my foodgawker gallery

 

Monday
May162011

Giveaway winner announced!

We are so very thankful for our readers and we are just loving getting to know all of you. This giveaway is our way of saying THANK YOU for tolerating my (Megan here, speaking for myself!) constant complaining about SNOW and COLD, and for just generally being awesome (you, not us).

The lucky winner of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten was commenter number 9: Cooking Rookie!

Congrats! Send us an email through the contact button at the top of the page, letting us know where we can send the cookbook! Enjoy!

Saturday
May142011

Coconut grilled chicken with mango salsa

Unless you, too, frequently drive along Viking Drive in the city in which I work, you might not believe me when I say that there is still a 10-foot pile of dirty snow that sits on the ground across the street from my place of employment. Every time I see that disgusting pile of slop, I let out a defeated sigh and instantly start dreaming of a tropical vacation. My husband and I started planning a tropical vacation a few months back, right after we learned that our oldest son would need to have his next surgery sooner than we expected. We weren't able to find childcare, though, so our tropical vacation never transpired. And I find myself sadly dwelling on that missed opportunity a lot these days.

So I have found that I have to do little things to trick myself into thinking that I'm sitting on a beach, enjoying my husband's company in WARMTH and with no large piles of snow in sight. When Kelapo contacted me and asked me to try their coconut oil, I knew it was meant to be. Coconuts = beaches = sunshine = no snow. Can I tell a quick story? Five years ago when my wonderful husband and I were on our honeymoon in Nassau, Bahamas, lying on the beach, absorbing the hot sunshine, we listened to a beach vendor repeat, "Fresh COCONUTS, tropical DRINKS, this is not a CEMETERY, let's get the pah-ty STAH-TED!" Over and over and over. But we didn't mind the repetition because, well, we were in the Bahamas. And he was talking about drinks and parties, and oohhhhh, I hate that stupid pile of snow. I often wonder if it will be July when it finally disappears.

 

The first thing that came to my mind when concocting a coconut-oil-related recipe was a light, fresh, fruity, delicious chicken meal that would make me think of a tropical vacation. First, though, I'd like to tell you how delicious coconut oil is. It can be such a great replacement for olive oil in a variety of dishes. I highly recommend it, and especially the Kelapo brand, which is now available in the Minneapolis area at Lunds and Byerly's. There are nutritious benefits to consuming coconut oil, as well. Check out Kelapo's website for details.

I wanted to create a sweet-spicy marinade for the chicken. My goal was to keep it simple because what I had in mind for the salsa was a little bit more complicated.

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 jalapeno peppers, sliced

4 green onions, sliced

Juice from 1 lime

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Salt and pepper

Place 4 chicken breast halves in a shallow dish and cover with the coconut oil-jalapeño mixture. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

Discard the large chunks from the dish and grill the chicken over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 15-18 minutes.

In the meantime, add the following ingredients to a medium bowl:

1 mango, peeled and diced

10 strawberries, stemmed and diced

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Juice from 1/2 a lime

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Salt and pepper

By the way, I used these delicious Orange Flavored Cranberries from Trader Joe's, and I loved the citrus flavor they added. Yum. Yum. Yum. TJ's rocks.

Mix well.

Spoon the salsa over top the grilled chicken. Close your eyes and pretend you are near the ocean. Someone in the distance is talking about fresh tropical drinks.

I have to say, this is a fabulous little meal. I love the underlying coconut flavor that peeks through, mixed in with the assortment of other light flavors that danced around inside my mouth.

The next day for lunch, I shredded the chicken and put it atop a piece of flatbread. I topped it with the mango salsa and a little extra fresh cilantro.

It was a delightful lunch, once again bringing me back to an imaginary tropical location. And making me forget about that wretched pile of snow.

Coconut Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

This mango salsa can top ANYTHING and make me swoon.

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published May 14, 2011

Serves: 4

Total time: 35 min plus overnight marination

Coconut Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 10 large strawberries, stemmed and diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the jalapenos, green onions, juice from 1 lime, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and salt & pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish and cover with the coconut oil-jalapeno mixture. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight, turning the chicken occasionally. Discard large chunks from dish and grill chicken over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 15-18 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine mango, strawberries, cranberries, juice from ½ a lime, red onion, cilantro, red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and salt & pepper. Spoon mango salsa over grilled chicken and serve.

 

 

Wednesday
May112011

Macaroni and many cheeses

This is Week #19 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

Ok, so I haven't had the best week in the world. Everything seems to have exploded at once. Why does that always seem to happen? By Saturday of this past week, I just wanted comfort, and preferably in the form of food. I was pleased to see that this comforting macaroni & cheese recipe was next on the list for my challenge! That could not have worked out more perfectly. I prepared it while my boys napped and then served it to them for dinner (they both loved it!) and, after they were in bed for the night, I went downstairs and scooped myself a huge bowl full of the comforting cheesiness. I sat in my little spot on the couch as I devoured its splendor and sipped wine and flipped through cookbooks. I suddenly forgot about the insanity in my world for a bit, and just enjoyed my comforting down-time.

