Ja cię kocham…

….simple, healthy, and with lots of love.

Lime and Coconut Chicken

August 04, 2009 By: kristi Category: Main Dish, Spicy

Lime and Coconut Chicken

Ah yes, you put the lime in the coconut.  Go ahead.  Start singing away!  I won’t stop you!

When I came across this recipe title, I was sold.  Limes and coconuts are so refreshing… especially at the beach…. in the Caribbean… with crystal blue water and spectacular white sand… and a glorious breeze.  Ahhhhh….  pina colada anyone?  How about a margarita?  Now we’re talking!

This chicken is phenomenal.  The coconut milk and lime juice are perfect compliments to the curry, cumin, and coriander.  Although the title whisks me away to the tropics, the spices remind me of Indian fare, which I love!  Depending on your preference you can take it easy or go nuts with the cayenne pepper.  In this house, we like to walk on the wild side.  The chicken can marinate for as little as 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours.  Whatever fits your schedule.

Okay… back to singing… put the lime in the coconut...

Lime and Coconut Chicken

Source: Mildly Adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen/Fine Cooking, Winter 2006

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp oil
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch cayenne
1 small fresh hot chili, such as Thai or Serrano, minced (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh limes, cut into wedges
*I added shredded coconut as a garnish

Directions:

Starting on thick side of the breasts slice the chicken breasts almost in half, then open.

Place each open breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, wax paper or inside a large, open, Ziploc bag.  Using a small heavy pan, bottle or smooth meat mallet lightly pound out each breast into even thickness.

Mix all remaining ingredients except fresh cilantro and limes.  Add chicken and marinade to a large bowl or ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for up to two hours.

Remove each breast from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil continuously for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.

In a heavy skillet or grill pan, heat 1 Tbs. oil over high heat and cook the chicken in batches to prevent over crowding the pan.  Place the breasts in the hot pan and cook without turning for a couple minutes.  Flip the breasts over and cook until the other side is golden.

Place cooked breasts on a plate in a warm oven or under foil while cooking the remaining chicken. Sprinkle with fresh lime juice, shredded coconut and cilantro. Serve with sauce on the side.

Curried Steak with Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread

August 03, 2009 By: kristi Category: Main Dish, Spreads/Dips

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Sometimes I wonder where I come up with these off the wall ideas for my food.  There have been plenty of occasions when I think something sounds fantastic to find out it was not a bright idea.  Fortunately for me (and my husband) this one turned out GREAT!

It all started with this jar of roasted red peppers that was hidden in the way, way back of my cabinet that I totally forgot about.  Don’t you love when you find something that you forgot that you had?  At this point, I was already thawing some steaks for dinner, but I really wanted roasted red peppers.  Hmmmmm…. it was time to start thinking.

Then Ina Garten showed up.  If you aren’t familiar with her yet, you need to get acquainted with her.  Ina is a friend that you need in the kitchen.  Her Food Network show Barefoot Contessa has been the inspiration of so many meal ideas that I was not surprised that she helped me out again.

I was going through my file of recipes (one of many) and found her Roasted Eggplant Spread.  Well my wheels just started turning!  Ina’s recipe calls for red bell peppers, which I simply substituted for roasted red peppers.  Done.  Let’s put it on the steak and see what happens.

Well, it didn’t stop there.  Even though Ina’s spread has a lot of flavor, I didn’t want the steak to be bland.  That’s when curry crept into the picture.  It meshed with the whole eggplant-roasted red pepper-Mediterranean thing I had going on in the spread.  I say, why not?  Let’s give it a go….

It turned out beautifully!  Plus, I have left over spread for my pita chips.  Sweet deal.  If you love Mediterranean food, give this one a try.   Trust me, it’s good!

PS – If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, and you don’t have time to make the spread from scratch, check out their red pepper spread!

Curried Steak with Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Serves 4

For the Spread:

Ingredients:

1/2 medium eggplant
2-3 roasted red peppers
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

For the steak:

Ingredients:

4 petite sirloin steaks, fat trimmed
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. curry powder
2 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat grill pan to medium-high.  Add olive oil to pan.

Sprinkle curry powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to both sides of each steak.   Place on grill pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium.   Please keep in mind that my steaks were about an inch thick. Adjust cook time to suit your steak preferences (cook longer for well cooked steaks and less for rare…).

Place steaks on serving platter, covered in foil.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Top each steak with spread and garnish with fresh parsley.  Enjoy!