ROASTED CITRUS CHICKEN AND BLACK BEANS

When you cook chicken a ‘million’ and one ways, one has to devise  other ways to enjoy the feathery one. Had a few oranges that were heading down south. You see, although the calendar says autumn, the temperatures still feel like summer in Florida. As a result, my precious perishables carry shorter shelf lives. I had no intention of tossing out what I consider ‘big bucks’.

I was elated that to my culinary mind wasn’t in a ‘foggy’ mood. I  was able to come up with a plan. Decided to cook a roasted citrus chicken with a few  thighs and drumsticks. The previous night, chicken pieces were marinated with crushed garlic, minced onions, thyme, black pepper and salt to taste.

About three to four hours before cooking, chicken was soaked in a combination of orange, lemon, and lime juice. These were removed and dried on paper towels; then, drizzled with olive oil. Chicken pieces were topped with orange and lemon slices and then roasted in 360 degree oven for 50 minutes (turning once).

They were then brushed with a simmered citrus sauce which included a sprinkle of sugar and along with salt and drizzle of soy sauce. Roasted citrus chicken was served with black beans, jasmine rice (not in pic) and a corn/sweet potato salad. My stomach and I were quite happy and satisfied.

CITRUS CHICKEN, BLACK BEANS AND CORN/SWEET POTATO SALAD
CITRUS CHICKEN, BLACK BEANS AND CORN/SWEET POTATO SALAD

A WILD SUMMER CATCH #GRILLED WILD SALMON WITH CAPERS IN LEMON/BUTTER SAUCE

Summer is here in peak performance. And nothing screams  summer than smelling the different aromas of grilling. So, I couldn’t wait to put my indoor pan grill to use. A couple of days ago, I purchased a piece of fillet wild salmon. I did a quick marinade of same with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed garlic. I had this sit for approximately half an hour.

I heated my grill pan on low to medium heat. I removed garlic from salmon and placed fish on grill skin side down first.Salmon was cooked for approximately four to five minutes per side.  I also got a couple small summer squash in on the action. I sliced these length-wise, brushed with oil, and seasoned with a pinch of salt and black.

GRILLED WILD SALMON AND SUMMER SQUASH
GRILLED WILD SALMON AND SUMMER SQUASH

Grilled wild salmon was served with wedges of roasted sweet potatoes along with nature’s butter (avocado). Of course, because seafood loves acid, I made a lemon/orange/butter sauce with capers. This was used to top fish. I garnished with finely chopped parsley.

It was a summer feast.

MY MANGO STOOD OUT ##MANGO COCKTAIL

I love the taste of mango in a refreshing summer cocktail. It’s bold and upfront and center within a drink. And, it doesn’t take a huge amount to flavor a particular drink. A few pieces go a long way. The smooth and sweet characteristics make it perfect for an exotic drink on a sizzling day.

And so, this afternoon, my palate was in for a refreshing surprise of this amazing cocktail. I didn’t need to input any sweetener or sugar as my fruits provided the natural sugars. My blender was more than ready for a  few wedges of watermelon, the juice of an orange, chopped ginger root, water and of course pieces of mango.

With a few pulses of my standing blender I was greeted with a virtuous drink of mango cocktail. As you can observe, the mango overpowered the other juicy and tasty fruits with its golden appearance. And the taste was just as bold. The warm, sweet and ripe aromas were evident in my space. Just as I expected; the drink acquired the thick consistency I was looking for.

Cheers!

I FLIPPED MY PINEAPPLE TWO WAYS #GRILLED PINEAPPLE #PINEAPPLE JUICE

I was quite elated when I brought home my yellow/golden wonder. It was packed in a plastic container (canister) looking firm and clearly ripened to perfection. From the looks of it, it was already releasing juice due to it being peeled and cored. It was ready; ready to be used up in whichever way I desired.

PEELED AND CORED PINEAPPLE IN PLASTIC CANISTER
PEELED AND CORED PINEAPPLE IN PLASTIC CANISTER

With cutting board and a sharpened knife, I went to work. First I removable core and set it aside. I smiled; had plans for same. I also grabbed my handy grill pan and allowed it to slowly heat up. My grand plan was to grill a few slices and serve with one of my favorite ice-cream flavors, butter pecan.  Within a few minutes, I cut my golden boy into slices.

SLICED PINEAPPLE WITH CORE FOR GARNISH
SLICED PINEAPPLE WITH CORE FOR GARNISH

By then my grill was ready, so I placed three slices on same. It took approximately two to three minutes under low to medium heat to embed my grill marks.

GRILLED PINEAPPLE SLICES ON GRILL PAN
GRILLED PINEAPPLE SLICES ON GRILL PAN

I garnished my dessert plate with the core of the pineapple which I sliced in two halves. They reminded me of pillars. Between them, I placed a couple of the grilled pineapple slices along with a scoop of butter pecan ice-cream with a sprig of fresh mint.

GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH A SCOOP OF BUTTER PECAN ICE-CREAM WITH A SPRIG OF FRESH MINT BETWEEN CORE CUT IN HALVES
GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH A SCOOP OF BUTTER PECAN ICE-CREAM WITH A SPRIG OF FRESH MINT BETWEEN CORE CUT IN HALVES

Of course, I had more slices left on my board. So, I cut them in small pieces and placed them in standing blender. To that, I added minced root ginger along with fresh lime and orange juice and water. All the ingredients were blended and pureed to perfection.

FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE WITH GINGER ROOT, ORANGE, LIME
FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE WITH GINGER ROOT, ORANGE, LIME

SUMMER IS IN THE HOUSE!! #GRILLED CITRUS SHRIMP, ASPARAGUS AND ONIONS

When the days become long  and the temperatures sizzle on the outskirts, I want quick, easy and delicious. So, it was that in mind that I fired up my indoor pan grill and went to work on a seafood favorite of mind. Shrimp was marinated with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, sprinkle of paprika, and crushed garlic.

I also made sure to do a quick blanch of my asparagus by boiling for approximately three to four minutes in salty water. Then, these were shocked in an icy bath to cease the cooking process. After drying with paper towel, they were brushed with olive oil and placed on grill along with sweet yellow onions cut in a circular shape. I made sure to season onions with pinch of salt and black pepper.

Close to the ending of the grilling process of the veggies, each shrimp was placed on grill after removing any remnants of garlic. Each shrimp was grilled for approximately two minutes on each side then brushed with a citrus and honey sauce. These were served on a bed of herb and citrus whole grain rice.

Shrimp dish was full of amazing flavors that provided a slightly sweet and of course tart taste to the dish. The asparagus and onions were cooked to perfection but still possessed a crispiness to each bite. The nutty and flavorful whole grain rice completed the dish because it also had a fresh herb(parsley) and citrus taste to the meal.

A SMOOTHIE TO RUSH HOME TO ##BANANA/STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

Had a few extra calories I had to drop. Once again, I was a bit naughty the previous night. So, I took a trot around the block. You would think it was the beginning of summer. But, it was just a taste of things to come. After all, its South Florida with its humidity nudging its way while we’re still in winter.

Yours truly didn’t mind, I was dressed to handle all sticky and above normal temperatures. With mission accomplished, I returned to base (well, home) and decided to replenish which I had lost with some good calories.

I grabbed my handy blender and tossed in half of an over-ripened banana, three strawberries, the juice of an orange and a few splashes of cold water. In a few Florida minutes my banana and strawberry smoothie was ready to drink. With the cool temperature of my smoothie I was able to guzzle down much-needed nutrients like potassium, fibers, vitamins, and more.

Guys, I’m happy!

 

THE SIBERIAN EXPRESS DIDN’T KEEP ME IN A SOUPY MOOD##SPINACH/TOMATO PASTA/GRILLED SALMON

GRILLED CITRUS SALMON WITH SPINACH/ROASTED TOMATO LINGUINE PASTA
GRILLED CITRUS SALMON WITH SPINACH/ROASTED TOMATO LINGUINE PASTA

Guys, it’s deja vu all over again. Once more, it seems like the whole world is under a cold spell. Yes, the Siberian Express, which is basically an extremely cold mass of air of the Arctic has affected approximately one hundred million people over most of the United States and elsewhere. Well, so say the meteorologists. Oh, those meteorologists are having a ‘field day’.

Anyway guys, I wasn’t going to allow this cold spell to have me chopping veggies for a soup or a stew. By the way, love them! Instead, I decided to think and usher in the warm days of summer. What did I do? Naturally, my thermostat took a leap, pretty close to the 80’s. I pretended it was summertime in my abode. As a matter a fact, I got adorned in my shorts and tee-shirt. After all, in my mind’s eye, it’s summertime.

As you can observe, I reached for my grill pan. I made yours truly a citrus (orange/lemon) grilled salmon. On the side, I made a hearty whole grain linguine pasta. In a hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, I sautéed half of an onion and crushed garlic on low to medium heat. I tossed in my drained pasta and further folded in some left-over spinach from the previous night. To that, I also tossed in some roasted grape tomatoes.

I served up yours truly a generous portion of the meal. As I sat and swirled my linguine with my fork and puckered up to the taste of the delicious grilled citrus salmon, I felt tremendously satisfied and happy.

Now, I can face those Arctic wind chills. I had to remind myself that the blue skies and brilliant sunshine didn’t mean warmth on the outskirts. Oh, I didn’t miss that soup!

1001 WAYS TO COOK CHICKEN – ##CITRUS CHICKEN

There I go again with the feathery one. I do think I consume chicken at least 3 to 5 times for the week. I’ll have it curried, barbecued, jerked (with Jamaican-spices), Asian style and various other styles. Clearly, it’s my go protein in a big way. And, although grocery prices are exorbitant, still chicken remains relatively reasonable compared to other protein foods.

Because I wish to obtain my money’s worth, most times, I tend to purchase the dark portions of the bird. In addition, I try to ‘kick’ off a few cents by selecting the pieces with the skin on. To me, every cent adds up. When I bring home my chicken parts, I allot a few minutes to remove the skin and then store.

Now a days, it seems like Sunday afternoon has become a major cooking day for yours truly. So, already I had my chicken parts seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic from overnight. My plan was to roast these chicken parts which I did in a heated oven at 385 degrees for 45 minutes with a squeeze of lemon along with slices of lemon.

In bowl, I combined both citrus fruits along with a teaspoon of cornstarch for thickening. I also added a pinch of salt/pepper along with a sprinkle of sugar. All ingredients were combined and then reduced on low heat. Chicken parts were then basted with a lemon and orange sauce placed back in the oven for another five minutes for a brown exterior at an increased temperature of 410 degrees.

I served my citrus chicken on a bed of roasted assorted vegetables.