Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Grilled Summer Dinners

As a teacher, I love summers for obvious reasons. As a foodie, I love summers for one big reason- the grill! And our grill is getting plenty of action this summer with the standard cookout fare, as well as some new recipes, like the two dishes pictured above.
First is a strawberry pineapple salsa that I served over black rice and grilled catfish. You can use any whitefish like tilapia or haddock, and the salsa would also be great with fish tacos. I cooked the black rice in lite coconut milk, as directed in my "Fire and Spice" post. The fish was simply salted and peppered before grilling. I used a pineapple salsa recipe I found on the Eating Well website. I didn't have enough fresh pineapple, so I substituted strawberries for the other half. The salsa was delicious and very refreshing over the fish. There was plenty of salsa leftover to serve with chicken or turkey later in the week.

The second dish is a Honey Chili Ginger Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad from Health Magazine. I made this dish as instructed in the recipe, with the exception of substituting arugula for the watercress which I was unable to find at the grocery store, and nectarines for the peaches. I loved the combination of flavors in this dish, the fact that the chicken, corn, and nectarines were all grilled, and the contrast between the spicy chili sauce and the sweet nectarines. The only fault I have with it is that there was very little sauce left after basting to drizzle over the salad at the end. The ingredients were delicious, but it left the arugula rather dry in parts. I think next time I will double the amount of sauce and that should take care of the issue. After this dish, I'm convinced that pretty much any food tastes better on the grill, especially in the summer!
Here is the link to the salsa recipe:
Don't forget to use strawberries for half of the pineapple if you like the idea!

Honey-Chili-Ginger Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad
from Health Magazine
2 T honey
1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup hot chili sauce (I used garlic chili sauce)
2 T olive oil
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, pounded very thin
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
3 ears shucked corn, broken into small pieces
3 ripe peaches, quartered and pitted (I used nectarines)
8 oz. watercress (I used arugula)

Combine honey and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Place chicken in medium dish. Spoon 2-3 T chili dressing over the chicken. Coat well.
Heat grill pan, grill, or broiler. Lightly coat grill pan if using. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, grill until cooked through (2-3 min per side). Transfer to cutting board.
Grill corn until tender, about 5 min, brushing lightly with chili dressing while grilling. Transfer to a platter. Grill peach quarters, just until grill marks appear (about 1 min per side) brushing lightly with chili dressing while grilling. Transfer to platter.
Scatter watercress over the platter. Slice chicken into smaller pieces, transfer to platter. Comgine cooked juices and remaining dressing, stir well. Drizzle over salad, serve.

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