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Friday, March 30, 2012

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

I've been in a funk lately.  I don't know where the feeling comes from exactly, but it's causing me to struggle a bit when it comes time to come up with new ideas for meals.  I know I don't HAVE to cook something new each night, but if I don't..... well... whatever will I post about?  What?  What's that you say?  Don't post?  Well, that's just crazy talk.....

You see, I have come to the realization that I am an addict.  Yep, that's right.. I am addicted to blogging.  Seriously, I cannot NOT post - it makes me crazy.  Ok, maybe crazy is pretty extreme, but honestly, I can go one day during the week and the entire weekend without posting, but after that, I feel like something is seriously missing.  It's like I went to work and forgot to get dressed or something.  It's a strange, strange feeling and an even stranger feeling when you realize exactly what is happening. I mean, do they have a bloggers anonymous somewhere that I can join or am I in this all alone??  What's a girl to do???  :)

ANYWAY.... I could go on and on, but you didn't come to hear me confess, did you?  Nope, you came here for the food... so let's talk chicken!  And not only chicken, but simple chicken with an even easier aioli to go with it!  I used Herbes de Provence in this recipe, but you can use any mixture of herb combination you would like.  Don't want to use dried herbs?  Perfect!  Get your hands on some fresh herbs and create an even more flavorful meal.  All I know is you are going to want to try this.. it was GRRRRREAT! (sorry had to channel my inner Tony the Tiger for a minute!)

By the way... I do a lot of grilling and I know there are a lot of people out there that read my blog that do not grill.  Don't let that discourage you from making any of these dishes.  They can be easily adapted to bake or even pan sear.  If you have any questions on any other ways of preparing these dishes, hit me up via email - jennsfoodjourney@gmail.com - I'll give you the best recommendations I can!

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons basil olive oil (or extra virgin)
1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the aioli -
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together the zest, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, garlic, and herbs until well combined.  Place the chicken in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over it.  Seal and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the aioli until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  (can be made up to 3 days ahead of time)

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Remove the chicken from the bag and discard marinade.  Place the chicken directly over the fire and grill 6-10 minutes per side or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and serve with aioli.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Thai Steak with Fried Rice
Two Years Ago:  Honey Garlic Pasta

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Basil Mint Pesto

Simple and packed with a ton of flavor, this dish is bound to please anyone.  Not a shrimp fan?  No worries, you can use chicken, or veggies, or even tofu instead - so no excuses from you on why you can't make this!  The mint just adds a whole new dimension to the classic basil pesto.   If for some reason you can't find mint or don't like it, just substitute it with more basil and you will have a fantastic basil pesto to use instead!

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Basil Mint Pesto
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 Tablespoon pine nuts
1 garlic clove, quartered
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
24 large (61/70 count) shrimp, cooked, tails removed
8-10 oz spaghetti

Directions:
In a food processor add the basil, mint, pine nuts, and garlic; pulse until everything is chopped - not finely, but close - add the parmesan and pulse two more times.  While the motor is running, slowly add the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.  Serve pasta in a bowl or a plate, top with cooked shrimp and pesto.  Enjoy!

***Cook's note:  do not heat up the pesto - it will turn a nasty black color if you do, it still tastes fine, but it is not pretty!***

One Year Ago:  Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blackened Grilled Chicken with Cajun Mayo Dipping Sauce

I know it's not exactly blackened...but that was the intention.  I guess sometimes food has a will of it's own.  At least that's my excuse here :)

Either way, this was a fantastic meal.   The chicken was flavorful with a tad bit of a kick. And the sauce... well you know how I feel about them, so do I really have to tell you?  Ok, ok.. it was DE-LIC-OUS!  I would have just spooned it directly into my mouth, but I'm pretty sure Chris would have fought me for it, so I decided to keep the peace and just dip my chicken in it.  It was still really good!!

Blackened Grilled Chicken with Cajun Mayo Dipping Sauce
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
olive oil
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Cajun Mayo Dipping Sauce -
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of dried oregano

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dipping sauce until well combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

In another bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, salt, cayenne, and pepper until well combined.  Rub both sides of the chicken with olive oil.  Sprinkle/rub with season mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken over the fire and grill 5-8 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3 minutes.  Serve with Cajun mayo dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Orange Chicken Stir Fry
Two Years Ago:  Honey & Spice Glazed Pork Chops

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guinness Chili

I truly should have shared this with you right before St. Patrick's day, but honestly, I just have been in a bit of a slump lately when it comes to writing.  I've been a bit busy with work and most nights, when I come home, sitting in front of the computer sounds like the worse idea ever.  Long story short, I just didn't get it to it in time.  But this chili can be eaten any time of the year, so I figured, who really cares, right?  You can pretend it's St. Patrick's day again if you want.

