Saturday, August 29, 2009

Apple-Cinnamon Honey Glazed Chicken

My brother passed this recipe along to me a few years ago. He first tried it while tailgating at a Jimmy Buffett concert – after all, parrotheads do know how to get their grillin' on. Anyway, the first thing he said to me about the recipe was the attraction that the smell was making. People were walking by, getting slight whiff of apple pie! And that's exactly what comes to mind when you grill this dish. The smell of the apples and cinnamon are amazing. The flavor, however, isn't quite as overpowering as you may expect. Instead you get a nice, subtle hint of the apples, cinnamon and honey as the marinade forms a nice, crispy glaze.

I've only tried this dish on the grill, but I'm sure it would also work well in the oven. Bonus points: oven baking this dish would probably eliminate the need of a scented candle in your house for that night!

Apple-Cinnamon Honey Glazed Chicken

1/3 cup apple jelly
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breasts

Heat grill, making sure to oil grill racks. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except chicken. Brush chicken with apple mixture, place on grill over medium heat. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with apple mixture.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NEW - Join the Group!

The brand new Cucina Domenico Group Page has been launched on Facebook. Meet other members and share your stories and recipes! Be sure to check it out!

Click here to join!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Day at the Movies..."Julie & Julia"

This weekend I decided to take off from cooking and had nice afternoon movie date with my wife. Any opportunity that we have to do something without the kids is usually few and far between, so today was a nice treat for both of us. We went to see 'Julie & Julia', the new movie that's is based on two true stories: the first being about the start of Julia Child's cooking profession, and the second being about Julie Powell, who challenges herself to make every recipe published in Child's famed cookbook within a year, and to blog about her experiences. Now, I'm not a movie critic, so I will not get into an in-depth review. But I will say that we both enjoyed the movie very much.I was fairly warned before we went that it was a 'chick flick', but I have to say, not-so-much (granted, I did also spend quality 'man time' at the bar this weekend with my best bud, watching the Phils and shooting the shit over quite a few beers). Yes, it's a fun, light-hearted movie. Yes, there's cutesy husband-wife scenes. However, there's also great food, great restaurant scenes and great cooking scenes. Lots of 'em! So, if you have an interest in food and cooking, I highly recommend checking it out.

Aside for the food aspect, what really appealed to me was the idea of Julie blogging about her cooking experience. Although I have never set any timeline goals for myself like Julie does, I do find lots of joy and pride working on my blog. It's been very therapeutic for me. While I still haven't found a way to track exactly who or how many of you are looking at my blog, I do enjoy the feedback that I receive, and I have made many more Facebook friends because of it. It's very gratifying, and I thank you for that!

WIth that said, there are two remaining Chillin' and Grillin' recipes to come: Apple Cinnamon Chicken, and my surprise entry in the Friendship Road Labor Day Cook-off Competition. I've already started to compile a bunch of recipes for the fall and look forward to experimenting with many more ideas and sharing them with you.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Grilled Romaine with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

I'm not usually a big salad eater. When this dish was offered as a special at one of our favorite restaurants, I was sold. It's very simple to make, and takes only a few minutes to grill. If you're used to the crunch of fresh romaine, you'll be in for a surprise with this. The heat from the grill does make the leaves wilt, but the freshness still holds up and is very tasty. I decided to add some crumpled feta cheese to the salad for extra flavor. You could also add toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds, pieces of chicken, or any other salad topping that you prefer. I also found a recipe for strawberry vinaigrette, which was similar to the one that was served at the restaurant. The dressing recipe is for four servings, so you will have plenty of dressing left over. Again, feel free to use your dressing of choice.

Grilled Romaine with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Split one heart of romaine lettuce, lengthwise. Heat your grill to high-heat, making sure to spray or oil the grates. Place the romaine halves on direct heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the leaves starts to wilt and grill marks are visible. Turn the lettuce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, drizzle with dressing, top with crumpled feta cheese. Serves two.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4± teaspoon white sugar (adjust sweetness to your liking)

In a blender or food processor, mix strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Slowly add the oil. Blend until smooth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Grilled Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto

Once again, here's a fine example that proves that anything wrapped in prosciutto is delicious! When buying prosciutto, you may come across a few varieties. Of course, the better varieties can be a bit expensive. For a grilled dish like this, I feel that you can get away with a moderately priced prosciutto. For this dish, I used the Canadian prosciutto ($12.99/lb, as opposed to the $22.99/lb. Parma prosciutto) and it tasted fantastic.

Grilled Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto
1 lb raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 bottle Lawry's Tequila Lime marinade
1/4 lb prosciutto, sliced thin

Soak shrimp in marinade for approximately 2 hours, covered and refrigerated. Remove shrimp from marinade, wrap piece of prosciutto around shrimp, hold in place with a toothpick. Heat grill to medium. Grill shrimp on medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes, until shrimp are pink and prosciutto is slightly crisp.