Grilled Chicken With Chipotle-Watermelon Sauce and Grilled Corn, Pepper and Cucumber Salad

27 08 2014

Tonight’s dinner is deliciously smokey and loaded with flavor, thanks to some good seasoning, the grill and gorgeous produce from Fresh Fork Market. I have been enjoying the yellow watermelon we got in our share last week as a snack. But tonight I thought it’s sweet flesh would pair beautifully in a sauce with the smokey heat of chipotle. Oh yeah, total winner! Pair it with a cool salad packed with sweet corn and cucumber for a healthy, farm-fresh meal.

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Watermelon Sauce and Corn Salad

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 3 ears of sweet corn, shucked
  • 1-2 chipotles and adobo with some of the sauce (2 for more heat, 1 for less)
  • 1 heaping cup chopped yellow watermelon
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 heaping cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 small garden cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 and 3/4 cup chopped)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Cilantro, chopped

Preheat grill to 300-ish degrees.

Drizzle chicken with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt, granulated garlic and chipotle chile pepper to taste on both sides. Set aside.

Drizzle corn with a little olive oil and grill covered, 3-5 per side, flipping occasionally, until charred all around. Remove from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Once the corn is grilled and removed, add the chicken, keeping the grill slightly ajar. Grill chicken to your liking, 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and tent with foil.

Meanwhile, pulse the chipotle in adobo and watermelon in a small food processor until pureed. If it seems a little too thick, add a splash of chicken stock to thin out. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the vinegar and a good pinch of salt to taste. Cook over low heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Next work on the salad. Stand a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Taking one ear of corn at a time (once cool enough to handle), stand it up on it’s bottom end and cut the kernels off the cob from top to bottom using a large kitchen knife. Continue all the way around until the cob is clean. Do this with all three cobs. Remove the small bowl. To the bowl with the corn kernels, add the peppers and cucumber. Season with salt to taste and a little dusting of the chipotle chile pepper. Add the lime juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some chopped cilantro. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

To serve, dish out the corn salad. Top with a piece of chicken and finish with some of the sauce.





Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

25 08 2014

This is such a bright and yummy dessert, packed with beautiful organic blackberries from Fresh Fork Market! You could use any other berry you have or even a mix…blueberries, raspberries and/or black raspberries would all be equally delicious in this crisp.

Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 6 cups blackberries (about 2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup and 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp and a pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 2-quart baking dish, you could also use non-stick spray.

To make the filling, toss the blackberries with the granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, 3 Tbsp flour and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to your prepared baking dish.

To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, oats, nuts, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt in another bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the topping mixture until coarse crumbs form. Scatter the topping over the blackberry mixture.

Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.





Italian Sausage and Leek Stuffed Eggplant and Peppers

21 08 2014

This week’s CSA grab bag was a good one, loaded with all sorts of wonderful fruits and veggies! So it was no surprise that tonight I whipped up this delicious, Italian stuffed eggplant and pepper dinner using almost all Fresh Fork Market goodies! A great tip for easily making stuffed eggplant and peppers is to grill the veggies first. You can quickly soften the veggies (just as you would in the oven) while getting a good char and smokey flavor at the same time!

Italian Sausage and Leek Stuffed Eggplant

The following makes 2 stuffed eggplants and 4 stuffed peppers (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced horizontally in half
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced horizontally in half and stem and seeds removed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 large candy onion, chopped (or whatever onion you like or have)
  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage (mild or hot)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
  • Reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 leek, white part sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping

Sprinkle some salt on the inside of the sliced eggplant and allow to sit untouched for at least 30-45 minutes. The eggplant will start to give some of its water, which will also eliminate some of its bitterness. Blot dry using a paper towel.

Preheat grill to medium-low.

Preheat oven to 350.

