Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summah Time=Buttermilk Chicken

Chicken on the grill is so summer-licious and chicken that has been marinated all day in buttermilk is well..........really tender, really moist and scrumptious. A perfect side dish is cheesy summer squash-enjoy!

Buttermilk Grilled Chicken
adapted from Martha Stewert (bless her heart)

Large pkg of chicken breasts (maybe 7)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
5 cloves of garlic chopped
a bunch of fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper

Mix buttermilk and spices and then add to chicken in large (2 gallon) zip lock bag early in the morning and marinate all day.
When ready to cook preheat well-oiled grill and add chicken, grill five minutes and then flip for another five and then cover with foil for another five.

When ready to serve, slice breasts on diagonal and serve as is or you can add some salsa like I did. A friend gave us some hot cherry salsa from Cherry Republic and it was splendid on top of this buttermilk grilled chicken!

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
Recipe adapted from Kaylyn's Kitchen

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil)
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
red pepper flakes to taste
1 1/2 cups of three cheese low-fat cheese mix from trader Joe's

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.

Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, red pepper and 1 cup of the cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.

When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shrimp on the Barbie!

Remember a few posts ago when I made that radish leaf pesto? Well, I was standing and gazing into the fridge and thought about how good that would taste on some grilled shrimp. To make it a really fun summer meal I added a really tasty appetizer of radishes and smoked salt. If you haven't yet tried smoked salt, well.....just get some. And, to keep the meal light and fresh I added a yummy salad of arugula with sweet mini peppers and feta. I love summer!

Appetizer of red radishes and smoked salt

Shrimp on the Barbie

1 lb of shrimp, cleaned
Pesto--I used my radish leaf pesto but any good jarred pesto or regular homemade will work.
Add enough pesto to the cleaned shrimp in a zip lock bag so that the shrimp are well covered. Put in fridge for a couple of hours.

When it's time to cook, thread the shrimp on skewers and cook on a medium well-oiled grill for maybe  4 minutes total--shrimp cook fast so have every thing else ready to eat.

Salad with min peppers
Bag of arugula
6 mini peppers, cut into rings  (or regular peppers, sliced)
a couple of radishes sliced
some feta cheese
Dressing: in a small bowl  squeeze a fresh lime, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 T red wine vinegar, salt and pepper--whisk.
Pour on greens and toss.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Thighs Done Yummy

I was rummaging around in the refrigerator trying to decide what to do with the six boneless chicken thighs that wanted to be cooked! What follows is one of those recipes that tasted great but I'm not sure I exactly remember what I did even though it was just a mere few hours ago!

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cans of diced tomatoes--I used one fire roasted with chilies and one plain, but any would do
1 t of minced garlic
1//2 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
6 garlic stuffed green olives, sliced (any green olives will work)
1/2 onion sliced
1 bag frozen artichoke hearts (from Trader Joe)
chili powder 1/2 t
cumin 1 t

some kind of pasta as a bed--spirals, ziti, bow ties,shells, penne, etc
Parmesan cheese

Sauté the chicken thighs just enough to give them some color since you're baking them they'll get cooked. Be sure to salt and pepper them. Throw the onion in to give it some color, too.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the cans of tomatoes and all the other stuff (not the pasta)

Preheat oven 350
Put the chicken and onion in a 9 X13 casserole and pour the sauce on top--cover with lid or foil and bake 45 min.
Make pasta, toss with some olive oil and Parmesan when cooked and serve chicken and sauce over it.

Pretty tasty--it is spicy so you can add fewer chipotles if that makes you happy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

All over but the Troutin'

OK, lame title, but this trout was sooooooo good. So, it's a long story: it all started with a bunch of radishes. I kid you not. I bought this bunch of red globe radishes and they had the most beautiful greens attached and I thought such a shame to waste those greens. And, of course that lead to a google search for radish greens and of course that lead me to a delightful blog, Zucchini and Chocolate written by a delightful French woman who had a great idea for radish greens: pesto! So, I made the pesto and then my issue of The Week came in the mail. This magazine, a gift from my wonderful son, always features one recipe per issue. This week was Campfire Trout. OK, so I had no campfire. In fact I don't like to camp. My idea of camping is a 2 star hotel! I'm not kidding. I once enjoyed camping but am over it.  I digress: so I see this trout recipe and I think to myself I could make that on the grill AND I could use that radish pesto and stuff those little fish and guess what...........OMG---It worked and it was good :-) don't you love it when a plan comes together?

