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Spicy Chicken Mexi-burgers with Red Bean “Salsa”

So, here at the canaryhouse, we *love* experimenting with new ways to have burgers.  Not that regular burgers aren’t perfect or anything.  I mean, they are, of course.  Mondays are my busiest day, because I have to restock the pantry after a weekend of intense raiding.  I kid you not, on Monday mornings my cupboards are as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s, with the exception of the odd can of tomato paste and jar of olives.  The food just seems to evaporate!  So, bright and early every Monday morning, I have to rush off to the markets to replenish the depleted stocks.  One might think, “That isn’t so difficult, why does it take this dipwad a whole day to do that?”  And it’s true.  I mean, if I only had to go to the supermarket, that would be one heck of a long time.  But here’s the thing.  In my neighborhood, we have the organic supermarket, the butcher, the bakery (fresh baguettes and breads of all kinds..yum), the fruit/veggie vendor and the “regular” supermarket.  I need things from all of these places.  Well, “need.”  “Want” is probably a better adjective.  But I tell you, if you could have all of these wonderful places within walking distance, wouldn’t you make the effort to go where the quality and prices are optimal?  So *that’s* why it takes me all day to refill the pantry.

So, is there a point to this story?  Ah yes…there is.  Since food shopping takes up most of my Monday mornings, I’m left with a “What can I make super quick, yet still appealing to Hubs and Kids?” dilemma.  Often times, it’s burgers.  But…I tend to get sick of things fairly easily.  So, in order to shake things up a little, I’m always thinking up new ways to make them, and am on the lookout for others’ ideas as well.  As luck would have it, Terry B, over at Blue Kitchen had posted an incredible looking spicy turkey burger last week.  Well that baby went straight onto the shopping list.  Hell yeah.   I took his recipe and ran with it (as I am wont to do lol).  Thank you for a fantastic recipe, Terry!  We loved it. :D

Ingredients for Burgers:

2 pounds (1 kilo) ground chicken breast
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, finely minced
1 egg
2/3 envelope of chili powder (about 2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
8 buns, toasted (brush them with a bit of butter, garlic powder and cayenne powder)
8 slices white cheddar cheese
chopped lettuce
1 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt or Quark cheese)
more chopped red onion
red bean salsa (recipe to follow)


Combine burger ingredients through salt and pepper thoroughly.
Let rest in the fridge for about a half an hour or so.
(make the red bean salsa and toast the buns while you wait)
Form 8 patties, and fry over medium high heat (use a grill pan if you have one). You might need a slight drizzle of oil on the pan so the burgers don’t stick. Also, dampen your hands with water, and the burgers won’t stick to them. Yes, I’m just chock full of tips today. lmfao
Fry about 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
Serve burgers topped with a slice of white cheddar, lettuce, a generous dollop of sour cream, some more onion and some red bean salsa. I also chopped up some avocado and threw that on mine. It was goooooood. :)

Ingredients for Red Bean Salsa:

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet corn
1/3 envelope chili powder (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lemon
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste


Toss everything together and let rest until ready to eat! (This was even better the next day)


Ingredientes para las hamburguesas de pollo:

1 kilo pechuga de pollo (molida/picada)
3 dientes de ajo, majados
1 cebolla roja grande, picadita
1 huevo
2/3 paquete de sazón para chili (2-3 cucharadas)
1 cucharada comino molido
1 manojo cilantro, picado
guindilla molida al gusto
sal y pimienta al gusto
8 panecillos de hamburguesa, tostados (pintar con un poco de mantequilla, ajo en polvo y guindilla molida)
8 lonchas de queso Cheddar blanco
lechuga troceada
1 vaso nata ácida (o yogur Griego, o queso Quark)
mas cebolla roja picada
ensalada de judías rojas (receta a seguir)


Mezclar los ingredientes para las hamburguesas hasta la sal y pimienta.
Dejar reposar una media hora en la nevera.
(hacer la ensalada de judías y tostar los panecillos mientras esperas)
Formar 8 hamburguesas, y freir a fuego medio alto (utilizar la asadora si la tienes). Quizás necesitarás un rocío de aceite para que no se peguen. También, si humedezcas las manos con un poco de agua, las hamburguesas no se pegarán a tus manos. Sí…soy una fuente de ideas hoy. jeje
Freir unos 3-4 minutos por cada lado, o hasta que estén hechos.
Servir las hamburguesas con una loncha de queso, un poco de lechuga, una buena cucharada de nata ácida (yogur/quark), un poquito más de cebolla y un poco de la ensalada de judías. Yo también piqué un aguacate y lo puse….estaba ricoooo.

