Archive | August, 2016

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS WITH MELON MINT RELISH

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If you are watching your carbs….and really, who isn’t, these chicken lettuce wraps are for you.  They are light, fresh, healthy and SUPER easy to prepare.  If you don’t want to serve them as wraps, you could also just use the ground chicken mixture to top shredded romaine.  The melon mint relish is a delicious cooling element to counter balance the spicy chicken.

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INGREDIENTS:

1#                                          ground chicken or turkey breast

2 T                                         ginger, grated

1 T                                         garlic, minced

1 bunch                             scallions, minced

1 T                                         olive oil

1 T                                         fish sauce or you may substitute soy sauce

1 T                                         brown sugar

1 T                                         Asian chili-garlic sauce

4 ea                                      juice of lime

¼ C ea                                 minced cilantro, parsley and mint

3 T                                         peanuts, chopped

2 heads                              butter lettuce, washed and dried well

METHOD:

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add ginger, garlic and scallions.  Cook 1 minute until fragrant.  Add ground chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through.  Add  brown sugar, chili garlic paste, fish sauce (or soy) and juice of limes.  Cook until liquid is reduced but not dry.  Stir in cilantro, mint, parsley and peanuts.  Serve in butter lettuce leaves with melon relish

Melon mint relish – Dice 1 small, peeled and seeded, honeydew melon.  Add juice and zest of 1 lime, pinch of brown sugar, ½ C chopped fresh mint and salt to taste.  Serve with chicken lettuce wraps

Serves 6

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MICROWAVE PROVENCAL VEGETABLE SAUCE

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Sometimes it’s just too hot to cook indoors and grilling a simple piece of fish or chicken outdoors is the best strategy to avoid a sweltering kitchen. This tomato based sauce can dress up a barren piece of protein, jazz up eggs or grilled vegetables or even be tossed with cold pasta for a delightful side dish. This microwave sauce comes together quickly and is even better the next day.

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 INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                         onion, chopped

4 cloves                             garlic, minced

1 T                                         olive oil

1 t                                         dried oregano

¼ t                                         dried fennel

2#                                          fresh tomatoes, chopped with juice

2 ea                                      ribs celery, minced

1 ea                                      zucchini, chopped

2 T                                         pitted black or green olives, minced

1 T                                         capers, rinsed

¼ C                                        fresh basil, chopped

2 T                                         fresh parsley, chopped

1 t                                         orange zest

As needed                        Sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

In a microwave safe bowl combine onion, garlic, olive oil, dried oregano and fennel.  Cover and microwave on high power for 1 minute.  Stir in chopped celery and tomatoes along with their juice.  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-5 minutes.  Stop cooking midway through and stir to prevent scorching.  Add zucchini, basil, parsley, capers, orange zest and olives.  Let sauce stand for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to develop and intensify.  Taste for sweetness, salt and pepper.  Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen indefinitely.

Yield 4-5 Cups

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GRILL SMOKED NECTARINES WITH HONEY RICOTTA

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Planking food is a simple. You need a thin hardwood plank (cedar, pecan or fruitwood work well for this recipe) that can be purchased at most kitchen stores or grocery stores.  Planking imparts the sweet, buttery, aromatic flavor of the plank to the foods you are cooking.  For this dessert recipe, I’ve chosen nectarines, but any sturdy, seasonal fruit would work.  Nectarines, plums and peaches are perfect in the warmer months and apples, pears and grapes work well in the cooler months.  To prepare the plank, submerge it in water for at least 1 hour, flipping the plank after 30 minutes to ensure that it is soaked through. *You may also soak the plank in fruit juice or wine.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                        house made or high quality store bought ricotta (see recipe on Petite Feast’s website)

1 T                                         fresh mint, chopped

6 ea                                     nectarines, washed and halved and pitted

2 T                                        honey, for drizzling

12 x 6”                               pecan, cedar or fruitwood grilling plank

METHOD:

Prepare plank:  Submerge plank in water on rimmed baking sheet.  Weight plank with a dinner plate to keep submerged.  Flip plank after 30 minutes.

Preheat grill with an indirect fire. Prepare a medium-high fire on one side and a low fire on the other.

Heat the soaked plank on the medium-high of the grill for 5-8 minutes or until it begins to crackle and smoke.  Meanwhile, place cut nectarines on the grill, cut side down, for 2-3 minutes or until grill marks appear.  Transfer the plank to the cooler side of the grill and place nectarines on the plank, cut side up.  Close grill lid and smoke for 6-8 minutes.

To serve:  Spoon ricotta decoratively on a serving platter.  Place grill smoked nectarines on top.  Drizzle with honey and chopped mint.

Serves 6

 

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