Chonky Boys: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that Scream Summer!

Featuring my thick and nuggy Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookies, these ice cream sandwiches are the stuff that summer dreams are made of.  If you've ever had the Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Disneyland , you are going to LOVE these! 

These big and bold chocolate chip cookies are based on a recipe from my culinary school studies at Auguste Escoffier, but with a few modifications to give them that Jennuine touch.  They make the perfectas book for a fat slice of real vanilla bean ice cream.  And those mini chips?  You just gotta have that extra cronch!

Thank goodness this recipe only makes 8 sandwiches, otherwise I would be eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner.  This way, my big family can help save me from my inner child diet-saboteur.  
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesYield: 8Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a fat wedg…

Pork Tacos, Dallas Gas Station Style & Austin-style Black Beans (The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-off Series)

Consider me "schooled" by The Homesick Texan.  I've spent the better part of the past 39 years convinced that the distinction of "Best Mexican Food Outside of Mexico" belonged, indisputably, to my home state of California.  While I stand behind my amigos in the Golden State, my first week of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-off has opened my eyes and mind to the possibility, no, the certainty that when it comes to Mexican food, Texas is one firece contender.

Lemme back this horse up a few steps...  A few weeks back, Heather of Girlichef lassoed up a team of talented food bloggers to take part in a cookbook review and cook-off sponsored by Hyperion in anticipation of the release of The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain.  Over the next four weeks, the twenty of us knife wielding, tortilla slingin' culinary vaqueros will be taking on a sampling of The Homesick Texan recipes and sharing the experience with our readers.

We'll be reviewing the cookbook in week four, but suffice to say that this cookbook not only has me sheepishly rethinking my California food snobbery, but has me fairly convinced that I need to revise my systematic discrimination against glossy full-color cookbooks as well. This book not only "walks the walk", but lives up to its promise by making me homesick for Texas when I've never really spent more than a day there in the first place.  I can't remember the last time I leafed through a cookbook and felt moved and excited to try each and every recipe within its pages.

This week's Cook-off assignment was to try the Pork Tacos (Dallas Gas Station Style), accompanied by Austin-style black beans.  The tender bits of smoky, sweet and spicy marinated pork needed nothing more than a corn tortilla and a toss of chopped cilantro and onion to bring a smile to my face and evoke memories of the carne adobada served up at my favorite little hole-in-the-wall Mexican eatery.  None of that seven-layer baloney here.  This dish needs no embellishment or adulteration.

The Austin-style black beans were a nice compliment to the tacos, but are by no means merely a supporting player.  The dish could well stand alone as a deeply flavorful, smoky and piquant vegetarian chili.  I enjoyed a bowl for lunch the next day with a generous squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro and onion.  I'm excited to share this dish with my vegan and vegetarian friends and will definitely be making it again for my family.

Pork Tacos, Dallas Gas Station Style
from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
4-6 servings

4 dried pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 lbs. pork shoulder (I started with a 4lb. bone-in shoulder)
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Small pinch of cloves
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

6 jalapeƱo chiles
Tortillas, either corn or flour
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lime, cut in wedges
Salsa, for serving

1. In a dry skillet heated on high, toast the pasilla chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover chiles. Leave the heat on until water begins to boil and turn off the heat and let the chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes.

2. While the pasilla chiles are soaking, rinse the pork and trim the fat. Cut into half-inch-size pieces.

3. Once the pasilla chiles are hydrated, drain and rinse the chiles. Place the chiles in a blender along with the chipotle chile, garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, orange juice, pineapple juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Blend until a smooth puree forms. Taste and add salt.

4. Toss the diced pork with the chile puree, place in a non-reative container, and store covered in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

5. Before cooking, let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. To cook the pork, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium. Fry the pork in the skillet for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. While the pork is cooking, place the jalapeƱos under the broiler and cook for 10 minutes, or until blackened, turning once. Serve pork in warm tortillas, topped with cilantro and onions along with the roasted jalepenos, lime wedges, and salsa on the side.

NOTE: Ask your butcher to cut you a 2-pound pork shoulder roast if one is available. Avoid using pork tenderloin, as this is a very lean meat and won’t taste quite as good.

Austin-Style Black Beans
from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
8 to 10 servings

1 pound dried black beans
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles, in adobo, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup lime juice
salt, to taste

1. Rinse and sort through the beans, removing any stones and shriveled beans.

2. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and then cook for 15 minutes.

3. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.

4. Return the empty pot to the stove and on medium-low heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and while occasionally stirring, cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots are lighter, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 30 more seconds.

5. Return the beans to the pot, along with the chipotle chiles and 1/4 cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.

6. After 1 1/2 hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, and lime juice. Taste and add salt. Cook uncovered for 30 more minutes or until beans are tender (the ultimate cooking time will depend on the freshness of your beans). When done, smash a few beans against the side of the pot with a spoon to thicken the broth. Stir the pot and serve.


This is a list of all of the bloggers who are part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off :

Heather - girlichef 
Denise - Creative Kitchen
Brandy - Nutmeg Nanny
Bonnie - Sweet Life
Christy - Fudge Ripple 
Jenn (me) - Rook no.17 


 *This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*

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