How to Barbecue Chicken Thighs…

Hey! This is my 100th post! 🙂  Thank you to all my wonderful friends & readers, who enjoy reading about what I do in my kitchen, The idea all started when several of my friends had been asking me for some of my recipes via Facebook (of all things). Since it was the same few recipes, I decided to make this blog as a means of everybody being able to see what I create in my little yellow kitchen. I’ve had a lot of fun blogging and I’m looking forward to sharing many more delicious recipes and such with you all. So again, thank you for stopping by and reading my spicy simmers 🙂

Today, we’re hosting a party today for Labor Day – and Mike is planning on making chicken thighs.

This is the method he swears by.

It’s a great technique for cooking chicken thighs, and the article is pretty hilarious, too. Mike has used the author’s method before and they turned out delicious! I expect nothing less from the grill & grillmaster today.

My job for the day is simply putting together a veggie plate and getting the house in order, since it’s looking like it may rain right around party time. Mike has been a big help today; he got the garage ready to and will be doing some last minute grocery pick-up while I finish up the house. So, thank you, Hubs! 😀

Tomorrow I’ll be doing some baking…whatwhat? And getting ready for school on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to sharing those goodies with you this week!

Happy Labor Day Eve & Day!

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Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs

I have to admit that it’s very rare that I make two new dishes at the same time. If it’s a new main dish, I make a ‘typical’ side dish. If it’s a new side dish, I make a ‘typical’ main course. While perusing my usual motherload of blogs  I came across this recipe on Skinnytaste. Through reading through the comments section, I saw that others had recommended making the fiesta bean salad to go with this.

It was band camp week, we had limes & CSA cilantro to use up, we had shrimp in the freezer,  and I wanted to use my new grilling skewers. All signs were pointing to “make this recipe!” (as cheesy as that sounds, but then again we all know I like cheese so it’s quite apropos). It was a no-brainer, easy, and delicious!

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs

adapted from Skinnytaste

  • cooking spray
  • 1 bag large raw shrimp (15-20 per lb), peeled & deveined
  • 3 gloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 limes, sliced thinly
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • skewers (I’ll explain my new ones after the recipe)
  1. Heat up the grill on medium and spray the grates with the oil.
  2. In a bowl, season the shrimp with the garlic, cumin, salt, and half of the cilantro. Toss so that the shrimp gets coated with everything.
  3. On your skewers, thread the shrimp & lime slices, alternating so that you start with shrimp & end with shrimp.
  4. Grill the shrimp, turning occasionally, until they are cooked (they’ll be pink!) – usually this is takes anywhere from 1-3 minutes a side.
  5. Remove from heat & serve hot!
Yum!

Yum!

I have never grilled limes before, let alone any type of fruit (though I think Mike has grilled peaches or pineapple once; two fruits I don’t like). I was amazed by how the lime flavor was infused into the shrimp, simply by grilling it on the skewers.

Speaking of skewers, thanks to a great review over at the Ranting Chef, I decided to purchase these skewers. I never had liked using the bamboo, and both my husband and I have burned ourselves before on the long metal ones. These were easy to turn both because of their shape (they form a loop), and because there was also a small loop to grab onto with your tongs, if you wanted. They also cooled relatively quickly. I agree that I don’t think I can ever go back to regular skewers again; since they only came in a package of two, I need to order another set in case we decide to do kabobs for company.

These kebabs, served with the Fiesta Bean Salad, are a great meal for the dog days of summer where you really don’t want to use your oven. It tastes great, it’s fast, and hey, it’s even healthy, too 🙂

 

Black Bean Burgers

The veggie burger is a very foreign territory for me. Very foreign. I like my traditional cheeseburgers – just made out of beef, or even turkey (chicken burgers are okay, too), with some mustard and dill pickle. Alright, and the occasional red onion ring or two. And, there’d better be cheese on it 😉

Thus, when my husband suggested that we bring veggie burgers to our weekly garden potluck, I was a bit unsure of what to do. In our attempt to start eating healthier, I knew I had to give the veggie burger a chance at some point or another. I suppose I had always been under the impression that a) they were expensive and b) probably tasted like cardboard.

