I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m getting awfully tired of being cold. The best way to take yourself elsewhere without actually paying to go elsewhere is to make their food. Sometimes a little table decoration helps, but I’m no Sandra Lee – sometimes it’s a little insane how that woman creates a table scape to go with a meal. Where do you store it all after the plates clear? I digress.
In the spirit of all things warm and summery, I made food for my mood. It’s a great thing, how the right recipe can take you to another place or time. This week, I made pineapple jerk chicken. It was originally a pork recipe, but due to lack of porcine, chicken thighs became the target of this marinade. I strongly recommend using fresh pineapple for this, though in a pinch canned would work, just make sure it’s not canned in syrup. This marinade kept the meat so tender and juicy, it was truly delightful. This recipe I cut down for two, but can easily be multiplied.
Pineapple Jerk Chicken
- 2 lbs fresh pineapple, 2/3 cut into chunks, 1/3 cut into rings
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
In a blender, combine the pineapple chunks, scallions, jalapeno, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend to an applesauce-like consistency. In large ziplock bag or container, place the chicken, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the marinade, then place the pineapple rings inside. Leave in the fridge for at least one hour, or as long as four.
After the marinade has set in, heat a large skillet and add the chicken, slowly adding the marinade. When the chicken is about half done, heat a smaller skillet and brown the pineapple rings.
How else to think summer time than with a salad? The great thing about them, is you can do anything with them, just pick a flavor profile. I found this one on Pinterest, but tweaked it to my liking, since I’m not a fan of kale or almonds, for that matter.
Even while I was thoroughly enjoying this salad for supper – great for a main course or a side dish – I was thinking how to rework it next time. Though while you’re eating it, it feels very light, after you’ve finished you realize how full you are by it.
Strawberry Avocado Salad
- 4 Cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 C chopped strawberries
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 3/4 C goat cheese, crumbled.
- 1/2 C cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/4 C sunflower seeds or pine nuts (optional)
- In a large bowl, stir to combine.
That salad goes really well with this lemon poppy seed dressing. It’s easy to throw together.
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
Dump everything in to a resealable container. Close lid tightly. Shake to combine.
Tip of the week: Always serve your dressing on the side. Not only does this help with portion control (there can be a ton of calories in some salad dressings) but also if there’s leftover salad, it doesn’t go soggy in storage.
Sally is a wife and domestic diva in Maryland. She approaches life with gusto, humor, and a passion that is unmatched. She is a classic woman, with a modern twist and is the kind of woman who will throw back a beer and watch Star Trek with her husband, and entertain the church croquette group with homemade cheese cake. Sally offers something for everyone, and is always experimenting and cooking up a storm in her kitchen.