***Just added:  Check out Stephen's (The Obsessive Chef) post today for Classic Gingerbread Cake with Stout if you are looking for another way to cook with Guinness - it's definitely one I'll be trying soon!!  Thanks Stephen!***

Guinness Chili
Adapted from Robyn the Grill Grrrl
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 lbs bottom round steak, cubed
1/2 lbs ground sirloin
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tablespoon flour
12 oz bottle of Guinness
1 cup beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes in tomato puree
2-3 Tablespoons chili powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 oz can chili beans
1 Tablespoon tomato paste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are soft and tender; stirring occasionally.  Add the jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  Cook another 3-4 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.  Stir in flour and cook 1 more minute.  Slowly stir in the Guinness, beef broth, and tomatoes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, and Worcestershire.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.  (the meat should be really tender by this point, if not, let it continue to simmer until it is)  Add the beans and tomato paste and cook another 15-20 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve immediately and Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Baked Camembert Pasta
Two Years Ago:  The Obessive Chef's Tilapia Fillets

Monday, March 26, 2012

Smoked Paprika & Garlic Grilled Chicken

Do your weekends fly by as quickly as mine do?  I mean sometimes I feel like there truly was no weekend, yet I KNOW I there was.  I guess even when I have three day weekends, they seem to go by pretty quickly.  I think the solution here is to retire....   A girl can dream, right?

I loved this recipe.  The flavors that are combined here really are delicious.  Simple and perfect... serve it up with a quick lemon aioli and it just makes each bite that much better!

Smoked Paprika & Garlic Grilled Chicken
Adapted from Redbook
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except the chicken, until well combined.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.  Spread mixture over both sides of the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil the grill grates.  Place the chicken directly over the fire and grill 5-8 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Guest Blogger - Orzo Salad with Prawns, Petit Pois and Arugula Pesto
Two Years Ago:  Hamburger & Macaroni (aka Chris' Goulash)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Italian Goulash

I saw this recipe on Pam's site - For the Love of Cooking - way back in 2010 - yep, it's taken me this long to finally make it!  I know.. crazy, right?  But, if you collect recipes like I do, you know there are just SO many great recipes out there and SO little time to actually make them all.  Oh if only someone would pay me to stay home and cook all day!!  Granted, I would have to eat whatever I made so I could probably gain somewhere close to 100 pounds and... well... Ok, maybe this isn't such a good idea after all....

Let's get back to the goulash!  When I was a kid, my mom would make goulash from time to time and it was one of my favorites.  Now I believe that everyone that is reading this was raised eating some type of goulash.  And I'm sure that the ones we ate were the best ever.  And that is true in my case, at least - my mom's was simple and it was the best I have ever had... Until now... (gulp, did I just say that out loud?)  Sorry mom!!

See.. the goulash is so good I would dare tell my mom that this one just might be a tad bit better (only a tiny bit, Mom, I swear).  Oh goodness... I think I'm going to be getting a phone call today... :)

Italian Goulash
Adapted from Pam, For the Love of Cooking
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1 pound lean ground beef (94/6 if you can get it)
6 mini sweet peppers, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and pepper
3 cups homemade or jarred marinara sauce
12oz elbow macaroni
fresh basil (I did not have it, but if you do, use it!)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes.  Add the ground beef and cook for 4 minutes; stirring and breaking up the beef as it cooks.  Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Drain any excess grease and season with salt and pepper.  Pour in the marinara sauce, stirring to combine.  Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.  Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.  Remove from heat and stir in the basil.  Taste for seasoning and salt and pepper if needed.  Top with cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Baked Fish with Sour Cream-Parmesan Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Creamy Ranch Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some of my favorite sauces...

Since so many of you have been encouraging me to write a cookbook of sauces, I decided I would put together a list of some of my favorites.  Ugh.. let me just say what a chore it has become!!  Honestly, it's a bit overwhelming, but I think it has to be done if for no other reason than to get myself a bit more organized when it comes to the sauces that I have made.  Now these might not be my all time favorite sauces... just my all time favorites that I have created myself.  No adaptations... no straight copies... just my ideas turned into tasty little concoctions!  Let's see what you all think...these are in no particular order:














Thanks for stopping by!

