Greek Grilled Chicken

 

Grilled Greek ChickenSusanna Hoffman wrote an article for the food magazine “Saveur” in 2010 stating that Greece is the fountainhead of European culture. The mysterious Minoans were among the first residents of Greece, arriving around 2700 B.C, writes Susanna.

Besides finding wild grapes and making wine with them, they also discovered a bitter native berry they began to cure and press, and if you guessed the olive, you guessed correctly. The olive, and its oil, became the economic foundation of their civilization (Food History Of Greece – Saveur).

Making Greek Grilled Chicken

We love barbecuing as the food always seems to have a special flavor. Our featured recipe is Greek Grilled Chicken, and before we bring out the recipe, we wanted to show you what we did to evenly and flavor-fully cook the chicken.

slits cut into chicken breastsWe cut small slits crosswise on each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. Doing this helps the marinade penetrate the meat, which disperses the marinaded flavor throughout the meat and not just on the surface. It also helps the chicken cook evenly.

We also did this method with roasted chicken breasts (Roasted Chicken With Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze), and we have to say it always gives exceptional flavor to the meat, as well as the meat cooks evenly and retains its juices. Making those slits in the meat before marinading it, makes for awesome BBQ or roasted chicken.

A Greek food expert on “About Food“, expresses Greek seasoning as the “quintessential” Greek flavors, which are olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano (About Food).

With that said, our mouths are watering, so let’s bring out the recipe, and here is what you will need.

making Greek Grilled Chicken marinade The Marinade

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon Greek seasoning (bought at Whole Foods Market)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Dash black pepper

In a glass measuring cup or an equivalent vessel, add all 7 ingredients and mix well.

marinading chicken breastsUsing 6 to 8 chicken breasts, without the skin and bones, make those slits in the meat. I don’t like using plastic bags to marinate my food. In a large bowl, while layering the breasts, pour marinade over meat. If you noted in our first image, the chicken breasts are sitting on a piece of wax paper, take it, and invert it over the chicken. Place bowl in the refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Grilled Greek Chicken on the BBQHeat your BBQ grill, and place the meat on the hot grill with flame turned down. Turn chicken about every 4 minutes. If you are using some thick chicken breasts, it will take about 25 minutes or so to cook the meat to 165 degrees internal meat temperature.

Grilled Greek ChickenPlate and serve your Greek Grilled Chicken with a side salad or vegetable. Enjoy those “quintessential” Greek flavors!!!

Enjoy our other Greek inspired recipes:

  1. Greek Marinated Chicken with Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad
  2. Greek Yougurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread
  3. Grilled Figs and Eggplant Salad with Blackberry and Fig Dressing – (Figs and Eggplant are part of the Greek cuisine)

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Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

If you enjoy leafy greens or salad greens you will enjoy this unique salad green that was discovered by accident in Belgium in the 1800’s. It grows in the dark with the use of chicory. Another reference for this lettuce is chicory heads. The vegetable we are referencing is “Endive“.

Enjoy the video and we hope you enjoy preparing Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken.

 

Research on Endives reports the following positive health effects:

  • Lowers glucose levels in the blood stream and helps control insulin resistance.
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol levels (bad).
  • High in dietary fiber.
  • Improves skin health and helps improve eyesight and protects the body from certain types of cancers.
  • The vitamin B complex content in endives such as folic acid, thiamin, niacin, and pantothenic acid encourages the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
  • Helps with digestion by increasing and stimulating the appetite because of the bitter juices from the leaves that improve the secretion of bile.
  • Natural diuretic as it consists of 95% water.
  • Eating endives regularly can help clear skin of acne problems.
  • Making a juice of endive leaves, celery and carrot can help to treat respiratory problems like asthma.
  • Parsley and celery juice with endives added to it can be used to treat anemia.
  • You could treat constipation by mixing endive juice with either apple juice or carrot juice.
  • Blend endive juice with carrot and celery or parsley and spinach juices for an effective treatment for eye problems such as glaucoma or cataract.

Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Preparation is for 2 servings.

1 endive

½ grapefruit

1 orange

1 Granny Smith apple, grated

1 leek stalk

2 tbsp. chopped pecans

4 tbsp. Greek yogurt

2 tbsp. cream

2 tbsp. orange juice

2 chicken breasts cut into fillets and into strips

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp. vinegar

Dash salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet with oil and cook chicken until no more pink. Add pecans and sauté briefly.

Slice endive in ½ inch thick strips, remove peel and cube grapefruit and orange, grate apple and cut leek stalk in rings. Mix all ingredients together in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl mix yogurt, cream, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper and pour over salad and toss.

Plate salad and top with chicken strips.

 

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Baked Spinach Stuffed Tilapia

Baked Spinach Stuffed Tilapia

Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish found in shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Tilapia were one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee.

Tilapia have very low levels of mercury,as they are fast-growing, lean and short-lived, with a primarily vegetarian diet, so do not accumulate mercury found in prey. Tilapia are low in saturated fat, calories, carbohydrates and sodium, and are a good protein source. They also contain vitamin B-12 and trace minerals such as phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and potassium.

Black pepper adds more than just flavor, it is also good for digestion. Spinach is a cruciferous vegetable, and 4 servings a week of this class of vegetable helps ward off cancer causing cells.

As a side note, this recipe is great nutritional support for those who suffer with Schizophrenia (Read More Here: Nutritional Hope for Schizophrenic Patients).

Here is what you will need for our featured recipe:

8 oz. spinach leaves, trimmed

4 oz. Feta cheese

1 ½ lbs.Tilapia fillets, cut 6 ways

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

6 tbsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cook spinach in large saucepan on low heat until just wilted. Drain and cool. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach; chop finely. Combine spinach and feta in medium bowl.

Cut lengthwise pocket down 1 side of each cut Tilapia, being careful not to cut through. Pack 1/3 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Baked Spinach Stuffed TilapiaBake in heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Plate and serve with your favorite side dish, such as we have here with a Bacon Cornbread or Baked Parmesan Potato.

Source of information about Tilapia: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

 

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Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all know that statement. But do we understand why it was coined or when it was coined?  History.com says it was first coined at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by Missouri fruit specialist J.T. Stinson. But there is also the earliest known written use of the phrase, in a magazine edition called  Notes and Queries, printed and distributed in Whales around 1866. As to this fraise it is written, “A Pembroke shire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

In 1866 or 1904 they may have not known the reason why apples where healthy for you, they just knew they where. But in the 21st century we do.

Apples have flavonoids quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin (B-2), and additionally, they are also good in tartaric acid. Together, these compounds help the body protect itself from the debilitating effects of free radicals.

The apple is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.

The fruit also contains a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is important to cell and body fluids, as it  helps control heart rate and blood pressure, and in turn counter acts the negative influence of sodium.

Now for our featured dessert. Here is what you will need:

lineing with parchment paper a 8 inch sprin form pan

First preheat your oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 8-inch round spring form pan with parchment paper. Then lightly grease the rounded sides with your choice of butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Coconut oil is neutral in flavor and will never add additional flavor to your cooked or baked goods. Be sure to cut off any excess parchment paper.

Topping for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

First  peel, core and chop apples into 1/3-inch cubes. Mix together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Make sure apples are well coated with the sugar mix. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan (even better if you have a ceramic coated pan) over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture.

butter infused with clove. Cooking coated apples in infused butter.

Toss apples about until they just begin to soften, but not mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Cheese cake batter for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

In a medium bowl and a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

Here is what you will need:

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer.

prepared Apple Spice Cake to cook

Bake cake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely. Plate and serve.

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease an 8-inch round spring form pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

To make the topping, fold together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture. Toss until they just begin to soften, but not until they’re mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

To make the cheesecake batter, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer. Put cake into oven and bake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely.

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