Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobos

 

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

I think that there is definitely an art to marinades. I’m still learning that particular art. I recently purchased the highly acclaimed Modernist Cuisine book set. It’s massive and filled with information–extremely useful information. I’m only on the second book about 1000 pages into this probably 7000 page set, and the information that I’ve learned has completely changed the way that I view cooking.  This set is amazing! If you’re interested in the how’s and why’s of cooking, from a scientific perspective—then you want this set. If you can save the $550 plus dollars it costs to buy this book set then I highly recommend it.  Or just stay tuned to my blog, lot’s of changes are coming.  Not to mention appliances. One is the immersion circulator that I’ve been wanting for years.  Another is a vacuum chamber sealer.  I returned my Food saver in preparation for this machine.  This machine makes marination super easy, and effective.  It sucks out all of the air in the chamber and compresses everything in it. Thus making pickles in a matter of minutes, and  infusing steak or chicken and fish with marinades in minutes. Long gone will be my days of marinating anything over night.  I’m really excited for my vacuum chamber to arrive. Not having my Food Saver or a vacuum machine has been torture, but life goes on.  This particular marinade is a mixture of dry and wet ingredients.  It’s really delicious, and so flavorful, that it doesn’t need more than a few minutes to flavor the chicken–gotta love a quick marinade with no fancy equipment.

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 lb of skinless boneless chicken thighs, cubed into one inch pieces

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Add the onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, olive oil and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well.

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Season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper, add it to a large bowl.  Add the marinade paste to the chicken then toss well to cover the chicken with the marinade.

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Place chicken on skewers and grill cooking until chicken is cooked through about 10-12 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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Cucumber Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

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Cucumber Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salads are my go to lazy girl side.  They require minimum effort and absolutely no cooking.  It doesn’t get much better than that in my book, and salads are good for you.  Salads also go with practically everything.  My husband is a big fan of salads in general, he’s one of those people who has to have a meal anchored by vegetables or he doesn’t feel like he has gotten a complete meal.  I’m like that too.  When we traveled to Puerto Rico several years ago, we were both impressed with the food: steak, chicken, rice and beans, peppers, plantains. However, the food was always missing that anchor of vegetables, which we are both accustom to.  We always asked if there was a vegetable dish that we could order to round out our meal. We never found a vegetable dish, but they always had a basic salad.

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Prep time: 7-10 minutes

Cook time: none

Total time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber sliced thinly or cubed

1/2 cup of organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half

1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Ingredients Balsamic vinaigrette:

Sea salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar

1 small clove of garlic chopped finely

3 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Directions: Add the cucumber and tomatoes to a medium sized bowl, top with feta and set aside. In a small bowl whisk the ingredient for the vinaigrette, spoon over the cucumber salad and enjoy!

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Za’atar Spiced Chicken

Za'atar Spiced Chicken

Za’atar Spiced Chicken

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile now, then you know that I’m enamored with Mediterranean spices, and food. One of my favorite things to have when I go out for dinner at a middle eastern restaurant is a naan bread with za’atar spices on it. What’s not to like? Piping hot crispy bread with a tangy spice, and hot olive oil…yum! I’m drooling at just the thought, it’s just so yummy. If you’re not familiar with za’atar you’ve been missing out. It’s simply a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, marjoram, cumin, and sumac. With the exception of the sumac, you probably have all the ingredients to make it in your cabinet right now. You can’t make this without the sumac though, it’s tart and tangy flavor would be missed. The herbaceous smell of this spice is reason enough to use it. It pairs well with many meats, not just chicken, but on chicken it is amazing. I will share my recipe for my own homemade za’atar spice in a future blog, but for this, a store bought version will do. I got a packaged za’atar spice blend at Whole Foods in the spice aisle. While it’s not as good as my homemade version, it’s very close.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon of za’atar spice
Juice of half a large lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic grated
5-6 (1lb) boneless skinless chicken thighs
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Mix the za’atar, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil together in a medium bowl. Season the chicken with sea salt and black pepper, then toss in the bowl with the marinade and mix well. Line a baking sheet with foil, then add the chicken, and place in the oven, for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

Citrus Marinaded Chicken Thighs

Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs

My husband gave me a food saver for Christmas. Most women would balk at such a gift, but not me, I’ve wanted a Food Saver for a long while now. Among the many great things that a Food Saver does, like resealing opened bags of chips, and preserving veggies for an indefinite amount of time, is marinating meat in under 15 minutes. Who knew that sucking the air out of something would create such great results. You don’t need a food saver to make this, just marinate your chicken the old fashioned way, 30 minutes in this marinade is great, but longer is always better.

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
5-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/4 cup of green onions sliced
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/4 cup of mandarin juice/ orange juice
1 teaspoon of mandarin or orange zest
3 cloves of garlic grated
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tablespoon of cilantro finely chopped
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
In a medium bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken, mix well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil, remove the chicken from the marinade, and place it on the foil lined baking sheet. Cook on 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Top with cilantro and enjoy!

Sautéed Kale with Mushrooms

Sautéed Kale and Mushrooms

One of the great things about Kale is that it’s so versatile! You can dress kale up with almost any flavor and still end up with a soul satisfying side dish. I love pairing greens of any kind with mushrooms! Mushrooms give the greens a great counter texture, and let’s face it, mushrooms make everything fantastic!

Ingredients
3 cups of Lacinto kale chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
Sea salt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms take on some color(10 minutes) add in kale and sauté until greens wilt, add in soy sauce and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until greens are tender. Season with sea salt if necessary, serve and enjoy!

Wine Braised Kale

Braised Kale

Thank goodness that the Holidays are over. I feel like I’ve been on a fast moving train for the last 2 months! I don’t know about you, but I love being home and settled into my routine. The Holidays always take me out of routine.  It’s nice to get out of routine, but it’s heaven to get back into routine also. While I’ve been away from you, I’ve been indulging in comfort foods, like stews in wine sauces! I love adding wine to sauces and stews. A wine sauce always makes me want to lick the plate clean! This recipe for Kale is so extremely yummy that if you’re not a Kale lover, you may just become a kale lover overnight! Kale gets a bad rap, I think it’s because most people don’t know how to cook it. People always pull me aside in the grocery store and ask me how I cook it. They whisper the question as if my responding answer will contain the secrets of the earth! Maybe for them it does. If you are not eating kale because you haven’t a clue how to make it, I hope that this recipe changes that!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:
1 bunch of Lancinto Kale washed and chopped finely
1/4 cup of shallots or brown onion finely chopped
1/4 cup or more of a good white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 large clove of garlic sliced thinly
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Directions:
Heat olive oil add garlic and shallots and  cook until you can smell the garlic, (20 seconds), add in kale, and sauté until wilted. Add in white wine, sea salt, and pepper, bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes. It’s done when Kale is tender.