Two Years Ago:  Lemon Pasta with Chicken


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grilled Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia

I probably owe Chris an apology after this meal,.  You see, as we sat down to dinner he said, "Yea, we've had this before, it was good".  I was immediately all over that... "Oh no, this is new, I've never made this before".  Chris says, "no, I remember this".  I say.. "No you don't, I've never made this, this is a new recipe".  And so on and so on.....   After dinner, I happened to be on my blog and realized... although this is a new recipe, this is VERY similar to the Baked Cajun Tilapia I made back in January of last year.  So similar that it even LOOKS like it.. heck, I even served it over the same rice concoction!!!  lol!  Oh well... it was good and I really wanted to share it.  Plus, it's NOT the same and I cooked it completely differently... so there!

Just one note... this uses a lot of cayenne... if you do not like hot stuff, cut back on it and add until you hit the right heat level. You know what I'm going to say, right?  Yep.. you can always add more, you can never take away!!

Oh... and.... Sorry, Chris!! xo

Grilled Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia
Adapted from Cooking Light
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

Directions:
Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two large squares of aluminum foil large enough to create a packet for the fish - spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, salt, garlic, cayenne, pepper, and paprika.  Coat the fish with 1 teaspoon each olive oil.  Sprinkle on cumin mixture and place on prepared foil.  Bring sides of foil together to create a packet and place directly on the grill.  Grill for 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Carefully remove from grill and allow to cool for a few minutes before opening the packet.   Carefully open packet and serve.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Penne with Meat Ragu
Two Years Ago:  Classic Steakhouse Marinated Steaks w/Red Pepper Aioli


Monday, March 19, 2012

Chicken Stir Fry with Hoisin Pineapple Sauce

I really wanted to make this stir fry on the grill tonight.. a little peer pressure (ok, there was really no pressure, it just sounds good) from Chris at Nibble Me This could have been the reason... but, wouldn't you know it, the wind picked up and I have nowhere to hide from it, so I decide to use the boring old stove.  Next time, Chris, next time....

This is yet another simple stir fry packed with a lot of flavor.   You could even use pork or beef with this sauce if you wanted to - although I would recommend the pork over the beef - pork just goes so much better with pineapple.  Either way... simple and tasty... it's a must try!

Chicken Stir Fry with Hoisin Pineapple Sauce
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha
3 Tablespoon Hoisin
1 1/2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons pineapple juice
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or bite size chunks
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
1 large orange pepper, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Directions:
In a large measuring cup, mix together the Sriracha, Hoisin, soy sauce and pineapple juice until well combined; set aside.

In a wok or deep, non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and quickly stir fry 4 minutes.  Add the snap peas and pepper and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the garlic and stir fry 1 minute.  Stir in the sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  As soon as the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat, stirring to make sure everything is combined.  Serve over rice or noodles.  Enjoy!

 
One Year Ago:  Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza 
Two Years Ago: Chicken Tortilla Pizza


Friday, March 16, 2012

It's all about the green....

As I said in my post yesterday (which you must check out, I mean it's for Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies, how could you not check it out???), I don't usually do too much for St. Patrick's day - SO - for all of you that are still looking for last minute ideas, I thought I would at least point you towards a few recipes I think would be perfect to help celebrate the day.  Enjoy!







One Year Ago:  Sriracha Coleslaw
Two Years Ago:  Pan Fried Pork with Mushroom Gravy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies

I don't usually do anything fancy or fun for St. Patrick's day... heck, I can't even remember the last time I went out and had a green beer on St. Patty's day... but this year I had an abundance of Guinness that neither Chris or myself were going to drink, so I tried to figure out a few ways to make good use of the said beer.  So the Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookie was born!  Ok, ok, this recipe was born before that, but my idea to make a cookie with the beer was born at that moment at least.  After a quick bit of searching, I found this recipe and thought.. hhhmmmm... not just chocolate but TRIPLE chocolate AND beer cookies.... Yea, I think I need to make these.  (p.s.. plan ahead for these babies.. they take longer than you would think to make)

So in honor of St. Patrick's day, I give you............

