Spicy Honey Lime Chicken

I’m one of those people who almost always has chicken frozen in my freezer, so I’m always interested in ‘another’ chicken recipe. 

Marinated in honey, lime juice, soy sauce, and garlic, these honey lime chicken skewers have a tangy, sweet, and salty taste, 

A perfect marinade for chicken guarantees the chicken will be flavorful and juicy. So, marinades should always combine an acid (such as vinegar or lime juice), fat, and sweetness. Salt, herbs, and spices also contribute to the end flavor of marinated chicken.

Honey and lime is an all-time flavor pairing. It not only works on sweet things, but it also plays nice with savory dishes. I think the reason it works so well is that it’s got that perfect balance between tangy and sweet. Add in a few savory and salty elements in the rest of the marinade, and the flavors are just mouthwatering.

The honey lime chicken marinade I’m using today infuses the chicken with loads of flavor, but it also helps caramelize the outside of the chicken, so you get not only gorgeous flavor, but a beautiful textural contrast between the crisp, caramelized exterior and the tender, flavorful interior.

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Spicy Honey Lime Chicken
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
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Instructions
Marinade
  1. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl or blend them in a food processor.
Marinate Chicken
  1. Pour HALF the marinade into a zip-lock bag or container & add chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or 6-12 hours in the refrigerator. IMPORTANT: If marinating overnight, leave out the lime juice & increase zest so it doesn't 'cook' the chicken.
Glaze
  1. Use the reserved marinade for basting & glazing. Mix the cornstarch into the reserved marinade & microwave for about 1 minute, watching carefully. Set aside.
Grilling
  1. Spray grill with oil. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Skewer marinated chicken pieces onto skewers & PAT DRY. Discard the marinade used for marinating. Lightly spray chicken with oil to avoid sticking.
  2. Grill on all sides until chicken cooks to a golden brown (you will need to turn chicken a couple of times), for 9-12 minutes in total (depending on the thickness & how tightly packed the skewers are), basting once or twice with the GLAZE.
  3. Any extra glaze can be drizzled over cooked skewers. Serve with lime wedges if you wish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Hasselback Stuffed Pork Loin

The ‘hasselback’ style of cooking originated many years ago in Stockholm, Sweden. Overtime many variations have been made and are simply products and preferences of the individual preparing them. It is the slicing and roasting that distinguish the style rather than the variations on seasonings or toppings.

Today, I wanted to do a pork roast in this manner using some mushrooms and ‘pancetta‘. An Italian specialty, pancetta is made from pork belly that is spiced, salted and cured for about 3 months. Often seasoned with spices like fennel, nutmeg, garlic, dried ground hot peppers and peppercorns to create pancetta’s distinctive spicy flavor.

After it has been cured and dried for a few months, it is often rolled into a spiral so that the fat and meat form a cylinder, alternating each other. Pancetta is also sold as a slab so that most of the fat is located only on one side.

Although, both pancetta and North American streaky bacon are from the same raw cut of pork, in taste, texture and uses they have two key differences. Pancetta is cured, not cooked over heat while bacon is a smoked meat. Pancetta is described by the spices used to flavor and cure the meat whereas bacon’s many varieties are derived from the different wood pellets used to impart its signature smoky flavor.

This is such an easy way to make such a flavorful roast.

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Hasselback Stuffed Pork Loin
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°
  2. In a medium frying pan add 2 tablespoons olive oil, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, parsley and garlic, sauté for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  3. Make approximately 6 x 1/2 inch slices in the pork loin, be sure to not slice right through, place 1 slice of pancetta between each slice and divide mushroom mixture between the 6 slices. Stick 3 long kabob sticks through the meat to hold the mixture in place.
  4. Drizzle a little oil on baking pan, Place stuffed pork on pan and sprinkle with more oregano, a little salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary.
  5. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or meat thermometer reads 155-160° F. Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Plantain Lasagna Rolls w/ Guacamole

If you follow this blog, you have probably noticed numerous entries on plantains. For many years, prior to Brion & I living in Ecuador for three months, I saw them but didn’t take much of an interest. After tasting this veg/fruit, it definitely changed my attitude about them.

Plantains are like a cousin to the banana and depending on the ripeness you cook them in different ways. The main difference between bananas and plantains is that the former has more sugar and less starch, while the later has just the reverse and has to be cooked before eating. A plantain’s taste depends on how ripe it is. When it is almost black, that’s when its the sweetest.

If you like the combination of sweet and savory flavors, you will enjoy this meal. Basically it consists of a slice of baked ripe plantain, formed in a ring and filled with a spicy, ground turkey mixture, topped with cheese. Of course, you would never want to forget to serve them with guacamole!

It’s hard to experience another cultures food without something making an impact on your taste buds it seems. But, I guess that’s what is supposed to happen.

