Wednesday, June 26, 2013



That’s the only way I can think of to describe what happened to the time and my motivation to keep current on my little blog.

With O2 working full-time now, I could say that my impetus to cook on a regular basis has diminished somewhat, but that’s not really true.  In her stead is this rambunctious little scamp who eats practically everything.  Truly, I think the only thing I’ve seen him turn down is lettuce.  He LOVES food.

{side story having little to do with the subject of the current post}
I was at the Saturday Market down in Eugene a couple of weekends ago and bought a pint of fresh strawberries.  I had the Munchkin in tow, and when he saw the strawberries, he indicated in no uncertain terms that he wanted them…  like, NOW.  So I handed him one and continued along.  He made short work of it and was given another and another.
He was obviously enjoying himself, becoming quickly covered in strawberry juice (in a white polo shirt, no less) and eliciting comments from the occasional passer-by.  About this time, I started to realize that I didn’t see a collection of leaves and stems.  And so I watched him devour yet another strawberry from the top down to the tip, greenery and all.
That story somewhat ties into this post because it was during that trip that I happened upon a shop selling infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars and other related items (pastas, seasonings, etc).  After a little tasting session, I came away with a nice, fruity, Italian olive oil and a peach-infused balsamic vinegar.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them.
This makes for a good summer-centric meal since the chicken can obviously be grilled outdoors, and the only indoor cooking would involve making the quinoa on the stovetop (couscous would be another good option here).  But here in Oregon, it’s June, and we’re still enjoying mildly warm days, so I just used my grill pan on the stove.  This was a big hit with the Munchkin (who got it as is, minus the almonds, since I wasn’t confident he’d actually chew them first), even with the heat from the chipotle powder.  He discovered that he loves fresh peaches almost as much as strawberries.
Grilled Chicken with Almond-Peach Quinoa
1/4 cup peach-flavored balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (good quality)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
Zest from one lemon
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
About 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp salt
1 peach, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/3 - 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the balsamic vinegar, basil and salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.  Pour out about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a shallow dish.
Set a grill pan over medium-high heat and season with a little olive oil (or prepare outdoor grill).
Rinse and pat the chicken thighs dry.  Season with mixture of garlic powder, chili powder, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Add to dish with the vinaigrette mixture, along with lemon juice.  Turn to coat chicken with mixture.
When grill pan is hot, add chicken and cook, turning when it is brown on one side, approximately 10 minutes total.
Meanwhile, set a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbs olive oil.  Add quinoa and allow to toast for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.  Add water or stock and 1 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for another 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.  Pour in remaining vinaigrette mixture, add peaches and almonds, and stir to combine.  Serve with grilled chicken.


No comments:

Post a Comment