Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Spicy Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple


Still feeling the summer heat?  We are. 

Even though the season has officially changed to Fall we are still getting 100+ heat in Los Angeles.  Typical for this time of year, we don't really get the fall weather until late October.  So it's still grilling season!  We love that we can actually grill all year round.  Grilled meat is the best, isn't it?

This weekend I was looking through another of my cooking magazines by BHG and came across a recipe for Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple.  YUM!  You had me at satay!  So I decided to make this yummy dish with a few slight modifications for our dinner.  Modifications?  Oh yea, let's spice this baby up a bit.  Then Spicy Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple happened.

Serving this with a Simple Asian Salad, this dish was fabulous!  The chicken satay cooks quickly on a grill and has a sweet and spicy beautiful glaze.  Grill up some pineapple spears or rings to go along side and serve this over rice.  The perfect dinner, or make this as game day appetizers for a group of people.  Either way this chicken really rocks!  The glaze is perfect with the Sriracha sauce added for a little heat.  You can either adjust the temperature to your liking or omit it all together.  This glaze is what makes this dish special so don't skip it.

So break out your grill and keep the summer feeling going by making this Spicy Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple.  Your sure to love it!


Spicy Thai Chicken Satay with Grilled Pineapple


2/3 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon Thai seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
6 pineapple rings
Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch thick strips
2 cups hot cooked rice (optional)
Fresh basil, shredded (optional)


    If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in water to prevent burning. 

    For Thai sauce, in a small bowl combine sweet-and-sour sauce, snipped basil, butter, Thai seasoning, garlic, and Sriracha Sauce.  Set aside.  

    Preheat charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. 

    Brush both side of the pineapple rings with canola oil.  Place on a tray.  Thread the chicken strips onto 12-15 wood skewers accordion style.  Place on the tray.

    Place chicken skewers and cook (uncovered for charcoal, covered for gas) 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning occasionally and brushing with sauce during the first half of grilling. Discard any remaining reserved sauce. Grill pineapple slices for 6 to 8 minutes or until warm and grill marks appear, turning once halfway through grilling.

    Serve chicken and pineapple with hot cooked rice, if desired. Garnish with basil shreds.

    Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Blackberry Almond Muffins - Small Batch


    I don't usually cook to much with anything almond.  If I do I tend to make savory dishes like this Chicken Amandine, or salads like this wonderful Pear Salad, instead of baking with them.

    Don't get me wrong I love almonds.  They are a staple in our house, but somehow they weren't in my repertoire.  So I decided to change that right now.  I really love a big warm bear claw in the morning, don't you?  And, I've actually made those in one of the many cooking classes I've taken at Sur La Table, but...that's way to involved for me today.  I need something I can whip up quick and savor my breakfast treat pronto! 


    If you've followed me for any length of time you will know that I am unashamedly called the 'muffin man'.  I love them, and make them often.  So today's small batch treat will give you a burst of berries, along with the earthy nutty flavor of almonds that remind me of fall. 

    I've made a smaller batch for you.  Sometimes you just don't need 12 muffins, when only 6 will do.  However, feel free to double the recipe and freeze any leftovers to have on the run when you want them.  Now go make muffins!  It's the weekend and you deserve them...I know I do!  You'll have 6 scrumptious muffins in no time. 

    Blackberry Almond Muffins - Small Batch

    Serves 6
    Cook time 20-25 min

    1 egg
    1/2 cup 2% milk
    1/4 cup Canola Oil
    1 tsp almond extract
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 t. baking powder
    1/2 t. salt
    1 cup of fresh blackberries, chopped

    Place egg, milk, oil, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until light.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    Stir until moist.  Don’t overmix…batter should be lumpy and a little thick.  Add blackberries, and gently fold them in to the batter.

    Spray a non-stick muffin pan with cooking spray.  Divide batter among 6 muffin cups,  filling most of the way full.

    Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 min.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Balsamic Flank Steak Salad with Parmesan


    Who doesn't love a good steak?

    Steak happens to be my favorite cut of meat although we don't see it pop up often in our weekly menu.  Chicken seems to be the go to protein around here, but sometimes I just gotta break out a good steak for variety.

    At home when we want a quick steak I gravitate toward a flank steak.  It's a long flat cut of beef that has a very prominent grain running through it.  Make sure to always cut across the direction the grain is running to ensure a tender cut of meat.  It's perfect for grilling, broiling, or even braised.  Buying this meat save me money over the well coveted filet mignon that I love.  A good flank steak that isn't cooked past medium will be just as tender and juicy.

    This Balsamic Flank Steak Salad with Parmesan makes a wonderful salad for lunch or dinner.  I marinated the steak in the morning and then took it out to grill on my indoor grill pan.  Lunch turned out perfect with the most flavorful and yet tender steak, sitting on top of crisp lettuce slightly dressed with a simple olive oil and lemon mixture.  To give it a pop I shaved long Parmesan strips over the top for a little saltiness.  The result was a perfect, light, and very tasty salad.

    Once you get past the marinade time the cooking goes quickly.  So plan a little ahead and be sure to try my Balsamic Flank Steak Salad with Parmesan.  It's a winner!


    Balsamic Flank Steak Salad with Parmesan

    1- 1/2 pounds flank steak  
    1/3 c olive oil    
    6 Tbls   balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup red wine
    1/2 tsp black pepper  
    8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    1/2 tsp salt   
    2 1/2 cups chopped romaine   
    1 Tbls olive oil
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice  
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
    1.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/3 cup)

    Combine marinade ingredients of olive oil, vinegar, wine, black pepper, and garlic cloves a large sealable plastic bag. Add steak to bag and tightly seal.  Turn to coat steaks with marinade. Refrigerate 4 hours, turning bag a couple of times while marinating.

    Heat a grill pan or a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Remove the steak and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and add to the pan.  Cook about 4 minutes on each side until desired doneness.  Remove steak to a cutting board and allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting.  

    In a large bowl add chopped romaine.  combine arugula and watercress in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 olive oil and lemon juice.  Toss to coat. Divide salad greens among 4 plates.

    Slice steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips.  Arrange steak strips evenly over salad. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan across the salad and serve.


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