Ingredientes para la ensalada de judías rojas:

1 lata de judías rojas, escurridas y enjuagadas con agua
2 tomates roma, sin semillas y picados
2 cucharadas cebolla roja picadita
1/2 vaso maiz dulce
1 diente de ajo majado
1/3 paquete de sazón para chili (una cucharada)
2 cucharadas cilantro picado
zumo de 1 limón
guindilla molida al gusto
sal y pimienta al gusto


Mezclarlo todo y dejarlo ligar. (esto estaba aún mejor el día siguiente)

Tuna Sushi Rocks my World

So, I celebrated another birthday recently.   Yep, 25.  Again.  What?  I’m good at 25, I’ve got several years experience, and I’m sticking with it. ;)   But that is totally not what I wanted to talk about.  What I *did* want to share with you is this recipe I recreated  from the (awesome) restaurant we went to to celebrate for sushi…My Gawd, you guys…this place was just incredible…top floor of the Reina Isabel Hotel, panoramic views of the ocean and beach and islet and all of it’s twinkling glittery lights at night.  The place is called La Parrilla (click here for pics and stuff), and the food was just out of this world.  Fusion is probably the best way to describe the menu…Asian flavors combine with Peruvian and Italian influences to create some of the most fantastic flavor combinations…they also offer local dishes, and fresh fish selections according to season.  To start, we decided upon the tuna sushi, and both of us just went nuts.  I knew this one would be gracing our table at home pronto.  I even kind of impressed my own self with how close I was able to come to the original. heh :D If you like tuna sushi, you are going to love this one, folks.  It is dayumed good.


1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Mirin
sesame oil to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon or so)
2 cups prepared sushi rice
3/4 pound (300 grams) sushi grade tuna
1 ripe avocado
sesame seeds to garnish
chopped cilantro to garnish (I didn’t have any, so I skipped it, but it really does go great with this, so I recommend adding it if you have some)


Prepare your rice and let cool.
Be sure that you specify to your fish monger that you will be eating the fish raw, you’ll want only premium sushi grade tuna for this.
Prepare the sauce.
Mix soy, vinegar, Mirin and sesame oil.
Prepare each sushi plate, chopped avodado on one side, tuna slices in the center, rice at the other side.
Drizzle sauce over tuna.
Garnish with sesame seeds (and cilantro if using).


4 cucharadas de salsa de soja dulce
4 cucharadas de vinagre de arroz
1 cucharada Mirin
aceite de sésamo al gusto (utilicé una cucharadita de café aproximadamente)
2 vasos arroz de sushi ya preparado
300 gramos de atún para sushi
1 aguacate maduro
semillas de sésamo para adornar
cilantro picado para adornar (no tenía en casa, pero si tienes, te lo recomiendo, el sabor es fantástico)


Preparar el arroz y dejar enfriar.
Asegúrate de que avisas al pescadero sepa que vas a comer el atún crudo–solo quieres máxima frescura para el sushi.
Preparar la salsa.
Mezclar la soja, vinagre, Mirin y aceite de sésamo.
Preparar cada plato de sushi, aguacate picado por un lado, atún en tiras por el centro, y arroz al atro lado.
Rociar el atún con la salsa.
Adornar con semillas de sésamo y cilantro
A comer!

Michelle’s Incredible Lentil Salad

Do all of you know Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don’t?  Get over to her site right now! I’ll wait.

No, seriously, I will.

Isn’t she great? She has the best sense of humor, and her blog is filled with delectable goodies ranging from appies to salads to mains to desserts. I discovered TNS a few months ago, and it has quickly become one of my “first reads” in the morning. Thursdays are “Smackdown” days. Michelle chooses a recipe from one her many cookbooks and makes it. Mondays are “Cheap Assed” days, where she uses pantry staples and inexpensive ingredients to make incredible meals for *under* *$5!* per serving. With today’s economy, that is one hell of a bonus! You may remember her Extreme Rotini and Cheese, that I am totally claiming as my own from now on (sorry Michelle! lol) As of late, she has been making meal after incredible meal…all spot on with my tastes. It’s as if she were trying to seduce me with her cooking. You’re not, are you, Michelle? lmfao I’m just teasing. It’s just that…I dunno…awesome food…swearing…getting my funny on…well, it’s just the best, that’s all. It’s like one stop blog shopping. Treats! Snark! Giggle! See what I mean?

