Friday, March 26, 2010

Food trip Friday PLUS Photo Friday

I like doing memes from time to time, and these are both pretty new to me.  Food Trip Friday is where you post a food – any kind of food.   Photo Friday is where you post a photo that represents the word of the week – this week’s word is PLEASURE.  Food is pleasure to me, AS IS photography.  Two of my favorite things – food and photography!  So here ya go!

If you are new to my blog, welcome!  Please take a moment to click on the “follow” or join my facebook fan page if you like what you see.    The more, the merrier!

I chose this photo because of the colors in the photo, which I love, but also because it demonstrates the complexities of cooking, which I love as well!  A twofer!


And, of course, because this IS a recipe blog, afterall, the recipe that this came from!

I decided to (re)do another of my favorites from my blog, the Grilled Southwest Chicken recipe that I’d gotten from an old blogging friend, Karen – formally of Pediascribe – but now blogging at Forgiven & Loved.


In any case, it was a hit then, but not so much of a hit this time.  I think it’s because I tried to tweak it by adding a new favorite of mine, LIME, and doubling the spice/oil mixture.  IT didn’t work – do NOT try it. LOL  Follow THIS recipe instead :)


Grilled Southwest Chicken

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp each cumin, oregano & chili powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon(ish) lime juice.  DO NOT USE LOL
salt & pepper to taste

steps Mix the spices in a bowl together with the oil. 

Poke chicken breasts with a fork.

In a zipper-type bag, place chicken breasts and spice mixture. Mush together so that each breast is coated. I let mine sit for about 10 minutes while the grill heated up.

Grill the chicken approximately 10 minutes on one side, flip and another 5 on the other.


Be sure to visit my other blog, Coming to a Nursery Near You, for my other take on the photo friday theme as well :)  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grilled chicken salad, redux

I don't think it gets much easier than this, truly.  I've made grilled chicken salad before, but this may be my new favorite.

Sunday morning, I woke up and knew it was going to be a busy day. My son's first hockey game of the year was Sunday afternoon, and I had errands to run, shopping to do, and my husband did too.  So I took a package of McCormick's Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade, mixed it (per the directions) and threw in 4 boneless chicken breasts, which I'd poked a few times with a fork.  It all went into a large zipper bag and into the fridge for the rest of the day.

8 hours later, at 6 pm, I had turned on the grill to a medium flame.  Once it was heated, I put the chicken on and closed the top.  I went to work assembling my salad, which was (admittedly) lacking in ingredients.  But a half a head of iceberg, some croutons and some Roma tomatoes later, and it looked good anyway.  Not very exotic, but it had been a LONG day.

The chicken took at least 20-25 minutes to cook.  But ALL I had to do was turn them, and once they registered the appropriate 165 on the thermometer, they were ready to go.  I sliced them up, placed them on our salad, topped with some spray on salad dressing (vinaigrette, actually) and mmmmMMmm - combined with another version of my new favorite flatbreads, it was a delicious and SIMPLE dinner!

The chicken came out so juicy and so full of flavor - my kids loved it as well.  Next time, I'll make it and slice it for wraps - Yum!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My foray into Grilled Flatbread

Ever since my first experience with grilled flatbreads, being on the buying end of them, I've been enamored with them.  However,  not enough to attempt them on our little tabletop grill that we had.

Just as soon as we moved south to West Virginia, into a house with a deck, I've been obsessed with buying a real, normal grill, and grilled flatbreads were one of my many, many reasons for wanting one.

Well, 2 weeks ago, we became the proud owners of our very first grown-up toy, a two burner grill that now resides on our deck.

In the 2 weeks since the grill joined our family, I've made steak (one of the best in my LIFE, btw), grilled veggies, burgers, burgers and more burgers, and of course, hot dogs.  But no flat breads.  I was a little intimidated, because HELLO? putting dough on a grill?  A HOT grill? How in the heck do they DO that?

I looked up a basic recipe for grilled flatbreads, and when my son nagged me for the 99,000th time, I gave in and wrote it down.
Today, though, I decided to make it.  I don't even know why, because I'd already made lunch and we'd already eaten THAT.  But I suppose it was the fact that I was also making peanut butter play dough that I decided hey, why not try it.  It's a beautiful day, perfect for the grill.

As much as I LOVED the flatbreads we used ot get at the LIttleton Farmer's Market, they weren't exactly brimming with healthy, nutricious stuff.  Sure, you could get them with just tomato, but they were also topped with quite a bit of oil, and my stomach not being what I'd call healthy, I didn't want to do that.  So these flatbreads weren't exactly like what we'd had there, but they came out delicious anyway, and will definitely become a staple in our menu.

Basic flatbread recipe:

1-1/3 c. flour.  I used white flour today, but will definitely be experimenting with whole wheat next time.
1/2 tsp. yeast.  I think I used the wrong kind the first time, because it didn't rise, but the 2nd one didn't either. I think I don't have the right yeast, period.
1/2 c. water
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt - I used Lawry's garlic salt

Mix the water with the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes. It should get frosthy.

While that is setting, mix together the flour, salt and olive oil.  Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix that into the flour mixture and knead for 2 minutes.  I figure that at this point, I'll add other herbs to the dough once I settle on what I want to use.  For now, though, just using the garlic salt gave the bread a really good taste so that eating it all by itself was still very tasty.  Sit the dough in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap. 

Meanwhile, I heated my grill on high.  The temp got to about 200 degrees or so, I believe.  I only used one burner.  Once the dough had risen, I cut it into 4 sections.  One by one, I rolled it out to a verrrry thin sheet, , lightly brushed it with olive oil, lifted the lid to the grill and, while holding my breath, placed it directly onto the grill's grill.    The heat, though, was such that my dough didn't sag through!  I was thrilled!  I closed the top and waited, MAYYYYBe a minute or so, and checked it, just to be sure.  It was fine.  The edges were getting toasty, and so I took my spatula and checked it's bottom.  It was also getting nicely brown, so at that point, I flipped it.  It probably took about 2 minutes per side, but of course, your grill, and mileage, may vary.

After the first one, where I found that the taste by itself was excellent, I decided to experiment, and while the second one was cooking, I sliced some roma tomato very thinly and put them on the 2nd side.  For the 3rd, I put some more tomato AND some thinly sliced basil.  For #4, I used freshly grated parmesan and more basil.

Unfortunately, I got so distracted with my toppings that I let the flatbreads cook a little too much, but even though they were a bit crunchy, they still turned out wonderfully!

I can't wait to try new ingredients and new toppings and you can be sure, I'll share them with you!

I think I need this book next: