OVEN BAKED CRISPY “FRIED” CHICKEN WITH THE SECRET SPICE BLEND

oven-fried-chicken-salad-013

This chicken is a delicious and healthy alternative to regular high fat fried chicken.  I use low fat, boneless, skinless chicken breast, an egg white /whole wheat flour & crispy rice cereal breading mixture and some interesting cooking techniques to achieve the flavor and crunch of real fried chicken.  I also sleuthed out the Colonel’s  spice mix and the results are finger lickin’ good

CHICKEN  INGREDIENTS:

3 T                 Kosher Salt

3T                  Brown Sugar

3C                  Hot tap water

4C                  Ice cubes

2#                  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into thick chicken fingers

1 ½ C           all-purpose flour

3C                  Whole wheat crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

1T                  Kosher salt

2 T ea          Black Pepper and ground white pepper

1 T                 dried thyme

½ T                dried basil

½ T                dried oregano

1 T                 celery salt

2 T                 garlic salt

1 T                 ground ginger

4T                  Smoked Paprika

1t                   Cayenne Pepper

1C                  Egg whites

1C                  Nonfat Buttermilk

3T                  Vegetable Oil

 

 

METHOD:

Dissolve kosher salt, brown sugar and hot water in large bowl.  Add ice cubes to cool mixture to 40 degrees or lower.  Add chicken and refrigerate for 1 -1 ½ hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine salt, black and white peppers, oregano, basil, thyme, celery salt, garlic salt, ginger, paprika, and cayenne in bowl and stir well to combine.  Set aside.

Beat egg whites, using an electric mixer, until soft peaks form.  Stir in buttermilk and set aside.

Combine whole wheat flour with ¼ of spice mixture. Set aside

Combine remaining spice mix with rice cereal and crush lightly to combine.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper toweling.  Dip chicken in flour mixture.  Shake off excess and dip into egg white buttermilk mixture.  Finally, dip back into the seasoned rice cereal mixture and coat well.   Set coated chicken on a baking sheet, lined with parchment and sprayed liberally with pan spray.  Spray top of chicken lightly with pan spray.

Place coated chicken pieces in preheated 375 degree oven.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and carefully turn pieces over.  You may need to add a little more pan spray to pan if chicken sticks.  Return to the oven and roast 10 minutes longer or until internal temperature reaches 160 – 165 degrees.  Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes.

Serve with honey mustard dip.

Serves 6

 

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CAULIFLOWER RICE

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This is a fantastic recipe that takes no time to make and is SURPRISINGLY delicious!  It would be a perfect addition to any holiday table where you have a mix of carb and no-carb eaters.  It keep well but may become a little watery upon standing.  To correct, simply drain before serving after prolonged refrigeration.

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ingredients:

 

1 ea                                 large head cauliflower

2 T                                    olive oil

¼ C                                   fresh herbs, chopped

METHOD:

Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower, remove all leaves and quarter. Trim quarters into bite size florets, cutting away as much of the stem as possible.

Working in batches, PULSE the cauliflower in the food processor, fitted with the metal blade, until the cauliflower resembles rice or cous cous.

Transfer to a clean towel or paper towel and press to remove any excess moisture

Blanch cauliflower in a large pot or boil water for a count of 10. Drain well and transfer to a serving bowl, Season with olive oil, fresh herbs and salt and pepper.

 

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

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THANKSGIVING ROOT VEGETABLE ROAST WITH CRUNCH OIL

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INGREDIENTS

5 T                                         olive oil

2 T                                         Dijon mustard

1 clove                               garlic, minced

½ C                                       toasted panko bread crumbs

¼ C                                        nuts, toasted chopped (pine nuts, cashews, almonds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 #                                        carrots, scrubbed, peeled and halved

2 ea                                      fennel bulbs cut into wedges (save fronds for garnish)

1 #                                        beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

2 T ea                                  mint and Italian parsley , chopped fine

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, mix 4 T of the olive oil with 1 tablespoons of the mustard and minced garlic.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil or parchment, combine the carrots and fennel. On another large rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment or foil, arrange the beets. Pour the olive oil mix over the vegetables on each baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Toss and rub to evenly coat. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and rotating the sheets halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and caramelized.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 T of oil and 1 T of mustard. Add toasted nuts and toasted panko. Immediately pour the flavored oil and CRUNCH over the warm vegetables.  Add chopped herbs and toss to evenly. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

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Grilled Caesar Salad

caesar

Here’s a recipe for a delicious twist on the traditional Caesar salad. Grilling the romaine adds a wonderful smoky char but keeps the romaine’s wonderful crunchiness. Use Greek yogurt and non-fat mayo and high flavor anchovy and Parmesan to yield perfectly tasty results every time without all the calories of traditional Caesar dressing. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp and you’re good to go for a quick end of summer grilled dinner.

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat or reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 anchovy fillets or 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Water to thin if needed

Crouton ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large, minced clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of minced parsley

Salad ingredients:

  • 2 heads trimmed and quartered romaine
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes (optional)

Method:

Prepare croutons. Process whole wheat bread in food processor fitted with metal blade until fine crumbs form. In small skillet, over medium heat, warm one tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and bread crumbs. Toast until crumbs are crispy and fragrant. Remove from skillet and salt and pepper liberally. Toss in chopped parsley. Set aside.

Prepare Caesar dressing. Combine garlic, Worcestershire, anchovy, Parmesan, lemon juice, vinegar and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. Add mayonnaise and yogurt and pulse gently. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add a little water if dressing seems too thick. Dressing may be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Prepare the salad. Preheat grill to low heat. Trim the rough ends off and carefully quarter romaine heads. Grill lightly until slightly charred. Remove from grill and dress lightly with dressing. Take care not to overdress the salad. Serve the salad topped with seasoned breadcrumb croutons and shaved Parmesan and tomatoes if desired.

Serves 4-8

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CORN, EDAMAME AND CHICKEN SAUSAGE MAQUE CHOUX

corn-and-edamame

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This dish comes together very quickly and makes an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving table. It’s perfect for using fresh Utah corn, but frozen white corn works well too.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T olive oil

1 # spicy smoked sausage, chopped  (Linguica, dry smoked Chorizo or Andouille)

1 C yellow onion, chopped fine

2 t garlic, minced

¼ C red bell pepper, chopped

¼ C green bell pepper, chopped

½ t cayenne pepper

2 C  fresh or frozen white sweet corn, thawed

2 C frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 C grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch scallions, minced

¼ C Italian parsley, minced

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Sauté chopped sausage until crispy and browned.  Add onions and cook until softened, add garlic, cayenne and corn and edamame.  Sauté until flavors are combined and fragrant.  Add tomatoes, parsley and scallions. Adjust salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4 with leftovers

 

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CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS WITH MELON MINT RELISH

chicken lettuce 2

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

Pinon-Health-1040

 

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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WHOLE WHEAT PULL-APART BREAD

 Pull-apart bread or monkey bread is a fantastic backyard bbq starter that’s the easiest make ahead dish ever.  You can prep it early in the day, pop it on the grill right before guests arrive and by the time drinks are served, you’re the hostess hero when this delicious loaf is served. I lightened the traditional ultra-cheesy version by using high flavor ingredients and lower fat feta and part skim mozzarella.

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 INGREDIENTS:

1 12 oz loaf                                             whole wheat Italian-style bread

¼ C                                                                pine nuts, toasted and cooled

2 T                                                                 capers, drained and rinsed

2 cloves                                                     garlic, minced

¼ C                                                                basil, chopped

1/3 C                                                           high quality extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C                                                           sundried tomatoes, chopped

¼ ea                                                              red onion, thinly sliced

1 C                                                                Kalamata olives, pitted and minced

1/2 C ea                                                    shredded part skim mozzarella & crumbled feta cheese

2-3 lrg handfuls                                   baby spinach, microwaved, chopped and well wrung out

METHOD:

Preheat grill to medium high heat on one side of grill and cool side on the other.  You may also use your oven preheated to 375. Place 2 sheets of aluminum foil on a disposable aluminum pan in an “X”, leaving a few inches overhang on all sides.  Using a serrated bread knife, cut the loaf of bread in 1” vertical slices.  Take care not to cut all the way through the loaf.  Rotate the bread a quarter turn and cut 1” slices across the vertical slices, creating a crosshatch pattern.  Place cut loaf on the baking pan on the center of the foil “X”.  Set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant.  Take care not to burn nuts.  They can go from lightly brown to burnt in seconds!  Set aside.

Mash capers, garlic, Kalamata olives and basil with a mortar and pestle until you have a somewhat smooth paste.  Slowly add olive oil and whisk until incorporated. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, cheeses and cooked baby spinach.

Spoon the mixture into the cut portions of the bread.  Take care to push the filling down into the bread openings.  Gather the aluminum foil around the bread and wrap loosely.

Place in the grill and close lid. Reduce grill temp to medium and bake for 30 minutes.  Fold back the foil and continue baking 7-10 minutes longer until top is golden and cheese is melted and browned.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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OVERNIGHT TABBOULEH SALAD WITH GRILLED HALOUMI CHEESE

 tabbouleh best

What could be easier than combining a few ingredients in a bowl, covering and refrigerating it?  This dish practically makes itself! It’s a perfect dinner to make on a hot summer day.  There’s little clean-up & all the work is done the night before so you can get a nutritious dinner can be on the table minutes after a long work day.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                         medium grain bulgur wheat

 ¾ C                                       tomato juice                                          

¼  C                                        low sodium vegetable stock

1 ea                                       fresh lemon juice

2 T                                          olive oil

Generous pinch of salt & cayenne pepper

¼ C                                         red onion, minced

½ C                                        Italian parsley, minced

1 basket                             grape tomatoes, halved

½ ea                                      red bell pepper, chopped

1 T ea                                   fresh mint and dill, mint

¼ #                                         Haloumi cheese, grilled * or substitute crumbled feta

METHOD:

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.  Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.  Add all remaining ingredients  (except grilled haloumi) combine gently.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve, remove tabbouleh from refrigerator and mix gently.  Heat outdoor grill or grill pan to medium high.  Place ½” thick slices of Haloumi on grill and brown on each side.  Cut into cubes and toss with salad.  Serve over grilled chicken breast if desired.

Serves 4-6

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