Preheat your broiler. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook 2 cups of elbow macaroni until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over low heat.

Whisk in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour until a paste forms.

Gradually whisk in 3 cups of milk until smooth.

Bring the sauce to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking, until thickenend.

Off the heat, stir in:

2 cups mixed shredded semihard cheeses (Mimolette, aged Gouda, Vella dry Jack)

Salt and pepper

Stir until melted.

Stir the macaroni into the the cheese sauce and transfer to a 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish.

Sprinkle 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top.

And broil 4 inches from the heat source for 4 minutes, or until richly browned. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Thanks for being there when I needed you, mac & cheese.

Click here for a printable recipe!

Sunday
May082011

Roasted brussels sprouts and a cookbook giveaway!

Hello friends! It is time for another cookbook giveaway! We are extremely grateful for our wonderful readers, so this is our way of thanking you for visiting our blog. Leave a comment on this post telling us what you did for Mother's Day or what the weather is like where you live or what your favorite cookbook is or anything you want, for that matter. We will randomly choose one lucky winner on May 16th, 2011, to receive a copy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.

For additional entries, leave separate comments for any or all of the following:

- Subscribe to our RSS feed.

- Follow us on Twitter.

- Friend us on Facebook.

- Write about this giveaway on your blog, linking back to it.

 

Now onto a quick and easy veggie recipe from this very cookbook!

Have you ever read the children's book A Bad Case of Stripes? Poor Camilla Cream gets a bad case of stripes because she doesn't want to admit to anybody that she loves lima beans. And mmmmmm, does she love lima beans. When she finally decides to eat her beloved lima beans despite what others think of her, her stripe ailment disappears.

I can totally relate to Camilla! Well, I was never plagued with stripes, but when I was little I can remember asking my mom to pack me salads and vegetables for my school lunches. Sometimes I would be too embarrassed to eat them in front of the other kids. Other times I didn't care. Every single time, though, I was the anomaly. You like that? Eeeeewww! I did like it. I've always adored vegetables. And thankfully, now I'm an adult and I don't care what people think about the platefuls of broccoli I heat up at work for a snack.

Brussels sprouts rank right up there on my Favorite Veggies list. Not only are they delicious, but they are just the cutest little things. They look like adorable baby cabbages!

Roasting Brussels sprouts is super simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the ends of 1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts and pull off any outer yellow leaves.

Mix them in a bowl with:

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Turn them out on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are crisp outside and tender inside. Shake the pan from time to time, to brown the Brussels sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve.

Mmmmm!

Click here for a printable recipe!

Wednesday
May042011

Colombian chicken soup

This is Week #18 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

When I saw corn on the cob in a soup, I got excited. I love using foods that typically do not go together, but that actually do go together. Like corn on the cob and soup!

My husband and I both loved this recipe. There are so many unique flavors in it and they taste amazing together.

In a small saucepan, cover 2/3 cup short-grain brown rice with 1 1/3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Season with salt and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine:

1 whole skinless chicken breast, on the bone (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 shucked ears of corn, cut into 6 rounds

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

8 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper

Bring to a boil and simmer over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Pull the meat off the bones and shred.

Strain the broth and return it to the saucepan. Return the corn to the broth and discard the remaining solids. Bring the broth to a boil and add:

1/2 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Simmer over moderately high heat until nearly tender, about 8 minutes.

Add:

1/2 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths

Simmer until the potatoes and asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Return the shredded chicken to the pot and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with:

1 Hass avocado, diced

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free yogurt

1 tablespoon drained small capers (I used 2-3 tablespoons because these are hugely important to the flavor)

I have realized lately that I overuse the word "delicious," so instead I will declare: SCRUMPTIOUS!

Colombian Chicken Soup

Such a well-rounded, tummy-pleasing soup! (source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Serves: 6

Total time: 1 hr

Colombian Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 whole skinless chicken breast, on the bone (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 shucked ears of corn, each cut into 6 rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon drained small capers
Instructions:
  1. In a small saucepan, cover the rice with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then season with salt and fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the chicken, scallions, garlic, corn, cumin and ½ cup of the cilantro with the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the broth over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Pull the meat off the bones and shred. Strain the broth and return it to the saucepan. Return the corn to the broth and discard the remaining solids. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer over moderately high heat until nearly tender, about 8 minutes. Add the asparagus and simmer until the potatoes and asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and season the soup with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls; garnish with the avocado, yogurt, capers, rice and remaining chopped cilantro and serve.