Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chipotle-Lime Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Salad

Let me start by listing reason #871 why I have the best mother-in-law in the world:

She is a fabulous gardener, and she so generously shares her bounteous harvest. I feel healthier just looking at it. Now, to make use of it!

Tonight we made Chipotle-Lime Chicken, which is a recipe that I found in Gourmet a few years ago. I've used the sauce on both pork and chicken with much success, although I did reduce the amount of olive oil that was originally called for. I recommend using fresh lime juice to achieve the ultimate tang factor, but bottled lime juice will work, as well. A few keys to remember: First, read the recipe carefully. You use part of the sauce as a marinade, and part as a baste. And only the latter contains honey. Secondly, don't baste until the chicken is nearly done, because the honey will burn if you put it on too soon. And thirdly, don't cook the heck out of your chicken. Just cook it low and slow until the juices run clear, but some of them actually remain in the chicken.

And on to the vegetables, for which I tweaked a Sweet Potato Hash recipe from Cuisine at Home. The recipe had the potential for disaster -- I have a poor track record for grilling potatoes, my husband doesn't like sweet potatoes, and neither of us likes corn mixed together with anything -- but it looked pretty and healthy and used some of my fresh veggies. It was much better than I expected. The potatoes turned out well, and Cole really liked them. However, we're still both corn purists. Next time, I'll grill the same veggies but I won't mix them. And I did get clearance to make the sweet potatoes again. Bonus.

Chipotle-Lime Chicken
Serves 4

3/4 c. fresh lime juice (about 3-4 limes)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp chipotle Tabasco
3/4 tsp. salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tsp. honey

1. Mix the lime juice, olive oil, Tabasco, and salt.
2. Add 1/3 c. of the marinade to the chicken, and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
3. Add honey to the remaining marinade.
4. Grill the chicken on low heat until nearly done, and then brush with the sauce on both sides, reapplying as desired.

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Serves 6

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced in 1/4" planks
2 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked
1 poblano pepper or 2 green bell peppers
1 large or 2 small red onions, ends removed, halved
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
Juice of 1/2 lime

1. Coat the vegetables with a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Grill over medium heat until the vegetables have some char and are cooked through, turning them often to prevent burning. This should be about 12 minutes for the potatoes and about 8-10 minutes for the corn, pepper, and onion.

3. Transfer to a cutting board. Dice the potato, slice the corn kernels from the cob, dice the pepper, and cut the onion halves into 4 pieces each.
4. Combine the vegetables in a bowl with the cheese, chives, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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