Thursday, January 13, 2011

Easy, tasty, wannabe Cajun dinner

I love to cook but I usually don’t like to spend too much time in front of my stove, especially on weeknights. I can say that my dinners are usually tasty and never ordinary (at leas I try to stay out of the ordinary), but I rarely spend more than 30 to 60 minutes preparing them. Who has all day to prepare dinner nowadays? I most certainly don’t!! And I’m sure you don’t either!

Another thing I love to do is challenge myself to an ‘empty my fridge cookout’. It’s simple. I open my fridge, look at what I have on hand and try to make something creative and special out of it. My personal secret to this is to always have the basic ingredients on hand: spices, sauces, herbs, oils and vinegars, etc., that way I can go in either direction I feel like going.

This week, I made an amazing somewhat Cajun dinner out of chicken and red and yellow peppers. If you’re game, you should try this one. It’s really really easy and soooooo tasty… just make sure to think of this recipe 1 day ahead!!

Makes 4 servings

4 Chicken legs (without skin)
½ cup Ketchup
½ cup Yellow mustard
¼ cup Heinz 57 Sauce
¼ cup Jerk Sauce (if you don’t have this, substitute with Jerk seasoning)
2-3 tbsp Hot Calypso sauce (made with pickled Scotch bonnet peppers)
1 tbsp Liquid smoke
1 tbsp Smoked paprika
1 tbsp Dehydrated garlic 
Kosher Salt
Black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl or a large freezer Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and make sure the marinade is all over it. Let marinate in the fridge overnight.

Heat your oven at 350˚F.

Place your chicken on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes.

Note: If you prefer white meat, you can substitute the chicken legs for breasts. Cooking time should be around 20 minutes.

Smoke paprika and liquid smoke are great to have on hand. You can buy them in specialized stores like Les douceurs du marché at Atwater Market. You can keep them for a long time in the fridge and can always add them to your BBQ marinades.

Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 Red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 Bell peppers (red, yellow, orange… but avoid the green), sliced
5 Garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp Raspberry vinegar
Salt & Pepper
½ cup Fresh coriander, chopped

In a wok or a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and softened for 2-3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and the garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the raspberry vinegar, salt & pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Just before serving, add the coriander.

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