Oven Roasted Gnocchi With Sausage & Peppers

The first known use of gnocchi was in 1891.

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling. With simple ingredients, like potato flour, water, and eggs.

This dish originates from the Northern part of Italy. Due to the colder Northern Italian climate, potatoes are easier to grow than wheat grain.

Culinary Inventors of the Dumpling

The Chinese are the culinary inventors of the dumpling. Just as long noodles represent longevity, and dumplings represent wealth and prosperity.

At family dumpling-making gatherings on the eve of the new year, a coin may be slipped into a dumpling for good luck.

The little dough balls are usually stuffed with various ingredients from chives and shrimp to pork and cabbage.

Gnocchi verses Dumplings

What is the difference between gnocchi and dumplings?

First of all, the word gnocchi in Italian means “little dumpling.”

A gnocchi is a dumpling. The difference though, is that gnocchi is not stuffed or filled with anything as other types of dumplings are.

Instead of putting a filling inside of the dough, the “filling” ingredients are mixed with the dough, and a ball is formed afterward.

Gnocchi like dumplings can either be steamed, boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, or roasted in the oven.

Oven Roasted Gnocchi Sausage and Peppers

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss together the oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper on a sheet pan.

Top with sausage and gently shake the pan a few times to evenly distribute.

Roast in preheated oven until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the gnocchi with the Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

When sausage is cooked, remove sheet pan and turn the oven to broil.

Sprinkle the gnocchi over the sausage and vegetables and place under broiler until dark golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Divide among 4 plates and if you wish, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or fresh oregano leaves and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients For Delicious Winter Salads

An younf woman eating a warm winter saladFood crops harvested in winter months with the use of hoop houses or hot houses (such as used in California, USA) and other methods that extend the natural growing season, and old-fashioned storage vegetables like cabbages and potatoes all mean that there are plenty of winter produce to choose from.

What winter produce that is available, is sufficient to enjoy delicious winter salads along with great homemade dressings and vinaigrette’s.

The different crops available in the winter months include among others:

Beets: Available in season from fall through spring in temperate climates, and those available during the summer months, are from storage.

Belgian Endive: This leafy green is forced to produce under artificial conditions, making them available year round. Their traditional season, as with all chicories, is late fall through winter.

When grown in open fields they are covered with sand for about 6 months to keep out the light. When grown in hot houses they are placed in darkness for 6 months before shipping to market for purchase.

Read more here about the endive (includes a recipe with video): Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Broccoli: This and all other cruciferous vegetables can be grown year-round in temperate climates, but broccoli tastes best when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

salad plate with Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Brussels sprouts: These vegetables are part of the cabbage family.  They grow on stalks, and they last somewhat longer than when sold packaged or removed from their stalks.

Cabbage: This vegetable is crispy when raw with bitter flavor, though it mellows and sweetens the longer it’s cooked.

Sweet Potatoes: This root vegetable is often referred too or interchangeable with yams. The two vegetables are different though.

Most yams in the USA are sweet potatoes. Yams are dry and starchy, and grown mainly in Africa and Asia. They can weigh up too 100 pounds.

Sweet potatoes store very well and are available year round in warmer areas. Though their season is from late summer through winter.

Other vegetables available in fall to winter months include, radicchio, radishes, turnips, winter squash, rutabagas, parsnips, chard, collard greens, cress, spinach, kale, carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery among others.

There are also a verity of fruits in season during the winter months that you can enjoy in fruit salads, or as a snack. To view the available in season winter fruits link here: Fruits Info – Seasonal Fruits.

Salads To Enjoy In The Winter Months

Chilly temperatures, and dark winter days are traditionally suited to cheese, meat, and vegetable casseroles, including pastas. A salad filled with raw vegetables may not seem appealing in the cold winter.

But what if you could prepare a warm winter salad, like this one – Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts. This recipe is offered by a professional chef, author, recipe developer, educator and certified health coach at A Food Centric Life.

