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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

Did I not warn you that I'd be posting a lot more salad recipes?  See, I don't tease... at least not too often :)  And what a great salad this was.  Not your traditional taco salad, but that's ok... sometimes traditions are meant to be broken.... or was that rules?  I can never remember.

Seriously, though, this salad was incredible.  So incredible, that Chris was even talking about it the next day!  THAT, my friends, is a very good sign.  Creamy, smokey, delicious.  What more could you want?  Oh, wait.. you want simple too?  You got it :)

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Ranch dressing
2 Tablespoons chipotle puree**
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the dressing -
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon chipotle puree**
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
For the salad -
4-6 cups green leaf lettuce, torn or roughly chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 English cucumber, sliced in rounds and cut in half
1 avocado, sliced
shredded cheese (optional)
handful of crushed tortilla chips (I used Doritos)

**to make chipotle puree - dump entire 7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into a food process and pulse until pureed. Viola!**

Directions:
Mix together 1 tablespoon Ranch and 2 tablespoons chipotle puree.  Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the mixture over it.  Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Remove chicken from the dish and place over direct heat.  Grill 8-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes.  Cut into bite size chunks or pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing until well combined.  Place chopped chicken in a bowl, pour 1/2 of the dressing over and toss to combine.  Add more dressing if you want, or use the rest to dress the entire salad at the table.  Your choice :)

Now you can build your salad - start with a bed of lettuce, toss on a few tomatoes and cucumbers, add some avocado slices and top with dressed chicken.  Sprinkle on some tortilla chips and serve.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Shrimp with Mango and Chiles
Two Years Ago:  Nutella and Peanut Butter Brownies

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Penne with Marinated Bocconcini, Tomatoes and Basil

Simple and so very easy, there truly is no reason not to make this.  I found some marinated mozzarella balls, called Bocconcini on sale the other day and I couldn't pass them up.  I wanted to make a simple and light pasta dish because not only is it still in the low 100's here, but I'm working way too many hours and don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.  This was the perfect solution for those problems.  And, if you can't find marinated Bocconcini or can't find even regular Bocconici, you can substitute regular, fresh mozzarella - just cut it into small bite size chunks and let them soak in a little flavored olive oil if you like.  That would work just as well in this case.

Penne with Marinated Bocconcini, Tomatoes and Basil
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
10oz Penne pasta
1 cup Bocconcini marinated in olive oil, herbs and spices, quartered
2 Tablespoons olive oil from marinated Bocconcini
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, blanched and finely minced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.  Add the Bocconcini, olive oils, cherry tomatoes and garlic.  Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.  Add the basil at the last moment and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs
Two Years Ago:  Smokey Grilled Pork Chops
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Serrano Chile-Rubbed Grilled Chicken

I don't know what it is about green sauces.. they just hate getting photographed in my house!!  This picture does not do the sauce justice, trust me.  Ok, I need a new food processor, too.. I can't seem to get more than just a fine dice when I put anything even remotely whole in the bowl....grrrrrrr!!!!

But, that's beside the point, I mean, what you came here for is the recipe for this delicious little dish... what's great is, you didn't even know you were going to want it when you clicked on the link to my blog.. but when you saw it, you know you wanted to try it... and just think if I had gotten the sauce to look like it truly was supposed to... think of how much more your mouth would be watering right now!!!

Serrano Chile-Rubbed Grilled Chicken
Adapted from The Food Network
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 oz beer (I used Bud Light)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
For the Spice Rub -
1 garlic clove
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 serrano chile (remove seeds for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the Jalapeno Cream Sauce -
2 roughly chopped jalapenos (seeds removed for less heat)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:
Marinate the chicken - Put the chicken in a resealable plastic bag with the beer and the vinegar.  Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Make the spice rub - Pulse all ingredients in a mini food processor to make a paste.

Make the jalapeno cream sauce - In a food processor, puree all ingredients.  Season with salt to taste.  Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.  Rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the chicken.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken over direct heat and grill for 8-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.  Serve with sauce and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Hoisin Pork Stir Fry
Two Years Ago:  Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spicy Caesar Dressing

Last week I posted my very first salad recipe.. :) I'm obviously proud of that...  and, to prove just how proud I am, you will be bombarded with salads over the next few weeks.  Ok, ok, bombarded sounds quite harsh, doesn't it?  Well, you will at least see a lot more salads highlighted here than you have ever seen before.  Some of it has to do that I just recently found out, Chris would eat "just a salad" for dinner if it had the right ingredients.  (Again, I'm loving that we have been together for so long and yet I'm still learning new things about him!)  It also has to do with the fact that salads like this are very simple to put together and since I'm working such long hours lately, I can use all the help I can get when it comes to getting dinner on the table.