So anyway…the other day she made this incredible looking lentil salad. Lentils! Salad! I’m so there. Not only is this salad good, it’s EXCELLENT. I even cheated. I didn’t cook my lentils with the oh so fun to make cloved onion. I used a jar of lentils. That I had in the pantry. Then added the ever so smallest pinch of ground cloves to the salad. Nobody noticed that I hadn’t spent that extra hour plus cooling time. See that? And? AND I was frugal, because I used pantry goods, as well as basil from my leetle basil plant on the patio.  I also subbed Feta cheese, because that’s what I had.  That salad was free! I had everything in the house. I bet you do, too.

Now, there are a couple of events that I want to participate in. My very good friend Shaye, at Smarter than Pancakes had a birthday recently, and would like us to bring something to her Birthday Picnic!

I’m bringing this salad. Not only because it’s freaking fabulous, but because it’s a dish that lends itself *perfectly* to an afternoon outside with friends. So, Happy Birthday, Shaye! MUAC!

Grace at A Southern Grace is also hosting an event, called Beat the Heat! 

that I’d like to participate in, seeing as it’s hot as Hades round here, and we’re all looking for refreshing dishes to combat the scorching heat of summer. The catch?  No heating up the kitchen!  Microwaves and ice-cream makers are allowed, but not the stove or oven or any other heat emitting appliance.  Grace, check this salad OUT man. Seriously. If this doesn’t beat the heat, maybe we’ll have to have a beer with it or something. ;) lol

On the Grill with La Paella Mixta

I’m sure most of you are already familiar with Paella…one of the quintessential foods of Spain. You’re probably aware that paella is made with rice, saffron, a few vegetables and seafood or meat, or a combination of the two.

paella mixta 

The latter is what I want to share with you today…the Mixed Paella, or Paella Mixta. If you’re like me, whenever you have a meal you like to have a little bit of everything…a taste of each. Paella is perfect for that…you get delicious bites of savory rice combined with prawns, mussels, clams, squid, chicken and pork, a pepper here and there and of course, gaaaaah-lic.

Paella can be made on the stove top, or on a special serpentine heating device specifically designed for paella, on an open flame (this is the best way guys…on the beach, rocks aligned just so to support the “paellera” (paella pan), with a view of the Gods), or, as I’ve done here, on the grill! Now that summer is upon us, I’m sure you’re all looking for new and exciting things to prepare on your grills…I know I am…Alvaro bought a new, behemoth grill…seriously, it’s like at least 3 times the size of our old one. Which wasn’t small. lmao Needless to say, we’ve been grilling more frequently since this purchase, and I’ve grown tired of steaks and burgers. Paella to the rescue! I’d love to hear your grill suggestions, guys….I really need new ideas. What’s your favorite thing to make on the grill? :)

Here’s what you’ll need (approximately):

1 paellera (or other wide, flat grillproof dish–mine is 34cm)



good olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1 pepper, minced
a few thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 small spoonful of Spanish paprika (sweet or smokey, your choice)
6-8 chicken wing drumettes
1/2 pound lean pork, in bite sized pieces
a generous pour of white wine (dry, table wine)
2 packets saffron threads (about 15 threads or so?)
2 cups arborio or other short grained, rounded rice
4 cups chicken broth
sea salt to taste
1 small to medium sized squid, cleaned and cut into rings–don’t you dare throw away those tentacles. I might have to come after you
1 pound clams, soaked in saltwater overnight to remove grit
5-6 mussels, soaked to remove grit, beards removed
1 pound prawns, thoroughly washed
1/3 cup frozen peas

Ya got all that? Whew! lol


First, you’ll need to season your paella pan. I like to buy the regular old metal kind. This means that they need to be seasoned first, much like a cast iron pan or wok. To season it, just lightly oil it, and rub it with a paper towel until mostly absorbed. There should be a thin layer of oil remaining on the surface, but just barely. You’ll need to repeat this after washing, so that your paella pan doesn’t rust.

Ok. Are we seasoned? Good. Let’s get cooking!

Drizzle your paellera with some extra virgin olive oil.
Toss the garlic in first, to lightly brown.

browning garlic

Once the garlic is nice and golden, add in the onion, pepper, thyme and bay.


Give it all a good stir, and keep at it until the vegetables are tender.
Add in the paprika and stir again.
Now push the vegetables to one side, and add in the chicken and pork.
You might want to lightly oil the paellera on that side again first.
Season with salt and pepper and brown.
When the meat is nice and browned, add in the wine. I can’t tell you exactly how much…just enough to coat the bottom…probably a good cup to 2 cups?

add in wine

Add in the saffron and stir around.
Reduce this a bit.
Now add the rice and give it a good stir. Really good, because pretty soon I am going to take the spoon away from you. No, I’m not kidding. lmfao
Add the broth.


