As part of my return to the kitchen, I came across a recipe for chimichurri sauce and used to create this chicken dish with Argentinean flair.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 recipe Spicy & Smokey Rub
1 recipe Chimichurri Sauce
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a baking rack on top of the sheet and foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Rub each piece with a small amount of olive oil. Using hands, massage dry rub into meat, coating lightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
Meanwhile, prepare Chimichurri Sauce. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. Add peppers and saute 3-5 minutes, until near tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add prepared chimichurri sauce and toss with peppers. Cook until sauce is warmed through, then remove from heat.
To serve: slice chicken and spoon peppers and sauce over top.
Here is a rub good to try on chicken breasts or pork chops:
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients but salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season meat with salt and pepper. Rub meat with olive oil. Using hands, massage dry rub into meat, coating lightly. Bake or grill meat as desired.
Tip: Wash hands immediately after rubbing (chili powder will stain skin).
Here is a fresh and zesty sauce with Argentinean flair. Try it on chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp:
2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves
1 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Perfect served over baked or grilled meat and vegetables.
To start off the new Winter Brews project, here is a twist on Mexican drinking chocolate. In Mexico, it is common to mix chocolate with cinnamon and milk to make a warm, thick beverage. This recipe uses 1% milk and cocoa powder, making it slightly lighter. Nonfat milk would make it less creamy and a higher fat content milk will make it more creamy, so use the milk you prefer.
New Mexican Hot Cocoa
adapted from Cooking Light
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of cloves
4 cups milk, 1% or 1/2%
1 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional
Combine water, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves in a medium saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Remove from heat and serve with a cinnamon stick if desired.
The holidays have come and gone, but winter is here to stay for at least a couple more months. To help muddle through the cold and gray, here is a new Special Project: Winter Brews. These are tasty beverages to help warm you from the inside-out. This is a must-have for January, when the twinkling lights are put away and it seems like every day becomes little more dark and gray.
Imagine stirring a pot full of wonderful, spicy goodness on the stove, then ladling the brew into a mug and sipping in the warmth on a cold night. That is the idea behind these recipes; beverages that are warming for the heart and the home. This project will consist of easy-to-prepare warm beverages with (mostly) simple ingredients from the pantry. Why send you back out into the cold to fetch a missing item from the store?
Here is a basic list of ingredients to have on hand for Winter Brews:
- Cocoa powder or baking chocolate
- Spices such as ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
- Fine grain salt
- Regular or powdered milk
- Heavy cream
- Instant coffee or espresso
Some recipes may contain other pantry items, for example Peach Horchata calls for rice and frozen peach slices and the recipe for Sbiten includes jam or preserves. Sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk are also good items to stock in the pantry when making Winter Brews, and of course who doesn’t love a hot beverage garnished with a cinnamon stick?
So, join me for Winter Brews and we’ll sip away the cold and gray together!