So, first make the radish leaf pesto

Wash and dry your radish leaves
Put them into a food processor and add:
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 shredded Parmesan
2 coves garlic
Whirl around and then add about 2  T of olive oil (mixture will be thick)
Put mixture in container and top with olive oil and put in fridge.

Now, the fish: buy two cleaned rainbow trout from a good fish monger (like at Plum Market or Monahan's). Open those babies up and slather on a good 2 tablespoons of that radish leaf pesto and two dabs of butter (really, why not?) then wrap those little fishies in thin slices of prosciutto.

Slap them on a medium grill and grill about 5 minutes per side. In the meantime, sauté some mushrooms and garlic in olive oil and butter, adding 1/2 cup of white wine.

Throw in some parsley when that's all cooked.

Go get the grilled fish:

And, plate with mushrooms and side dish. I made roasted cauliflower to go with. If interested about that dish, just search on cauliflower as it's in an earlier post.

This was quite tasty :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Salad Days

After six straight days of temps over 90 I can only think of salad for dinner! I had some grilled chicken in the fridge so I decided to make a really light salad of greens and chicken with a buttermilk lime dressing. To add some "heft" to the meal I added parmesan crisps and be warned: these may be addicting!!

Bag of mixed greens
sunflower seeds
two grilled chicken breasts, sliced thin
fresh cilantro 

Dressing from Martha Stewert Living:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 t lime zest and 1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper
1 avocado, pitted and peeled and chunked
In a small processor or blender, combine, buttermilk, lime zest, lime juice and avocado. Blend until smooth. Season with  salt and pepper.

Parmesan Crisps

Preheat 400
Need parchment paper
Put a sheet of parchment on jelly roll pan
Drop heaping T of shredded Parmesan, pressing it down a bit--space at least 1 and 1/2 inches apart cause they spread out (like cookies)
Bake 5 minutes or so (depends on your oven--watch these--take out of oven and sprinkle with whatever you want: paprika, chili powder, cayenne, etc)

Serve with salad.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cod with Artichokes & Basil

I had a jar of marinated artichokes and some fresh basil so here you go:

1 pound cod fillets
2 T fresh chopped basil
10 oz marinated artichokes, plus some liquid from the jar
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 450. Place cod in ovenproof dish, arrange artichokes around and spoon some of the jar juice over the fish. Add salt and pepper and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Pretty tasty--I served with baked plum tomatoes and green beans seasoned with thyme.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fish Taco!

In case you don't know, the very best fish tacos in the world are to be found in San Diego, but I'm here to tell you that a mighty fine fish taco can be had right here in good old Ann Arbor!

Here's what you'll need:

1 pound of cod
olive oil
spices for fish: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper
a couple wedges of green and red cabbage, sliced thin
4 whole wheat tortillas

Chipotle Crema- this stuff is GOOOOOOD!

8 oz sour cream
1/2 t lime zest
2 T lime juice
a couple minced chipotle chilis in adobe sauce
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t salt

Combine all ingredients and put in the fridge for flavors to develop.

When ready to eat, put the spices on the fish and sauté in olive oil--the fish only takes a few minutes per side. Flake the fish into large bite-size pieces. Warm the tortillas.  On each tortilla, place some fish, some cabbage and some sauce and enjoy!!

Serve with roasted sweet potato wedges and a nice cold glass of Sangria!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Purple Haze!

Here's a quick, nutritious and yummy side dish. I served it with grilled pork tenderloin.

3/4 head of purple cabbage, sliced up
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 Pink Lady apples cut in wedges (use whatever apples you have on hand)
olive oil, salt and pepper and dried dill

Could this be any easier?

Sauté the cabbage, onion and apples until it all begins to wilt and soften--like 15 minutes or so--add salt and pepper, slosh in some water and lots of dill. I served it warm but probably would work at room temp as well.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chopped Salad with Thai Flavors

I adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman's cook book, Food Matters, and I must say it is delicious. I love it when I find a recipe that is nutritious and oh so tasty.

Juice of two limes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T fish sauce or soy sauce (I used fish sauce)
1 t of agave or sugar
1 T of diced hot peppers
1 carrot, chopped
1 orange or red pepper. chopped
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped snow peas
1 bunch of radishes, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs: basil, mint and cilantro

Put the lime juice, oil, fish sauce, agave, and chilies in large salad bowl and whisk.

Add all the vegetables to the bowl with the dressing and toss. Top with peanuts, taste, add salt and pepper, toss again and refrigerate until ready to serve. It should chill for a while to let flavors develop--can sit up to 24 hours. Before serving, toss with fresh herbs.