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Tropical chicken polenta

This recipe for tropical chicken polenta cakes is one you can mostly prepare days in advance, making it a convenient mid-week meal. Simply boil the chicken breasts and prepare the polenta, put both in their own sealed containers, and bring them out when you want to make this dish. If you end up with extra polenta cakes, use them to make "grilled cheese sandwiches." Seriously, they're awesome. On to the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Tropical Chicken:

  • 3 chicken breasts, shredded (see prep)
  • 1/2 pineapple (2 cups), blended into a puree
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Polenta:

  • 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cups polenta (coarsely ground yellow cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Click to continue reading Recipe: Tropical chicken polenta cakes


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Pineapple Citrus Chicken recipe

Chicken is a great meat because it holds the flavor of spices really well, while maintaining the original flavor of the chicken itself on the inside. This makes it a great base for recipes like this Pineapple Lime Chicken, where we are using a couple of different fruit acids, along with a few spices, with the end result being a nice, island-y dish. To make this one a little easier come preparation time, you can cut up the pineapple days in advance and keep it inside of a sealed container in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS

Marinade:

  • 1/2 pineapple, chopped into chunks
  • 2 limes (or 1/2 cup lime juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts, bone in with skin
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)

Click to continue reading Recipe: Pineapple Lime Chicken


La IslaOver the years, my husband and I have eaten at a lot of restaurants, I hesitate to say hundreds because it makes it sound like I never cook at home, but I would not be surprised if it were true. We love food. From shopping for quality ingredients, to preparation, and execution of a great dish. It is all so fascinating, not to mention delicious if said recipe turns out as it was intended. So in order to share my love or hate for a particular restaurant, I will be reviewing these establishments now and then so that the everyday person can go in knowing what to expect and what to order and what not to order should you walk away in disgust.

Today, I will be writing about one of my favorite restaurants in the Seattle area, La Isla, located in Ballard. It is not the easiest place to get to as far as easy freeway access, but so worth the drive. I love Puerto Rican food, as my husband does, and we don’t have any other restaurants in this area, for that matter anywhere in this region that we have heard of that offers the dishes that one must have to call themselves an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. Why is that I wonder? I hope many more will open in this area following in the footsteps of La Isla, but they will have big shoes to fill.

Click to continue reading Puerto Rican Cuisine Done Right: La Isla Restaurant Review


coconutshrimp

Yesterday in Chicago the weather was sunny and 65… in the middle of February!  It was spectacular.  I was inspired by the warm weather to create something that reminded me of summer or my favorite warm weather place, the Caribbean. 

The first time I ever tried coconut shrimp was at a restaurant I worked at in college.  They fried them up and served with a sweet plum sauce.  I absolutely loved them and ordered them almost every shift I worked.  My version requires no frying and it so easy and quick to make.  I also borrowed a great broiling technique from Ellie Krieger from the Foodnetwork, which works every time.

Some people say they are not fans of the texture of coconut, which I can kind of understand.  A great tip for flaky coconut is to throw it in the blender or food processor before using, this helps the coconut blend in well with the breading. I did not do this as me and Husband love coconut in any form.


Prep Time : About 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (this just makes life easier)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut, I used sweetened and used a heaping 1/2 cup
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 egg whites
3/4 panko crumbs (japanes style breadcrumbs, found in almost every grocery store in the Asian section)
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (which is a milder chili powder)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray

Click to continue reading Recipe: Coconut Crunchy Shrimp


Hicks Coffee“Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than…wine!”
From J. S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata,” 1732

Oh, that rich aroma, wafting in from the kitchen, lures us from our beds. It tantalizes us throughout our day and into the late hours. It can found in any number of roasts, blends, and flavors and even in other delicious treats besides its popular liquid form.
Coffee, once only a Middle Eastern delight, is grown today in many countries. South America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, India, Sumatra, Java, New Guinea, and Hawaii all grow coffee. Much like hot peppers, each country’s unique growing conditions produce distinctive coffees. There are also decaffeinated versions and now new tummy-friendly coffees for folks suffering from GERD, IBS, and stomach problems.


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