There are few dinners that help you dive into summer more than the BBQ. So we did just that, we dove in…we are kicking summer off with grilled chicken salads. Simple and delicious.
The secret is in the marinate and unfortunately I don’t even know the whole secret… but I will give you the ingredients and maybe some of you “chefs” out there can clue us in on the proportions for a great marinate… however, I must say, it is difficult to mess up – without any measurements I even managed to make this taste five start… or maybe that was our neighbors BBQ’ing expertise…
Neighbors… it is not often that we know the people that we share a wall with or in our case, a courtyard with. What a shame. Relationships waiting to happen. Its never too late, it took Rob and I about 8 months to finally connect with ours but we are so glad we did. With very little effort from each of us, we pulled together this great summer dinner… we hope you will do the same.
Mix all the ingredients together (adding more or less of something until it taste delicious).
Pour into a bowl or baggie and add meat. Marinate for at least a half hour or longer.
Tonight we had a lovely dinner with our two dear friends, Todd and Trista. Todd is one of the most gracious people you will ever meet and his wife Trista is as funny as he is gracious. Together, they are the perfect pair. Her eye for detail and color made this such a beautiful meal to capture.
Say goodbye to pizza sauce in a jar. This stuff is delicious and so easy to make. Just as the picture shows, a few simple ingredients makes this about the best pizza sauce you have ever had.
The T&T… The Todd & Trista salad… inspired by these two… you have something peppery, sweet, crunchy, salty and perfectly smooth. Delicious.
Mix all together. Let sit for at least a half hour. A few side notes… I like to use the extra sauce to dip the crust in (with a little extra Olive Oil of course)… but you can even take a step further and triple this recipe, freezing some for future meals. It freezes great and maybe taste even better because all the flavors have been married longer.
Also – must give credit where credit is due. This recipe has been slightly altered from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. Please check there for the original and other good ideas!
shaved red onion
Mix ingredients together for salad dressing (altering as your taste buds demand)
Combine salad ingredients and be sure to toss with dressing before serving… I swear it taste better that way.
Rob and I had a wonderful weekend with my folks. They are the kind of people anyone would be grateful to know. Generous, thoughtful, sincere and down right funny. Most of our visits revolve around food. Which we love. Often we hit up some of our favorite restaurants but this weekend my mom took me under her wings and taught me how to make her famous, pecan crusted halibut and with just a bit of prep, this fish is restaurant worthy.
The crust: pecans, panko, lemon rind & parmesan cheese.
Everything cooks better with butter. My mom was a bit more generous with the butter than I would have been, but I must confess, it was perfect.
Combine the panko, cheese, lemon zest and pecans. Set aside in a shallow dish.
Beat the egg and place in a shallow dish.
Dry the halibut off and dredge through the egg then coat well with the pecan mixture.
Cook on medium heat in butter, turning once. About 6 minutes on each side.
A few side notes: I was surprised by the patience it took to cook the fish. The key is to keep your pan from becoming too hot. You want to allow each side of the fish to come to a nice golden brown, turning only once so that the fish does not fall apart. I should mention, the one piece I tried to do without my moms help was the only piece that ended up in three pieces rather than one nice filet. While this dish is not difficult to make, it does take a little finesse. Or perhaps, just patience. In any case, the outcome is mouth watering so don’t sweat it if the presentation is a little less than perfect.
We served our halibut with a nice light salad and a few small potatoes.
I came across this simple but delicious recipe from Shauna Niequist book, Bread & Wine – A love letter to life around the table with recipes. It is a fantastic read. You will laugh and possibly cry (if your that type) all in one sitting. She is raw, honest and downright hilarious. I modified the recipe just a bit (adding an onion… because, honestly, when is adding an onion not a good idea?). Hope you enjoy!
In a dutch oven or stockpot, brown the onion (I use a splash of oil).
Add the chopped chicken breast, cook through.
Add beans, salsa & chicken broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 1 hour.
I like to serve it with sour cream, pepper jack cheese, limes and fresh cilantro.