Recipes

Bacon & Sweet Corn Grilled Pizza

Sweet grilled corn, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese mingle together on homemade pizza dough that’s grilled for maximum flavor and a perfect char.

This pizza is perfect for a Barbeque party!

INGREDIENTS 

1 recipe homemade pizza crust

2 ears sweet corn

2 tablespoons olive oil divided

4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

2 clove garlic minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ teaspoon garlic salt

pepper

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or shredded

1 Jalapeno, seeds removed sliced

2 ounces Goat cheese crumbled

Parsely, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

Shuck the corn and remove and the silks are still left. Rub the corn with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then remove the kernels from the cob.

In a pan over medium heat, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic. 

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a cutting board or pizza peel and turn the dough out onto the cornmeal and roll into a 14-inch circle. Brush the top with 1/2 of the olive oil and sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper. 

Place the crust olive oil side down on the grill and cook until puffed and browned.Flip and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle on the sauteed veggies, bacon, parsely, mozzarella, jalapeno slices and charred corn kernels.

Half way through the grilling, sprinkle on the goat cheese crumbles. 

Grill the pizza until the cheese has melted and the crust has a nice char. If the crust is cooking too fast, move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill.

Recipes

Sunshine State of Mind Pizza

Sunshine State of Mind Pizza

Tranquil beaches with warm ocean breezes and soft sand, it’s always grilling season in Florida… This grilled pizza has all your favorite Florida flavors fresh-squeezed Orange juice and Tupelo honey plus a smoky aroma that will have your family and friends begging for more. 

Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s perfect for a beach picnic or backyard pool party.

INGREDIENTS 

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups “00” flour 
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 packet of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼  teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼  cup freshly squeezed Orange juice
  • ¼ cup Tupelo Honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon Sauvignon Blanc
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • Dash of pepper

Toppings

  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

INSTRUCTIONS 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the water, the yeast and sugar, let it sit for 5 minutes. Then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, adding flour as needed to make smooth dough, approximately 5 minutes. Pour a small amount of EVOO into a large bowl and coat the bottom and sides. Add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove ball, knead and form a new ball of dough, cover with towel and let rest for additional 30 minutes. 

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO medium heat. Sauté the shallot garlic and red pepper flakes until softened. Add honey, orange zest and juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a dash of pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, stir and simmer for 5 more minutes. 

Prepare a small bowl with olive oil for greasing the grill grates and for brushing the pizza.

Once the grill is hot, dip a tightly folded up paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. Then place a pizza dough round on a lightly 00 floured pizza peel. Let the dough slide onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes.

Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Brush the honey orange sauce onto the grilled surface of the pizza, then top with dollops of goat cheese and slices of prosciutto. If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat. If working with a charcoal grill, close the vents on the cover almost all the way. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char.

Pull off the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or other flat surface and let rest for a couple minutes before cutting into slices. Top with a handful of arugula and drizzle of the remaining sauce. Slice and serve!

Oven Method

If using the oven, Preheat the oven an hour before making pizza. 

450°F to 500 °F degrees.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and top with arugula and orange zest. Drizzle with remaining honey orange sauce.

On the Side, Recipes

Slow Cooked Mexican Corn

This Mexican Street Corn recipe (also known as Esquites) is packed with fresh flavors and cotija cheese! It’s slow cooked for 3 hours in cheesy cream sauce, and zesty seasonings that make it insanely delicious. The perfect side for any barbecue or summer get-together!

Sides in the slow cooker are also a great way to save space in the oven and keep your house cool during the summer.

Fresh or Frozen Corn? Well, there are benefits to each. You can get frozen any time of the year. Fresh is, well, fresh. Either will work for this dish.

Ingredients 

  • 6-7 ears of corn shucked and broken in half
  • 13.66 oz. can light coconut milk or low fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice approximately 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbles
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro 

Instructions:

Add the corn to the slow cooker. You can arrange them nicely to get them to fit better.

Pour coconut milk, lime juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Pour  the coconut milk mixture over the corn.

Drizzle over the honey and ½ cup of the cheese. Cut up the butter into pieces and add to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time. (4 hours for frozen corn)

To serve, sprinkle with remaining paprika, cheese and cilantro

.

Enjoy!

Healthy, Recipes

Tangy & Sweet Grilled Shrimp

I love grilled shrimp… this is my go to marinate! 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish!