Arrange your chicken wings now, because you need to retire your spoon until the cooking has finished. I’m serious, now. Resist all urges to stir your paella. It’s imperative for the delicious crust or “costra.”

no more stirring

I MEAN IT! lmao

After about, oh, 10 minutes your paella should be bubbly and goooood looking, like this:

bubbly goodness

Now it’s time to arrange the seafood on top.


Just put it on there how you want to…I had some leftover prawns, so I threw them on the grill along side the paella for some impromptu pepper shrimp.

dont waste the extra prawns

When your paella is just about done, throw on a generous handfull of frozen peas.

add the peas 

Let it cook until done (you’re allowed to poke a fork in there and check lol)
Once your paella is done, you’ll need to check to be sure there aren’t any unopened clams or mussels. Unopened clams/mussels = very, very bad. Throw them out.

Bad mussel:

bad mussel

Good mussel:

good mussel

Now it’s time to serve!  Just pile a bunch on your plate and serve with a wedge of lemon and a nice hunk of bread.


BTW…that black stuff at the right? The “costra.” Ideally it should be brown, not black, but I overcooked. Ooops! :P

Ps…after you’ve washed your paella pan, you’ll need to season it again to prevent rusting.

General Tso’s Chicken…possibly the best food ever.

general tso's chicken

A recipe!  Can you believe it?  The last couple of posts were just chatting chatting chatting.  What happened to the food on this food blog?  It is here.  Waiting.  Screaming to be posted. 

I must warn you…they are coming for my ghetto computer today.  Coming to take it away, to cart it off to mainland Spain, Madrid to be exact, to be fixed.  What the hell kind of lame service is that?  I have to send my computer to Madrid, *without* parental supervision (dammit!).  I may not see it again for up to 2 months say the customer service representatives.  I have begged and pleaded with Alvaro (da hubs) to see if he will use his wondertech powers to fix the pc in the meantime, because OH. MY. FREAKING. GAWD! I can’t be without a computer for 2 months! *eyes twitching* *feeling woozy*  Wish me luck, folks.  Wish. Me. Luck.

Ok, enough bitching and moaning.  The recipe I am posting for you today is General Tso’s Chicken.   Crispy bites of chicken dancing around in a delightfully sticky, sweet and spicy, with just a hint of tang sauce, and some freshly steamed broccoli on the side.   This lovely stuff is then served with perfectly fluffy steamed rice and some fresh spring onion for contrast.  Are you hungry yet? 

general tso's chicken

How about now? lol


2 pounds (1kilo) boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite sized cubes
2 eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch (or a little more)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
a generous knob of ginger, minced (about 2-3 tablespoons or so, to taste)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin or sherry or white wine (whatever you have on hand)
1 cup cornstarch
thai birds’ eye chilies to taste
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 head broccoli florets, steamed
6 cups steamed rice (more or less)


Beat the egg with the salt and pepper and cornstarch until thoroughly combined.
Pour over chicken and mix through.
Let this rest for about 15 minutes or so, while you chop what needs to be chopped, mince what needs to be minced and mix up the sauce.
Whisk together the soy, garlic, ginger, hoisin, sugar, vinegar and wine and set aside.
Dredge the chicken pieces in cornstarch, shaking off excess. I like to use the ziplock bag trick (place cornstarch and chicken in a large ziplock bag and shake it like you mean it) for this, because it’s faster, less messy, and a nice little aerobic workout for my flabby arms. lmfao
Heat about 3 cups of oil (I like to use sunflower, but peanut or soy work too) in your wok to just below the smoking point.
CAREFULLY add chicken, piece by piece (so they don’t stick together). Use tongs to do this, so you don’t burn yourself.
Fry chicken until just cooked through (it doesn’t need to be really browned, just cooked), then remove with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. You’ll probably have to do a few batches.
When all the chicken is cooked and being drained of excess oil, drain out most of the oil from the wok. Leave just a bit to coat the bottom, not too much.
Add the sauce ingredients and chilies and stir around (still over high heat) until it thickens into a glaze like consistency.
Add in the chicken and toss it around to coat.
Add green onion and toss again.
It’s done!
Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

general tso's chicken

Pollo al estilo “General Tso”