Triple Chocolate Guinness Cookies
Adapted from The Galley Gourmet
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 (12oz) bottles of Guinness extra stout
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add the Guinness and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Continue to cook on medium until thick and syrupy - about 40-50 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the remaining sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, once at a time, until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla.  Mix until combined.  With the mixture on low, gradually add the cooled beer syrup, mixing until just combined.  Gradually add the dry mixture until no more flour is visible.  Remove from mixing stand and fold in chocolate chips.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour.  (Dough will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Scoop out tablespoon portions of the cookie dough and place on baking sheet spaced about 2-3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies until the edges are just set, about 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through.  Allow the cookies to cook on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Smoked Pork Butt
Two Years Ago:  Poblano Chicken

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Ranch Slaw

My apologies for the pictures... I guess I must have been pretty darn hungry because I did not get any real good pictures of this meal - which sort of bums me out cause this meal was AWESOME!!  The inspiration for this meal from from my favorite Grill Grrrl - Robyn.  I know I have mentioned before that I secretly want to be Robyn and this recipe is one of the many reasons why!  Her idea was very simple, take chicken, marinated it wing sauce, and slap it on slider rolls.  I decided to take that and run with it.  I made my own wing sauce and decided to use a Ranch coleslaw to top it off with - but definitely check out Robyn's site as she has a recipe for a blue cheese dip that some of you might really enjoy!
 
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Ranch Slaw
Created by Jenn's Food Journey, Inspired by Robyn the Grill Grrrl
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and cut into 3-4 pieces
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Slider rolls/buns
For the Ranch coleslaw-
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Ranch dressing
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 package coleslaw mix
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons hot sauce until well combined.  Rinse chicken, pat dry, and place in a resealable bag.  Pour the buttermilk mixture of the chicken, seal, and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Meanwhile mix together the butter and remaining 3 tablespoons of hot sauce; set aside.

To make the coleslaw:  In a large bowl, mix together the mayo, Ranch, vinegar and sugar.  Add the coleslaw mix and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade.  Place the chicken over the fire and grill for 4-6 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches on internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool a bit before serving.  Serve on slider buns and top with ranch coleslaw.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Chicken with Rustic Mustard Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Tuscan Chicken with Pasta Medley

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Mango Habanero Aioli

This dish was not what I had originally planned on making.  I used to get really upset.. ok, not upset, but it used to throw me quite a bit when that happened.  Now?  Now I just roll with the punches.  No sense letting a little thing like something not turning out exactly like you expected ruin your night.  Nope, I figure as long as it's still edible, you really didn't do anything wrong.  And this meal was quite edible.... quiet edible indeed!  And very, very tasty to boot!  Oh yes, I'm sure it had everything to do with the mango habanero aioli, but I'm not upset about that at all... :)

Grilled Chicken with Mango Habanero Aioli
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
For the aioli -
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mango preserves or chutney
1 habanero pepper, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix together the yogurt, lime juice and paprika until well combined.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper and place in resealable bag. Pour the yogurt mixture over it, seal, and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice and Dijon until smooth.  Add in the preserves and habanero and mix until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken directly over the fire and grill for 6-8 minutes on each side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before serving.  Serve with aioli and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago:  Baked Parmesan Tilapia

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baked Lemon Breadcrumb Tilapia

Not that many people probably remember, but, this is very similar to a recipe I posted a while back for Tilapia Oreganata, but I had to post this.  It's just too tasty and too simple not to share.  The topping is zesty and crunchy and goes perfectly with an easy lemon aioli.

Baked Lemon Breadcrumb Tilapia
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 spring fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tilapia fillets

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Rinse the tilapia and pat dry.  Place in prepared baking dish.  In a bowl, mix together the panko, unseasoned breadcrumbs, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic until well combined.  Toss in 1/2 the lemon juice and.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle remaining juice over the tilapia and top with breadcrumb mixture.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with tartar sauce or lemon aioli if desired.  Enjoy!

 

One Year Ago:  Guest Blogger - Creamy Avocado Pasta 
Two Years Ago:  Bacon & Tomato Pasta

Friday, March 9, 2012

Easy Chorizo Mac

That's right: EASY!  I mean really, really, really easy. Like so easy a caveman could do it... oh wait, if I say that do I have to pay GEICO a royalty fee?  Crap... ok, well it's easy, let's just leave it at that.