They are super quick, full of flavor, and so easy to whip up.  Everyone will absolutely love and devour them!!

Grilling shrimp is my favorite way to cook this very popular seafood. The grill gives them a fantastic smoky flavor and adds to the perfect tangy spices of the marinade. 

You can serve them on a platter by themselves, over buttery pasta, rice or my favorite roasted vegetables!

Don’t forget to grab a glass of Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white wine such as Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Save some marinate for brushing while grilling 

Recipes

Mango & Chicken Kabobs

These grilled mango and chicken kabobs are made with marinated chicken, mango, onions, red peppers, all threaded onto skewers and cooked to perfection. 

Chicken kabobs are a classic grilling option. This version includes a sweet and savory honey chile lime marinade and plenty of fresh mango. Serve your mango and chicken kabobs over ice or eat them straight off the kabob.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Kabobs

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chile Lime Seasoning 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Mango Kabobs 

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 sweet red peppers
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Juice of two limes
  • ½ tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • Cilantro, chopped for topping
  • Lime Slices 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the honey, chile lime seasoning, chile lime seasoning, red pepper flakes, zest and juice of lime, rice vinegar and EVOO in a large bowl until combined. 

Add the chicken to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

In a large bowl, whisk honey lime juice, zest, garlic and EVOO until combined. Add the mango, red onion and peppers to the bowel and toss. 

Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat.

Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.

Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice.

Healthy, Recipes

Grilled Swordfish Salmoriglio

Rachael Ray is one of my all time favorite cooks. I feel like we could be family. I love reading the stories behind each of her recipes because it reminds me of my own family memories in the kitchen. She definitely has been an inspiration. She has said her Sicilian grandfather and her Cajun ancestry both exert strong influences on her cooking. She uses ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, and chicken stock to boost flavors, and believes measuring “takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking.” She, instead, favors approximations such as “half a palmful” or “2 pan swirl.”

I believe my Sicilian and Spanish ancestry has definitely been a strong influence in my cooking style as well. Before I started my blog, I never measured anything. But now since I have been writing and sharing my recipes, I always have my laptop next to me in the kitchen so I can keep a record of what I am creating. 

She has been an inspiration to several of my recipes.  Today I would like to share my Salmoriglio recipe inspired by her. 

Salmoriglio is a traditional condiment from the Calabria and Sicily regions of Southern Italy. The name is from the word salamoia, which means salty or briny.

Salmoriglio is a quick sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs – and it’s absolutely fantastic served over this grilled swordfish, as well as other grilled meats, or seafood.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh swordfish 
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter

INSTRUCTIONS 

In a small bowl mix lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Mix and add only half of this liquid to the bag with the swordfish. Seal the bag and let sit for one hour at room temperature.

While the swordfish sits for the hour, add the lemon juice (about ¼ cup of lemon juice) and parsley to the reserved half of the liquid and set aside to serve with the cooked fish.

Heat outdoor grill to high on one side and cool on the other.

Clean and oil the grill grates.

Remove the swordfish from the bag and brush off any garlic or zest and place the two pieces on the hot side of the oiled grill. Brush some of the liquid from the bag over the fish as it cooks.

Cook two minutes and turn each piece one quarter turn to get cross hatch marks. Cook for two more minutes then flip. After two more minutes turn one quarter turn and cook for two minutes. (Total of eight minutes so far.)

Take a sheet of foil and place on the cool side of the grill. 

After the eight minutes of searing both sides, move the swordfish to the foil and close the cover. Try to keep a consistent temperature of 350 degrees F. in your grill.

From here you will cook for 1-6 more minutes based on how thick your steaks are. Our 1 ½ inch swordfish steaks cooked for exactly six more minutes for a grand total of 14 minutes.

You are looking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. 

As soon as they come off, place the four tablespoons of cold butter over the top to melt.

To serve, drizzle the reserved sauce over each portion.

On the Side, Recipes

The Best 3 Barbeque Sauces

In honor of Black History month, I’d like to introduce you to Jereline and Larry Bethune. 

Jereline and Larry Bethune first opened their restaurant in 1942. Back then it was a nightclub, the Siesta Club, that also sold food. It later became Brenda’s, named after one of their daughters. A pivotal location in black history, the restaurant became an unofficial center for the local civil rights movement, holding N.A.A.C.P. meetings, printing fliers and planning protests. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. Shortly after, bus boycotts began around the city. The Brenda’s Bar-B-Que Pit staff helped organize some of the boycott, which soon propelled the civil rights movement into the national conversation.