With that said, this is of course, about the dressing, not necessarily the salad.  I've been researching Caesar dressings that did not use anchovies.  All of them substituted Worcestershire sauce... which was a bit of a duh moment for me... I mean Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies!!  The perfect substitution!!!  And, just for fun, I added a little Sriracha too to help spice it up a bit.  Now, I know the title says Caesar dressing, but don't think that just because it references a specific salad that it means it's the only salad you can use it on.  That's just nonsense!  Use it on a regular side salad, use it in chicken or tuna salad, us it to  marinate chicken... I really don't care what you do, as long as you give it a try!!

Spicy Caesar Dressing
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:
In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well combined.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Can be made up to 1 day in advance.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Maid-Rite Sandwiches
Two Years Ago:  Moroccan Spiced Grilled Chicken

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Chris and I normally eat pretty healthy, so it sounds a bit odd when I say "we've been trying to eat better lately"... but that statement is true.  We have been trying to eat better.  With eating better comes lighter foods, smaller portions, things like that.  If you can believe it, this is the first true salad I have posted on my site!  I'm a bit shocked actually because we eat a lot of salads - but they are mainly just plan side salad types.. nothing too interesting to post.  So this is a great recipe to start with.

Big thanks to the wonderful people over at Carapelli Olive Oil for this recipe - It was a huge hit in our house!!

Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Adapted from Carapelli Olive Oil
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 pound peeled and deveined uncooked large shrimp
4 slices pineapple
6-8 cups green leaf lettuce, torn
sliced cucumber (optional)
quartered cherry tomatoes (optional)
dried cranberries (optional)
Croutons

Directions:
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, Salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Remove 1 tablespoon and set the rest aside.  Place shrimp in a shallow dish and toss with tablespoon of vinaigrette.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.  Place the pineapple directly over the fire and grill about 3-5 minutes per side, or until the pineapple has a little color and is warmed through.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Once cooled, roughly chop and set aside.

Using a saute pan meant for the grill, add the shrimp and grill for about 4-5 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.  You can also thread them on skewers - same cooking time.  Remove from grill and allow to cool just a little bit.

To serve - on a large plate or bowl, add the torn lettuce, top with cucumbers, tomatoes, cranberries, and croutons.  Add the pineapple and shrimp and lightly drizzle with vinaigrette.  Serve and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Gyros
Two Years Ago:  Zucchini Gratin
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze

I saw this recipe and thought to myself... hhmmmm.. grapefruit glaze.. why didn't I think of that before?  I mean I've had lime chicken, I've had lemon chicken... why didn't grapefruit ever enter my mind?  Oh well.. it's there now and to be honest, it wasn't as great as I thought it would be.  It was good... I mean it's at least edible or I wouldn't be posting it... but it just didn't hit that mark I was looking for.  What was wrong with it?  I don't know.. it lacked something.. what exactly, I'm not sure... but if you decide to try this, I'd love to hear what you think.  I did, however, decide to throw together a little sauce to go with it... I mean, you can never go wrong with sauce, right???  And...that did help with making the chicken a bit more tasty :)

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze
Adapted from Food and Wine
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1.4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the sauce -
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon grapefruit juice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together the 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, zest, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until well combined.  Remove half of the mixture, cover and place in refrigerator until about 30minutes before you are ready to grill the chicken.  At that point, allow to sit at room temperature until ready to glaze chicken with.  Place the chicken in a resealable bag and pour the remaining grapefruit mixture over the chicken.  Seal the bag and place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

To make the sauce:  Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat the grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Remove chicken from the bag and discard the marinade.  Place chicken over direct heat, brushing frequently with the reserved glaze, for 8 minutes.  Turn the chicken and brush frequently with the glaze for another 8-10 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Serve with sauce and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  We Interrupt this Broadcast...
Two Years Ago:  Baked Catfish with Firecracker Sauce

