Dinners

Recipe—Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Summer is coming… but the warm weather is already here! Time to fire up the grill!

I love when I can find recipes that are almost all done on the grill so I can keep the kitchen cool during hot months. I may also love recipes like this because it means I do the easy prep work and then the hubby does all the hard work out in the heat at the grill while I stay cool inside with a margarita. It’s all about team work, right? 😉

Okay, onto the dish. Each of these components is delicious on it’s own but when brought together you get some amazing tacos! You have the grilled chili lime chicken which is so tender and has so much flavor, a little zest from the lime paired up with all those delicious seasonings and a tad of heat. Then you have this delicious chunky salsa made up of a sweet caramelized pineapple with a nice smoky flavor from the grilled red pepper and jalapeño. And is if that isn’t enough, (yes, it gets better!) then you add this refreshing avocado crema. Just give me a bag of tortilla chips and I will go to town on that sauce!

Another thing I love about this recipe is how pretty it is! Look at all those amazing colors! I truly love everything about this recipe! I hope you will too.

Chunky Pineapple Salsa

Chunky Pineapple Salsa

Chunky Pineapple Salsa

Note: If you want to cut down on the amount of preparation at dinner time, you can marinade the chicken for as long as 24 hours in advance and the crema can be made up to four hours in advance. Having a chunk of the leg work done in advance makes this a perfect recipe to make for dinner guests. All you have to do is grill the chicken, pineapple, and peppers, and warm up some tortillas.

CHILI LIME CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice

PINEAPPLE SALSA INGREDIENTS
20 oz can pineapple slices
1/2 red onion, sliced
red bell pepper, deseeded and quartered
jalapeno, deseeded and halved
olive oil
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

AVOCADO CREMA INGREDIENTS
1 avocado
1/2 c sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder

OTHER INGREDIENTS
tortillas
pepperjack cheese, shredded
lime, cut into wedges

STEPS

  • Place the chicken breasts in a large Pyrex dish.
  • Whisk together all the additional chili lime chicken ingredients in a small bowl and slather all over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  • Cover the Pyrex with plastic wrap and set aside to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • While the chicken is marinating, begin preparing items for the salsa. Skewer the red onions and then drizzle them, the bell pepper, and jalapeño with olive oil and set aside with the pineapple.
  • Preheat your grill to 375–425º.
  • Grill the chicken for 8–10 minutes on one side and then flip.
  • Add the pineapple and peppers to the grill and cook for 4­–5 minutes before flipping and then continue to grill them for another 4–5 minutes.
  • Continue to cook the chicken until a thermometer reads 160º when inserted into the thickest part of the meat, the pineapple until it is nicely caramelized, and the veggies until they have some nice grill marks.
  • Transfer everything from the grill to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • While all the grilled items are resting get started on the avocado cream. Add all the crema ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth and well blended, set aside.
  • Chop up the pineapple, onion, and peppers and place them in a bowl.
  • Add the cilantro, lime juice, ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper to the bowl and stir.
  • Chop up the chicken and set aside.
  • Everything is finally ready! Time to assemble the tacos!
  • Heat up your tortillas and top each one with meat, cheese, pineapple salsa, and avocado crema.
  • Devour!

 

Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.

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Dinners

Recipe—Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I have always been a lover of Chinese food. I mean come on, who isn’t? I remember as a kid that whenever we went out to eat Chinese food or ordered it to go that we got sweet and sour pork. I just love the tangy sweet sauce and the pineapple. Oh, that sweet yummy caramelized pineapple! When I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Recipes Happen, I knew I had to give it a try.  I LOVE Chinese food and I LOVE meatballs! This recipe turned out awesome and was enjoyed by the whole family. My husband even went back for thirds! (I don’t know where that guy stores all the food he can consume.) I highly recommend serving this over white rice. It really soaks up the flavors of the sauce. We will certainly be making this again and again because it was super easy and absolutely delicious! Thanks Bonnie for posting this wonderful recipe, my family and I loved it!

Note: Bonnie’s recipe calls for breadcrumbs but I adapted it slightly and used panko since I had it on hand and I thought it went well with the Asian inspired dish. I bet this would also be great made with ground turkey or chicken to help cut a few calories. 

INGREDIENTS
1 egg
1 tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c panko
ground pepper
1 lb ground beef
20 oz can pineapple chunks
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 c sliced carrots
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the egg, dried onion, milk, ginger, salt, panko, pepper, and ground beef. (I recommend using your hands to thoroughly combine everything.)
  • Shape the beef mixture into 1” balls and place in a large baking dish making sure there is space between them.
  • Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • While the meatballs are cooking drain the pineapple juice into a measuring cup and set the pineapple aside.
  • If needed, add water to the juice so you have 1-cup worth of liquid.
  • Pour the juice mixture into a large skillet or wok and add in the vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
  • Over medium-high heat bring the liquid to a simmer and add in the carrots.
  • Simmer until the carrots are just barely fork tender and then add in the bell peppers and pineapple chunks.
  • Cook for approximately 4–5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water until smooth.
  • Pour the cornstarch mixture into your skillet and stir constantly until incorporated.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer them to the skillet making sure to leave the meat drippings in the baking dish.
  • Toss the meatballs to coat and simmer in the sauce for 2 minutes.
  • Serve over cooked rice and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Recipes Happen.