Even after the bus boycotts, Ms. Bethune quietly held lessons to teach other African-Americans to read so they could pass the literacy test.  At the time, this functioned as a way to suppress the black vote during the height of the Jim Crow era. Donetta Bethune, the Bethune’s granddaughter, described it as: “Let’s learn how to read. Let’s learn how to vote. Let’s go after our own rights so we never have to be treated in a way that we’re not equal again.”  (College Chefs, 2019).

Brenda’s is the oldest barbecue restaurant in Montgomery and family-run to this day.

Below are three of my favorite homemade barbeque sauces inspired by the story of Jereline and Larry Bethune. 

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This Spicy BBQ Sauce will be your new favorite condiment! It’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with pizza, sandwiches, or burgers.

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

White Barbeque

This BBQ sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on a traditional barbecue sauce recipe. It’s delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more!

  •  1 cup mayo
  •  1/4 cup white vinegar
  •  1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  •  2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon paprika

Honey Barbeque Sauce

This Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe is the perfect sweet and sticky sauce for burgers, wings, chicken, and more.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon black Pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Let sauce cool and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  

Blogs, Recipes, Small Bites

Smoke Spicy Meatballs

These smoked meatballs are slowly smoked on the grill, and then finished with a homemade spicy & sweet BBQ sauce glaze. The ultimate game day food or appetizer for your next party.

I start with the meat. In this case I combined ground Italian turkey and pork for added flavor. You can  also use chicken or ground beef. Then added flavor and binding with Panko bread crumbs, garlic and egg. For the cheese, I used blue cheese but there are plenty of options (cheddar, mozzarella, fontina, provolone, anything that melts well). 

Here’s my little secret to help the meatballs stay moist, I use butter. I know Paula Deen would be proud! 

Just form your ball and make a little well in it, and place a small square of butter in the well, then cover it up and reshape the ball.

I made this recipe on my Green Mountain smoker, but you can make it on your grill or in the oven.

Once the meatballs are cooked, add the homemade BBQ sauce. Gently toss the meatballs around (or use a large spoon) to get the balls fully covered in the sauce.

Make sure to dig in while they’re still warm!.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ lb Italian ground chicken or turkey sausage
  • ½ lb ground Pork 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoon of Frank’s Red Hot Ranch Dip seasoning packet 
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Blue Cheese crumbles 
  • ½ stick of butter, cut into tiny pieces- about the size of your pinky finger nail. 

The Sauce:

  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes – you can add more or less depending on your spice preference
  • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Makes about 28 medium sized meatballs

Prepare the meatballs: 

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. 

Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. Shape the meat mixture into balls, about 3 tablespoons per ball. I like to use my medium size cookie scooper. 

Now here’s my little secret to help your meatballs stay moist, once your meatball is formed poke one piece of butter into the center and roll back into the meatball shape. 

The Smoker Method:

Preheat the smoker to 225ºF

Place the meatballs on your smoker at 225ºF. After 20 minutes of cooking, brush each meatball with the sauce. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 155ºF (one hour).

Turn the smoker up to 350 for 15 minutes to finish them off! You will know they are done when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

The Oven Method:

Preheat the oven to 475ºF. 

Place shaped meatballs on a baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked- internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

Brush each meatball with the sauce. 

Place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. 

Place on a serving tray and drizzle with additional sauce.

The Sauce:

In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the sauce over medium high heat, allow it to come to a boil, reduce the heat so it simmers. 

Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. 

Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. 

The sauce will thicken as it cools so don’t worry if it looks thin.

Gently toss the meatballs around (or use a large spoon) to get the balls fully covered in the sauce.

Serve and eat them while they warm!

Recipes

Citrus Sazon Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken is the best, easiest way to cook a whole chicken on the grill without any special equipment. The beer from the can steams the chicken, resulting in a perfectly-cooked and moist whole chicken. The chicken literally sits on the can and as the beer heats up, it streams and flavours the inside of the chicken. 

I start with marinating the chicken with  Sazon seasoning, vinegar, and stuffing lemon, lime and orange wedges inside the chicken overnight. 

Sazon is like the magic spice blend in many Latin dishes. It’s commonly found in the supermarket in small envelopes that you add to stews, beans, rice, etc. It gives yellow rice that yellow color and basically makes anything taste good! Goya is the most popular brand. If you can not find Sazon you can make your own, the recipe is at the bottom of this blog page. 