I used another pound of the chorizo Ruben brought me... I only have 3 pounds left.. I will use those very sparingly....trust me!  It's like gold.. but in a meat version!

Easy Chorizo Mac
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
10oz elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 lbs chorizo
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, partially drained
1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water; set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot and reduce heat to medium low.  Allow the shallot to cook for 5-8 minutes or until they are soft and translucent; stirring occasionally.  Add the chorizo to the skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until most of the grease has absorbed.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.  Stir in the sour cream and allow to cook another minute.  if the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency for you.  Remove from heat and toss in pasta.  Serve immediately.. although it was even better the next day.  Enjoy!


One Year Ago:  Chipotle Guacamole Rice
Two Years Ago:  Baked Teriyaki Fish

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tamales

Back in December, my friend Ruben invited me over to teach his friend Janette and myself on how to make tamales.  After the amazing (and VERY time consuming) experience was over, I wanted to share it with you all.  I got to thinking though, it's not really my place to share a long time family recipe that is not from my family - even if Rube told me it was ok - PLUS, I could give you a recipe, but really, I believe that you cannot really get the full "how to" unless you have someone SHOW you how to do it.  So, this post is just sort of a recap of what we did.  There are no measurements and exact quantities... I'm just going to walk you through the steps.

First, let me just say... I've never been a tamale fan.  The masa has that odd texture to me that just does not sit well.  Rube's tamales, have me changing my tune though - at least about his.  As every family recipe is different, I'm sure.  Rube's masa to filling ratio is so much more enjoyable than any other tamale I have tried :)

Ok... so, I arrived at Rube's at about 10am - when I walked in, the aroma that filter out the kitchen was already to die for!  Rube had started the process the night before by taking 6lbs of beef roast and 6lbs of pork roast, cutting them into 2-inch chunks (against the grain) and dropping all the meat into a large stock pot.  He covered it all with water, added some peppercorns, salt, whole garlic cloves and bay leaves, then allowed it to simmer all night.  When I got there, the meat was out of the pot and cooling.  Our first project was to shred the meat. (easiest part of the day, let me tell you!!)  Rube also saved some of the fat from the meat AND all the water he simmered it in....he uses both later to make the red chili filling.

The next step was to make the red chili sauce: He starts with 2 bags of dried chili - one hot, one mild - we cut them open and scraped out the seeds.  We tossed those into a pot of water with garlic cloves and brought it to a boil.  As soon as it boiled we removed from the heat.



Those chilies then went into a blender with the water from the simmered meat - we kept adding chili and water until we got the right consistency and we used all the chilis.  The red chili sauce was born!

Now it was time for the red chili filling for the tamales.  In a large pot, Rube added some fat from the meat and flour.  He added the meat, and some broth, and then the rest of the meat.  We ladled in the red chili sauce and stirred everything around... added more chili sauce...added more broth... Stir.... I think you get the picture here.  We did that until we got the perfect consistency.  Done!

While that sat on the stove melding it's flavors, we sat down and ate a little of it AND we made some beans...but that's for another day and another post. :)

Ok... now it's time to make the actual tamales... believe it or not, half the day has gone by at this point.  So, masa.. we used prepared masa - a 10lbs bag to be exact.  Rube let Janette and I get our hands really dirty at this point.  We hand mixed the masa with shortening and salt.  We kept mixing until we got the right density....we added a little of the red chili sauce to give it a bit of color.


Cornhusks were soaked in water to soften - now the fun part.  Hold out the cornhusk in your hand, spread the masa from about edge to edge, but only on one half of it.  Top with some filling and a black olive, roll and fold over.  Simple (actually, it wasn't simple at all.. I did at least 2 dozen myself and it was harder than it looks and sounds, trust me).


 

Once they were all done - they get steamed for an hour and viola!  Tamales are made.


I left Rube's at about 6pm - so never think this is a simple project.  There is a reason why most families only make tamales once or twice a year... and that it's a family and friends affair!

Although it was a lot of work, I still had a fantastic time cooking with Ruben and Janette.. and of course I feel very fortunate to have been able to learn how to make them from start to finish.  It definitely gives me a new appreciation for tamales and those that make them!  Thanks for the great cooking experience, Ruben!

A couple of weeks after we had our tamale making "party" - Janette sends Ruben this photo of a little instruction guide she saw at a local restaurant - we all WISHED it had been that easy! lol

 
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