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Plantain Lasagna Rolls w/ Guacamole
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Guacamole
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Guacamole
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Instructions
Plantains
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Using a sharp knife, cut both ends off the plantain. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel. Remove peel by pulling it back. Slice the plantains horizontally into 6 pieces.
  2. Spray a baking sheet & place plantain slices on it in a single layer. Lightly spray over plantains with baking spray & bake for about 12-15 minutes. Turn slices over after about 8 minutes. Plantains should turn slightly brown. Remove from oven.
Filling
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown ground turkey in oil & season with salt & pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Add onions, garlic, green pepper & saute until tender crisp. Add tomato sauce, water, olives & spices. Reduce heat to low & simmer covered about 7-10 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat & cool slightly. Grate cheese.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven (if it was turned off after baking plantains) to 400 F. Lightly butter a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Cut 6 of the slices into 4 pieces each. With the remaining 12 slices form rings & secure each with a toothpick. Place the rings in baking pan then place 2 cut pieces in the bottom of each ring to form a 'bottom'.
  2. Using 1/2 of the turkey filling, divide evenly between plantain rings. Using 1/2 of the cheese, place some in each ring on top of the turkey then repeat, making another layer with remaining filling & cheese. Drizzle or spoon beaten eggs over stuffed plantain rings (it will help to hold them together).
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes or until plantains are heated through & egg is set. Remove from oven & allow to sit for 5 minutes then remove toothpicks before serving. Serve with guacamole.
Guacamole
  1. While plantain is baking, mash avocado & add remaining ingredients. Combine well & serve with stuffed plantain.

Bacon Wrapped, Cauliflower Stuffed Meatballs

It seems the cauliflower craze has managed to last longer than just about any other that’s come before it. A total superstar when it comes to all the popular diets currently on everyone’s radar, including keto, paleo & whole 30. All signs point to cauliflower becoming the longest lasting food trend of all time.

Cauliflower ….. a naturally gluten-free food that just requires heavy seasoning, is healthy, versatile and ‘tasteless’. Its an entirely blank canvas for all your cooking needs because you can make it taste like ‘anything’ you want.

Last summer, Brion & I stopped for lunch at a popular take-out restaurant. He decided to try their much advertised ‘plant-based burger’. He was not impressed. Let’s say … it was not as advertised!!

In a previous blog, a while back, I had made cauliflower pizza crust and we had really enjoyed it. So today I am making meatballs stuffed with cauliflower in a cauliflower cheese sauce. I guess, this is my version of a ‘plant-based meatball’. Hopefully that works out better.

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Bacon Wrapped, Cauliflower Stuffed Meatballs
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Instructions
Meatballs
  1. In a large pot, cook head of cauliflower in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove the stem & cut off florets. Set STEM aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, with eggs, onion, garlic, mustard & spices. Mix well. Divide meat mixture into 7 equal amounts & flatten each piece in your hand (one at a time). Place a cauliflower floret in the middle of each, then seal the meat around it forming a meatball.
  3. Wrap a slice of bacon around each cauliflower meatball. In a saucepan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat & cook the meatballs on all sides.
Cheese Sauce
  1. Chop the reserved cauliflower stem. Shred cheese & place in a food processor with milk, seasonings & chopped cauliflower stem. Puree mixture until smooth.
  2. Pour the cauliflower cheese sauce over the meatballs in the pan & allow to simmer about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted & smooth. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Oven Barbecued Chicken

Its only March, so BBQ season is till a few months away. Some would claim that good ‘barbecued’ food can only come from the grill, not the oven. But what about during our winter months or times when you just don’t feel like firing up the grill or you’re out of propane? Let’s face it, nothing can replace a good outdoor barbecue, but..

The key to oven BBQ chicken is to start with bone-in pieces. Chicken leg quarters are fairly fatty in comparison to chicken breast so it takes a lot to dry a chicken leg out. Which brings me to a recipe I clipped from a newspaper back in 1970 for OVEN BARBECUED CHICKEN. The ingredient list is rather lengthy but all pretty common place items. Brion likes this meal served with roasted potatoes.

In the month of March our family celebrates three birthdays. Today, March 21st would have been my Dad’s. He passed away at the age of 92, 12 years ago. Our Dad was a man of discipline; love was closely associated with duty and commitment for him. He was confident in who he was and didn’t demonstrate any need to conform to what we might have wanted him to do. Everything he undertook was driven by his commitment to honor and provide for the family that he loved.

                   IT IS WITH MUCH LOVE OUR FAMILY IS HONORING THIS DAY                                                 IN THE MEMORY OF OUR WONDERFUL DAD

 


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Oven Barbecued Chicken

Just right for one of those 'meat & potatoes' kind of meals.

Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American

Servings


Ingredients

BBQ Sauce

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American

Servings


Ingredients

BBQ Sauce

Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Have available a large baking dish that will hold chicken in a single layer. Combine flour, 1 tsp salt, paprika & 1/4 tsp pepper in a heavy plastic bag. Place chicken in bag & shake to coat evenly. In a heavy, large skillet, heat margarine & oil.

  2. Add chicken & brown slowly on all sides; place in baking dish. Add onion & garlic to pan; cook gently for 3 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, cover & simmer 10 minutes.

  3. Pour this mixture over chicken, cover the pan & bake 15 minutes. Turn chicken legs, cover again & bake about 15 minutes more. Remove cover & continue baking until legs are tender, basting often with sauce, about 20 minutes.