Next comes choosing the beer! 

Beer can chicken requires beer in a can. However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy canned beer. All you need is a can. I personally prefer to use an old soup can that I have cleaned and saved. Which opens up your beer possibilities immensely because many of the best beers are only sold in bottles. So it comes down to what type of flavor you want to add to your chicken. Does a sweeter bird sound good? How about something a little spicy, wheaty, or fruity? 

The most popular choice is lager, but I also like to use sour beer. I love citrus flavors, and the sour citrus seems to make the flavors come alive. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Get creative! 

Once you have marinated your chicken and chose the beer, you’re get the bird on the can and to get grilling! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (12-ounce) can lager beer, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoon Sazon Seasoning
  • 1 cup White distilled vinegar
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 lime,  cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2) pound whole chicken

Basting Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup beer, reserved from above
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Sazon seasoning
  • 1 Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Marinate:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. 

Place lemon, lime and orange wedges into the center of the chicken. 

Stir the Sazon seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. 

Pour the seasoning mixture into a large Ziploc bag, slowly pour vinegar, and EVOO into the same bag. Combine. 

Drop the chicken into the bag, zip the bag and shake until the chicken is well coated.

Marinate overnight. 

Basting Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. 

Grilling:

Heat grill by heating 2 out of 3 (or 3 out of 4) of the burners to high heat. Keep the remaining burners off. 

Pour out or drink about half of the beer, reserving 1/4 cup for the basting sauce. 

Place the beer can inside a metal 9×13-inch aluminum pan. Lower the chicken leg-side down onto the beer until it is securely propped upright. Be careful when picking the pan up, have a firm grip on the chicken with one hand while holding the foil pan with the other. Trust me, I’ve totally lost my chicken by not doing that. 

Place the pan over indirect heat (over the turned-off burners) and grill for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the basting sauce. At this point, it will start to brown and look almost cooked through, even though it is not.

Baste the chicken with the sauce and continue to cook, covered, basting every 10 minutes, until the skin is deeply colored, crisp, and a probe thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 25 to 35 minutes more depending the size of the chicken. 

Rotate the pan as needed so that the chicken browns evenly.

Remove the chicken and the pan with its drippings from the grill. (If you use a foil pan, slide the pan onto a baking sheet before moving it around)

Discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Sazon Substitute Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano 

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix well

Recipes

Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved going to Disney World. It is definitely my happy place!

I have so many amazing memories, from camping at Fort Wilderness to birthday celebrations at Epcot’s Food & Wine festival. 

Epcot is my favorite park to visit especially when they are hosting one of their festivals; Food & Wine Festival, Art Festival or the Flower & Garden Festival. 

Epcot’s festivals combine my love for Disney, food and wine. Honestly, what could be better than hopping around the World Showcase and sampling new foods, drinks and rubbing elbows with Disney fans? 

Brian and I always enter Epcot, in the back by the United Kingdom. We have a beer at the Rose and Crown while I flip through the festival’s passport, which contains the menus for each World Showcase Booth and a sticker to use to mark off that you have visited. Yes, I am a complete passport geek, every time we stop at a World Showcase booth, I have to check off the foods and drinks we have tried. 

So when I saw Disney had a cookbook with recipes from all their festivals including the festivals at Disneyland, I couldn’t resist. I had to have it. 

After purchasing the cookbook, Brian and I took a margarita break in Mexico like we normally do. I’m a huge fan of the Three Caballeros ride and the margaritas in Mexico. As we sipped our margaritas, we looked through the cookbook. I was so excited to see so many of our favorite dishes from the festivals and some new ones I couldn’t wait to make at home! 

During the Food & Wine festival, we absolutely loved the Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt at the Islands of the Caribbean booth. And guess what the recipe was in the cookbook! And here lays the inspiration for the recipe below! 

My parents are retired and love to travel. They recently bought me a Island Jamican Jerk Spice seasoning back from one of their cruise vacations. So this is the Jerk seasoning, I used but you can find a number of different types of Jerk seasonings at your local grocery store. 

