Monday, July 6, 2015

Grilled Napa Cabbage and Chicken Skillet--Using the Grill as a Summer Kitchen

Too hot inside? Power out? Use your grill as a summer kitchen to make this Napa cabbage and chicken skillet supper.


I could start off by saying my kitchen is hot.

I could make innuendos about how hot my mattress feels. [In my opinion, Tempuerpedic sleeps hot.]

I could whine about my 80+ year old windows and their lack of insulation [what they lack in insulation they make up in charm?].

Or, I could just say that the more I avoid my stove in the summer, the better I sleep at night and leave it at that.

If you have toured grand historic houses [for me, Mount Vernon, Montpelier and Monticello readily come to mind] one thing you may see is a summer kitchen. I have fond memories of the one at Mount Vernon.

I have always liked the idea of a summer kitchen, but it wasn't until an offhand comment by my spouse that I realized my grill could be a summer kitchen.

Cast iron pans can be used over an open flame--why not keep the kitchen cool and cook outside?

While it's on my mind, if you like in a place with days-long power outages (SW Ohio, I'm talking 'bout you), having the ability to cook all that thawing meat on a grill during the summer storm season is a plus.

I'm continuing to throw the farm share on the grill this summer with my newest recipe suggestion. This main dish grilled sort of stir fry comes together quickly. Add some hot rice [my rice cooker keeps the stove off] and the kitchen stays cool.

[Filled with hungry dogs who want to eat carrots or eat what the other dogs are eating, but cool nonetheless.]


Grilled Napa Cabbage and Chicken Skillet

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium to large heads Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6-7 cups)
2 cups cooked cubed chicken (leftover roast or rotisserie works great here)
1/4 cup prepared hoisin sauce
2 large spring onions or 1/2 cup chopped onion/shallot
salt and pepper to taste (I used Crazy Janes Mixed Up Salt, a few shakes)
to serve, hot cooked rice
Preheat grill to high for about 10 minutes while you prep the food, scrub grill grates with a grill brush to clean them, then reduce heat to medium and place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the grill.
In a large bowl, toss thinly sliced cabbage with vegetable oil. Set aside. Mix chopped chicken and hoisin sauce and set aside.
Spread cabbage across hot skillet, cover grill, and cook for 2 minutes. Open lid, stir cabbage, cover and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until cabbage is slightly softened. Dump the seasoned chicken and spring onions on top of the partially-cooked cabbage, stir to combine, cover the grill, and cook for about 5 more minutes until everything is heated through. Taste and see if you'd like salt and pepper. We did.


For more recipes using cabbage, please see my Cabbage Recipes Collection.  This collection is part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've got a Greens Board on Pinterest if you're so inclined. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Zucchini Lime Cupcakes

Shredded zucchini and fresh lime zest in tender cupcakes topped with a glaze of fresh lime juice.

I'm having a heck of a time getting posts entered into the computer using my spouse's iPad. Until I am reunited with my computer, I'm going to let the pictures do most of  the talking for these treats.
Desserts are not really my thing, and astute bakers will realize this is a muffin recipe in disguise.
It is--but it's so sweet compared to my usual muffin recipe that I'm calling these cupcakes instead.

This recipe came about when I had an abundance of limes (and zucchini in the freezer--overwhelmed with summer squash? Shred and freeze it). I'm already shared the Coconut Lime Cookies, now it's the zucchini's turn to shine.

I've been sharing so many zucchini recipes lately I should have held Zucchini Week! No matter, I love zucchini and will happily create many more ways for you to enjoy the squash from your farm share, farmer's market, or neighbor's garden.

Zucchini Lime Cupcakes

1 cup shredded zucchini
1 Tablespoon fresh lime zest
4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)

for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar (I didn't sift)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime zest
3 to 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 24 well mini muffin tin with vegetable oil spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together zucchini, lime zest and juice, egg and oil. Add sugar and still well. Dump dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) on top, and stir until just combined.
Scoop (I use a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop) into prepared pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix up glaze ingredients using as much lime juice as you need to get the consistency to your liking. Dunk or drizzle cupcakes to coat them in glaze. Set on rack to firm up the glaze.
For more recipes using zucchini in sweet or savory preparations, please see my Zucchini Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've also got a Summer Squash Recipes Collection in case you've got a mixed bunch of summer squash and don't know what to do with it. I pin squash recipes of all seasons to my Squash Pinterest board, and share seasonal recipes and round ups from around the web on my FB page. For info on how to use this blog, click here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kalua Pig, Pineapple, and Cabbage Salad

Slow-cooked Hawaiian style Kalua pig, layered over an Asian dressed cabbage salad and topped with fresh pineapple.

I got out of the car and immediately my ears were soothed by the rushing of water. I began to notice calls--most notably the red-winged blackbird that's been ubiquitous throughout the trip, but also plenty of little brown birds whose names I don't know despite iBirdPlus.

As I stood on the banks of Plum Creek I could envision what Laura Ingalls' childhood home was like. It was a very special moment for me.

A few minutes later a van pulled up with Idaho plates and I met the first group of fellow Little House tourists of our trip.

It is a small world.

The man I spoke with on the Gordon's farm outside Walnut Grove, MN graduated from a rival high school in Maryland. An interesting juxtaposition of my suburban youth with Laura Ingalls Wilder's youth.

This salad has nothing to do with the Little House on the Prairie books,  but it is a juxtaposition. I though my classic Potluck Asian Chicken Salad would be good with Kalua Pig. I know Kalua Pig is good with pineapple and cabbage. I combined it all for the guinea pigs ladies of the thrift shop. This makes a ton, so I kept the meat, salad, and fruit separate  and served it to my family for dinner.

You can find the recipe for the Kalua Pig  by clicking the link.

You can find the recipe for Potluck Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad by clicking the link.
Leave off the chicken, of course, and serve with fresh pineapple.

For more recipes using cabbage, please see my Cabbage Recipes Collection. For more recipes using salad greens, please see my Salad Greens Recipes Collection. For more ideas using radishes, please see my Radish Recipes Collection. These collections are all part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've got a Greens Board on Pinterest if you're so inclined. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.