke, the next question was always the same: “what kind?”

And unless you were visiting from way out of town or just really lost, your favorite coke was Dr Pepper.

Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

My mom was a walking Barbara Mandrell song and always dropped a handful of peanuts in her Dr Pepper. That? I never understood. I mean, maybe. Sweet, salty. But the only thing I want to chew from my glass of Dr Pepper is ice.

During the summer, mom would pack the ice cream maker in the sink with ice and rock salt, and then after what seemed like hours of rahnr-rahnr-rahnr, it was time for the greatest summer treat next to salted watermelon.

Dr Pepper Floats.

Fresh Cherry Coke Floats

With 23 (!!!) lbs of fresh cherries in the house, we took mom’s (peanut-less) Dr Pepper floats to the next, logical level: Cherry Dr Pepper Floats. Muddled fresh cherries, a couple scoops of HEBs 1905 Vanilla Ice Cream (move over, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!), and not-from-Dublin real-sugar Dr Pepper.

Messy, fizzy, and creamy. And even better than I remember.

Fresh Cherry Dr Pepper Floats

What's better than a coke float? A coke float made with fresh cherries. And Dr Pepper.

Ingredients

  • 8 pitted cherries
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Dr Pepper

Instructions

  1. For each float, either muddle the cherries in the bottom of a frosty mug or pulse a few times in a blender (I vote the latter, especially if you're making more than 1).
  2. Scoop in the vanilla ice cream and then slowly (SLOWLY) stream in the Dr Pepper until full.
  3. Grab a spoon and a straw and enjoy.

Notes

Yields: 1 serving

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

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Drunken Cherry Galettes You know what’s better than eating cherries straight out of the bag for lunch?

WINE.

These individual galettes are not your average dessert. The rustic pie/tart/pastry-thingies are filled with red wine-soaked cherries, glazed with a red wine reduction, and then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It tastes like someone (me) spiked a cherry pie with wine (because I did).

And they couldn’t be easier. You take a dough circle (full disclosure: more like rounded squares and octagons), fill it with drunken fruit, and then fold the edges in.

Imperfection is the key here – because I’m almost positive that “galette” is French for “just throw that crap together because no one GAF what it looks like and pour me more wine.” (Gosh, the French are insanely concise. And bossy.)

Drunken Cherry Galettes

And sure, you need 2 hours for the recipe. But 90 minutes of that is actually you just drinking wine while watching Top Gear reruns.

Drunken Cherry Galettes

I used my all-time-favorite forever-and-ever-amen pie crust recipe for the perfectly flaky base. You could just grab one from the freezer section… but you might as well just make your own. Because what else are you going to do while the cherries are soaking? (Besides drink wine.)

Drunken Cherry Galettes

A buttery, flaky galette filled with red wine-soaked cherries.

Ingredients

  • For the pie crust:
  • 11 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • ~1 1/4 lb cherries, (pitted to yield 1 lb)
  • 1 cup red wine (I used a merlot - anything you like to drink will work)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice and Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Cut in the butter (by hand or machine) until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is mostly the size of peas.
  3. Add 4 Tbsp water and mix, adding the last of the water 1 tablespoon at a time only if needed to make the mixture hold together when pinched between your fingers.
  4. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it together into a disc.
  5. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Pit the cherries and place in a shallow dish (I used a pie plate).
  7. Pour over the wine, lemon juice and zest, and sugar, stirring to mix well.
  8. Let sit one hour at room temp (longer is fine).
  9. Set a strainer over a sauce pan and pour the cherries into the strainer, scraping any undissolved sugar from the bowl, and drain well.
  10. Remove 1/4 cup of wine and set aside.
  11. Simmer the wine mixture in the pot until thickened and reduced to about 1/4 cup.
  12. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  13. Sprinkle cornstarch over the cherries and add the reserved 1/4 cup wine, stirring until well mixed.
  14. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, roll out on a floured surface into a circle, and mound 1/4 of the cherries in the center of each circle of dough.
  15. Fold the edges towards the center and drizzle 1 Tbsp of the liquid left in the bowl over each dessert.
  16. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
  18. Brush wine reduction over the fruit in each tart, top with a scoop of ice cream, and drizzle with more wine reduction.

Notes

Yields: 4 galettes, 8 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, pastry crust from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 2 hours

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Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion Sandwich

You can do a lot of amazing things with zucchini. You can bread it and bake it for the faux-fry treatment. And then dip in ranch. Because the answer is always ranch (when it’s not margarita).

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

You can caramelize it in some bacon grease [swoon] and toss it into a peppery, velvety smooth carbonara for what is quite possibly the best pasta dish you’ll make all summer.

Zucchini Carbonara

But my all-time favorite for the last few years? Grilling it with red onions and topping with a simple, insanely versatile, you-have-all-these-ingredients-already vinaigrette.

Grillzed Zucchini & Red Onions

I make the grilled zucchini twice a week and eat it most nights as our veggie side. And most days, I pile the leftovers onto a chunk of baguette with a smear of mayo and a dizzle of vinaigrette, pop it under the broiler with some cheese, and call it lunch.

It’s my favorite summer lunch. My favorite summer sandwich.

And it’s pretty close to the best thing that could ever happen to zucchini.

Grilled Zucchini & Red Onion Sandwich

Summery sandwich made with grilled zucchini and red onions, topped with a lemon basil vinaigrette.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Spread mayo on the bread and pile high with zucchini and red onions.
  3. Take a spoonful or two of leftover vinaigrette from the bowl and spoon over top.
  4. Top with cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted.
  5. Cut in half to make 2 sandwiches; serve hot.

Notes

Yields: 2 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 10 minutes

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