In a large ziploc bag, toss chicken, 3 tablespoons of the Jerk seasoning and 1 tablespoon canola oil until chicken is completely coated. Refrigerate for one to two hours, the longer you allow the chicken to marinate the more flavor you will have. After the chicken has marinated, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and remove chicken from the ziploc bag. Place chicken on grill grates and grill for approximately 10-12 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Rest for 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate, cover lightly with foil, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Mango Chutney

You can use a store bought Mango chutney or you can make your own. It is simple and turns out delicious. Chutney is made much the same way as you would make a fruit jam, but with vinegar to offset the sweetness, making it more appropriate for savory dishes. This chutney is spicy from ginger, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes. It gets its tangy-ness from the acidity in the mangoes and added vinegar, and it gets its sweetness from the mangoes and sugar. It pairs great with almost anything from his chicken, to a spread on a cheese board.

To make the sugar vinegar syrup, combine sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the peeled chopped mangoes, and chopped onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Leave the saucepan uncovered and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until syrupy and slightly thickened. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Mango Chutney Yogurt

Whisk 1 cup plain yogurt and 2 ½ tablespoons of the Mango chutney with chopped cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until dinner time. 

Sweet Plantain Salad

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and brush a baking sheet with canola oil. 

Your plantains have to be ripe. The best thing to do is buy them a few days before you are going to make this dish. Plantains may look like bananas but they do not peel like one. Ripe plantains are a lot easier to peel. To peel a plantain, you will need to cut off the ends of the plantain, run your knife lengthwise through the skin of the plantain without cutting into the flesh, and finally, use your hands to pull the skin off. If some of the skin doesn’t peel off, use a vegetable peeler to remove the “stuck” skin. Place your peeled whole plantains on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for an additional 15 minutes. After a total of 25-30 minutes, plantains should be lightly golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut into bite-size chunks. 

While the plantains are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. In a small bowl, combine Apple Cider Vinegar and chopped garlic, whisk together. Slowly add the canola oil, whisking as you add it to the bowl. Chop your red onion, peppers, cilantro and place into a large bowl with the plantain chunks. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until everything is well combined. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal. 

Once everything is done, it’s time to plate it up! In true Epcot fashion, take a scoop of the Sweet Plantain Salad and place it in the middle of a plate. Lay the grilled chicken on top and serve with a dollop of the Mango Chutney Yogurt. I also drizzled some of the Mango chutney over the top of the chicken and sprinkled chopped cilantro on top. 

During the Stay at Home Order, I have definitely been missing trips to Epcot but this meal made me feel like I was taking a trip around the World Showcase. 

This is a great recipe to make for a summer cookout yet it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Trust me, you will love it!

INGREDIENTS

Jerk Chicken

  • 4 Chicken thighs and 4 Chicken drumsticks or 8 Chicken Breast
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite Jerk Spice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Sweet Plantain Salad

  • 3 medium or 2 very large ripe plantains (they should have some black spots and be slightly soft) 
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil, plus more for roasting the plantains
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Mango Chutney, or you can buy the jar stuff

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 cups mangoes (2 to 3), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces 
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 
  • ½ tablespoon ginger
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes 

Mango Chutney Yogurt

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Mango chutney
  • 2 ½ tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Jerk Chicken Instructions

  • Toss chicken, jerk seasoning and canola oil in a large ziploc bag, until chicken is coated. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. 
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before grilling. 
  • Preheat the grill to medium- high heat. 
  • Remove chicken from the jerk marinade and place on a medium to high lightly oil grill. 
  • Grill chicken for approximately 10-12 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also broil, or roast the chicken in a hot oven (425 degrees F).
  • Rest for 10 minutes. Remove chicken thighs to a plate or serving tray, cover lightly with foil, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Sweet Plantain Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and brush a baking sheet with canola oil. 
  • To peel plantains, cut off the ends from both sides. Then cut a long strip down the length of the plantain without piercing the fruit. Remove the fruit from the peel. 
  • Place peeled whole plantains on the prepared baking sheet and roast until tender and golden brown on both sides, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. 
  • Combine Apple Cider Vinegar and chopped garlic, whisk together. Slowly add the canola oil, whisking as you add it to the bowl. 
  • Chop your red onion, peppers, cilantro and place into a large bowl with the plantain chunks. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until everything is well combined. 
  • Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal. 

Mango Chutney, if not using store bought

  • Combine sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Mango Chutney Yogurt

  • Stir together yogurt, mango chutney and cilantro. 
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  • Serve Jerk Chicken on top of Sweet Plantain salad with a scoop of Mango Chutney Yogurt and garnish with chopped cilantro.