May 4, 2023 at 2:59 p.m.
No time for small talk this week!
These past two weeks have been insanely busy here at the Press for me. Spring sports have started up, we’re in the final stages of our 106 page Community Guide, and we just launched our brand new web site last week! So let’s just say I don’t have time for the small talk today, and we’re just going to jump into the recipes!
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CASHEW CHICKEN ROTINI SALAD
16 oz. rotini
4 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 c. seedless green grapes halved
1 c. seedless red grapes halved
5 oz. dried cranberries
1 c. ranch salad dressing
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 c. salted cashews
Cook the pasta according to packaged directions. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl combine chicken, grapes and cranberries. Add pasta.
In a small bowl, whisk ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.
Just before serving stir in cashews.
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This next one is a light dinner that is pasta-based. It’s got some interesting combinations that really marry well.
ASPARAGUS HAM DINNER
2 c. uncooked corkscrew or spiral pasta
3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, julienned
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 medium tomatoes, diced
6 oz. boneless fully cooked ham, cubed
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, saute asparagus and yellow pepper in oil until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and ham; heat through. Drain pasta; add to mixture. Stir in parsley and seasonings. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm.
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Our next recipe can be grilled or done in the oven, and it’s a great, flavorful recipe that brings out some Mexican flavors and heat. Having the windows cracked open, breeze blowing in with some fragrant onions and peppers going in the oven sounds like a little slice of heaven right about now.
FYI, poblano peppers aren’t spicy at all so don’t worry about too much heat.
CHILI-STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can (15 oz.) chili without beans
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
4 large poblano peppers
1 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat broiler. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook turkey, crumbling meat, until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes; drain. Add chili and salt; heat through. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, tomato and green onions.
Meanwhile, cut peppers lengthwise in half; remove seeds. Place on a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan, cut side down; brush with oil. Broil 4 in. from heat until skins blister, about 5 minutes.
With tongs, turn peppers. Fill with turkey mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes longer.
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Teriyaki or honey bourbon with a splash of fruit, jazz up a nice, heavy piece of chicken for a hearty meal.
Also. a quick note before you start this recipe. It calls for a lot of bourbon. Feel free to use a cheap one. You’re cooking with it so it cooks away that taste anyway and no need to waste a good, spendy bourbon on this recipe, it’ll be just as good with the cheap stuff.
WHISKEY PINEAPPLE CHICKEN BREAST
2 c. bourbon
2 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1 c. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. minced fresh gingerroot
2 tbsp. coarsely ground pepper, divided
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. kosher salt, divided
5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 c. sliced sweet red pepper
1 c. sliced yellow onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
Whisk together bourbon, pineapple juice, hoisin sauce, ginger, one tablespoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and one teaspoon salt until blended. Place chicken in a shallow dish. Add half the marinade; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Keep covered. Reserve leftover marinade refrigerated in container for later.
Drain chicken, discarding the marinade when ready to cook. Grill chicken, covered, on a greased grill rack over medium-high direct heat until a thermometer reads 170 degrees, 5-6 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, toss pepper and onion slices in oil and remaining salt and pepper. Grill, turning frequently, until soft, 5-7 minutes. In a small saucepan on the grill, cook reserved marinade over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Chop grilled pepper and onion. Sprinkle over chicken; serve with sauce.
TFD: “Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice...strike three.” — Michael Scott