Friday, June 25, 2010

Creative Kitchen

Wednesday I felt creative and decided to create my own recipe for the chicken I had to prepare for dinner. I made a rub and mixed in some extra virgin olive oil and let the chicken marinade for a while. I sauteed onion and garlic until just tender, added some other ingredients and then the chicken. The results were tremendous and I will continue to tweak the recipe. Cal asked me several times, "Did you write it down?" Guess he liked it! I served the chicken with roasted garlic couscous. We had several tomatoes that came from Grace's garden, as well as our neighbor, so I decided to use them in a salad. I made a tomato-cucumber salad with fresh mozzarella....yum!

FRESH TOMATO AND CUCUMBER SALAD
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves
5 fresh oregano leaves
3 small fresh cucumbers (pickling or thin slicing)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, vine ripened
Mince garlic or press through a garlic press. Let garlic stand in balsamic and wine vinegars for 10 minutes (this takes the "edge" off). Discard any garlic which has green sprouts in the center, as the flavor is too sharp and bitter for this salad - use for another purpose.
Wash basil and oregano leaves (pick at noon time on a sunny day for best flavor). Roll up leaves and slice into little strips (chiffonade). Chop and add to your best olive oil and allow to stand in oil while garlic marinates.
Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients. Wash cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel cucumbers, leaving a scant amount of peel (helps with digestion). Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch coins (circles).
With a sharp knife, remove stem and blossom end from tomatoes (a very small amount). Slice tomatoes into wedges, being careful not to crush and lose juice.
Place tomatoes and cucumbers in salad bowl and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
Combine olive oil with vinegars, whisking together well. Use to dress tomatoes and cucumbers; serve at room temperature.
Variations: Add 1 thinly sliced red onion, pitted oil cured black olives and fresh mozzarella, sliced (or use the small bocconcini).

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