THE RECIPE

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

1 large bunch of organic kale (Tuscan, Lacinato or Dinosaur)

a white salad plate with Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Image Credit: A Food Centric Life

1 large shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Small handful of chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (suggestion: infused balsamic fruit flavored variety like dark cherry)

Salt and pepper, to season

Bring a large pot (5 quart/liter) of water to a boil while you are trimming the kale leaves and slicing the shallot. Trim the ribs out of the center of the kale leaves, and then cut the leaves crosswise into ribbons. Slice the peeled shallot crosswise into thin rings.

When water boils, add 2 teaspoons salt, then drop the kale leaves into the water and cook for 2 minutes (called blanching). Drain well through a sieve and place kale on a clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can steam your kale for 2-3 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.

In a medium sauté or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat until warm. Add the shallot rings, then the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until softened. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the cranberries, walnuts, and vinegar. Stir and cook for a minute, then add the cooked kale. Toss the kale ribbons to coat and warm, season up with salt and pepper, and then serve.

Make this a even more warm winter salad by either serving the warm salad as a side dish with roasted chicken, as Sally the author of “A Food Centric Life” explains, or as a foundation for roasted salmon. She also suggests placing the warm salad over a bed of quinoa for a vegetarian or vegan entree.

Sally says you can use a fruit flavored infused balsamic vinegar like dark cherry or fig when making the vinaigrette.

Another great warm winter salad you can enjoy is: Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

salad plate with Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet½ cup onion, diced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups fresh shrimp

3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped kale leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a a ceramic coated cast iron pan over medium heat, add olive oil.

Next add onions and red pepper flakes, and saute until onions are soft and browned.

Next add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.

Next add sweet potato and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. If necessary add a 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to help cook the sweet potato.

Next add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are pink in color.

Turn heat to low and add kale, stirring in until wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).

Plate and serve.

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Pork – That’s What’s For Breakfast Lunch And Dinner

Pork - That's What's For Breakfast Lunch And DinnerThe Washington Post wrote an article in October of 2014 about the Tudor Place that housed 6 generations from 1816 to 1983.

Tudor Place became one of the first 70 U.S. properties designated a “National Historic Landmark” in 1960, when the designation was created.

Tudor Place

Image Credit: City Profile

Tudor Place in Georgetown Heights (Washington D.C.) was built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Martha Curtis Peter and her husband.

Residents of Tudor Place had a small smoke-house that all 6 generations relied on to smoke their meats.

Can you guess what meat they smoked most often, and ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? If you guessed “Pork,” you guessed correctly.

When touring the residence, you are able to see displayed, a cookbook that served 6 generations providing the kitchen cooks with recipes that only included pork as the main ingredient.

The Washington Post wrote stating that communications officer for Tudor Place, Mandy Katz says that pork was on the dinning table 3 times a day.

Smokehouse at Tuder Place

Preservation Manager Jessica Zullinger and staff tour newly restored Smokehouse – Image Credit: tuderplace.org

The small smoke-house we made mention of was never on the tour of Tudor Place. But it was renovated and became part of the tour on the 23rd of October 2014.

The newly added structure to the Tudor Place tour was celebrated with, yes you guessed – pork. Little smokies and pulled pork sliders to be exact.

This year, 2016 is Tudor Place Bicentennial. You can read and learn more about Tudor Place by linking here: Tudor Place – America’s Story Lives Here.

Our featured recipes include pork, and they are…

  1. Smoked Bacon Golden Beets and Kale Hash
  2. Orange Ginger Pork Meatball Soup
  3. Stuffed And Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Chops with Brown Sugar And Spice Glazed Carrots

Smoked Bacon Golden Beets and Kale HashSmoked Bacon Golden Beets and Kale Hash

2 strips of smoked bacon per serving, cut into 1-inch slices

1 medium golden beet, shredded

1/2 cup kale, remove leafy parts from steam, leaves torn bite size

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until just done. Next add beets, stir in, and cook 1 minute more. Add kale and stir in just until wilted. Plate and serve.

