Grilled Jerk Wings

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I tend to make major leaps after a small success. I pulled off a grilled romaine salad so I got cocky and took my grilling challenge to wings. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little terrified. Additionally I’ll be honest and admit that the emergency water bottle was used a handful of times to put out small rack fires.. However I pulled it off and these wings were yummy. Who knows what’s next in my grilling adventure. Tri-tip anyone?

These wings are spicy and tangy. The original recipe called for a Scotch Bonnet chile pepper which is reportedly much hotter then the habanero pepper I used. If you like really really hot wings then I suggest finding said pepper and using it in this recipe. Our grocery store does not carry it so I had to substitute. I also shared some wings with my neighbors who are connoisseurs of all things chicken wings and they suggested rounding out the sauce with something sweet such as honey. I will certainly heed this advice and cannot wait to make these again. As for the grilling process, this recipe is pretty easy to follow. You season the wings, grill them, and toss them in sauce. Done deal! These will be great for the upcoming Super Bowl and quickly approaching summer barbecues.

Serves: 4     Calories: 460 per serving     Time:25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings, we bought party wings already cut
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • *optional* any chicken rub you like, I used garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large habanero pepper, minced (wear gloves when handling these hot peppers)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • scallions, chopped for topping

Directions:

  1. Light your grill and heat to medium, approximately 350 degrees F
  2. Rub your wings with olive oil, salt, pepper and optional chicken rub.
  3. Put chicken on the grill and turn them occasionally cooking for 25-20 minutes. Times vary depending on the size of your chicken and how often you lift the lid of your grill to turn the wings. Do not open too much as it releases the heat and takes longer to cook your wings. You will know the chicken is done by cutting into one of the wings and finding that there is no redness near the bone.
  4. While your wings cook prepare the sauce by mixing together the vinegar, habanero, mustard and oregano in a large bowl.
  5. Once wings are done and have a nice char add them to the bowl with sauce and toss coating them evenly.
  6. Top the wings with chopped scallions and enjoy!

*photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from:

Schlesinger, Chris.  Willoughby, John. “Jerk Wings from Hell.”  Grill It!. Ed. Louise Abbott, Marek Walisiewicz, Kati Dye. New York: DK Publishing, 2008. 165. Print.

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Pork Potstickers

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I don’t always need a big dinner to satisfy my cravings. Actually I am quite happy with substituting a bit of “finger foods” for a whole meal. That is what we did with these. I made a large batch and froze what we did not immediately use. This worked out great because not only did we get more dinners out of it but it also hit the spot when we wanted a late night snack. Just fry up a few of these and you’re good to go! This recipe offers a blast of flavor. It is sweet, salty and spicy. The pork is tender with crispy bits of cabbage an onions all wrapped in a crunchy pan fried shell. I’ve always find these as a treat when we go out to eat but I am happy that now I am able to have a stock in my freezer to enjoy whenever I want.

Serves: approximately 36 potstickers     Calories: 65/potsticker     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more if you like it hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 36 circular wonton wrappers,
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper.
  2. Place a wrapper on a clean and dry work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Gently rub the edges of the wrapper with a little bit of water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal. Continue this process with wrappers until you run out of mixture.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce, additional sriracha sauce or any sauce you like and Enjoy!
  5. If you want to freeze your overstock of potstickers line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay the potstickers in a single layer. Freeze for an hour or two before transferring to a Ziploc bag. We do this to keep the potstickers from sticking together and breaking apart when you reheat them.
  6. When reheating the frozen potstickers defrost them and cook according to step 3.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://damndelicious.net

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans – ★★★★★

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This is a really fun and delicious way to dress up green beans. I absolutely loved the tender crisp result. Let’s be honest, you cannot really go wrong with parmesan crusted anything! The only problem is that these were so good that we had none left over. The recipe is super easy and took very little time to prepare so I’ve got a feeling this will be my standard weeknight side dish. Delicious! Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

“These beans are awesome! I think they would make for a good appetizer with a dipping sauce. They almost didn’t make it to our plates because when Kelsey pulled them out of the oven we automatically started snacking on them while we waited for the chicken she was also making to come out of the oven. The parmesan was really browned in some spots giving off an almost smoky taste. I think the next time Kelsey makes these I’ll suggest she does a couple of pounds worth of greens.

Serves4-6     Calories:130 per serving     Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine oil, garlic, egg, garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Toss green beans into the mixture, coating them well.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and continue to toss gently until coated.
  5. Lay the green beans out evenly on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Broil for an additional 2 minutes or until crispy.
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com

Homestyle Sun-dried Tomato and Herb Hummus – ★★★★★

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We love hummus and find our homestyle recipe to be better then the store bought stuff. This recipe isn’t exactly creamy because it is hand mixed, and that is one of the things we love most about it. Every bite is different with chunks of tomato, chickpea and garlic. I’m seriously about to go break some out of the fridge just talking about it. It’s that good! We like to make it not only for ourselves but as an appetizer for when we have friends/family over. Definitely a crowd pleaser! Perry always gives five stars and here is why:

“This hummus is unique in that it’s not what you would expect hummus to be.. I was used to what Kelsey calls “liquid hummus” from the store before she introduced me to this recipe. I’m hooked and am now appalled by store bought hummus. I like this recipe because it is thick, hearty and versatile. Each batch never tastes the same because Kelsey likes to experiment with herbs. That being said we’ve never had a bad batch. We usually eat this hummus with triscuits making it a delicious protein/fiber snack.” 