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grilled Lemon Tilapia with Lemon Dill Butter

Thought I was out of my compound butter kick, didn't you?  Well, I thought I might have been too, but looks like I was wrong :)  And let's be honest..... what better way to make plain old tilapia deliciously decadent then by letting lemon dill butter melt ALL over it!!  Can't go wrong there.... :)  This would be great on any type of fish, actually.  And, if you aren't a fan of fish, but you like shrimp... oh, yes.. you'll want to try this on shrimp for sure :)

Grilled Lemon Tilapia with Lemon Dill Butter
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 Tablespoons fresh or dried dill
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 Tilapia filets
1/2 - 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
4 thin slices of lemon

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, dill, zest and lemon juice until well combined.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.  Tear two large squares of aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place two lemon slices on each sheet of foil and top with one tilapia filet.  Season the tilapia with lemon pepper seasoning.  Now, form a packet around the fish by bringing opposite sides of the foil together and folding together.  Fold remaining sides together, forming a packet.  Please the foil packets directly over the fire and grill for 6 minutes, rotate packet half way and continue grilling another 6-7 minutes.  Carefully remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Carefully open the packets and place the fish on a plate.  Scoop a tablespoon of the compound butter onto each pieces of fish and serve.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago: BLT Pizza
Two Years Ago:  Tilapia with Sambal Vinaigrette and Ginger Lime Cream

Monday, September 17, 2012

Berber-Spiced Chicken with Spicy Lemon and Paprika Aioli

Aahhhhhhh... it sure feels good to be back!!!  Things are still pretty hectic for me right now at work, but you know, sometimes, no matter how hard you work or how many hours you put in, there is STILL always more work waiting for you, so why kill yourself?  I figured it was time to take a little time for me and get back to doing what I love to do!!  Hope everyone has been well.  Thank you very much for all your encouraging and supportive comments - I really appreciated them all!

So, back to my favorite topic... FOOD!!!  And of course, what's my favorite food?  GRILLED FOOD!! Yep, that's right.. but I know you aren't surprised by that statement, are you?  Well, this is a fantastic way to showcase my favorite type of food too.  Look at the color.. look at the dark crispy part that even the creator of the recipes calls "gutsy in-your-face flavors".  And that is EXACTLY what this is!!  Of course, you knew I had to add a little sauce in the mix too.... not surprised by that either, are you??

Berber-Spiced Chicken
Adapted from Steven Raichlen
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the chicken, until it forms a wet paste.  Spread evenly over both sides of the chicken and place on a plate or platter.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken over direct heat and grill 8-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Serve with sauce and enjoy! 

Spicy Lemon and Paprika Aioli
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Can be made 3 days in advance.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Terrific Man Tacos - Chorizo Style
Two Years Ago:  Spicy Thai Pork Chops with Coconut Rice

Friday, September 7, 2012

I'll Be Back....

Hello my loyal readers!  Life seems to have gotten in the way of my blogging.  The company I work for is going through a merger right now and things are hectic to say the least.  I have been given some pretty big tasks in this process and it's taking a ton of my time.  So much of my time, I haven't even had time to make dinner.  I need to take a few days away for my own sanity.... but I promise I'll be back... I can't go more than a week without blogging anyway, so don't go too far.  Feel free to write me if you miss me that much...otherwise, see you in a few days!

Ciao!
Jenn

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grilled Tomato and Prosciutto Pizza with Provolone Cheese

(Photo courtesy Carapelli Olive Oil)
I have the hardest time photographing pizza.  I don't know what it is about it.. maybe because my pizzas are never round, they end up more rectangular, so I don't get good slice pictures.  Whatever the problem.. it was solved here.. I just politely borrowed this picture from Carapelli Olive Oil.  And, since this recipe is courtesy Carapelli, I don't feel bad using the photo at all.

This pizza was fantastic!  There is something wonderful about prosciutto on pizza - well, actually there is just something wonderful about prosciutto and I do not use it enough in my cooking.  Probably more of a cost thing than anything else, but in this case, I was willing to splurge.  And it was well worth it!

