Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Al Fresco on the Fly

Like I mentioned here, I have been super into cooking lately. It’s really an amazing way to occupy your time and feel like you’re being productive – you know, honing your inner stay-at-home-mom (you think I’m kidding? I’m not).

Also, like I noted before – I am not skilled. I do really enjoy cooking, but I am easily overwhelmed – and while I know this is due to my tendency to choose very complicated recipes – I like what I like; I’m not going to waste my time cooking up something boring.

On a particularly “overwhelming” weekend day (read: PMS-ing, hardcore) – I almost had a panic attack about deciding what to have for dinner. I wish I was kidding. Sometimes I just feel entirely underwhelmed but the recipes I find searching online – there’s something not quite right, or I have no idea what I’m craving.

I LOVE eating outside in the summer – there’s something about the hot breeze and the quiet (I live in a not-so happenin’ area of South Boston) that gets me excited to eat – but it always needs to match the mood. And on that night, it finally dawned on me – “Why do you need a recipe, Carolyn? You might not be a master chef, but you can make WHATEVER you want.”

And so I did. Spicy chicken burgers with chipotle dressing, spicy guac and a side of green beans, to be exact. And it was amazing – exactly what I wanted on a hot summer night, with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Next time, it's getting coupled with the world’s best marg a la my mom (I’ll get to those at some point in this blog, promise).

Going into it, I had no idea what I was doing – just grabbing things off of shelves at the grocery store and hoping it all came together. The sauce was especially trial-and-error in terms of flavors and measurements (too thick, too spicy, not blending, etc etc) but in the end it was perfection.

And the boy agreed, despite the fairly healthy nature of all of the ingredients – so much so that he made me make it again the next weekend!

Spicy Chicken Burgers with Chipotle-Cilanrto Dressing

1lb ground chicken
1 chipotle chili in adobo
½ medium yellow onion (or red, if you like a kick, like me!)

Approx 1 cup strained greek yogurt (I prefer Fage 0%)
Approx ½ cup fresh cilantro (to t (preserved in tub will work, see pictures)
1 chipotle chili in adobo, plus 1 tbsp of sauce (less if you’re not a spice fan)
Juice of 1 lime

To make the burgers:
Chop 1 chipotle chili and ½ of an onion as finely as you can (but it doesn’t really matter), and add to a large mixing bowl. Plop in the ground chicken and get your hands dirty mixing the chili and onion into the gooeyness. Create 4-5 round patties and cook on a pre-heated skillet, grill (if you’re lucky!) or grill pan. If you’re grilling, it would help to add a little adobo sauce or lime juice to the mixture before making the patties to preserve the moisture. Cook time depends on your method of choice, but make sure you’re not eating any pink, raw chicken – duh!

To make dressing:
Remove cilantro leaves from stems and chop chili – add to immersion blender cup (you can use a regular blender but you’ll have to make a LOT more sauce, and it doesn’t keep well). Add ½ cup yogurt and 1 tbsp of adobo sauce (or less if you’re afraid – you can always add more later). Juice lime into the mixture and blend until the sauce is pink and fully-mixed.


What is your go-to summer recipe?

1 comment:

Thank you so much for your sweet comments - each one truly makes my day!

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