Drizzle eggplant and halved peppers with a little olive oil and rub all over. Grill covered over medium-low heat for a few minutes on each side. You just want to get a decent char all over and to soften the veggies so that you can easily scoop out the center of the eggplant. Remove the veggies from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and saute chopped onions a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add sausage and break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Saute until meat browns, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up into small pieces with the wooden spoon. Add red pepper flakes if you’d like, along with the minced garlic. Saute until fragrant, a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock (good turn of the pan) and scrape up all the brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan.

The eggplant should be cool enough to handle at this point. Scoop out the center of each half and transfer to a cutting board. Just be sure to leave the outer shell of the eggplant in tact so that you can stuff it. Chop the eggplant you removed and add it to the sausage. Add the leeks as well. Season lightly with salt and saute for just a minute or two until the leeks start to wilt. Add a little more chicken stock (another good turn of the pan) and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool, then mix in the cheeses.

Lay the eggplant and pepper halves in a casserole dish. Stuff the sausage and leek mixture into the halves – just divide the mixture among the halves, piling up high if you have too. Top with more parmesan, then transfer to the oven to bake.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until everything is hot and cheese has melted. Top with more parmesan and  serve with a side salad.





Mini Phyllo Cup Bacon Cheese Balls

18 08 2014

I saw these fun little cheese balls in this year’s bacon issue of Food Network Magazine. I thought they were so cute and great for serving at a party, but didn’t want people to worry about having to spread them on something. So I came up with the idea to pop them in a mini phyllo cup and poof….the perfect individual appetizer, no utensils required!

Mini Phyllo Cup Bacon Cheese Balls

The following makes 45 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 package turkey bacon
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (fancy shred works well)
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Chopped chives
  • Sunflower seeds (no salt added)
  • 45 mini phyllo cups, thawed (3 packages of 15 – you can find them in the frozen section of your grocery store)

Preheat oven to 350. Lay a cooling rack inside a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Lay bacon across the cooling rack in one layer. You will have to do this twice depending how many strips you can fit. Bake until crisp (check on the bacon every 10 minutes until it’s done). Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat and bake the final remaining strips of bacon. Allow all the bacon to cool.

While the bacon cools, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Crumble 8 pieces of cooked bacon, and mix in with the cheese mixture.

Roll into 45 mini balls, lay in a single layer on a tray and cool in the fridge. Crumble the remaining bacon and store in a tupperware container in the fridge.

To save myself time, I did all of the above the night before I wanted to serve these.

The next day I baked the thawed phyllo cups at 350 for 5 minutes or so, to crisp them a bit. Remove cups from the oven and cool.

Next, combine some of the crumble bacon you saved, some chopped chives and some sunflower seeds in a bowl – just eyeball it. You can always mix more if you run out, or if you make too much, serve the garnish over a salad for lunch later.

Remove the balls from the fridge and roll in the bacon, chives and sunflower seeds – pressing slightly to adhere. Place one ball in each phyllo cup, and arrange on a platter to serve.





Leftover Italian Sausage With Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Pepper Pizza

13 08 2014

You’ve heard me say this before, and you’ll hear me say it again…and again…and again. Leftovers don’t have to be boring! It takes mere minutes to use up last night’s leftovers, but in a completely different dish. And this is the reason I make meals that serve 3-4 people, when primarily I’m only cooking for me and the hubby…for the leftovers baby!

Italian Sausage With Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Pepper Pizza

The following makes 2 pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

Place naan on a pizza stone side by side. Distribute the leftover onions and peppers between the naan, evenly spreading all over. Next, top with the sliced sausage.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the sausage and peppers are heated through. Remove from the oven, top evenly with cheese and place back in the oven. Bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.

Remove from the oven and top with some red pepper flakes and basil to garnish before serving.





Italian Sausage With Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Peppers

12 08 2014

Given my Italian heritage, I should be able to make you a sausage, onion and pepper dish in my sleep. And…I pretty much can! The best thing about this recipe is that you really don’t need a recipe, you can just wing it! As long as you don’t burn anything, this will turn out savory and delicious.