Orange Ginger Pork Meatball Soup

1 lb. ground pork

2 green onions

Orange Ginger Pork Meatball Soup3 clove garlic, minced

1 piece (1-inch) peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped

4-5 teaspoons of orange zest

4 cups vegetable broth

8 oz. snow peas, cut into thirds at an angle

1 cup of cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked black beans

Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler on high. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a medium bowl, combine pork, green onions, garlic, ginger, orange zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper (both optional). Form pork mixture into bite-size meatballs (about 1 inch each).  Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned.

Meanwhile, in covered 5-quart sauce pot, heat broth to simmering on high. Once the broth is simmering, add snow peas, rice, beans and cooked meatballs. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through and snow peas are tender.

Stuffed And Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Chops With Brown Sugar And Spice Glazed Carrots

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Stuffed and Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Chops with Brown Sugar and Spice Glazed Carrots1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic

1/4 cup butter, milted

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

1 pound pork loin chops, thin cut

8 slices smoked bacon

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 pound carrots, sliced down the middle and cut into 2 inch slices

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Mix sugar and spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread some cream cheese on one side of chops. Sprinkle on some sugar-spice mix. Roll chops and wrap with one slice of bacon. Use a tooth pick or two to hold in place.

Arrange prepared chops into a 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish.

Next add melted butter to sugar-spice mix, and incorporate.  Add cut carrots to a 13 X 9 glass baking dish and mix in sugar-spice.

Roast both prepared baking dishes for 30 minutes, or until pork is cook.

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Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine

Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine

There are many varieties of vinegar’s. Like red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, and white vinegar.

Vinegar’s are used for pickling, de-glazing pans, marinating meats, making sauces and is found in some desserts. White or cider vinegar’s are even used for house cleaning and disinfecting as well.

Commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine is red wine vinegar, and is a common staple in most French homes. Most red wine vinegar’s can be matured up to two years. White wine vinegar is tangy in flavor and can be used in place of lemon juice in sauces like, Hollandaise and Bearnaise sauces, can also be used in making vinaigrette’s, soups, and stews.

It’s also an excellent base for homemade fruit or herb vinegar’s. Wine or white distilled vinegar’s are flavored with herbs, spices or other seasonings, like garlic, basil and tarragon, making a tasty and aromatic addition to dressings.  As for fruit infused vinegar’s, they are that commonly done with balsamic vinegar’s, like raspberry, blueberry or pomegranate.

From the kitchen to cleaning house, doing the laundry, and even used for medicinal purposes, vinegar is the most versatile of products, and versatile is defined as “capable of turning with ease from one thing to another.”

Our featured recipe is – Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine -, and yes it uses red wine, and red wine vinegar. Here is what you will need.

herb - wine marinade for Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine2/3 cup red wine

6 tablespoons tomato paste

3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked from steams

3 sprigs marjoram, leaves picked, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

½ cup red wine vinegar

3 1/2 pounds of chicken parts, legs, thighs, or breast, with bone and skin

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, optional

1 pound tri-color baby potatoes, do not peel

3 small red onions, quartered

6 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise

½ cup water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

chicken marinading in herbs and red wineMix together the wine, tomato paste, thyme, marjoram, and vinegar. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (optional), then place in a large bowl with the wine mixture. Coated the chicken pieces well, and set aside in the refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

vegetables arranged in a glass baking dishPlace the potatoes in a medium to large saucepan of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, drain.

Arrange the onions, carrots, and cooked potatoes in a large glass baking dish and pour in the water. We were not able to purchase the tri-colored baby potatoes, so we used small red potatoes cut in half.

marinated chicken and vegetables in a glass baking dishArrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on top of the vegetables. Pour the marinade over the chicken-vegetable layer. Cover with tin foil and roast for 30 minutes.

Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine - fresh out of the ovenRemove the foil and baste the chicken with the cooking liquid. Roast another 15 minutes, uncovered, or until the skin is crisp.

Platted - Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine and VegetablesPlate and serve.

Here’s another recipe using white wine, that we are sure you will also enjoy. Link here to view: Roasted Chicken Drumsticks and Vegetables with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce. You will enjoy the aroma of the fresh tarragon, in this recipe!!

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Blueberry Cupcakes – Paleo Style

Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style

You may heard of the Paleo Diet, and are also unaware what the diet consists of.

The paleolithic lifestyle also known Paleo Magazineas the Paleo Diet, is a diet that attempts to recreate or endeavors to imitate the eating patterns of our ancestors lifestyle, who lived 1000’s of years ago.

They did not eat food that was processed, refined, cooked with toxic oils, or that contained sugar, unlike the majority of the foods that we eat today (The PaleoSecret).

There are a small number of cultures in the world today, who continue to live a paleolithic hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Those who live in a modern society cultures, try to recreate elements of a paleolithic lifestyle.

They do so in an attempt to improve or enhance their health, fitness and happiness by avoiding the common diseases that most of society faces today, which include obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, allergies, depression, and chronic stress.

the paleo diet verse a non paleo dietThe paleo diet encourages eating generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter.

The diet also promotes not using oils made from vegetables, or that are hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated.

These oil include, but not limited to, margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.


Read More Here About

The Smoke Point Of Oils


Olive oil and avocado oil’s are encouraged for consumption, but only use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over food (Paleo Leap – Paleo Diet 101).

A paleo diet is neither vegetarian or Vegan.

Paleo eaters eat meat, unlike vegetarians, though they will eat dairy or eggs (depending on the person), and unlike vegans who eat no meat at all, including the by products of animals, such as dairy products, eggs, and even honey.

Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style

2 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/4 cup melted ghee

1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla

1 1/4 cups blueberries

A few pumpkin seeds and berries for topping the muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 mold muffin pan with baking cups.

Preparing step by step Blueberry Muffins Paleo StyleIn a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, then combine the wet ingredients with the dry, and incorporate together. Next fold in the blueberries.

bluebery muffin dough in a 12 well muffin panDivide the batter among the 12 muffin molds, filling each cup 3/4th of the way. Top with pumpkin seeds and a few berries.

Blueberry Muffins Paleo StyleBake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown.

Enjoy some other desserts using alternatives to whole wheat or grain flour, both Paleo approved.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Orange Almond Cake


More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll Ups

Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll UpsWith little more than your favorite spaghetti sauce (we used a sauce made with cream and vodka – from the Whole Foods Market), cream cheese and a shredded Italian cheese blend, you can have yourself some chicken roll-ups. They are super easy to prepare.

Here is what you will need:

2 oz. of cream cheese softened

¼ cup bell pepper; diced (red, yellow, orange, green, use all colors, or your choice – we buy tri-colored frozen bell peppers)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

4 chicken breasts; boneless skinless

1 cup Italian 5-cheese blend, finely shredded

½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 cup spaghetti sauce (your favorite)

salt to taste, optional

Heat oven to 400°

ingredients for Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll Ups

 

mix ingredients  togetherIn a medium bowl mix cream cheese, ½ cup of cheese, bell pepper, oregano, garlic and salt to taste.

When we salt in our recipes, it is always use Himalayan salt.

After you mix up the ingredients, set aside.

slicing chicken breast and flatting it with a robber mallet

Cut chicken long ways across breast. Place each cut chicken piece one at a time in a large plastic bag, seal it and with a rubber mallet or rolling pin flatten chicken to ¼-inch thicknesses.

preparing chicken roll ups

At one end of chicken strip roll up with cheese mixture, tucking in ends around filling to completely enclose the filling.

