In the Kitchen With Rene Martinez Bowers

These recipes were contributed by Rene Martinez Bowers, a Burleson resident, and originally appeared in the BurlesonNOW May 2015 issue.

Chicken Tacos 

  • 5 cups water (divided use)
  • 4 leg and thigh chicken pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. oil (divided use)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 8-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 head lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded
  • 1 10-oz. jar green chili salsa or picante sauce
  1. Bring 1 qt. water to a boil in a large pot. Boil chicken pieces until done, about 30 minutes.
  2. Drain water and cool chicken about 30 minutes, until easy to handle. Bone chicken, cut into small pieces; set aside.
  3. In large, deep frying pan, heat 1/3 cup oil on medium-high heat. Sauté onion with garlic for about 1 minute. Add petite diced tomatoes.
  4. Add chicken to tomato mixture; stir. Add remaining water until chicken is barely covered. Cook until water evaporates. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  5. Turn fresh tortillas in 2 Tbsp. hot oil until pliable.
  6. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture; top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.
  7. Serve with salsa and picante sauce.


Fried Cabbage 

  • 1 head cabbage, green or red
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  1. Wash cabbage; cut into chunks. Chop onion and garlic; set aside.
  2. Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces; fry until done.
  3. Sauté onion, garlic and cabbage in bacon grease over medium heat, until cabbage wilts slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to medium-low. Add water; simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Add a little more water, as necessary, until cabbage achieves desired tenderness.
  5. Stir in salt and pepper before serving.


Roasted Brisket 

  • 1 brisket, size of choice
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 12 large carrots
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Wash brisket; place into roasting pan. Cut 8 small holes randomly into brisket and place a garlic clove in each. Pour Worcestershire sauce over brisket. Liberally sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper over entire brisket.
  3. Cut up celery, onion, carrots and potatoes; place around brisket. Add water. Cover with aluminum foil; place into oven. Cook about 6 hours, until meat is falling apart.


Easy Chocolate Brownies 

  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat; whisk in sugars until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, whisking after each. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Add cocoa and flour, stirring to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into pan; bake 40-45 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in center of brownies. Cool before serving.


Apple Butter Rollup 

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 jar apple butter
  1. Warm up tortillas.
  2. Spread 1 Tbsp. butter on one side of each tortilla.
  3. Spread 2 Tbsp. apple butter on top of each buttered tortilla.
  4. Roll each; place on plate for serving as snacks.


Cheesy Enchiladas 

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 24-oz. can Wolf Brand Chili, with or without beans
  • 1 30-count pkg. corn tortillas
  • 8 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small skillet, simmer 1 cup water with chili powder.
  3. In another saucepan, warm chili.
  4. After water comes to a slight boil, dip tortillas (one at a time) into the water until pliable; place into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Fill each with about 2 Tbsp. cheese; roll. Continue this process until the dish is full of cheese-filled tortilla rolls.
  5. Pour warm chili water into baking pan, just enough to moisten the bottom of the dish.
  6. Pour Wolf Brand Chili over entire dish. Sprinkle with onions; top with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake until cheese melts and bubbles, about 30 minutes.


Cheesy Shell Noodles 

  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 12-oz. bag shell noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 1 8-oz. box Velveeta
  1. Boil water in a large pot. Cook noodles according to package.
  2. Meanwhile, warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic; stir. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes.
  3. Cut Velveeta into chunks. Place into tomato mixture; heat until melted, adding cheese until the mixture is no longer red.
  4. When noodles are done, drain; put back in large pot. Add melted cheese mixture and stir well before serving.