Tag Archives: mint

Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Salsa

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This easy grilled chicken has a hint of spice that perfectly complements fresh, bright watermelon salsa. Impress your guests at your next barbecue with this taste of summer.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken thighs
1 pound chicken drumsticks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small watermelon, cut into chunks
1/4 bunch fresh mint
1/4 bunch fresh basil
1 lime
4-6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
Set a grill to medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs and drumsticks in a large bowl and coat with olive oil. Mix together chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, ginger, cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss spice mix with chicken. Cook chicken over hottest part of the grill for 5-8 minutes each side or until grill marks form.

Lower heat and cook for an additional 10–12 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the flesh. For best results allow chicken to rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 10 minutes.

While chicken cooks, dice the watermelon into smaller cubes and place in a large bowl. Tear the basil leaves, if large, chop the mint and juice the lime. Add the basil, mint and lime juice to  the watermelon. Toss in the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with watermelon salsa.

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Mint Julep Lava Cake

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Greek Minty Meatballs

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Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 pound  ground beef
2 Tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
2 Tablespoons chopped oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
Tomato sauce (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix beef, schmaltz, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, garlic and peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no large crumbles remain. Using a 2-ounce scoop (1/8 cup) to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
If desired, heat the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and place the in the  tomato sauce and simmer, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, place the meatballs on a serving platter. Drizzle the meatballs with the sauce   and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Spaghetti with Arugula and Mint Pesto

Here is a peppery update to a classic basil pesto: arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly, fragrant pesto that’s wonderful with spaghetti. Add a salad and some crusty bread for an easy vegetarian supper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
5 cups packed arugula
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shaved aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound spaghetti

 

Directions:
In a blender, combine the arugula, mint, olive oil, the 1/2 cup cheese, the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the pesto until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente , tender but firm to the bite,  10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot.

Toss the pesto with the spaghetti. Thin it out with a small amount of reserved cooking water if needed. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Divide among warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle cheese over each portion and serve immediately.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches with Curry CousCous

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So what happens when I didn’t make it to the grocery store before the arctic polar vortex hits,  the East Coast region? Well, I was left to forage in the nether regions of my  refrigerator, freezer and pantry with such a diverse mix of ingredients.

And what happened was the creation of dish inspired by my Grand’s kitchen; the Sunday Chicken Smothered in Peaches.

So, my version of my Grands’s beloved chicken dish  is the perfect  marriage of multicultural cuisines from the Deep American South, North Africa, The Middle East and India:Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches and Almonds on a bed of Minted Curry Couscous. I think I out did myself with  this global fusion dish!

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Enjoy!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Persian Fried Chicken

 

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This is an absolutely wonderful dish that is very easy to prepare and requires some advance planning. A yogurt marinade helps tenderize the boneless, skinless chicken thighs, infusing them with saffron and paprika, and a quick frying lends the meat a crispy, minty coating. The chicken must marinate for several hours, or overnight for the best results,  before it can be cooked and the marinade contains that costliest of spices, saffron but the wait and splurge are worth it.

Enjoy!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

½ teaspoon saffron or turmeric*
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon dried mint
1 Tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup walnut clusters, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine saffron with 1 tablespoon water and let soak 10 minutes. Place in food processor with yogurt and garlic and purée until smooth and  pale yellow. Place chicken in ziploc plastic bag; pour yogurt mixture on top, seal the plastic bag and turn to coat; place the ziploc bag in a bowl and and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight, for the best results.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, mint, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour mixture, dip the chicken in the yogurt batter once again and dredge in the flour a second time. Place the chicken on a wire rack and allow the breaded chicken to sit for  about 1o to 15 minutes before frying.

Heat a generous half-inch oil in a  deep cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drop in a bit of bread to test temperature; oil should bubble vigorously. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry the chicken until it is golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with salt and top with walnuts and lemon wedges. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice, family style.

