Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce

I really like Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and enjoy reading her blog.  A few days ago she posted a recipe for Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet Chile Sauce.  A cilantro, garlic, fish sauce marinade flavors the chicken, and the Chile Sauce adds a sweet and sour note.  The recipes are on her blog.

I'm still cooking for a 10-year old, so I did a major substitution for the Fresno Chiles she uses in her Sweet Chile Sauce.  I planted some "Fooled You" jalapenos in the garden again this year.  They look like a jalapeno, they taste like a jalapeno, but they have no heat.  I harvested 4 ounces of the chiles that had ripened to a nice red color.  So my Sweet Chili sauce had the flavor of the chiles without any heat.

I cooked up a couple of leg/thighs and some boneless, skinless thighs.  I served the chicken with some grilled eggplant.  Really good food.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Okra and Feta Pizza with Country Ham and Roasted Corn Puree

Back from Summer Vacation...

We were in South Carolina last week and I was searching for a casual restaurant we could stop at before our flight left.  I found a pizza place called Evo (Extra Virgin Oven) on the Road Food site.  Michael Stern described a Okra and Feta pizza that sounded delicious.  We never made it to Evo, but I had to try creating the pizza at home.  

The pizza has potential.  The only problem we had with it is that the sweet corn I used was almost too sweet.  I would make it again if I could find a field corn for the puree.  The following recipe will make two 10 inch pizzas:

2 10 inch pizza dough rounds
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
olive oil
3 ears field corn (use the least sweet corn you can find)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 pound small okra, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
7 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I really like Valbreso French Feta)
1 ham slice, cut into strips (optional)

Preheat a baking stone in a 500 degree oven.  Place the garlic cloves in a very small saucepan (I use a butter warmer) and cover with olive oil.  Cook at a simmer for an hour.  Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off the cobs.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Place enough kernels in the hot pan to just cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally,  until the corn begins to brown.  Put the cooked kernels in a blender jar.  Repeat for the remaining corn, scraping the pan clean between batches if necessary.  When all of the corn has been roasted, add a bit of olive oil to the pan and add the onions.  Cook the onions over medium heat until soft.  Add the cooked onion to the blender jar with the corn.  Peel the garlic cloves and place the roasted garlic in the blender jar.  Blend the puree until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wipe out the nonstick skillet and add a bit more olive oil.  Cook the okra over medium high heat until it begins to brown.  Remove from the skillet and briefly fry the ham strips if using.

Place the pizza rounds on a paddle with a bit of cornmeal on it.  Top the rounds with the roasted corn puree followed by the okra slices and ham.  Sprinkle the okra on top.

Bake on the hot stone until the crust is nicely browned.