Sweet Treats

Recipe—Personal Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

Pineapple upside down cake is one of those traditional all American classics that has been around forever, well at least since the 1920s. These personal versions are great for entertaining a small group and so easy to whip up and serve. One of the many great things about this recipe is that you can keep the items stocked in your pantry and whip these up in a very short amount of time. They are quick and so incredibly easy to make. I made them for our dinner party the other night and they were a real hit. My husband said he could have kept eating them and my 2-year-old son liked them so much he didn’t even have an interest in the ice cream I served with it. He just wanted the cake, or as he called it, “birthday.”

Note: This recipe is written to make 6 personal cakes using a Texas muffin pan. If you don’t own one of these you can use a standard muffin pan and substitute pineapple rings with pineapple chunks and adjust the baking time to 17–20 minutes.

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs
2/3 c sugar
4 tbsp pineapple juice (use the stuff in your can of pineapple rings)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
2/3 c brown sugar
1-20 oz can pineapple rings
maraschino cherries

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat together eggs, sugar, pineapple juice, and vanilla.
  • Using a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar until almost dissolved.
  • Grease a 6-cup Texas muffin pan.
  • Evenly distribute the brown sugar sauce in each cup.
  • Place a pineapple ring in the bottom of each muffin cup and a cherry in the center of the pineapple ring.
  • Pour the cake mixture into each cup until there is none left. They will probably be about 3/4 of the way full.
  • Place muffin pan in oven and bake for 22–25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
  • Allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  • Place a cutting board over the top of the muffin pan and quickly flip the muffin pan upside down.
  • If the mini cakes don’t release from the pan lightly tap the pan with a rubber spatula until it releases.
  • Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Piña Colada Pie with Drunken Rum Sauce

Looking for that perfect summer dessert that takes you away to a tropical island? Then look no further! My piña colada pie is a little slice of paradise. This crust less pie could not be easier to make. You literally combine all the ingredients and put it in the oven to bake. It is a creamy custard based pie which is great all on it’s own but add in the drunken rum sauce and ooo-weeee! That’s good stuff, like a party in your mouth! I like to top mine with some homemade whip cream and crushed macadamia nuts to dress it up a bit. I made this for some friends the other night and they said it was like nothing they had ever had before (I am pretty sure it was a compliment). It is a one of a kind dessert that will make your mouth happy.

PIE INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 c sugar
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 c flour
2 c shredded coconut
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained

DRUNKEN RUM SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 c butter
1 c Myers dark rum
1 c brown sugar

GARNISHES
whipped cream
crushed macadamia nuts

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour.
  • Mix using a hand mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Fold in coconut and pineapple until completely combined.
  • Pour your pie mixture into a greased pie dish.
  • Bake for 40–45 minutes.
  • Remove pie from oven and allow to cool.
  • While pie is cooling start the rum sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan.
  • Stir in brown sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add in rum and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Turn heat to low and simmer for 2–3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over a warm slice of pie and top with whipped cream and some macadamia nuts.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Banana Split Pie

This may be one of my best desserts yet! A banana split in the form of a pie. How can one go wrong?!? You can’t with this combination of ingredients. When I think of my childhood summers, banana splits come to mind. This dessert screams fun and it is an absolutely perfect dessert for all ages. It is cool, refreshing, and just looks beautiful!

This dessert is a no-bake pie so your kitchen won’t get hot when you are making it this summer. There are several steps which make it a little time consuming, but that is what is required to get all the scrumptious layers. Trust me though, it is really easy and comes together nicely. I wish I could have gotten a side photo of a slice so that you could see the layers. Next time. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Note: I recommend using chocolate fudge for sundaes rather than chocolate syrup. Syrup is soupy and doesn’t give you the fudgy quality needed. Just my two cents.

INGREDIENTS
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/2 c butter
1 1/4 c sugar divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 bananas
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla Jell-O pudding
1 c milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
chocolate fudge sundae topping
1/2 c chopped pecans
small jar maraschino cherries

STEPS

  • In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and a 1/2 cup of the sugar.
  • Press graham cracker mixture into bottom and up sides of a pie dish using the backside of a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Put in the freezer for a couple of minutes to set.
  • While your piecrust is setting beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, and a 1/2 cup of the sugar using an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of your piecrust.
  • Drain your pineapple juice into a bowl.
  • Put the drained pineapple in an even layer on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Slice your bananas into the bowl with the pineapple juice and gently toss. (The acid from the pineapple juice keeps your bananas from browning. This is a great trick for fruit salads too!)
  • Drain the remaining juice from the bananas and arrange the slices over the pineapple.
  • Place pie back in freezer.
  • In a large mixing bowl prepare your whip cream by mixing the whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar using a hand mixer. Mix on high speed for 2–3 minutes or until nice and thick. Set aside.
  • In another bowl mix the dry Jell-O pudding and the milk using a wire whisk until smooth.
  • Add about half of your whip cream into the pudding mixture and stir.
  • Spread your pudding mixture over the banana layer.
  • Top your pie with the remaining whip cream.
  • Drizzle chocolate fudge over whip cream layer.
  • Top with chopped pecans and cherries.
  • Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Enjoy!