Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas...the verdict is in, a great start on a recipe, but one that needs some work to make it spicier. (http://www.recipezaar.com/Oven-Fried-Chicken-Chimichangas-28148) The best part about them was how crispy they became. I melted 1 Tablespoon of butter and brushed it over each one and WOW did that make them good! 2 things we're going to try to do to adapt this recipes are 1) add some more spice...maybe stew the chicken in spices and 2) use the concept of baking tortillas to make easy baked pizza rolls!
Curried Coconut Chicken...I had never eaten curry before and I'd have to say that this sweeter tasting curry was a really good place to start. (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Curried-Coconut-Chicken/Detail.aspx) The sauce was perfectly sweet, the curry taste not overbearing, and the chicken was very tender. Now for my complaints, they are 2-fold. 1) My house smelled like curry for 5 days despite cooking with the exhaust fan on, opening windows and freezing us out, lighting candles, and disinfecting everything with the best smelling cleansers I had and 2) I swear I smelled like the League of Nations' Asian Apartment Complex as I sweated curry out of my pores the next morning while teaching spin...how embarassing! All that said, I will make curry again (on an outdoor stove) and I will take my runs outside for 2-3 days after eating it.
The 3rd and final recipe I made just came off the stove and it is Red Beans and Rice. (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Red-Beans-and-Rice/Detail.aspx) All our friends down here in Arkansas were shocked to hear I had never eaten red beans and rice, but after I reminded them how far New Orleans was from Chicago, it all made sense to them. Anyway...while this is probably not a very authentic recipe, it is close and super simple. I added a 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme and cayenne pepper to spice it up and it is very good. I will definitely be making this again and if we have vegetarians over, it is hearty enough without the kielbasa.
Next in the lineup -- Giada's Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli (yes, homemade ravioli, not bagged ravioli with spinach and mushrooms tossed in with it).