Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime Chicken Dinner

Orange Thyme Grilled Chicken

4 bone in chicken breasts
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 dry white wine
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced orange zest, (usually enough from one medium orange)

Combine orange juice, wine, oil and minced thyme in a shallow, non reactive dish. Place chicken breasts in dish and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 2  hours to overnight, turning occasionally. When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Place thyme sprigs and orange peel under chicken skin. Prepare a hot grill to cook by indirect heat method. Place chicken breasts on grill skin side up. Grill, covered, 20  minutes. Turn chicken skin side down for 15 minutes. Turn chicken again grill skin side up until juices run clear and internal temperature is 165 degress F., about 15 additional minutes. Serves 4.

Colorful Rice Salad
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup salad olives drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives
  • 2 cups cold cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 bottled or home prepared Italian dressing
  • 2 tablespoons mince fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Toss vegetables with cold rice in mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk Italian dressing into mayonnaise. Stir in parsley. Toss dressing mixture gently with vegetables and rice. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: serves 4


    This dish is especially good with cold cooked brown rice. I've only recently discovered that ingredient works well. Green bell pepper can be substituted for the red but the red adds to the colorful appearance of this salad. I frequently use reduced fat mayonnaise or whipped salad dressing. I just make sure I prepare the dish the morning of the day I'm going to serve it. I find the reduced fat product gets a little watery after 24 to 48 hours. To make this salad with even more eye appeal, line serving bowl with dark green kale leaves to set off the white of the rice.
Serve a favorite steamed vegetable for this meal. I like to accompany the above with garden or farm fresh tomato slices. Watermelon is a light and refreshing dessert for this meal.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cool Summer Salad

Fresh raspberries have been particularly delicious this year. This salad makes  a cool and refreshing first course and shows off the berries.
Cool Summer Salad

3 cups seedless watermelon cubes
1 cup cucumber slices*
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

Combine watermelon, cucumber slices and raspberries in a bowl then divide evenly between 4 fruit cup type bowls or salad plates. Place honey in a small custard cup and microwave on high for 10 seconds. With a fork, whisk mint, lime juice and lime peel with the honey. Drizzle honey mixture even over the 4 servings. Serve immediately.

*Peel cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Slice each half in 1/4 inch slices.