Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice

I found this dish as a recent post on and the coconut rice drew me in. I ended up extending the marinating time of the chicken to overnight, turning a couple times. This all came together deliciously! The light coconut milk gave a subtle taste to the rice; for a stronger version I may try regular coconut milk next time. Salsa was cool and refreshing atop the creamy rice and tangy chicken.

Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice

  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 pinch Garlic
  • 1 pinch Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Water
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced, Divided
  • 1 whole Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh


  • ½ cups Light Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • ½ cups Water
  • ½ cups White Rice
  • 1 stalk Green Onion, Sliced
  • Salt To Taste


  • ½ cups Pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Red Onion
  • ½ whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Salt To Taste
1. For the chicken, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, water, and half of the lime juice to a bowl. Whisk together and pour into a Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

2. For the rice, pour the coconut milk, water, and rice into a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the green onion. Season with salt. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple salsa. Add the pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, and parsley into a small bowl. Pour in the remaining half of the lime juice and season with salt. Set aside.

4. Heat a grill pan/small skillet/George Foreman over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil (if using a pan) and cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side, or until it reaches 165ºF. If using a Foreman, cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add equal portions of rice to each bowl. Top with the pineapple salsa and equal amounts of sliced chicken.

Chorizo Empanadas with Avocado Cream

I found this recipe while browsing; blog it's off of is These took a little bit of a time commitment as they had to be made in stages. First the dough, super easy to make, but then chill overnight. Then the filling, and cool completely. Then finally the assembling and avocado cream creation! But I will tell you, they were worth it. Not the re-heated by microwave version, but the right out of the oven goodness! Yes, if you're going to re-heat them, make sure it's in an oven to recover that crisp outer shell, I did 10-12 minutes at 350. These came together beautifully and so delicious. I served with some fresh organic corn on the cob and sliced heirloom tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.

Chorizo Empanadas with Avocado Cream

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (or other waxy potatoes), peeled, finely diced, and boiled
Avocado cream:
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 avocados
  • kosher salt
For the dough:
Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Let cool slightly. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour melted butter mixture into flour mixture and mix with your hands until you get a wet, oily dough. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chorizo, breaking apart into small pieces, then add onion. Saute until chorizo is cooked through. Turn off heat, add diced and boiled potatoes, and let cool completely.

To assemble:
While the filling is cooling, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Tear off pieces of dough to roll about 20 golf-sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls on a lightly floured surface into 5" circles. Place 2-3 tablespoons of cooled filling into the center of each dough circle. Fold dough over filling to make a half-moon shape and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

For avocado cream:
While the empanadas cool, place sour cream, half and half, lemon juice, and jalapeno in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado and add to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto the surface of avocado cream to prevent browning.

Blondies (a white chocolate brownie!)

I found this recipe on Food Network's website, courtesy of Al Roker. Since I haven't been able to eat real chocolate due to the migraines, I decided on a white chocolate version for the potluck today. These whipped up super quick and with ingredients I had on hand already. Perfect recipe! With the pecan addition, and the rich brown sugar flavor, they almost taste like a pecan pie bar.

Platinum Brownies
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped, or 3/4 cup white chocolate chips


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high. Using an electric mixer or mixing by hand, beat together the sugar and egg until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and butter and beat to mix well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter mixture, beating until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Using a spoon, stir in the pecans and white chocolate.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and use a flat metal spatula or a butter knife to smooth the top. Bake the blondies for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is dry and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached (not wet, but not perfectly dry). Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut the blondies into 2-inch squares. The blondies can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days (these seem to get better as they sit) or frozen for up to 2 months (thaw before serving).