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Friday, June 21, 2013

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Poblano Spinach Vinaigrette

We grill chicken A LOT in the summer so I'm always trying to find new ways to jazz it up. This is great and healthy! ...unless of course you're one of those people who don't like cilantro. Did you know that people actually taste cilantro differently? Julia Child told Larry King once that she thought cilantro tastes 'dead.' Bummer for her and the rest of you, but I will no longer blame you for this disability...it's not your fault. Check out this interesting article from the NY Times...

Chicken marinade:
4 tbsp olive oild
4 limes, juiced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts

Vinaigrette:
1 poblano, roasted
1 cup baby spinach, steamed for 2 minutes and water squeezed out
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
2 limes, juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Whisk marinade ingredients, add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Fire up the grill. Grill the poblano so that it's charred on all sides. Remove from heat and remove stem and seeds (or your vinaigrette will be VERY hot!!).

3. Blend the poblano and the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients until smooth.

4. Grill the chicken and serve with the vinaigrette on top.

Corn Risotto with Grilled Shrimp and Salsa Verde

It's almost corn season!! Favorite time of the year for the Martocci's. And although there's no better way to eat corn than off the cob, this is pretty darn yummy. Even better? Stock pile your corn throughout the summer by buying at least 2 extra ears every time you get it. Freeze serving sizes in ziplocks and love it throughout the cold months...we grew up always having 'summer corn' at Thanksgiving - thanks Mom!

Salsa:
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp chopped arugula (for a little bite), spinach, or kale - whatever you've got
3 tbsp chopped mint (keep the rest for mojitos!)
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh chopped fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch or two of salt
3/4 tsp anchovy paste (don't skip it)
3 cloves garlic

Risotto:
12 large shrimp
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
1-2 shallots
Corn from 2 ears
1 tbsp butter
3 cups chicken broth
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
3/4 cups arborio rice
1/4 grated Parmesan

1. To prepare salsa, put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

2. Marinate peeled shrimp with 1 tbsp oil, vinegar, and pinch of salt and pepper. Combine and refrigerate for 1 hr.

3. Melt butter and add stock, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Keep at medium heat on stove.

4. Place the shrimp on skewers and fire up the grill. Grill the shrimp until opaque and just done - they'll cook a bit more in the risotto. Set aside.

5. In a large saute pan, add 1 tbsp oil and shallot and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and stir constantly for a couple of minutes. Add 1/2 cup or ladle of stock to the rice and cook until liquid is almost absorbed, stirring constantly (don't add the bay leaf or sprigs). Keep adding a ladle of stock and letting it cook down, repeating  the process until the broth is used and rice is tender. Stir in the corn and Parmesan.

6. Add the shrimp and stir a couple of minutes more. Serve and drizzle with the salsa.