Place seam sides down in 13 x 19 inch baking dish coated with olive oil. Pour spaghetti sauce evenly over chicken, and cover with aluminum foil.

chicken roll ups out of the ovenPlace in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove foil, sprinkle chicken with remaining ½ cup shredded cheese. Bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

 

 

Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll UpsPlate and enjoy your Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll Ups with a salad or your favorite vegetable.

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Asian Spicy Poached Chicken

 

Asian Spicy Poached Chicken

Poached chicken is very popular in Hong Kong.

The chicken is poached in a broth flavored with star anise, caraway seeds, orange zest, lemongrass, ginger and Thai chilies.

Traditionally the broth is not served with the poached chicken and spices.

You can freeze the chicken stock in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw it to use in anything from flavored soup bases to fragrant noodle dishes, and even to cook rice.

Asian Spicy Poached Chicken

1 to 2 pounds chicken thighs with skin and bone-in

1 small stalk of lemongrass

Peel of half an orange

1 stalk celery

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 ounce piece fresh ginger root

1 red Thai chili

2 green finger chilies

2 pieces star anise

½ a red onion

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Some fresh filtered water

Half a cup coconut oil or olive oil

preparing to cook Asian Spicy Poached ChickenBegin by placing chicken pieces in a pot or pan with enough water to cover the chicken.

Add the lemongrass, orange peel, celery, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes.

pouching chicken for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenWhen the chicken done, you can eat the cooked dish as is, but this won’t be Asian Spicy Poached Chicken without the spicy part! So let’s continue.

spicies for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenFor the spicy ‘sauce’ gather the peppercorns, onion, chilies, star anise, oil, ginger, and caraway seeds. Slice the ginger, onions, and chili.

cooked spices for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenIn a small sauce pan over medium heat, place all of the spices and oil into the pan. Slowly heat up to infuse the oil with the spices.

pour spices over Poached ChickenAfter about 5 minutes of the spices steeping in the oil, pour the ‘sauce’ over the drained chicken pieces. You can strain the oil off if you want, but the traditional way of serving this dish is with all the spices left in the oil.

close up detail of cooked Asian Spicy Poached ChickenThis dish is best enjoyed with a side of Asian style vegetables or an Asian salad.

How about this Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing or Mango Thai Noodle Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

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Quick and Easy BBQ Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

Quick and Easy BBQ Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

Quick and Easy BBQ Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

Just hearing the word barbecue can make one think of a social gathering about to take place, either in your backyard, in the mountains, at the beach, at a friends place, or at the park. Where there is a barbecue, there is always food served.

friends make barbecueBarbecuing is most always outdoors, and either in the late afternoon or evening, and most of the time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Have you ever wondered about the term BBQ or barbecued? Well, this term is used in two ways, as an adjective that refers to this method of  cooking the food, and secondly used as a verb for the act of cooking the food.

Barbecuing food is cooked either using wood chips, charcoal, or propane gas, and there are many different regional variations depending where you are at in the world.

History Of Barbecuing

Most literature on the history of barbecuing points to Haiti as the origin. Some historians on barbecuing write that when the Spaniards who arrived after Columbus (who landed in North America in 1492) a few years later, found the Haitian people roasting animal meat over a raised wooden framework. The fire was built underneath, and the flames and smoke would rise and envelop the meat.

It is also written that Spanish explorers, Gonzalo Fernández De Oviedo y Valdés, were the first to use the word “barbecoa” in print in Spain in 1526. Barbecoa is the Spanish word for Barbecue in English.

As we noted earlier, barbecuing is used as a verb, and the Oxford English Dictionary cites the first recorded use of the word in the English language as a verb in 1661.

BBQ as a Sport

Barbecuing really isn’t a sport, but it is has permeated all of society and is a tradition in much of the world. There are BBQ competitions held yearsly, and almost all competition grillers use charcoal, most often in large, custom designed brick or steel grills.

Barbecue competitions are held in just about every state in the United States during the warmer months, from April through September. These competitive events feature competitions between teams of cooks and are divided into separate competitions, best BBQ pork, beef, chicken, and including the best barbecue sauces.