As you can see from the picture, Carapelli's recipe calls for arugula... I completely forgot to get some when I was at the store, so I left it out of my adaptation of the recipe.  (You can find the original recipe HERE.)  Otherwise, uuhhmmm... yeah... my picture would have looked JUST like this one!!  lol

Grilled Tomato and Prosciutto Pizza with Provolone Cheese
Adapted from Carapelli Olive Oil
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 ball homemade pizza dough
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup homemade pizza sauce
2 thinly sliced Roma tomatoes
3 oz thin sliced prosciutto, torn into pieces
1-2 cups shredded provolone cheese

Directions:
Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.  Roll or stretch dough out to desired shape.  Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on large piece of aluminum foil.  Place dough (on foil) over direct heat and grill for 3 minutes.  Rotate and continue to grill for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from grill and flip pizza over.  Top grilled side of dough with pizza sauce.  Lay the tomatoes slices and prosciutto pieces over sauce and top with cheese.  Put back on grill over direct heat and grill for 6 minutes, rotating dough once.  Move to indirect heat and continue to grill until the cheese has melted.  Carefully remove from grill and slice.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago: Baked Tilapia with Sweet Chili Glaze
Two Years Ago:  Honey and Spiced Grilled Chicken

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grilled Hoisin Shrimp

Although, for most people, Labor day marks the closing of summer - or at least a sign that summer is coming to an end.  Around here, in the sunny desert of Arizona, that is not quite the case.  We are still having 100+ degree days and we still haven't reached a low in the 70's yet at night!  But, that's ok... we do things to survive just like most people do in the long cold winter months.  One way I definitely survive is by coming up with very simple, very quick dinner ideas.  This recipe ranks right up there.  Very simple and very light on ingredients.  From start to finish, even including marinating time, this meal takes 40 minutes tops.  If you want to make it happen faster, cut the marinating time in half... viola!  Dinner is served!

P.s...I'm sorry I've not been the best at commenting on others blogs the last few days.. between internet issues and big things going on at work, I find I barely have enough time just to put my own posts together.  Hopefully this will change in the next few days...but just know, even if I'm not commenting, I'm still probably lurking around your blog... I can't go long without my blogsphere friends!!

Grilled Hoisin Shrimp
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Hoisin
1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon honey
1 lbs. extra-large (26/50 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
drop of sesame oil
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

Directions:
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the Hoisin, soy, mirin and honey together until well combined.  Remove 2 teaspoons of mixture and set the rest aside.  Mix together the 2 teaspoons of mixture, the Sriracha and a drop of sesame oil.  Place shrimp in a shallow dish and toss with sriracha mixture.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat grill to 325 degrees F.  Place a grill basket (or any stir fry pan meant for the grill) over direct heat and add the shrimp and peppers.  Grill for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is cooked through and is a lovely pink.  Remove from grill and toss with reserved sauce OR place shrimp and peppers over rice and drizzle sauce over top.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  BLT Scrambled Eggs
Two Years Ago:  Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Spread

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Open-Faced Grilled Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches with Fresh Mozzarella

This is a great recipe from the folks at Carapelli Olive Oil.  I've featured a few of their recipes here as fillers when I haven't had time to post something I personally made.  But this time, things are a little different.  This time, I actually took the time to make the recipes.  They all turned out really good and the only complaint I have is that their pictures look so much better than mine!  lol  Ok, so that's what happens when you have a professional photographer taking pictures... lucky them :)

This is a delicious little sandwich that you can play around with and create all sorts of variations of.  You don't even have to grill the chicken, you can broil or bake or even pan fry.  Don't like spring greens?  Use regular lettuce.  Don't like mozzarella (is there really someone out there that doesn't like mozzarella???)... use your favorite cheese.  The point, I think you see, is make this sandwich your own, this recipe is your canvas.

Open-Faced Grilled Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches with Fresh Mozzarella
Adapted from Carapelli Olive Oil
- Serves 2 -
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
salt and pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices thick, rustic style Italian bread
6-8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup baby or spring greens

Directions:
Mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl until well combined.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in pie plate or resealable plastic bag.  Pour the mixture over the chicken to coat and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the chicken over direct heat and grill for 8-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches on internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, brush both sides of the bread with remaining olive oil.  Place on grill and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Transfer to a serving plate; top with cheese and greens.  Slice the diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices; arrange over cheese and greens.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Avocado Basil Pasta
Two Years Ago:  Stuffed Pork Chops