Chicken and Corn with Honey Butter

Tonight I made a simple recipe that I found in one of the summer issues of Food Network magazine. It was called Smoky Chicken and Corn with Honey Butter. I made enough for just the two of us. Here is what you will need if you want to make it for someone that you love…or just as a simple dinner using your grill.

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ears of corn, cut in thirds
  • 6-8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch sections
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

Preheat a grill to medium high. Mix the butter, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl.

Tear off 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil. Divide the corn evenly among the sheets, placing it off to one side. Top with the mushrooms, scallions and thyme. Season the chicken with salt and the paprika and place on top of the vegetables. Place a heaping tablespoon of the honey butter on top. Fold the other half of the foil over the chicken and vegetables and fold the ends twice to seal, leaving room for heat to circulate.

Grill the foil packets for 8 minutes. Flip the packets, gently press and cook 6 more minutes. Flip back onto a platter to rest, 3 minutes. Carefully open the packets and top with the remaining honey butter.

 

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato and Shrimp

Tonight I made simple meal for Paula and I. It was a twist on a recipe that I found in the latest issue of Food Network magazine. The original called for using linguine. I decided to use our spiralizer and make zucchini spaghetti instead. Then I made the sauce as it was described in the recipe.

Here is what  you will need to make the sauce (for two, of course…)

 

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound of ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8-10 ounces of peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 3 zucchini, spiralized into spaghetti (or 12 ounces of linguine)

To make the sauce, core, halve and seed the tomatoes. Blend the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a food processor to make a chunky sauce.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, then add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and add the tomato sauce and zucchini spaghetti. Cook for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Add the shrimp back to the sauce and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Stuffed Poblanos


I made grilled and stuffed poblanos for dinner tonight. It was recipe that I found in the June issue of Rachael Ray magazine. Paula has said that she is willing to try to eat more foods with a little bit of heat as long as I don’t overwhelm her. Poblanos are not the hottest peppers. Unfortunately she thought that they still had too much heat in this dish so my effort to try to get her to eat with just a little heat had a setback. We’ve used them on one of our favorite pizzas in the past and she didn’t mind them on the pizza so I was a bit surprised that she was so upset by the heat (that I did not detect at all). I thought that it turned out to be tasty meal even if Paula did not.

Here is what you will need to make it (for two, of course!)

  • 1/2 lb. fresh bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 of a can (14.5 oz.) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey jack (or Colby-Jack cheese)
  • 2-3 poblano chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

 

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. In a skillet, cook the sausage over medium, stirring occasionally and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes and cheese and then season with salt and pepper.

Brush the outsides of the halved poblanos with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then season all over with salt and pepper. Spoon the sausage mixture into the poblano halves and transfer to the grill. Cook, covered, until the poblanos are tender and the filling is warm, about 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the salsa, combine the plum tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Top the poblanos with the sour cream and salsa.,..and enjoy!

Salads to share with friends…

I will be spending the weekend at the coast with some friends. All of us are bringing different foods. I will be bringing some protein and snacks as well as some beer. We are  hoping to catch some crabs to make crab cakes. I decided to make a few salads to go with our meals.

First I made a creamy black pepper coleslaw. It was quite easy to make. I just needed a package of chopped green cabbage, 1 cup of grated carrots, and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley. The sauce was made with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water, 2 teaspoons of mustard, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I mixed everything together and let the sauce meld with the slaw while it sat in the cooler on the ride to the coast.

I also made a crunchy kale and cabbage salad. For this I used3 cups of baby kale, 1 large julienned carrot, 3-4 julienned radishes and 1/2 cup of dry-roasted peanuts. For the dressing, I mixed 1 coarsely chopped sweet onion, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of cider  vinegar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of olive oil. I waited until we were ready to eat the salad to mix the dressing and the peanuts into the salad.

All in all, we ate well as everyone made a contribution to the various meals. My friend Tom brought ingredients for breakfast as well as some burritos for lunch. My friend Jeff provided his house as well as a range of other miscellaneous ingredients. The weather cooperated and everyone had a good time.

