Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Marinade

Kevin and I recently hosted a Mexican-themed dinner party for our friends. We had a fabulous night serving fajitas with all the fixings, along with margaritas and sangria. The star of the night was the chipotle chicken, which we wrapped in tortillas with peppers, onions, cheese and guacamole. The marinade is super easy to make, and the chicken absolutely bursts with flavor from the chipotle chilies. Chipotles can be a bit spicy, so if you like less heat you can use less . I used the whole can and could happily handle the spice. Enjoy this marinade on chicken or steak, and bring some flavor to your dinner!

Chipotle Chicken Marinade

Spicy and flavorful, this chicken is delish in a tortilla or on its own!
Serves 6

1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 chipotle chilies, in adobo sauce (about 1 small can)
3 T roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 pounds chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, halved lengthwise

Combine all ingredients besides chicken in a blender. Puree until smooth. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade on top. Massage to coat and refrigerate 2-4 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, wipe off excess, and grill until done. Serve with tortillas and other fixings to make amazing fajitas!

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ginger Teriyaki Stir-Fry

I love to make Asian-inspired dishes at home. Unlike the greasy stuff in the take-out boxes, Asian at home is healthy, flavorful and delicious! This stir-fry has a delicious sweet flavor from the teriyaki sauce, and is loaded with good-for-you veggies and fish. Or, feel free to use chicken breast instead. Serve this flavor-packed stir-fry with herbed basmati rice (simply mix dill, parsley and green onions into cooked rice) and roasted asparagus.

Ginger Teriyaki Stir Fry
Sweet and savory, a perfect Asian dinner
Serves 2

2 Tilapia fillets or Chicken breasts
½ tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 cup flour
1 egg
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tsp. Seasoning salt
3 T. canola or vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sweet corn kernals
1 small red onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you want spicy)
¾ cup teriyaki sauce
¼ cup chicken stock or water

Cut fish (or chicken) into large bite size pieces. Combine with grated ginger and seasoning salt in a large bowl, mix well, and marinate in fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg to the bowl and mix well to combine. Remove the fish and roll in the flour. Fry in oil until golden brown and cooked through.

In a large skillet or wok heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add red pepper, onion, corn, ginger, garlic, chilies and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes, and then add teriyaki sauce and stock/water. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes to slightly reduce.

Add cooked fish to the sauce, toss, and serve with herbed basmati rice and asparagus. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Tetu Island Lodge

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I absolutely love vegetables. When I have a fridge full of fresh choices, I know I can make a hundred different dinners bursting with healthy flavors. I often hide veggies in the food I cook (don't tell Kevin!) so that they add nutrients without making it feel like I'm just eating vegetables. I hide spinach in spaghetti sauce, fresh chopped tomatoes in pizza sauce, mushrooms and onions in enchiladas and peppers in turkey burgers. Sometimes, though, I want to let my favorite veggies shine in a big, beautiful salad. I toss it in an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette and serve hot crusty garlic bread on the side. This is also a beautiful bed on which to add shrimp, chicken or steak. Summertime is when veggies shine! Enjoy!

Summer Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
A fresh and flavorful feel-good dinner!
Makes 1 large salad or 2 side salads

3 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Sprinkle kosher salt and fresh pepper

Add the salad greens to a large mixing bowl. In a small dish whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon and honey. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Drizzle half the dressing into the greens and toss repeatedly with tongs to coat. Add more dressing as needed- not too much! Pour the greens onto a large plate and top with the tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese and basil. Drizzle with more dressing if desired.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cajun Fish Cakes with Easy Remoulade and Louisiana Rice

I've always loved crab cakes, but who can get fresh crab in Minnesota? To satisfy my craving I created fish cakes made with tilapia, served cajun style. To my delight they are just as delicious and satisfying as crab cakes, and SO easy to make! Served with a cool dallop of easy remoulade and a side of spicy Louisiana rice this is a fantastic meal on a summer night. Or for a fun spin make a fish cake sandwich on a soft bun!

Cajun Fish Cakes with Easy Remoulade

Delectable patties bursting with fresh flavor and texture!
Serves 2

Cajun Fish Cakes
2 tilapia fillets
2 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. stone ground mustard
1 T. fresh lemon juice
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 T. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Canola oil
Salt & Pepper

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove and let cool. Reserve pan.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, panko, parsley, and Cajun seasoning.

When the fish has cooled use two forks to flake the fish into small pieces. Stir flaked fish into the breading mixture to combine. Use your hands to create four patties similar to small hamburgers. Put on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties for 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned and cooked through. Serve while warm with remoulade sauce. Enjoy!

Easy Remoulade
1 T. mayonnaise
1 T. prepared Cocktail Sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh dill (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipes by Sarah Lang

Louisiana Rice
Easy and flavorful, a perfect accompaniment
Serves 2

1 cup cooked white rice
½ onion, diced
½ bell pepper, diced
½ cup grape tomatoes, quartered
Hot sauce
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. Canola oil

Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions and bell pepper for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add grape tomatoes and cook two minutes more. Add rice, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, and drizzle with as much hot sauce as you can handle. Cook together for a couple minutes to combine.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Linguini with Broccoli

This is such a delicious pasta! The sauce is light and bursting with flavor from the lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. The pasta water and Parmesan combine into a smooth sauce, and the fresh shrimp and broccoli belong together. Feel free to substitute chicken for shrimp or other veggies for the broccoli. This is a wonderful recipe to have in your repetoire and whip up any weeknight!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Linguini with Broccoli

A fresh, healthful and delicious summer meal!
Serves 2

1/3 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 pound linguini or other long thin noodle
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 head broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
¼ cup plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
½ sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
2 T white wine (or 1 T. white wine vinegar)
½ cup fresh herbs, such as parsley and basil, chopped
1 T rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook broccoli for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon into ice water. Cool, drain and reserve.

Bring water back to a boil and cook linguini until al dente. Do not overcook! While it’s cooking remove 1 mug full of pasta water. Reserve. Drain pasta and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet sprinkle shrimp with salt, pepper and rosemary and cook in a tablespoon of oil until just pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.

Wipe out the skillet and heat remaining ¼ cup oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for two minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté one minute longer. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine, Parmesan cheese, and a splash of pasta water. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced and blended. Stir in fresh herbs, salt and a good amount of pepper. Add the linguini noodles and toss to combine. Cook a minute or two for sauce to absorb sauce into the noodles. If they seem dry add more pasta water and olive oil. Add broccoli and shrimp, stir to heat through.

Remove from heat and serve in big bowls. Top with more Parmesan, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Recipe by Sarah Lang