Serves: a ton         Calories: 30 calories/ tbsp      Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15oz) cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 medium jar of sliced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  •  4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain beans. 
  2. In a microwave safe bowl heat chickpeas for approximately 1-1.5 minutes
  3. Mash chickpeas with something like a meat mallet or potato masher. They will be hot so please be careful
  4. Once it’s cooled a bit add 1/2 of the jar of tomatoes and oil (you can use more if it suits your taste but at least use half of the jar), garlic and spices.
  5. Mix it all together and serve with a drizzling more of the tomato olive oil overtop. 
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo and recipe are originals. Feel free to use recipe on your own blog but please link it back to my blog for credit. 

Garden Fresh Guacamole – ★★★★★

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Last night we had friends over for a Mexican inspired dinner. If you follow my blog you know I’ve gotten into Asian and Indian cuisines so it was really nice to step back into SoCal and whip up a nice south of the border dinner. We started with two variations of fresh guacamole, hot (mild) and regular. The original recipe called for half of a jalapeño but instead I threw a whole one (with seeds) into one batch and left jalapeño completely out of the second batch. Six adults went through one whole batch so I think it’s safe to say it was a hit! Perry gave five stars and this is why:

“I hate it when you order guacamole in Mexico and the waiter brings back a bowl of chopped onion and tomato with very little bit of avocado. I understand that avocado is expensive, but isn’t it the core ingredient of guacamole? Kelsey’s guac was the opposite as it was chock full of avocado making it really creamy and fresh tasting. The hot guac could have been a little spicier but it was tasty nonetheless. Full stars for a great appetizer”

 

Assembly time: 20 minutes      Set time: 1 hour at room temperature

HOT Batch Ingredients:

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved pitted and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Regular Batch Ingredients:

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved pitted and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Decide if you want hot or regular guacamole and use that ingredient list above.
  2. In a large bowl place avocado and lime juice toss to coat. 
  3. Add spices and with a potato masher mush it up.
  4. Gently fold in the onion, jalapeño (if you are making it hot), tomato, cilantro and garlic.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving
  6. Enjoy!

*Original recipe found at http://www.foodnetwork.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me

 

Lemongrass Chicken Pot Stickers – ★★★★★

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Every time we go food shopping and pass frozen pot stickers I think “those would be fun to try and make at home.” I’ve literally been thinking about it for months and finally mustered up the courage to give it a try. These are pretty easy to make and taste phenomenal. I had some extra sweet chili sauce on hand in case the recipe was a bust but we didn’t need it since the flavor was just right. The most time consuming part was constructing all the little dumplings, so if you have kids that like to help in the kitchen this might be a great way to get them involved. Perry gave this one full stars and here is why:

These will make your kitchen smell so good. The end result was awesome. The bottoms were crunchy but the rest was a nice soft steamed dumpling. The flavor was spot on and we didn’t even have to use any extra sauce. Actually, using extra sauce would take away from the great flavor. We had these for a few days and they reheat really good. I’ll be requesting them again fairly soon.”

Makes: 24 potstickers      Calories: 45/potsticker        Time: approx. 45minutes-1hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, minced
  • 2-3 stalks of lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 tsp chili sauce (depending on your taste)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg round pot sticker wrappers (24 wrappers)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, divided
  • water

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, bell pepper, green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, and salt.
  2. Scoop 1/2 tbsp of the chicken mixture in the center of a pot sticker wrapper. With a moist finger, wet the outer edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the top of the pocket to seal. Working from the two ends inwards, create folds and seal eliminating air pockets as you go.
  3. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot add your pot stickers leaving room between each one. Fry until the bottoms start to brown. Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and immediately cover with a lid. (you may want to use an oven mitten when doing this because the hot oil will pop and burn your skin if you aren’t fast enough). Let the pot stickers steam for about 10 minutes. Once they are cooked through remove the lid and continue to cook until all the water has been evaporated from the pan.
  5. Do this process once more with the second batch
  6. Serve with sauce and/or hot sake and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe was found at http://www.picturetherecipe.com

Baked Jalapeño Popper Wontons – ★★★★★

ImageBefore I go into my mini-review of the recipe I want to admit to the terrible quality of the photo accompanying this entry. I made these on Halloween and my little monster (literally… Chance was Mike Wasowski from Monsters Inc for Halloween) was eager to go trick or treating. I usually take a couple photos and choose the best one but this time I took one and it came out really crappy. So please excuse that. Onto the recipe… This one was a hit! I tend to find awesome appetizers and make them for dinner. This one starts out creamy and flavorful but by the time you swallow your bite this wonton will kick your tastebuds into heat overdrive! I used a mixture of spicy jalapeños and carrots to really add heat. Perry gave these 5 stars and here is why:

“The only way these could be better is if they were served with a sauce. I really like the “after heat” of these wontons. Its tricky because at the first bite you don’t think its too hot but after that first bite you can definitely taste the spice. I also like that they weren’t dripping in oil. I’m used to wontons being fried and leaving my stomach in knots. Kelsey baked these ones which saved not only my stomach but also the flavor because I believe fried foods just taste like burnt oil. I’d like to have a ton of these in the freezer to throw in the oven for a snack.”

Makes: approx 20 wontons   Calories: 84.25/wonton   Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 (4oz) can of sliced jalapeños, chopped (I used a can of jalapeños and carrots)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl mix together cream cheese, monterey cheese,  jalapeños, garlic and green onions.
  3. Fill wonton wrappers with approximately 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture each. Fold wrappers into triangles and press the edges with wet fingers. 
  4. Arrange wontons on a baking pan and spritz with a little bit of cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. 
  5. Let cool for a minute and enjoy!

*Recipe belongs to http://www.allrecipes.com

**Photo is an original taken by me