Just Grill It!

It’s a gorgeous Saturday here in Chicago and we’re taking advantage of our grill. For lunch, I made this Dijon Tarragon Grilled Chicken which used up some random ingredients I had on hand. I served this with a portabello mushroom & spinach pilaf too!
Here’s the recipe for Dijon Tarragon Grilled Chicken:

1/3 cup chopped fresh (or dried) tarragon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Chicken pieces or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine first 5 ingredients in processor. Process until smooth. Place chicken pieces in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Pour tarragon-mustard mixture over chicken; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place chicken on barbecue. Cover and grill until chicken is almost cooked through, turning every 5 minutes and basting with marinade, about 30 minutes. Grill without basting until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes longer. Serve chicken hot, warm, or at room temperature.

I’m also submitting this to the Eat Healthy: Protein Rich blogging event, hosted by Sangeeth. Check out her blog for some great recipes too!

The hubby is off to work this afternoon so I’m flying solo for dinner. Since it’s just me, rather than having a full meal I’m snacking. One of my favorite snacks are nachos… or anything crunchy & salty that I can dip into something preferably cheesy.

I had some leftover ingredients from yesterday’s corn & black bean salad, as well as a package of Trader Joe’s guacamole. In my pantry I had a tub of On The Border Cheese. My random snack/dinner? A five layer dip w/chips!

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded cheese or prepared nacho cheese
1/4 cup pico de gallo salsa

In a pie plate, layer the above ingredients in order, with the sour cream on the bottom.
Enjoy with tortilla chips & a margarita!

Jumbo Shrimp w/Thyme infused cream dip

This was an appetizer I made for my Sauvignon Blanc Wine & Dine event. It’s a refreshing dip and a nice change from the traditional cocktail sauce.

Jumbo Shrimp w/Thyme infused cream dip

Tarragon Thyme Infused Cream
4 springs of thyme
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves

1- 16oz sour cream

Combine all the above ingredients and chill overnight.
Serve with steamed shrimp, in sandwiches or as a dip.

Turkey & Spinach Mini Sandwiches

No need to make fancy food to pair with wines. For my Sauvignon Blanc Wine & Dine event , I made these simple sandwiches which paired so nicely.

Turkey & Spinach Mini Sandwiches

Loaf of french bread, sliced
deli turkey
spinach leaves
tarragon thyme infused cream

Create sandwich by filling the bread with the above ingredients. You can toast this for mini panini.

Pork ~ The Other White Meat

Well last Sunday, I roasted a pork shoulder. Meat from this section is relatively fatty, which makes for juicy, tender, and flavorful roasts as well as clogged arteries. But nonetheless, after roasting it with a simple mix of garlic powder, onion powder, fresh black pepper and kosher salt, I let it cool and froze it for future use.

Pork is one of my favorite meats, but only eaten in moderation. There has been some conflicting information on how to properly prepare it in recent years, but regardless of what seems to be “proper,” I prefer cooking it to my preferences, depending on the dish.

Years ago, cookbooks instructed readers to cook pork until it reached a scorching internal temperature of 180 degrees. Back then, the pork chops that landed on our plates were dry and leathery, and we often used lubricants like applesauce or sauerkraut to help get them down. After more careful research, food scientists now tell us that pork is safe to eat after it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At that temperature, pork can be juicy, tender, and flavorful.

Tonight I used that same roast I made a few days ago and made a pork roast dinner with pan roasted tomatoes and grilled brussel sprouts.

Here’s my recipe for the pan roasted tomatoes with balsamic vinegar that topped my pork:

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 stalk green onion, chopped
8 Roma (plum) tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add green onions.
Chop up the tomatoes and add them to the skillet with the remaining ingredients.
Cook for a few minutes until tomatoes soften.
Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Serve on top of roasted pork.