Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring is in the air

We took advantage of the nice weather last week by grilling outside for the first time this season. I marinated chicken breasts in Jerk seasoning from Herbs & Spice and Everything Nice at Findlay Market. I love their staff; they’re always helpful in explaining tastes and flavors of herbs and spices new-to-me. On my last visit, a young gentleman introduced me to the jerk seasoning. I’ve had Jerk Chicken at restaurants but I’ve never cooked with it in my own kitchen. After he finished listing the ingredients in the seasoning, the husband bought some for grilling. Ingredients that I remember are allspice, garlic and cayenne- the important ones.

We even had pineapple so it made for a perfect Jamaican themed dinner.

As you can see, I doused the chicken with the seasoning. Although the chicken was tender and aromatic, the flavors didn’t shine through really well. I think the missing component was salt. I didn’t add it for marinating because I couldn’t remember if it was one of the ingredients in the mix. Next time I’ll definitely include it to marinate chicken or vegetables.
I am ecstatic flowers are blooming, the temperatures are in the 60s and 70s and the days are longer. Welcome Spring- I hope you're here to stay. (please don't remind me about Sunday night's freezing temperatures)

Have you grilled yet? If so, what have you made?


valereee said...

No grilling yet here! Brrr, it was too cold this weekend! I'm not ready for tonight's hard freeze!

liberal foodie said...

Val, I said don't remind me. ;) I am really bummed about the cold temperatures as well.

valereee said...

Oops, missed that! :D

Anonymous said...

I haven't grilled, but looking forward to bringing out my grill.

This is off-subject, but I was at Findlay Market Saturday morning and noticed fenugreek. I had a Fenugreek yellow curry at Vij's in Vancouver and really enjoyed it.

Do you have any simple suggestions for fenugreek I can experiment with?

liberal foodie said...

Chad- I love fresh fenugreek. It has a bitter bite but when paired with potatoes, it shines. Here's a simple recipe:

1 lb Potatoes- washed and peeled cut into 3/4" cubes
1/2 cup- fresh fenugreek leaves
3 tablespoons- Clarified Butter*
1/2 teaspoon- Ground turmeric
1 teaspoon- Ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon- Chili powder
Salt to taste

Remove tough, stalky bottoms and leaves of the fenugreek, wash thoroughly and chop finely. Heat clarified butter in large pan on medium heat. Add potatoes and stir constantly, fry for about 3-5 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, chili and salt to the potatoes; mix and cook for a minute. Add fenugreek leaves to the pan, stir well. Lower heat, cover and cook for 15- 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir the mixture occasionally during the cooking process so everything cooks evenly and potatoes don't stick to the pan.

Note: if you don't have clarified butter, you can use vegetable oil. You can also use combination of vegetable oil and butter. I warn against using butter by itself- it has a tendency to burn.

Let me know how it goes.

Amber said...

I have grilled some marinated ahi tuna steaks I got from Trader Joe's and some buffalo burgers from TJ's. The tuna was good, the buffalo, we won't buy again. I can make way better hamburger patties. Plus they were frozen. I also grilled out veggies. I plan to go by the library and pick up a book on grilling. I would love to try to find a recipe for a stuffed burger, BBQ ribs, and grilled pizza. I love grilled fruit too.

Veggie Option said...

I feel un-American admitting this, but we don't even own a grill.

liberal foodie said...

cin twin- If your ahi tuna was frozen from TJ's, I bought it too. I made it asian style with cabbage. A post will go up soon. I haven't tried the buffalo burgers but hear they're eh. For a stuffed burger, I've made a blue cheese and caramelized onion turkey burger. Email me if you want the recipe. Let me know if you find a recipe for Grilled Pizza. mmmm

VO- I was in your place 2 years ago. Growing up we never owned a grill and I hadn't barbequed on my own until we got this one. George Foreman's a decent alternative.

Julie said...

I need to buy a grill-- I'm thinking about a good old fashioned Weber kettle to put in my courtyard.

liz said...

hahaha, i never stopped grilling over the winter! i absolutely must grill at all times. when it is too cold, i bust out the trusty grill pan. recent meals: blackened cajun salmon, shrimp skewers in a lemon and cumin marinade, nathan's hot dogs, veggie kabobs, and of course the trader joe's tuna steaks (in a lime and garlic marinade).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, LB. I'll try the recipe when I return from Montreal.

Amber said...

I hate to seem technology challenged, but how do I email you? I looked for a link on the blog, and couldn't find one! I would love the turkey burger recipe. I bet the onions keep it moist.

I hear you can get refrigerated pizza dough and put it on the grill to make grilled flatbread. I just figured you could put some toppings on the side you already grilled. I also keep seeing these recipes for "foil packs" that you put on the grill. I might try that with some potatoes and veggies.

liberal foodie said...

julie- a Weber kettle is your best bet, especially if you're limited in space. If a coworker hadn't pass this grill on to us, I would have bought a Weber kettle.

Liz- the shrimp skewers sound tasty. did you make the marinade? what did you put in it besides lemon juice and cumin. recipe please. ;)

Chad- have fun in Montreal. It's one of my favorite cities to visit. We were there last year for the Jazz festival. such fun!

CinTwin1- got your email. will respond soon.

TJ's sells the refrigerated pizza dough for grilling and baking. I unfortunately don't like its taste. After baking, it still tasttes doughy. I may attempt to make my own pizza dough this summer.

liz said...

i am very bad w/ recipes, i always just invent stuff. i seasoned the shrimp w/ lawry's seasoning salt, then i used lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper for the marinade.

for cin twin: i absolutely love foil packs. one of my favorite reicpes (again, no measurements, sorry) is to do salmon w/ soy sauce, white wine, lemon, butter, and garlic. you just put the salmon in the foil, dump the rest on top, and throw it on the grill. yummy!