Tuscan Lemon Chicken

This is a great, simple marinade that I used on the 4th of July. It comes from The Barefoot Contessa via Food Network’s website, and I’ve only made a couple of small changes.

I used only chicken breast instead of a whole chicken, as she calls for in the original. I used probably 2 1/2-3 lbs of chicken and there was plenty of marinade. Apparently it’s better if you let it sit overnight in the fridge, but I only had about 6 hours and it was still really good!

3 lbs. chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves – I didn’t have fresh, so I used just a small sprinkle of dried rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

Grill until done in the middle. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

We had a bunch of leftovers, which I planned on. I sliced the remaining chicken breast and put it in the freezer, where I can pull out however much I need for a salad or wrap. We’ll definitely do this again!

Chopped Dinner: Take 4

Whew…this challenge is finally over! No more creative cooking for a little while ūüôā

Dinner #4 in the Chopped challenge was Matt’s. His list was longer (because he was the oldest? I dunno.) but overall, pretty easy to work with AND gave me the excuse to try three new recipes!

Ok, so Matt’s ingredient list (which I accidentally leaked for those of you with eagle eyes last week!) was this:

So for the brie, I made these little Baked Brie Bites that were in puff pastry. Simple to make, and they were ok, but I think that Matt and I both prefer to eat brie bites the way I’ve made them in the past, which is these little brie cups. I’m thinking next time I make those for company, I’ll make some with pepper jelly and some with sweet jelly. I just used what I had on hand, which was strawberry jam, and the flavor was good, but so much jam baked out of the inside even though I felt like I sealed them well that the flavor was lost.

However, Luke and Jack Henry loved them and ate a few each, and Bennett had one and thought it was fine.

Moving on to dinner, which was Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes and Garlic Gorgonzola Steak. Oh. My. Goodness. Some of the best food I think I’ve ever made.

I’m not a huge sweet potato fan…not something I’d usually crave, but these were amazing (for the kids, I just used salt and pepper instead of the spice blend). Follow her instructions and you will not be disappointed. I did parboil the potatoes even though mine were fresh, but then they accidentally got left boiling too long when Jack Henry wandered into the kitchen with a fake sore throat and I was distracted away from my job for 5 minutes. Look at this pic compared to the original, and you’ll see what I mean…they fell apart but it mattered not…they were delicious.

The only change I’ll make is cutting my slices of sweet potatoes slightly smaller, about an inch tall. And I substituted regular chile powder for New Mexico chile powder…I don’t know the difference, but I’m thinking it can’t matter much in this recipe. And for the sake of using cashews in dinner per the Chopped list, I chopped them up finely and put the on each side of the potatoes with the spices. But, it really didn’t add anything, and I won’t do it again. (Bennett, however, was elated to see a can of cashews and put those on his plate instead.)

On to the steak. I did not buy ribeye as Matt requested; I got strip steaks, because I found a huge package of them on sale and they were better than ribeye, so I figured he wouldn’t complain. Plus, we almost never grill steaks, and we truly NEVER share with our kids, so this was a special dinner. Luke likes steak; the other two are fine with it, but seriously they’d rather have chicken or a hot dog, so it pains me to hear “how many bites of this do I have to eat?”

I seasoned all of the steaks as recommended in the recipe: rubbing a cut garlic clove over the steaks, drizzling with a tiny bit of oil (I used olive oil), and then sprinkling generously with salt and pepper. Next time, I’ll skip rubbing a garlic clove on them…for me, at least, it did nothing to give garlic flavor. I’ll use garlic salt and black pepper and omit the regular salt so we actually get some garlic flavor.

After that, Matt grilled them to close to medium for me, and as soon as he got them inside, I melted a very small amount of butter on each, and put gorgonzola on Matt’s and my steak and covered them with foil for a few minutes to help the cheese melt. It was recommended that you do this step ON the grill, but it was already dark out, and I was picturing it being too much hassle with falling cheese, etc. Know, though, that tenting foil over the steak will make it continue to cook, so that you don’t accidentally overcook your steaks.

Anyway, it worked for us to put the toppings on inside, off the grill. I topped the gorgonzola ones with the french fried onions, and that was it. Seriously, one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.

The leftovers tonight were great, too.

So there you have it! The kids commented that I didn’t get Chopped on any of my meals, so we need to do something harder next time.

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Thank you pinterest. ¬†Here’s another one from my addiction – pinterest. ¬†So so good. ¬†Original recipe here.

  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed (I just used minced garlic from the jar)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven) – we grilled since we are having such a mild winter. ¬†wonderful.

Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. ¬†Rub the paste all over pork. ¬†If you like or have the time, marinate overnight. ¬†If not, no worries, it’s still great! ¬†I did this in the morning and it was awesome.

Grill preparation:

Sear the tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes.  Grill until internal temp is 160.

Oven preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven.  Roast pork, turning occasionally, until internal temperature is 160, about 20 minutes.