Tacos for dinner tonight

I made tacos for Paula tonight. I added a few tablespoons of oil to a skillet and heated it under medium-high heat. Then I added 1/2 pound of ground beef and 1 link (about 1/4 lb.) of chorizo to the pan. After cooking the meat and draining the fat, I added 1 teaspoon of ground cumin. Then I added 1/2 of a finely chopped white onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. I cooked the meat and onions for 5 more minutes. Then I added 1 tablespoon of lime juice and cooked for another 5 minutes.

I chopped up a few grape tomatoes. We topped our tacos with the tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream. It was a tasty and light meal. Both of us enjoyed before Paula headed back to work.

Salmon and “Zucchini Spaghetti”


Last night I made dinner for Paula. She had worked in the morning to make sure that her unit moved into their new location. But she was not working that evening so we were able to enjoy a pleasant meal together. Afterwards we played a bit of Farkle. Paula had been working very hard for the previous week so I bought her a bottle of malbec to celebrate the fact that the move was now done.

I made some pan-seared salmon for our protein. I read about an easy way to produce tasty salmon fillets in Cooks Illustrated. It required brining the salmon for 15 minutes before you cook them. I dissolved 1/2 cup of kosher salt in 2 quarts of water. I cut the salmon fillet into 4 pieces and placed them in the brine solution. After the 15 minutes, I removed them from the brine and patted them dry with a few paper towels.

Then I sprinkled the bottom of a 12-inch nonstick skillet with salt and pepper. I placed the fillets with the skin side down in the skillet and sprinkled the top with a little more salt and pepper. I heated the skillet over medium-high heat and cooked the fillets until the fat began to render. This took about 6 minutes. Then I flipped the fillets and continued to cook them until the centers were cooked, another 6 minutes. I placed two fillets on each of our plates, skin side down and placed them on the table.

Meanwhile I made us some ‘zucchini spaghetti.” Paula gave me a spiralizer for our anniversary and I decided it was time to give it a try. I bought 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash. I put both of them through the spiralizer on the thin spiral blade to make the spaghetti.

I also made a simple sauce. I put 1 14.5-ounce can of stewed tomatoes, 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano into a food processor and blended until everything was smooth. Then I cooked 1/4 cup of diced onion in a skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes to soften the onion. I added the tomato mixture, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for 30 minutes (while I prepared the salmon and zucchini). With about 5 minutes left to cook the sauce, I added the zucchini spaghetti, mixed it into sauce and allowed everything to cook on low heat until the salmon was done.

I plated the zucchini spaghetti with the salmon and we enjoyed a very tasty meal. It was a treat to just have delicious food along with some pleasant time together!

Grilled Pork Chops with a Carrot Salad

Paula and I enjoyed dinner together this afternoon. She needed to go to work for several hours in the afternoon but we were able to enjoy time together when she returned. After dinner, we played a game of Scrabble. We hadn’t played it since we returned from our trip so it seemed like a good thing to do.

I made Grilled Mustard Pork Chops with a Carrot Salad It was a recipe that I found in the most recent issue of Food Network magazine. It was quite tasty and it went well with one of my homemade rye IPAs. If you want to try this recipe, which was a most pleasant meal to enjoy in the summer, here is the recipe as I made it for just the two of us…

Ingredients (for two…)

  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 1-inch thick pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of carrots, graded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh chives or green onions 
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Combine the brown sugar, paprika and mustard powder in a small bowl. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and rub the spice mixture all over the pork chops. Set aside while you prepare the salad.

Whisk the honey mustard, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the carrots, parsley, chives (or green onions) and sunflower seeds and toss well. Refrigerate the carrot salad while you cook the pork chops.

Lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the pork chops, covered, until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Uncover and cook until a thermometer inserted into the pork registers 145 degrees F, about 1 more minute. Serve with the carrot salad.

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