Friday, July 22, 2011

My Summer Grilled Chicken

My favorite summer inspired food consists of fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden stacked with slices of Mozzarella Cheese and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar...Hungry yet? It's delicious! When I thought up this recipe I couldn't think of a better name to give it than Summer Grilled Chicken. It's fresh, simple, and gorgeous on a plate. It was so delicious that The Hubby literally licked his entire plate clean. Not very attractive, but definitely taken as a compliment!

4 Chicken Breasts
1/3 c. Lemon Juice
4 T. Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
4 slices of Mozzarella
1 large Tomato sliced or diced 
1 handful of fresh Basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry.
1/4 of a Red Onion, sliced into rings
 2-3 oz. Goat Cheese
1 c. Balsamic Vinegar
In a shallow dish or Ziploc bag combine lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic to combine. Add chicken and marinate at least 1 hour, turning over chicken half way through.

Pour Balsamic Vinegar into a small sauce pan over high heat. Whisk continuously (to avoid burning) and bring to a boil. Continue whisking until vinegar is reduced by half, it will by syrupy and coat your spoon. Congratulations! You've just created a Balsamic Reduction to top your chicken with.

Preheat Grill. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-low heat. Place Red Onion rings onto the grill as well, removing when they are starting to soften.

When chicken is just about done (internal temp should reach165 degrees), turn grill to low and  top with sliced Mozzarella (Work quickly, you don't want to overcook your chicken). Shut the grill for a few seconds and allow Mozzarella to melt onto the chicken.

Remove chicken breast from grill and place on a serving platter. Layer tomatoes, basil, red onion and crumbled Goat Cheese over chicken. Lightly drizzle with Balsamic Reduction. Serve with a crisp green salad and Voila! Enjoy licking your plate :).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tequila Grilled Chicken with Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Last week I was at a baby shower and I had a very delicious stuffed Jalapeno Pepper. As I planned out this week's dinners I wondered what it would be like to combine those flavors with grilled chicken. The end result was this delicious concoction of zesty grilled chicken drizzled with lime and topped with a rich creamy Jalapeno Sauce.  Serve this with Mexican rice, refried beans, or a crisp green salad. Talk about Yum!

Tequila Grilled Chicken with Jalapeno Cream Sauce
Chicken only adapted from

2 T olive oil
1/8 c. finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 of a lime, or about 1 Tablespoon
2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 oz. Tequila
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 breasts sliced in half to make 4 equal portions)

3/4 c. milk
4 oz of cream cheese
1/2 of a seeded and diced Jalapeno Pepper
1 1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese
a few shakes of granulated chicken bouillon (approx 1/2 tsp)

For the chicken:
Combine all ingredients except chicken and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice in a Ziploc bag to make a marinade. Add chicken and marinade for about 1 hour.
Grill Chicken on an outdoor grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side or until meat is no longer pink. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of additional lime juice.

For the sauce:
Add milk to a small saucepan over low heat. When milk is warm add cream cheese. Slowly bring heat to medium low and stir to combine, making sure all lumps are gone. Add Jalapeno, Bouillon, and Monterey Jack cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.

To serve, place chicken on a platter and top with sauce. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, and diced red onion (optional).


Friday, July 1, 2011

Raspberry Sorbet

I'll be the first in my family to admit that there wasn't much about our move to Southern California that was easy. There were unwelcome delays, rounds of illness, lots of homesickness, and weeks of loneliness. The only bright spot in the process of getting settled here has been the overwhelming blessing of being part of a very awesome church family. This week we packed up the picnic gear and spent our Wednesday evening in fellowship with some of those very awesome people. Someone (I'm embarrassed to say I don't even know who) pulled up in a truck with enough quickly ripening raspberries (and other produce) to bless each and every family with an entire flat! Wow! Obviously we've got to use up these berries quickly, so yesterday I set out to make some fresh raspberry sorbet.
Raspberry Sorbet
slightly adapted from Paula Deen for Food Network
2 c. white sugar
2 c. water
2 fresh mint leaves
2 quarts raspberries
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 c. light corn syrup

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add mint leaves. Simmer for about 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove mint leaves and cool completely.

In a blender or food processor puree raspberries and lime juice. Press puree through a strainer to remove seeds. If you don't mind a few seeds just leave them in!

Combine cooled sugar sugar mixture, raspberry puree, and corn syrup. Stir well.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Sorbet will be soft after churning but will firm up after freezing.