Here at Splendid Recipes and More, we are not competitive when it comes to barbecuing, we are just happy that the method was ever invited.

Here are some very simple and easy recipes for barbecuing beef and chicken.

The first one is -Mediterranean BBQ Chicken

basting and BBQ the chicken

To a small boil add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and about 1/8 cup Mirin (a sweet rice cooking wine).

To the bowl add:

1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt

1 teaspoon dried minced garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Mix spices, mirin, and oil until well incorporated.

Place 1 pound of chicken breasts (about 4) onto a heated foil prepared barbecue (your choice to use wood chips, charcoal or propane).

Next bast each chicken breast with spice mixture, turn breasts and bast the other side. Turn chicken about every 6 to 8 minutes so meat cooks evenly. No need to bast continuously, as the foil protects the meat juices and spices from falling through the grill.

foil tented vegetables on a barbecue

We also have a foil tent of mixed vegetables (you can use what ever type of vegetable you like), this is a great way to utilize the heat from the barbeque without using your kitchen stove top, and possibly warming the house up on a hot day.

mixing in spices and oil

We added about 2 or 3 tablespoons of avocado oil with 1 teaspoon of garlic lemon seasoning, that we purchased at the Whole Foods Market. Cook vegetables until done.

vegetables are being kept warm while meat finishes barbecuing

If the vegetables do finish before the meat is cooked, just leave them in their foiled tent and place them into a cover dish to keep them warm.

Mediterranean BBQ Chicken and a side of Garlic Lemon Vegetables

When everything is cooked and ready to eat…

Plated Mediterranean BBQ Chicken and a side of Garlic Lemon Vegetables and a salad

just plate and enjoy.

Now for our second simple and easy barbecue recipe – BBQ Beef and Sweet Pepper Fajitas –

meat and sweet peppers prepared

Prepare 1 or 2 pounds of carne para asar or carne asada, as it is called in Spanish. It is thin (very thin, less than 1/4 inch thick) cuts of sirloin, which can be found in most meat markets or the meat section of your favorit market to shop for food. Prepare the meat by cutting away any fat, and cutting meat into 1 and half inch long strips by about 1 inch wide. Seed about 7 or 8 sweet mini peppers (use yellow, orange, and red), cut them into strips about 1/2 inch wide.

spices that can be used for making fajitas

Now for the seasoning we had two choices in our spice cupboard. A Mayan Coffee Rub, and a Caribbean Rub, both purchased at the whole foods Market. We used the Caribbean Rub, and how fitting considering the history of barbequing started in Haiti, which is in the Caribbean.

Place 1 tablespoon of Caribbean rub spices into a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup avocado oil, and a small amount of balsamic vinegar (about 1/2 teaspoon). Mix the liquids and spices together.

adding meat and peppers to oil spice mix

Next add the meat and sweet peppers and mix till well coated. Let set, and fire up the barbeque. Line a piece of tin foil to fit your grill.

Barbecuing Beef strips and Sweet Peppers

When the barbeque is heated, add the meat mixture and cook until done, turning about every 5 or 8 minutes.

BBQ Beef and Sweet Pepper Fajitas

When the meat mix is cooked remove to a platter and serve.

juices of cooked meat and peppers

Because we foil lined the grill, look at the juices that did not trip through. After placing cooked meat mixture onto a platter, pour those juices over the -BBQ Beef and Sweet Pepper Fajitas –

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Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Over the last three decades or so, Americans have learned to reduce fat in their diet. Some are still struggling, but many have made good head way to eating a whole food clean diet, for better health.

Even though fat has been reduced, we are still not eating enough of the healthy fats, which include omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA or both known as “docosahexaenoic acid” and “eicosapentaenoic acid.” Both are found in fatty fish, like tuna or salmon.

The recommendation of consuming omega-3 fatty acids, is 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA, at least 2 times per week, and 3 ounces at each setting.

