Thursday, December 2, 2010

Creating New Recipes & Inventing New Words - It's A Good Night!

Good evening everyone! Every once in awhile, I run across a cooking technique that fascinates me. It can be the way something is prepared, an ingredient combination or even just a region's particular cuisine. If it's something new and inventive - I want to try it, taste it and master it. It's the type of person I am - some call it obsessive and detail oriented - I say 'scholarly'

I've run across another technique that has me fascinated. Ever since trying some of our Thanksgiving dishes, I've been intrigued with the combination of neutral or sweet dishes and overly spicy toppings. The sweet potato casserole was built upon sweet potatoes' natural flavor - but featured a nice dose of cumin and cayenne pepper. The result was an incredible blend of flavor - neither sweet nor spicy, but rather something totally new. Tonight, I'm tackling two new recipes that work on the very same foundations. Here's how they turned out:

The Recipe: Daybreak Chicken*
Inspiration From: Jaime Magazine - August/September 2010 Issue

What You'll Need:

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

*This recipe originally appears in Jaime Magazine as 'Pork with paprika, oregano and mustard'. However, I don't like pork (or I should say, pork doesn't like me). I decided that the foundation was still there for a good dish and simply changed the meat to chicken. I changed the name as well - since I'm well documented as being opposed to lazy recipe names - I like my name (which comes from the brilliant orange color the chicken has when you first marinade it - which looks like the sky at daybreak)

The Recipe: Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

What You'll Need:

2 Large Sweet Potatoes
Black Pepper
Chili Powder

To Make The Chicken:

Begin by mixing the oregano, paprika and dijon mustard together in a small bowl. Mix everything well until the sauce turns a bright orange color. Spread the sauce evenly over two chicken breasts, making sure to cover both sides. Allow the breasts to marinate in the sauce for about 10 minutes (in the refrigerator) before cooking.

The sauce is certainly noticeable 

After 10 minutes, set a grill pan on high heat and add a dash of vegetable oil to the pan. Once the pan is searing hot, place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, making sure to flip the breasts halfway through. Using an instant read thermometer, check the chicken to make sure the temperature has reached 160 degrees. If not, return the chicken to the grill pan and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how far away the chicken was from that magical 160 degree number.

If desired, you can mix up another batch of the sauce to serve on top of the chicken. Simply spoon a little excess sauce on each breast and enjoy!

To Make The Sweet Potato Wedges:

This recipe is about as simple as it can get.

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Peel and slice your sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. I found that using a mandoline makes the easiest work of this. Place the sweet potato wedges on a greased baking sheet and season the potato wedges with pepper, a pinch of chili powder and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and completely tender.

Serve immediately and enjoy!
Sweet potato wedges - just add heat

The Results:

Mouthwatering isn't it? 

As I mentioned in the opening, when you blend a naturally sweet flavor or even a neutral flavor with a spicy seasoning - the result is an amazingly complex harmony of flavor. The chicken was bursting with an amazing, almost BBQ like flavor. The sweet potatoes, meanwhile, tasted neither sweet like the potato or spicy like the pepper or chili powder. A middle ground, that I've dubbed 'swicy' is where the true flavor existed.

Tonight's recipes are fantastic in more ways than one. First, both dishes tasted great - which is obviously the most important aspect of any recipe. Secondly, both dishes were incredibly easy to make. Finally, each dish was very heathy - no butter, sugar or extra additives, just natural, delicious flavor.

That's all we have for you this week! As always, thank you for stopping by and checking out what we've cooked this week, Maggie and I appreciate all of the support and encouragement we receive from friends and family regarding the blog. We will be returning on Monday with another trip around the culinary world, so be sure to stop in then to see what is shaking in the news for that week. Until Monday,


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