1kilo pechuga de pollo, en daditos
2 huevos
4 cucharadas de Maicena
sal y pimienta al gusto
1/3 vaso salsa de soja
5 dientes de ajo, majados
jengibre fresco, unos 3-4 cucharadas ralladas
1/4 vaso salsa hoisin
2 cucharadas azúcar
2 cucharadas vinagre de arroz
1 cucharada mirin, jerez o vino blanco, lo que tengas a mano
1 vaso Maicena
pimientas piconas al gusto
1 manojo de cebolletas, picadas
1 cabeza de brécol, en ramitos
6 vasos arroz cocido al vapor (mas o menos)


Batir los huevos junto a la sal, pimienta y maicena hasta que esté homogéneo.
Verter sobre el pollo y mezclar bien.
Dejar unos 15 minutos, mientras picas lo que tienes que picar, majes lo que tienes que majar y prepares la salsa.
Con las varillas, mezclar la salsa de soja con el ajo, jengibre, hoisin, azúcar, vinagre y vino.
Pasar el pollo por la Maicena, sacudiendo el exceso. A mi me gusta utilizar un método super técnico para esto…el de meter todo dentro de una bolsa y moverlo como una loca hasta que esté combinado… porque es más rápido, ensucia menos, y me ahorra un poquito de aerobic para estos brazos.
Calentar unos 3 vasos de aceite (me gusta de girasol, pero de cacahuete o soja también están bien) en el wok hasta casi el punto de humo.
CON MUCHO CUIDADO añadir el pollo, pieza por pieza (para que no se peguen). Utilizar las pinzas para hacerlo, para que no te quemes.
Freir el pollo hasta que esté cocinado (no tiene que estar muy dorado, solamente cocinado), y a continuación retirar con una espumadera y escurrir sobre papel de cocina. Probablemente, vas a tener que hacer un par de tandas.
Cuando esté todo esto hecho, retirar la mayoría del aceite del wok. Dejar solo un poco para cubrir el fondo, no demasiado.
Añadir la salsa y las pimientas piconas y mezclar bien sobre fuego fuerte, removiendo hasta que se espese.
Añadir el pollo y darle unas vueltas para cubrirlo con la salsa.
Añadir la cebolleta y darle unas vueltas mas.
Ya está!
Servir sobre arroz al vapor con una guarnición de brécol al vapor.


Nope, I’m not dead or anything like that…LOL


OMG first of all, let me say how much I have missed all of you!  Holy crap…I’m telling you…It’s been a bit of a ride these last couple of weeks. 

First, my son…darling boy that he is…broke my laptop screen.  Yes.  He did go there.  Does this look like a kid that would do something like that?

After I finished hyperventilating (which had followed the yelling), I figured, well…it’s insured, we can get it fixed, and in the meantime, I’ll use the pc.  HA.  “Sure,” the fates said.  “Sure you will.”  It turns out that our internet connection for the pc is a piece of total garbage…it’s also a wireless connection, but the thing is, is that our router and whatever that other machine is called are in the living room.  Having concrete walls apparently is not conducive to internet reception, so it’d just crap out constantly.  I couldn’t even read anything, because pages took like 6 years to upload.  Ya, ok, you betcha.  Like I have time to wait for that.  I’m sure my darling boy would love it…I mean, THINK of all the things he could break while I sit on my bum in the bedroom waiting for internet pages to load. lmao 

So.  I ever so sweetly asked my dear hubs if he would consider moving the pc to the living room so I could at least get some work (and READING–Addicts *need* their food blog fix in the morning, dammit!  ehem) done.  Guess what?  The damned thing broke.  I’m not even kidding.  The on/off switch thingamajig disconnected itself or some weird thing like that, so we can’t turn on the pc either.  I give up. 

Anyway, it was time to go on vacation!  Which I would have told you about had I any internet, either with the laptop or the pc.  We spent a glorious week overlooking the sand dunes of Maspalomas, in the southern part of our island.  Frolicking in the pool, shmearing on sunblock like there was no tomorrow…well, that’s not exactly right….more like there *is* a tomorrow and we don’t want skin cancer on that morrow. 

dunas de maspalomas

Now we’re back home, and dear hubs….miracle worker that he is…tech God…has made me a special ghetto computer to get by on until we get the two fixed.  I have thee most pimped out set up here….you’d all be jealous, and probably are thinking of stealing this idea for your own selves, but I will share anyway. lmfao  I have the pc monitor hooked up to the laptop.  Supa-fly, I’m tellin ya.  Ok, ok, QUITIT!  It isn’t *that* funny.  Or maybe it is.  I have to admit, I am  sort of giggling myself at the fact that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.  I’m SO happy to be back, and can’t wait to find out what you’ve all been cooking!!!   Signing off for now from the world’s most Ghetto computer evAH….canarygirl MUAC!


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