You’ll typically find sausage, onions and peppers on my family’s go-to party menu, but we don’t normally use as many ingredients as I have in this meal. But thanks to my CSA share from Fresh Fork Market, I had more produce to use up. So I threw in some extras like tomatoes and fennel fronds that I normally wouldn’t add. And that’s what makes this meal versatile. Add what you like, remove what you don’t – it won’t make a difference. Just get a nice caramelization on the onions and peppers, and you’re good to go!

Italian Sausage with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Peppers

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 Italian sausage links
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small candy onions, or whatever onions you like, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, whatever color you like, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Granulated garlic
  • 3 small tomatoes, diced
  • Good handful of fennel fronds
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • Fresh basil ribbons

Preheat grill to medium, try to keep the grill around 300 degrees.

Preheat oven to 350.

Poke two-three holes in the sausages with a knife – don’t poke all the way through. Place sausages on the grill and close lid but keep it slightly ajar. Grill until brown all over, a few minutes on each side. Remove from the grill.

In a large non-stick oven-proof skillet, heat 3 Tbsp or so of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until beginning to soften, tossing occasionally. Add peppers and continue to saute until onions start to brown and peppers soften, tossing occasionally. At this point add the tomatoes, fennel fronds and season with salt, red pepper flakes and granulated garlic – all to taste. The salt will help the onions and peppers give off some of their natural liquid. Saute for another few minutes.

Next, deglaze the pan with some balsamic vinegar, a good turn of the pan, about 2 Tbsp or so. Let the vinegar cook down, tossing with the onions and peppers. Next, add some chicken stock, just eyeball it, about 1/4 cup, and cook for another minute or two. You’ll notice the liquid start to thicken into a sauce. Remove from the heat.

Nestle the grilled sausages into the onions and peppers and cover the skillet loosely with foil. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and finish baking uncovered, another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Serve sausages along with the onions, peppers and some of the sauce from the pan. Garnish with fresh basil. I like to enjoy this meal with a big salad of baby greens dressed in red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.





Pretzel, Mushroom and Prosciutto Muffuletta

11 08 2014

The muffuletta sandwich is a New Orleans classic, made with a special round bread and Italian meats, cheese and an olive spread. Here’s a unique and delicious spin on the classic, made with Orlando’s pretzel buns and grilled portobella mushrooms. If you prefer a slightly less salty bite (I happen to have a strong palate), or a meatless option, simply leave off the proscuitto.

Pretzel, Mushroom and Prosciutto Muffuletta

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, you could also use a Spanish green olive instead
  • 1/4 cup drained giardiniera (jarred Italian relish)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 large portobella mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 2 Orlando Pretzel Hamburger Buns
  • 4 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto (optional)
  • Fontina cheese, sliced (or provolone)
  • Shredded purple cabbage

Add the olives, giardiniera and oregano to a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well combined. Transfer olive spread to a small bowl and add the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine and store in the fridge for at least an hour. You can even make this spread the day before – just store covered in the fridge.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Drizzle mushrooms with a little olive oil on both sides. Grill mushrooms uncovered, until grill marks appear and mushrooms are softened, about 2-3 minutes per side. Split the hamburger buns, place the inside part of the bun on the grill and toast, just a few minutes – be careful not to burn. Remove mushrooms and buns from the grill. Place sliced cheese on the mushrooms and tent with foil and rest a few minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.

While the mushrooms are grilling, add the prosciutto to a small saute pan over medium heat and cook until browned and crisp on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

To build the sandwiches, spread half the olive salad evenly among all four buns (the tops and the bottoms). Save the remaining olive salad for another sandwich, would be great the next day for lunch! Next, place some of the cabbage on the two bottom buns. Top each with two mushroom caps melted with cheese, slightly overlapping each other. Top each sandwich with two pieces of the crispy prosciutto (optional) and finish by adding the top bun with the olive salad. Secure with a toothpick if needed.

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.








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