This was so, so good. ¬†All three kids tried it. ¬†Only one liked it enough to eat more. ¬†I don’t know why, but my kids aren’t huge meat eaters unless you count chicken nuggets as meat. ¬†Or lunch meat. ¬†Seriously, what is wrong with them?!? ¬†ūüôā

Hamburger Hint

School started today for the Diehl household, and tomorrow for the Reis household. I know that for us, at least, school starting signals better eating and better planning. So be on the lookout for new recipes here at Three More Bites!

Today I don’t really have a recipe, but a tip about making burgers on the grill that I learned from Food Network magazine.

After you patty the meat, push down with the tip of your finger into the center of the burger. It will look like this (note that these were just removed from the freezer so they look strange):

It keeps the center of the burger from getting thicker than the rest of it, without pressing down on the burger and losing the juiciness! If I remember tonight, I’ll take a picture of them after they come off the grill. But don’t hold your breath.

PW’s Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas

When I saw The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for this, I KNEW we had to try it and soon. It did not disappoint (for Matt and me, at least…the kids were underwhelmed by grilled pineapple, which I LOVE, and they chose to take their chicken off the quesadilla and eat it separately from the rest. Fine by me.). Here’s a link to her recipe, which I’ve copied here along with any small changes I made in italics.

8 whole Flour Tortillas
Butter Or Margarine
2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced
3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce

(Click over to PW’s website for a quick picture tutorial on grilling pineapple! To grill pineapple: cut wedges, stick on skewers, and grill over low heat. Cut into slices.)

(To pound chicken, place inside a Ziploc bag and pound with a mallet or large can to flatten to uniform thickness.)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and Cajun spice (or cumin/cayenne, etc.) Drizzle olive oil on a grill pan and grill on both sides until done, brushing with barbecue sauce. Set aside and slice into very thin slices. I actually had Matt grill the pineapple and chicken on our grill.

Warm griddle over medium heat and put sizzling butter or margarine in the pan. Slightly warm and toast tortillas on both sides, then remove from griddle and set aside. Because PW loves butter so much, I assumed you needed a lot of butter to make the tortillas cook correctly. Wrong! You really can just melt a very small amount in the pan, swirl the tortilla around on it, and brown it. The one that had a ton of butter ended up being thrown away; it was too greasy.

To assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices and jalapeno slices. Sprinkle on cilantro. If desired, drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top. Add second browned tortilla on top of each one. (You’ll have four complete quesadillas at this point.)

Add to oven to warm, or back to skillet to warm, until cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime wedges. I just served with sour cream.

I loved these A LOT. I might or might not use bbq sauce again; I like it fine, but I actually think that this would be even better if you just seasoned the chicken more heavily.

PW’s pictures are much better than mine, but here’s what it looked like before I put the tops on the quesadillas and put them in the oven:

Mexican Street Corn

A friend gave me this recipe a couple of summers ago. This corn is delicious! And a discussion last night at small group about grilled corn made me think of it.

6 large ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed (leave stalk for handle)
1 T olive oil
1/2 c mayo
2 T fresh minced cilantro
1 T fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1 oz feta cheese (1/4 cup) – I’ve read you can use cotija, too, but I think feta is better!

Adjust oven rack 5″ from broiler and heat broiler. Brush corn with oil and transfer to foil-lined cookie sheet. Broil corn until well browned on 1 side, about 10 minutes. Turn corn over and repeat.

**It would be perfectly fine to grill the corn without oil if you want…the result will be the same.**

While corn cooks, mix remaining ingredients.

Remove corn and roll in mixture. Return to broiler until cheese is warm and slightly toasted, about 1 minute (of course, you don’t want to do this step on the grill). Season with salt and pepper and serve with any remaining mayo mixture.

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

This was a new recipe we tried tonight from my cooking light magazine.¬† I had actually forgotten about it until my friend Sarah reminded me of it and told me how good it was.¬† It was yummy.¬† We’ll definitely be having this meal often.

Chicken:

2 tbspns minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tbspns fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbspns olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt

Salsa:

1 cup chopped tomato
2 tbspns finely chopped onion
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped

1.  To prepare chicken, combine first four ingredients.  Toss and let stand 3 minutes.  Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and grill for about 6 minutes on each side or until done.

2.  To prepare salsa, combine tomato with the next four ingredients.  Add avocado and gently stir.  Serve salsa over chicken.

My variations – I marinaded longer than 3 minutes.¬† It was probably in the marinade for 15 minutes.¬† I also didn’t add salt to the chicken before grilling. (side note – Kirk and I “borrowed” this food program from my brother and watched our food intake for a week.¬† It was amazing how high our sodium levels were so I try not to use salt unless I think necessary)¬† I served this with spanish rice.¬† It was a big hit with the adults.¬† The kids wouldn’t try it…..which surprised me with Kayla because she has tried both guacamole and tomatoes before and likes chicken.¬† Give it a try, I think you’ll like it!

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