Sunday, July 25, 2010

During the cold months of winter, I spend my cooking time on warm, rich, and comforting recipes. I am drawn to creams, deep and smokey spices, and cheeses. I love to be in the kitchen creating, baking, and eating. The kitchen is the warmest place to be and I spend a lot of time there.
So...you can imagine that when the temperatures rise to a sizzling 95 + degrees, and my kitchen is still the warmest place in the house......I just might not want to spend quite as much time in it. My taste buds gear a bit more to cold, fruity, crisp, and fresh flavors. I crave garden fresh flavors and herbs. I love to cook, I love to create....but I like to do it in half the time and prefer to grill as much as possible. One of my favorite ways to feed the masses during the summer months is with salads.
This particular salad is full of sweet and spicy, crunch, salty, fresh, and creamy flavors. The recipe below for Jerk Chicken can definitely stand alone, but combined with the sweet fruits, creamy cheese, and crispy lettuces, it is off the charts. I hope that this recipe will keep you out of the kitchen for a bit.
SWEET ONION DRESSING
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard (dry)
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 vidalia onion, grated
½ cup rice wine vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar and onion together and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot liquid into blender with spices and blend, slowly adding the oil in a steady stream. Cool and serve.
JAMAICAN JERK SALAD
1 cup pineapple, chunked
1 cup mango, chunked
1 cup red peppers, diced
1 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup corn, cold
1 cup orange segments
1 recipe jerk chicken, chunked
1 cup almonds, slivered
1 cup mild feta cheese
12 cups variety lettuces, chopped and combined
1 recipe Sweet onion dressing

Combine all ingredients together with dressing.

JERK CHICKEN

3 scallions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 fresh habenero chili stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 chicken breasts

Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place marinade and chicken in seal-able plastic bags- pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade. Put bags of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, for a few hours or up to 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade. If cooking in the oven, cook at 350 degrees until chicken is tender and juices run clear, about 25 minutes. If grilling, heat barbecue to high but then reduce to low heat and grill for 8 minutes a side.

5 comments:

Becky said...

Hi Sara,
I attended your cupcake class last Tuesday and had a fabulous time. I wanted to share our link so you can see what we've done. I will also feature your Peanut Butte and Jelly cupcakes I think in the next couple weeks with a link to your blog.
Thanks tons!
Becky
www.thecraftingchicks.com
http://thecraftingchicks.com/2010/07/chic-cupcakes-cooking-class-giveaway.html

d said...

Wow- I'm trying this at least by week's end. My mouth is watering.

bonnie said...

great dressing, summers in the kitchen can get pretty unbearbale here too..

sweetlife

Cinnamon Girl said...

I love this Sara! I never tried to make my own jerk chicken but it's one of my favorites. And you make it look so easy! Your onion dressing really caught my eye too. I am SO making this!

Joanne said...

I never really expect my tastes to change with the seasons but slowly and surely they always do. This salad looks perfect for summer eating!