Monday, June 27, 2011

Watermelon Lemon Chiller - A Summer treat!

I love watermelon - its my favorite summertime fruit - so refreshing to enjoy it on a hot summer day! The color and the texture just amaze me - one of nature's wonders according to me. I have also read articles recently that this fruit has a lot of health values when consumed regularly. Its quite filling and a few slices are sufficient to compensate a light lunch and contributes to a healthy diet. Yesterday, I picked up two mini locally grown organic melons from a local store and they were just awesome. It pretty much refueled my summer addiction. Everytime I cut this fruit, I go on eating and eating until I force myself to stop and store a few pieces in the fridge for others. Everytime the bowl comes out of the fridge, the madness begins :)

This is a quick summer beverage - Watermelon lemon chiller. Interestingly, a few simple additions to the juice enhance the naturally sweet flavor with a new twist. I've tried different variations like adding mint, lemon, sugar and salt etc to the extracted juice and everytime it comes out good and quite different. My daughter loves this lemon flavored watermelon juice. This summer I've made it a couple of times for her and she loves preparing it with me - A good holiday activity to keep her engaged.

Seedless Watermelon cut into cubes - 3 cups
Sugar - 2 tbsp (adjust to your taste)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Mint leaves a few
Sliced Lemon wedges - 2 or 3

Run the watermelon cubes in a blender and filter the juice through a strainer.
Add sugar, mint leaves and lemon juice and mix for 2 or 3 mins.
Take a glass, add crushed ice and fill with the juice. Drop a sliced lemon wedge and mix it well.

Perfect for a hot summer day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grilled / Baked Chicken - Get Fired up!

Its grilling season! Summer is the ultimate season I wait upon. Eventhough its hot as hell, just the feeling its gone before you know it, makes me enjoy the heat as much as I can. There are just so many things to do outside - biking, picnic, camping, grill parties... and many more. Anyway, summer is here finally and its getting gorgeous day by day. Grilling gets good in summer, but actually I enjoy grilling in the spring when the weather is more enjoyable to do - a bit of chill, lots of moisture, warm air from a grill, smoked flavor.. perfect!

Whenever I ride through my neighborhood and smell other people cooking out, I can't help but want to take out my grill or go for a picnic. Now don't get me wrong, I've always loved grilled food, but didn't want to grill ever. I know people who just thoroughly enjoy grilling - no matter how the weather is outside - like my brother-in-law who enjoys grilling even when its snowing outside. With his winter gear and hood on, he grills awesome chicken and says he enjoys grilling. Another friend of mine never gets tired of grilling and has extreme patience and can keep grilling for several hours. There is some magic in his grilling - anything that comes out of his grill is so flavorful and tender. So, I prefer the expert grillers do the job and I just want to enjoy the outcome.

Here is an awesome summertime recipe my sister shared with me. She said she enjoyed it at her friend's place who is an expert in grilling. A yummy recipe that requries very little preparation time, but comes out great from the grill.

Lemon-Oregano Chicken

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 8 chicken thighs with skin (about 1 3/4 pounds)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Accompaniment: lemon wedges

  • Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  • Pat chicken dry and coat with lemon-garlic mixture.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and remaining tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides.

  • Brown chicken in 2 batches, skin side down, until golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes (chicken will not be cooked through).

  • Transfer, skin side up, to a 4-sided sheet pan.Pour off fat (and any small burnt pieces) from skillet.

  • Add broth and remaining tablespoon lemon juice and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and oregano, then pour over chicken.

  • Let it sit for sometime and then arrange the pieces on the grill and grill until completely cooked.

  • Alternatively, you can also roast chicken in oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes in about 450°F with rack in middle.
Season with salt and pepper.