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*Cook’s Notes: 

Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, is native to Greece or Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece.saffron_thread.jpg
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. Saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are the distal end of a carpel. The styles and stigmas, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food.
In terms of flavor, no substitute for saffron exists. It is completely unique.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger fturmeric.jpgamily, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southwest India.

When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for about 30–45 minutes then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep-orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in Bangladeshi cuisine, Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine and curries, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. One active ingredient is curcumin, which has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

Turmeric has a very strong, distinctive flavor, and could easily overpower or clash with other flavors in a recipe not written for it. You might be very unhappy with the results in a dish that’s supposed to have the subtlety of saffron. However, it would certainly work in certain dishes, albeit with an entirely different flavor profile.

If the primary interest is coloring, there is the suggestion of annatto, as it imparts a beautiful color with essentially no flavor.

Personally, rather than try to a substitute for the saffron, I would continue to use it in those recipes that call for it, especially if it’s key in the flavor profile. For example, saffron pilaf just won’t work without it.  If your  budget is  tight, just make those dishes less frequently and savor them all the more, when you use saffron.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Cucumber Noodle Salad with Mint

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This is a great salad and just perfect for to serve as a light lunch or dinner during summer.

So often, we find ourselves just putting cucumbers in a smoothie or making refreshing cocktails, because they are made of more than 95% water and provide much needed hydration. They are also very low in calories which means you can eat as many cucumbers as you would like to have and not worry about counting calories.Did you know that a half cup of sliced cucumbers has only 8 calories and provides more than 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K? Imagine that!

This recipe is very adaptable. You can easily double the ingredients to share with a friend.

Serves 1

Ingredients:
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the noodles:
1/2 large cucumber
handful of tightly packed fresh mint
1 green scallion (only the green part), finely sliced
1/2  teaspoon black  caraway seeds
1/2  teaspoon white sesame seeds

Directions:
To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the salad, remove smaller leaves from the stem. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces.

Make the noodles by using a spiralizer or  a veggie peeler. Add the noodles, mint and scallion to a bowl and pour the dressing on top.Gently toss the noodles to cover them in the dressing.

Top with caraway and sesame seeds and serve fresh.

Lime and Coconut Cooler

“You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both up”

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You can find the inspiration for food and drink from just about anywhere, especially if you are foodie.

Photo Credit: RCA Victor, and Acy Lehman and Dean Torrence, 1971

This drink may not be original, but I was inspired by “Coconut” which I just recently heard on the radio the other day.It is rarely played on commercial radio these days and hearing it brought back fond memories of my childhood.”Coconut” is a novelty song written and first recorded by Harry Nilsson in 1971 and released on his album “Nilsson Schmilsson” in 1972.

The song was also used as jingle for the 1970s “uncola” ad campaign for 7-Up featuring the late Geoffrey Holder, with his “hearty laugh” and memorable heavily accented bass voice, made it one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time. He  was the pitchman for 7-Up right through the mid 1980s, with the  “crisp and clean, and no caffeine” and “never had it, never will” advertising campaigns. Holder reprised his role as the 7 Up Spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he appeared as himself in a commercial for “7 Up Retro” for Marlee Matlin‘s team.

Those were the days………………..1970s………………….

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One 14- ounce can coconut  milk with the cream
1 cup filtered water
Juice of 2 fresh limes
3 Tablespoons honey (or agave), or to taste
Ice, for serving
Whole fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Lime slice, for garnish

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and stir.  Serve in glasses over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lime.

Ahhhhh, so refreshing! Enjoy!

Pepper Jelly Clams

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Photo by Brenda Maitland

Have you ever been to a restaurant and had a dish so delicious, that you could not wait to get back home and attempt to cook your version of it yourself?

Well, that was just one my experiences recent  upon a visit to one of my favorite citnola-mopho-2014ies in whole wide world…….New Orleans. The restaurant was, “MoPho’s” , which is a little slice of heaven where the soul Vietnamese cuisine meets the melange of food that is the heart of Louisiana, is located in  Mid-City at 514 City Park Avenue.Everything on the menu is great and affordable. Trust me,you will love it!

