Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jamaican-Style Jerk Chicken and Citrus Mashed Plantains

Summertime is when my cast-iron Dutch Oven is lovingly tucked away into my kitchen cupboard, until the summer temps start to drop. That's when our Weber grill has it's winter cover removed, is given a gentle wash up and is made ready to prepare grilled recipes.  Heaven!

We own a gas grill, and it has its own merits. It's perfect for when you want to grill a quick burger or chicken kebabs. However, when it comes to flavor-- to us, nothing beats the flavor of charcoal and/or wood chips.

Wait.  I take that back--just a little. The very best barbecue, in our opinion, is with a fire pit and real wood. But, that's for the reaaaaaaaaaaally serious pit-masters. So, we have been working on learning ways to work with charcoal and wood chips to make our faves--like brisket, and baby back ribs, to name a few.

I've never had Jerk Chicken, and I have been missing out!  Jerk Spice originates from Jamaica. Meat is marinaded with a blend of spices-- always including allspice, and habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers.  I like a leeeetle bit of spice and heat to my food, but I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to turning up the scoville range of peppers. So, with this recipe, I used jalapeƱo peppers.  There are plenty of other goodies that I tossed into the blender-- cinnamon, cumin, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger.... maybe not exactly a 100% authentic version you'd find on Jamaica-- but it is absolutely delicious! 

My Vitamix whirred all the ingredients into a thick, brownish marinade.  I bought three organic chickens and asked my butcher to quarter them-- which he gladly did.  After placing the chicken into a large gallon-sized zip-loc bag, I poured the marinade over it and gently mixed it all up-- then placed it in the refrigerator overnight.  I let the chicken come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before starting to grill.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Well, hello! Are you surprised to see that I'm still blogging? I know, I know, I've been very silent for the last-- let's see-- six weeks! Yikes! That's a record for me! I'm halfway through my five-week summer break, and I am making the best of it-- and I am loving it!

We'll be traveling to Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland in October. So, this summer, we're working on giving out master bedroom a facelift. My husband still works, but I'm spending my free time doing some much needed deep cleaning and de-cluttering.  It's almost finished, but it's been very time-consuming. Also, I haven't been working on savory recipes as much. Instead,  I've been using Blue Apron to ship ingredients and recipes to make sure that Craig and I are eating healthy and delicious meals.  I'll talk more about Blue Apron, at a later time.  I will say that having three meals, a week, that are quick, flavorful and easy to make has been a blessing.

For the last few years, the Salinas Valley has been dedicating a lot more acreage to growing these beautiful Driscoll berries.  There was an irresistible sale, so I snatched two pints with all kinds of ideas on how to make them. At first, I thought I'd bake and update new photos for this Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Tart.   But, then, I remembered that it has been a while since I've baked this super easy Raspberry Buttermilk Cake-- only I used our home grown Olallieberries.

I don't know why, but that particular blog post has disappeared! Strange! This cake is so simple to make, that I decided it was time to create a new post and share it with all of you.

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