Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Peaches Gone Awry, Tostadas, and Summer!!!

For the past week I have had Alice Cooper's School's Out running through my head, and today I can finally say it has happened.  I left school with no plans of returning until late August!  So exciting, yet bittersweet.  I hate to leave my kids and see them move on to middle school, but I am also excited about all the time I will have on my hands to blog (and do other things, of course).  In fact, I am headed to the beach for a few days of relaxation before really getting back into frequent cooking and blogging.

I did do a little canning for the first time in months this past weekend, and sometimes in the cooking and canning world things go wrong.  This was one of those times.  I had some ripe yellow peaches which were very juicy and some harder white peaches which I decided would make a nice jam.  I knew that the yellow peaches were probably a little too ripe for their own good, but I thought by mixing them I would be able to even it out and the jam would still set correctly.  Guess what I get for testing my luck?!  I am now the proud owner of seven jars of very delicious peach 'topping' which I plan to open once I return from the beach and try to recan.  I am hoping by placing it back in the pot and processing it with another box of pectin, I can get a good set.  If not, we will have to enjoy it on ice cream.  Not such a bad deal!

I will also be making more jam very soon with peaches I plan to get next week, and I will keep you posted on the outcomes of the 'topping' and the jam I make then. 

Since I really have nothing new to post other than the jam, I decided to post the recipe and picture from a favorite meal which I posted last year and which is perfect for this time of year when gardens and markets are overflowing with zucchini.  Chicken and Vegetable Tostadas are a great way to pack a lot of veggies into a quick, easy to cook meal, and they are an excellent use of Roasted Salsa Verde.      

Chicken and Vegetable Tostadas (adapted from Cooking Light)
makes approximately 4 tostadas

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
8 ounces chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 1/4 cup chopped zucchini (about 1/2 a medium zucchini)
1/2 cup salsa verde (homemade or store-bought)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray or more canola oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the broiler. Heat 2 tsp canola oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Place the chicken pieces in the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes until lightly browned but not cooked through. Add the zucchini and corn and cook 2 minutes. Add the salsa verde and 2 tbsp cilantro. Stir to combine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the filling from the heat.

Place tortillas on a sheet pan and spray each one lightly with cooking spray (or you can brush them very lightly with oil). Place the pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the tortillas are lightly browned and beginning to puff up. Remove the pan from the oven. Spoon 3/4 cup filling into the middle of each tostada and spread it around. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese and place the pan back under the broiler for an additional 2 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the tortilla. Watch them carefully as they burn easily and quickly. Remove the pan from the oven, cut each tostada into four wedges and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.

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