Saturday, May 2, 2015

Creamy Baja Avocado Pasta with Chili Lime Chicken

Among my many weaknesses, I have an accessory addiction.  I rarely go out and look or search for them, they just seem to scream out and find me...take me home, they plead.  As I was out last weekend and finishing up some grocery shopping, I was driving home and stopped...that was my first mistake.  These little beauties were waiting for me.  Three gorgeous candle holders that not only blended in with the color palette of my project, they also fit perfectly in the coffee table topped tray.  I love it when these little surprise finds happen, don't you.

Speaking of great finds.  I stumbled on this Pinterest (another addiction) recipe a few weeks ago and thought it would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo night dinner.  I took it for a test run last month and it was awesome!!  I really loved the chicken part of the recipe.  I think this rub is my new go-to standby for chicken tacos and fajitas.

**Preparation warning makes a lot of food!!!  So, unless you are feeding a huge crowd, you may want to figure taking this recipe in half.

Creamy Baja Avocado Pasta with Chili Lime Chicken
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

For The Chicken...

1 pound chicken breasts pounded to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness
  • Chili Lime Rub
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Lime zest from 1 lime
In a small bowl, whisk chicken rub ingredients together and rub evenly all over chicken breasts. Timer permitting, allow chicken to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours then bring to room temperature for before cooking.*

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Garnish with extra fresh lime juice if desired.

For The Avocado Pasta:
  • 1 recipe Chili Lime Chicken (click HERE for recipe)
  • 16 oz. thin spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • hot sauce to taste
Creamy Blender Avocado Sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream (may sub. Greek yogurt)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
Garnishes (optional)
  • Pepitas
  • Pepper jack/cotija cheese
  • fresh lime juice
Prepare Chili Lime Chicken according to directions. When done, remove chicken to cutting board and cover to keep warm. Don't slice until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, add all of the Creamy Blender Avocado Sauce ingredients to your blender and chop then puree/liquefy until smooth.

In the same skillet you cooked your chicken in, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat (you can use remaining oil from chicken if there's enough). Add red bell peppers, corn and garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes, or until red peppers are crisp-tender. Add diced tomatoes/green chilies and heat through.

Add cooked pasta followed by Creamy Avocado Sauce and stir to combine. Heat through. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, hot sauce to taste.
Garnish individual servings with chicken and optional toppings of cheese, pepitas and fresh lime juice.
Refrigerate leftover pasta for up to 5 days. The lime juice will keep the sauce from discoloring.

One Year Ago:  White Pizza

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