Monday, July 28, 2014

A Beautiful and Bold Plate of Vegetables, Chicken and Rice to Share

Vegetables, Chicken and RIce Plate

All-in-one meals are easy to make and can include so many delicious ingredients. With this dinner plate it looks extra nice on the presentation side of things and it's yummy hot or cold. I'm pretty hooked on my friend Larry's chile powder and spices; it seems almost every meal I make lately has one or more of his amazing flavors in the mix. Peppahead is my new go to for authentic chile infusion.

I have a lot going on in this...Spinach, carrots, tomatoes, red bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans, broccolini, chicken and rice. Some were leftovers I needed to use and others were freshly cut. I cooked the chicken right in with all the other ingredients in a nice deep pot and let it simmer for about and hour. I plated the rice and then served the veg and chicken mix on top. It's been really hot here so I only ate a little, but I am going to have it for lunch today and I expect it to taste even better. Again, I especially like the green plate for this. It brings out all the colors in a vivid display and the rice does not get lost like it does sometimes on a white plate. The light cooking broth with the red chile is always a nice color pop, and juicy good!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Spinach Tomato and Broccolini Salad Plate

Spinach is lovely but you don't always feel like a heaping serving. This is a nice way to get on the ball with intake without the overload. Cook your spinach and let it cool. Then roll up individual bite size portions and do whatever suits you. It could be breaded and baked if you use a little egg binder to the mix for a crunchier addition. I have not tried it, but I think a quick deep fry would be good too. For now, this is the most simple, fresh way to plate up a quick, delicious salad filled with nutrition. Top with a little Parmesan cheese and some unsalted sunflower seeds and you're all set. If you want a light dressing solution, rice or red wine vinegar are great. Yes, I am on a bit of a salad kick, but what better way to enjoy the bounty of summer...light, bright, and beautiful.

Delicious Summer Yum Salad

This is some serious summer yum!

Corn off the cob, French green beans, Hearts of Palm and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Corn off the cob, French green beans, hearts of palm, cucumber and heirloom tomato salad.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Up your Protein

Spicy Chop with Summer Crunch

This is a nice way to serve your chicken, chop or steak. Add some fresh English cucumber slices and a chopped heirloom tomato for a delicious summer twist.  I used a spicy chile rub on this chop for extra flavor; complements of my friend Larry at Peppahead, I can't get enough of his great stuff. Dixon in the mix.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hearts of Palm Nested in a Radicchio Leaf with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Hearts of Palm in Radicchio Leaf Salad

This is a delicacy that should be eaten with pure reverence. Hearts of Palm are the inner portion of the stem of the Cabbage Palm, Florida's official state tree. Their delicate flavor is similar to an artichoke with the firm, smooth texture of white asparagus.

They are only available fresh in Florida and other tropical climate countries where the tree grows. Harvesting from wild single-stemmed palms results in the death of the tree while Peach Palms are self-suckering producing up to 40 stems, so harvesting is not as expensive—still it is labor intensive.

Florida's wild Sabal Palmetto (Cabbage Palm) is now protected by conservation law.

Usually cut in to coins, I sliced these down the middle to extract the super slim core as a garnish and then did a fine chop of two stalks. The canned variety come packed in water and if you choose to dress this salad, I suggest using the water to make your dressing. The small leaf radicchio nest is a beautiful way to plate and present this special ingredient. I also added a small chop of heirloom tomatoes in to the mix and topped it with a little feta. A few French green beans and a slice of heirloom finishes the plate. If you want to make it even more dramatic, add an extra leaf of radicchio as shown in this other image.

This would be delicious served with some fettuccine alfredo.

My reverence for food and making a plate a piece of art is a delight, but I will add this quote from Andy Rooney Toons as a funny note of contrast.

"I don't like food that's too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I'd buy a painting.

-Andy Rooney

For more interesting food quotes, go to this link.

Radicchio Leaf Nest with Hearts of Palm and Heirloom Tomatoes Salad

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Saladino

Salads are delicious, healthy, satisfaction. Using mixed greens as a centerpiece and spinach chiffonade on the outer edge makes for a nice contrast. Topped with some thin sliced carrots, a small chop of red bell pepper, a bit of chicken, a few grape tomatoes, and you have a complete meal. The chicken was baked with some chile powder for a little extra kick. To keep it on the light side, all you need to dress this salad is a squeeze of lemon. The chiffonade takes a few extra minutes but it really adds to the art of the plate.

Summer Salad Plate with mixed greens and chiffonade spinach

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Simple Steak and Corn

As summer heats up my appetite wanes and having small, simple meals suits me best. I'm sure there was a whole lotta grillin' going on this holiday weekend and some still to come. You don't have to do much to enjoy this classic steak and corn except sprinkle on a little Peppahead New Mexico Dixon Red Chile.

Steak and Corn

Thin slices are a good way to go, and any leftovers make for a nice steak sandwich, or add them to a crisp salad mix.