Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside... So Let's Grill: Lemon Grilled Chicken and Foil Packet Potatoes

The warm weather we have had here in central Indiana has been just too much of a tease lately. Every year without fail as soon as we have a few spring-like days I am telling the hubby it is time to fire up the grill. So last weekend when I was picking up my groceries and it was 70 outside, I didn't hesitate to throw a bag of lemons in my grocery cart to use in my favorite grill marinade. But now that we are getting around to doing the grilling it's closer to 30 outside; I guess that's life. I don't know the source on the recipe for the chicken. I found the recipe on a blog a few years ago, so if you recognize it please let me know. I grew up eating the Foil Packet Potatoes and there really is not an exact recipe I follow; it's all eyeballing. The Lemon Grilled Chicken always delivers super juicy, tender and flavorful chicken; you have to give this one a try! As for the Foil Packet Potatoes, they're just classic and I cannot think of one person who has tried them and not liked them. Happy grilling!

Lemon Grilled Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • Any cut of chicken, up to 8 pieces

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a blender and blend until emulsified.

To prepare chicken: Put chicken pieces in a large Ziploc bag. Add marinade and turn chicken once or twice to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours. Bring chicken to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling and discard marinade.

Grill and enjoy!

Foil Packet Potatoes

  • potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • onion, sliced thin and divided into rings
  • butter
  • garlic powder
Layer thinly sliced potatoes, onion, and butter in a large sheet of aluminum foil. (For the hubby and I usually do about 4 potatoes, 1 onion, and about 1/2 stick of butter. If ya'll have learned anything from Paula Deen, it's that everything's better with butter!) Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Close up foil packet.

Grill for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Taste of Home: Stromboli Sandwiches

When I was growing up, we had two great local pizzerias. One of these, Jerry’s, was known for great Stromboli sandwiches. Jerry’s was my first (and practically only) encounter with Stromboli, and his have always remained my definitive example of what a Stromboli should be, though they were perhaps atypical of that food category. I found this particular recipe in a church cookbook I was given as a bridal gift. It struck a familiar chord when I read it, and I knew these were something both the hubby and I would enjoy. This recipe makes more than we eat in one meal, but they reheat well in the oven. The amounts were adjusted to use up an entire package of mini-subs (these are sometimes by the deli-counter, sometimes in the bread aisle). They are a bit time-consuming to assemble, but they’re worth it!

Stromboli Sandwiches

The Lucerne Christian Church Cookbook
  • 1 pound ground turkey or pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 pound salami
  • 1/4 pound pepperoni
  • 8 slices thinly sliced ham
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1-8 count package mini-subs
In a large saucepan brown the ground sausage with the onions and green peppers. Drain off any excess grease. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano.

While your sausage is cooking, preheat your oven to 350, and line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Open up your sub buns and lay them out on the baking sheet. Layer together pepperoni (I usually use 3 slices per sub), salami (I usually use 2 slices per sub) sausage mixture, mozzarella cheese (again I don't measure here, probably about 2 tablespoons per sub), and ham on bottom half of sub bun. Cover sandwiches with top half of bun.

Wrap each individual sandwich in aluminum foil, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Pasta Night: Mediterranean Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken

My mom has always had a thing for cookbooks and cooking magazines. Looking back, it almost strikes me as humorous because she very seldom tried a new recipe, and even less frequently do I remember her referencing a cookbook. As an adult she has given me many of the cooking magazines that she no longer wants. I've been going through them, pulling out the recipes that I would like to try and adding them to my recipe file. One of my best finds so far is a Land O'Lakes Recipe Collection: Fresh and Fast Pasta. Tonight I tried my first recipe from the collection, Mediterranean Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken. It was simple, tasty, and on the dinner table quickly. Best of all I had everything in my pantry, and the hubs loved it! Hooray for simple dinners!

Mediterranean Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken

Adapted From:
Land O Lakes Recipe Collections: Fresh and Fast Pasta

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive-oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups small pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. While the olive oil is heating, season chicken with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Cook the chicken for approximately 4 minutes on each side (the goal here is not to cook chicken through, but just to get a nice sear).

Meanwhile, while your chicken is cooking put the sun-dried tomatoes (discard the oil if they are packed in oil) and small onion into your mini food processor and give them a few pulses until they are well broken down. Put aside.

Remove chicken from heat, and tent with foil. Add chicken broth to the dutch oven and allow to come to a boil. Once the broth has come to a boil add the sun-dried tomatoes, onions, pasta, and return the chicken to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through (the liquid will be pretty much absorbed).

Remove from heat. Stir in oregano, butter, and lemon juice.

Serve immediately and enjoy!