Ethnic-ly Confused Chicken, Rice and Salsa

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This was a meal I made with my good friend who is now living in L.A. pursuing her dreams of writing for TV and films. Before her trip we were hanging out a bunch and cooking – one of our many common interests. This Mediterranean/Hispanic/Asian inspired is really hard to describe, so I’ll just give you the basic recipes. But trust me, the flavors go perfectly together!

Salsa Chicken – Though cooked in salsa this dish turned sweet and rich in flavors. We were using Pace so there wasn’t much spice, another brand might make it less sweet. The chicken was tender and the cinnamon gave a nice warm background to the tangy tomatoes.

Chop up some raw chicken breast and pour in enough salsa to cover the poultry completely. Add cinnamon/nutmeg and some chili powder and stew/simmer on medium until cooked through. About 20 minutes.

Coconut Lime Rice – If you simply substitute half the amount of water you would normally use with coconut milk or water, it creates a slightly sweet and tropical tasting rice. We added further dimension by squeezing some lime juice in the rice while it cooked as well. Once it was done in the rice cooker, we mixed in some chopped parsley to give it a fresh zing to further counterbalance the sweetness of the coconut.

Avocado, Blackbean and Corn Salsa – depending on the ripeness of the avocados this will either be more creamy or more like a salad side dish. But it’s such a vibrant mix of veggies, legumes and flavors that it works either way. It’s also really good spread on a sandwich with turkey (or leftover chicken!)

Mix 2 avocados, diced, with a can of black beans (drained), a can of corn (drained), half a diced onion, a bunch of chopped parsley, and some lime juice to taste.

Guisados – The Best Tacos in LA

T. is very lucky because her roommate is a foodie and knows many other foodies who give epic restaurant recs.

First, I need to tell you that the every restaurant we’ve been to has been set up the same way – there is a counter for ordering your food and then a separate dining area. Sometimes the food is delivered to you and sometimes you pick it up from a second counter. But we have yet to eat at a traditional restaurant with servers taking our orders.

Which I actually don’t miss that much at all.

This was the first place we experienced the new set up. Guisados has a variety of very tender and delicious fillings for their soft corn tacos. Anything from pollo con mole to chicharrones to queso to pescado. EVERYTHING. So, presented with so many options, I picked the sampler plate and then we all sat in the porch seating behind the kitchen.

Pictured above, it comes with 6 2in tacos in the flavors of your choice. I chose Calabacitas, Pollo con Mole, Tinga de Pollo, Chuleta en Salsa Verde, Cochinita Pibil, and Chorizo. And they brought out a side of spicy cream sauce, as well.

Everything was very succulent and bursting with flavor. Each bite carried a spicy warmth and every filling was unique and different. My favorites were the Tinga, the Pibil and the Calabacitas, but none of them disappointed.

The B Line

I was in Tucson for the weekend catching up with my family and eating at all my favorite restaurants in the area. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for most of them… Sorry! Never fear, I’ll be sure to post about them in the future.

But I DID remember to take pictures at a new restaurant (well, I have tried the desserts before, but never the savory fare). The B-Line is located on the North end of 4th Ave. This is a cute little street full of bars, restaurants, and artsy Southwestern kitch stores. Super full of character (and hippies and hobos) and a much beloved hangout for Tucsonians. I’ve recently made it my goal to try out all the restaurants on the 4 block street, so look forward to those posts in the future!

Now that you have an idea of the area, I’ll move on to the restaurant itself. I don’t know why it’s named The B Line, perhaps a rail road or the old Street Trolley that used to (and soon will again!) run up and down the street. But I do know that it offers a fun and delicious little haven in the sweltering heat. The interior is modern and simple and they make the most out of their limited space with a bar along the front windows – perfect for people watching – and tables situated in a corner nook.

The food is Mexican/Baja California fare – that means burritos, tacos, enchildas, quesadillas, and sopas – that they offer with a variety of wines and beers. And in the corner of your eye you will find one of the most tantalizing revolving dessert displays around. If you don’t come for a meal, come for dessert because they have pies, cheesecakes, mousses, and cookies to sin for.

For lunch with my cousin I decided to try the Carne Asada burrito. This little beauty was full of tender and flavorful carne asada, grilled zucchinni and bell peppers, achiote rice (which is basically Spanish rice) and pico de gallo. I’ll admit I thought it was on the small side, but I was full by the time I took the last bite.

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The burrito also came with a side of tortilla chips and salsa, which unfortunately weren’t that impressive.

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My cousin tried the tortilla soup and it looked amazing (if you squint just right you can see it blurred in the background of the picture above). A light white broth covered with a layer of tortilla chips and cheese. She looked like she enjoyed it, and she must have because she didn’t even offer me a bite! XP

Though neither of us tried dessert tonight, as I said earlier, I have enjoyed a slice of a sugary creation with a glass of wine before, and it was delicious. So the next time you are in the area, be sure to check this place out!