Our featured recipe fits the bill, so to speak. The recipe is, Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing, and here is what you will need.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

1 pound tiny new potatoes, halved if large

1 pound French green beans, stem ends trimmed

1/2 cup mixed Mediterranean olives, pitted

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon horseradish mustard

Preparing to bake Salmon - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

12 ounce fresh baked salmon, broken into chunks

Lemon wedges

Turn broiler up, sprinkle lemon pepper onto flesh side of salmon.

Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place fish under broiler and broil for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is done, about 160 degrees. Let cool, chunk and set aside.

Place potatoes in a 4-quart pan and add water to cover. Bring to boiling, and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Next add beans and return to boiling.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer another 5 minutes or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well, and set aside.

pitted mixed Mediterranean olives - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive DressingMeanwhile, place 1/2 cup olives, oil, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, and pepper in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

To serve, plate potato and beans mixture and top with salmon chunks. Drizzle with olive dressing. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.

If the dressing is to thick after blending the ingredients together, you can thin it a bit by adding a little more oil, or a little of the brine from the jar of mixed olives.

 

 

 

 

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Spanish Chicken Salad

Spanish Chicken Salad

Paprika is used to garnish many foods we prepare. Like soups, shrimp, deviled eggs, potato and pasta salads.

Paprika comes from the pods of Capsicum annuum peppers that are dried and crushed to form the powdery spice.

There are two principle paprikas used in cooking.

Sweet Hungarian Paprika

• Hot Spanish or Smoked Paprika

The sweet red chili peppers are originally native to North and South America.

But today, most paprika comes from Spain, South America, California and Hungary.

Dose it make a difference which paprika you use when cooking? Yes it does matter.

Sweet paprika adds just a mild flavor of spiciness. Where as small led paprika adds an intense spiciness.

As an example to use, you would use the sweet paprika when making deviled eggs, but smoke paprika would be used when making this Tortellini Primavera with Cajun Shrimp.

Paprika and smoked paprika are flavorful spices that enhance many savory recipes while adding a dash of crimson color.

Most recipes use sweet paprika. It is derived from the sweet red chili peppers and labeled “paprika.”

Smoked Spanish paprika requires the peppers be smoked, usually with oak wood, prior to processing.

Smoked paprika has a distinct flavor after being smoked.

Spain has three grades of paprika: sweet to mild, medium heat and hot heat.

Spanish Chicken Salad

ingredients-for-Spanish-Chicken-Salad1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tsps.

3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. paprika, Spanish smoked

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

16 oz. mix lettuce greens

4 cups cooked chicken

2 roasted bell pepper slices, cut into smaller slices

toasting-slivered-almonds-for-Spanish-Chicken-SaladIn a frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the almonds and toast, stirring until they are crisp and golden. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes. When you start to smell them toasting, remove the pan from the burner. If you continue to toast them, they will burn.

plating toasted almonds - putting aside - Spanish Chicken SaladWhen you remove them from the burner, transfer them to a plate and set aside.

preparing-chicken-breast-for-the-Spanish-Chicken-SaladTo prepare the chicken breast, pour one cup of chicken broth and one cup of water into a medium stock pot.

Place 4 chicken breasts into stock pot and cook on medium heat until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees.

Remove from pot, set aside and let cool. Once cooled chopped chicken into 1 inch chunks.

whisking-in-oil-gradually.jpgIn a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, smoked paprika,vinegar, mayonnaise and option 1/2 tsp. salt, pinch of pepper. Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil and mix up until well incorporated.

slicing-roasted-red-bell-peppers.jpgSlice the roasted red bell pepper and set aside.

Mixing-the-coated-chicken-toasted-almonds-with-the-greens-to-make-Spanish-Chicken-SaladIn the bowl with the vinaigrette add the chicken, and roasted bell peppers and stir to coat evenly.

Spanish Chicken SaladPlate and serve.

You can plate to the side some shredded Jack cheese and sliced roasted bell pepper, for extra toppings.


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