Monday, September 24, 2007

Dinner with friends

I cleared off my camera and found a couple of pictures I thought I would share. These are from a dinner party I had a few weeks ago. It was all soooo good. I got the recipes from this episode of Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee on Food Network.

Island Chicken

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt-free Jamaican jerk seasoning, divided (recommended: The Spice Hunter)
1 (20-ounce) can no-sugar added pineapple slices, in juice with juice reserved (recommended: Dole)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat grill or cast iron grill pan to medium-high heat.

Remove any excess fat from chicken and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Use a pastry brush to brush with olive oil and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons jerk seasoning and salt, if desired. Set aside.

Drain pineapple slices and reserve juice. Season both sides of pineapple slices with 1/2 teaspoon of jerk seasoning; set aside.

In small saucepan, bring reserved pineapple juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon jerk seasoning, and brown sugar to a boil over high heat. Reduce liquid by 1/2, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Just before grilling, oil grate. Place chicken breasts on grate and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove to platter and tent with foil.

Place pineapple slices on grate and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side until grill marks appear and pineapple is heated through.

Serve chicken breasts with pineapple slices and warm sauce.

NOTE: Chicken may also be broiled 4 to 6 inches from heat source for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Broil pineapple 1 to 2 minutes per side.

I loved this recipe. The chicken was wonderfully spicy and the pineapple brought in a touch of sweetness that was just devine.

Best Black Beans

1 (15-ounce) can, no-salt added black beans
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles in sauce (recommended: Ro'tel)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (recommended: Christopher Ranch)
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (recommended: Ore-Ida)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and serve hot.

This was good but had entirely too much liquid in it for my tastes.

Green Salad w/Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cubed mango, frozen/defrosted or jarred
1 head romaine (about 1 1/2-pounds), chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, cubed

Whisk together juice, honey, vinegar, and garlic. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together mangoes, romaine, and cucumber with dressing, to taste.

This was amusing to make. I've never dealt with mango before and didnt realize they had a big huge seed in the middle. It was definitely a comedy of errors as I tried to cut the mango *around* the seed. *shakes head* I'm still not quite sure how to cut the darn thing. The salad was really good though. Loved the dressing!

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