I found this recipe online (as I do like 75% of the time) and noticed that I had all the ingredients on hand – SCORE! I wanted to make 8 patties, total, so I doubled the recipe to suit our needs. I plugged in my Kitchenaid mixer (my new favorite way for mixing burgers & meatballs), and got to work.

Black Bean Burgers – adapted from Cooking Light

For 4 ‘burgers’:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic & onion powder – a few swirls around the bowl will do
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp grated lime rind (about the entire rind of a small lime)
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  1. In a food processor, combine the oil, garlic & onion powder, and beans. Pulse until the beans make a thick paste. *If you don’t have a food processor, smash the beans in a bowl with a potato masher. Trust me – it works!*
  2. In a large bowl, scrape in the bean mixture, along with the breadcrumbs. Add rind & remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Divide the bean mixture into 4 equal portions, and form patties. From here, you can seperate them with wax paper and refrigerate, or put onto a plate and wait to either pan-fry or grill.
  4. PAN FRY METHOD – Heat some olive oil in a skillet, on medium. Add patties to pan; cook for 4 min on each side until the bottom edges are browned. Flip and repeat.
  5. GRILL – Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Lay that onto a grill and let the grill heat up. Cook the burgers on each side until browned.
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Hey, it looks alright!

My husband walked in the door just as I was fixing these up – and right away he was impressed by the fact that I was making them on my own and not just buying them from a store. I told him that I had all the ingredients on-hand and that they were, well, easy! And even better, budget-friendly. They have a southwestern flavor to them, but tasted great with some cheese and some spicy ketchup (HINT: try mixing sriracha and ketchup. You won’t be disappointed).

They were also very well-accepted at our potluck later in the evening. 🙂

Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with making black bean burgers, I can easily see different ways of adapting them for whatever ‘tastes’ we’re feeling that particular evening. If I can make and eat a veggie burger and like it, I think that anyone can!

Turkey Burgers with Lemon-Honey Mustard

With marching band season upon us, I’m starting to get a tad busier in the evenings, as I’m still holding my part-time job at the bakery as well. My wonderful husband volunteered to cook dinner one evening last week, which was a wonderful treat and a nice respite from my usual antics in the kitchen.

He decided to whip up some turkey burgers, and did some research on his own – and ended up making his own adapted version of Bobby Flay’s turkey burgers, made with a lemon-honey mustard. I’m not a fan of honey mustard normally, but the homemade version he made was simply awesome.

Turkey Burgers with Lemon-Honey Mustard – adapted from Bobby Flay

The Burgers:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 log goat cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled

The Mustard:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Fire up the grill.
  2. In a bowl, combine ingredients to make the lemon-hone y mustard. Whisk together and chill.
  3. Separate the ground turkey into four patties. Sprinkle the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  4. During the last minutes of cooking, add 2 slices of goat cheese to each burger. Place each half on the buns as well, to toast them. Close the grill and let the cheese melt a bit, about 1 minute or so.
  5. Remove everything from the grill & assemble the burgers. Place the burgers on the buns, and top with some of the lemon-honey mustard.

These were amazing! I was impressed with the fact that there was little seasoning in the burgers, but tons of flavor overall. Goat cheese is a unique topping for turkey burgers; I’ve had them topped with Laughing Cow cheese before (a great Weight Watchers adaptation), but goat cheese is much more savory, as you can expect. Mike served these with corn on the cob, grilled in foil with olive oil & salt. It was a great combination. The lemon-honey mustard recipe leaves a significant amount of leftovers, so my husband put the rest into a plastic container. We’ve used it over the past week as a dip for pretzels.

As I said before, these burgers were absolutely amazing. I’m hoping that Mike makes them again soon. While a night off from cooking is great, these burgers were even greater. No picture, due to the fact that these were quickly devoured! 🙂