If you ever spent any time in the Crescent City, then “you know what it means, to miss New Orleans”……the people, the music, and the food…..sigh, but I digress.

Between Spring and Summer, I just cannot get enough of fresh seafood. And MoPhos’s Pepper Jelly Clams by Chef Michael Gulotta fits the bill. This dish is the epitome of the meeting of two cultures: Southeast Asia and the American South.  Besides sharing a similar climate, Southeast Asian countries and New Orleans  also have river deltas where brackish water flows into clean clear waters, that sweet spot where you can find some of the best seafood during a given season.

Chef Gulotta uses little neck clams from Cedar Key Florida, but the stars of this dish are the Thai inspired ingredients, that make it spectacular.

At the restaurant, the dish is served with annatto beignets for dipping, but warm, crusty bread is just as satisfying. I opted for a Southern favorite cornbread to be served along side my version of this dish……

Adapted from Executive Chef-Partner Michael Gulotta of MoPho Restaurant.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

84 clams (rinsed well under cold running water to remove grit)
1/2 cup coconut oil or neutral oil
2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons shallots, minced
2 teaspoons Thai chili paste
2 cups white wine
2 cups sweet cooking mirin
1/2 stalk lemongrass, crushed
2 cups coconut milk
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cups pepper jelly
Juice and zest of one lime
10 leaves of mint, torn
Kosher salt , to taste

To garnish:
12 strips prosciutto
Fresh mint leaves

 

Directions:
In a large braising pan set over medium-high heat, lightly toast the ginger, garlic, shallot, and Thai chili paste in the coconut oil. When the aromatics become golden brown, add in the rinsed clams followed by the white wine, mirin, and lemongrass stalk. Cover the pan and let the clams simmer until they open, about seven minutes.

Once the clams open, remove the cover and add in the coconut milk, butter, and one cup of the pepper jelly. Simmer the clams for an additional minute and then add the lime juice, zest, and torn mint leaves. Season with salt to taste.

To serve, remove the lemongrass stalk and portion the clams into six warmed bowls and garnish with fresh mint leaves, shaved prosciutto, and a few dollops of the remaining pepper jelly.

You can find the original recipe here.

Crispy Tuscan Chicken with Lemon Salsa Verde

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Inspired by a chicken dish served with  lemons and capers at the Ristorante Masolino in Panicale, Italy,  this version is marinated over night and served with a charred herbed lemon sauce that can also be an excellent accompaniment to roasted fish or grilled root vegetables.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
For the chicken:
12 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
24 sage leaves
16 garlic cloves—6 cut into 4 slices each, the rest gently smashed and peeled
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices
Strips of zest from 2 lemons
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
1 Tablespoon chopped oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
12 fresh bay leaves

For the Salsa Verde:
1 lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices and seeded
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup  grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, crushed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup baby arugula

Directions:
To prepare the chicken, run your fingers under the skin of each chicken thigh to create a pocket. Stuff each pocket with 2 sage leaves, 2 slices of garlic and 1 slice of butter. Transfer the stuffed thighs to a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir the lemon zest strips with the smashed garlic, olive oil, chopped herbs and crushed red pepper. Pour the mixture over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile make the salsa verde by preheating  the oven to 450°F. On a baking sheet, toss the lemon slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread the lemon slices in an even layer and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until charred on the bottom. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Chop the slices into 1/4 -inch pieces. Leave the oven on.

In a mortar, mash the basil, oregano, mint, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts with the chopped garlic, and the 1 teaspoon of salt until a smooth paste forms. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, stirring to create a sauce. Stir in the chopped lemon.

Heat a very large ovenproof skillet. Season the chicken thighs evenly with 4 teaspoons of salt; reserve the lemon zest and smashed garlic from the marinade. Arrange the chicken thighs skin side down in the skillet and cover with another large skillet or pot weighted down with a few heavy cans. Cook the chicken over moderate heat until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Remove the weight and turn the chicken. Scatter the reserved lemon zest and garlic and the bay leaves, if using, among the thighs. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the salsa verde and scatter with arugula.