Wednesday, June 6, 2012

chicken n' squash

Funny story about this recipe, I actually planned on making it Monday night. Moving disrupts my cooking schedule! These chicken breasts have been "marinating" since Monday night, whoops! I was supposed to bake them that night but my oven decided to smoke. Being the frazzled genius I am, I didn't there was any other solution than to eat a salad with deli turkey on it (nobody wants to see that). My brilliant brother shed some light on the issue and reminded me today (while I complained about my chicken) that I could cook it on the stove top. GENIUS! Why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, I was too paranoid about the water bug I found in my laundry room. Ew, those things are big and scary and I swear they want to eat people! So yeah, I can't think clearly and I'm a coward when it comes to killing bugs.

Anywho... back to the chicken (since I know you're hungry after all that gross talk).

Mustard Marinade
-2 heaping tbs dijon mustard
-1 heaping tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper

(rub all over your chicken and let it sit overnight...or 2 days, whichever..)

-You can bake your chicken breast in the oven at 375 for 20(ish) minutes or you can do it on the stove top like I did. I seared it on medium high so each side browned nicely and then put the lid over the pan to help it cook evenly throughout.

Summer Squash
-3 yellow squash
-1 zucchini
-1/2 orange pepper
-5 baby bella mushrooms
-1 small yellow onion
-1/4 pint cherry tomatoes
-2 tsp lemon juice
-2 tsp garlic powder

-I precut all these earlier in the day and sprinkled them with salt/pepper (about 1 tsp each), lemon juice, and garlic powder. Spray down your pan with PAM and sauté these bad boys up. It's really that simple! It took about 15 minutes to get them soft and browning a little.

Tonight was one of those quick dinners where you don't worry about proper cooking process or anything. You just throw it all in the pan and let it go! I promise, it works! I'm way too worried about that stupid waterbug to be concerned with dinner. I'm hoping it finds its way out just like it found its way in! There I go mixing grossness with delicious food again, sorry!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jerk Chicken

This post is a little bit overdue.  But what can I say- it's definitely worth the wait.  When it comes to grilling out, nothing else quite gets the senses going like jerk chicken (or jerk anything really).  Yeah, you can go buy a bottled jerk marinade at the store and call it a night.  But why cook with all the extra preservatives and sodium when you can whip up a tasty recipe from fresh, nutritious ingredients?

Vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices are all packed with flavor and can lend a lot to a dish... when sodium just falls short.  In this recipe, you do need a food processor or blender.  Then we blend together onions and peppers, spicy ginger, pungent garlic and a whole bunch of spices.  You can use the marinade for chicken, vegetables, meat, fish, even tofu (yes I really have used this marinade on tofu before!)

I used some meaty pieces of chicken (chicken thighs, breasts, etc.).  This recipe is better with skinless chicken pieces because it allows the flavor to soak deep into the meat.  I have done it both ways though, so feel free to experiment.  Although I didn't cook kabobs this time, my favorite way to use this recipe is chicken kabobs with peppers, onions and pineapple..mmm mmmm!

All you do is blend the ingredients of your marinade in a food processor or blender...

Toss your chicken, vegetables, or whatever else you like in the marinade.  Let sit, covered in the refrigerator, for at least an hour and up to overnight.  Cook on a hot grill- this was Sonny's job! 

Buddy likes to sit and watch the magic happen.

And there you have it!  The yummy jerk chicken is pictured here with jerk-marinated vegetables, grilled pineapples and plantains.  As you can see there is a little dipping sauce next to the chicken.  You can reserve about 1/4 cup of the marinade (before you use it on the raw chicken- do not use the same marinade that you used for raw chicken because that is how you get salmonella) and mix that with about 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt.  Now you have a yummy jerk sauce to extend the flavor a little more!

Jerk Marinade
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tb fresh ginger, roughly chopped (may use 2 tsp ground)
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup salt
6 Tb lime juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Use to marinate your poultry, meat, seafood, veggies or tofu.