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21 April: Tuesday

Mazatlan, Mexico: Another windy night; another perfect day. It’s beginning to be a pattern.

Our neighbors had to drive their bus to Phoenix for a repair. I sent a text, just asking if they had arrived, etc. I was so surprised at the reply. Yes, they had arrived safe and sound, but were so shocked to see the freeways and roads jam-packed, and people going about their business without masks. So different than our world, 250 miles away.

USA Track and Field have rescheduled the 2020 Track & Field Trials, still to be held at the new Historic Hayward Field, to June 18-27, 2021. This meet will choose the team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, beginning 23 July 2021.

Mary and Captain sent me a text this morning with the new dates. I told Mary I would clear my busy calendar:

This tablet is usually jam-packed each week!

Honestly, it’s not like I am busy. So excited today was the day to wash the linens and iron the dinner napkins! Tuesday used to be the day I “stayed home” and did nothing but change the sheets and iron the linens. Now Tuesday is the busiest day of the week.

The Lovely Lisa is again making incredible cheese boards. Angela (our blonde daughter and Leo’s Godmother) did a drive-by today to Lisa and Lenny’s house, leaving the family with beautiful fruits and flowers. Lisa turned her bounty into another fabuola appetizer platter:

This would be dinner at our house. Roses? So pretty! Lisa is the best!

I have been itching to use the mini-tins of smoked albacore we received from Fishermen Direct, but smoked fish never seemed to work with the menu. There was a bit of improvising tonight! Instead of using an avocado, I used a 3 ounce tin of smoked tuna! I flaked the tuna, and added minced red onion, cilantro, tomato, and jalapeño. Just as if I were making guacamole... but with a tin of smoked tuna! A bit of lime was squirted over at the end. No salt. No pepper. No cumin. I wanted the fish to shine.

It did! Dang, if this wasn’t the best thing! We just scooped it on to tortilla chips and were so happy.

The bowl was empty before dinner.

The reason for the Mexican-inspired first-course, was due to Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice) for dinner. This is another of DT’s favorite and I rarely make this dish for him. Even tonight, preparing a half-recipe, we have enough for leftovers for a family of four.

Our cilantro has so bolted!

I really need to make Arroz con Pollo more often. So delicious. It needs a lot of tending, but requires only one pot and only a bit (onion, garlic, peppers, jalapeño) of early chopping/preparation.

I will post the recipe (for 4-6 people) below. Until my next update, when absolutely nothing will happen, I remain, your fishy correspondent.


ARROZ CON POLLO

A few fresh ingredients, a few canned ingredients and you have an easy one-dish, low-fat, meal - perfect for the RV or home kitchen. Traditionally made with bone-in chicken pieces, my version uses sliced boneless chicken thighs or breasts so you can wrap it inside a tortilla for campfire dining, if you choose.

2 Tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1 cup chicken stock (I use low-sodium)
1 cup of your favorite red salsa
One 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano

flour or corn tortillas, optional, for serving
fresh cilantro as garnish, optional

Heat a heavy Dutch oven, with a tight-fitting lid, and coat the bottom with two tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped onion. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, stir for one minute; then add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Add the green and jalapeno peppers and stir to mix well. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the chicken stock, salsa, canned tomatoes and oregano. Salt, if desired. Stir to mix well. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and let the dish cook for 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Remove from heat, give it a good stir, then let rest, covered, for ten minutes. Serve with tortillas, optional.

Serves 4-6.

NOTES: If your salsa is really spicy, you may not want to add the jalapeno - or you may want to use several jalapeno peppers, depending upon your tastes. Substitute vegetables (like zucchini and mushrooms) and use vegetable stock for a vegan/vegetarian version. Serve with tortillas (corn tortillas are traditional) and a big fruit platter for a delicious, easy dinner.

RV NOTES: This recipe is very adaptable. It can be made ahead - up to the point of adding the liquids to the casserole - placed in a Ziploc bag and finished-up in the RV later. If you use an oven-proof Dutch oven, the last 25 minutes of cooking time can occur in a 350° oven.


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