A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Harvest...Mexican Cooking

Summer is in the air here in the northeastern US these past couple weeks. After a mostly mild and wet summer it has been hot and muggy of late. Thank god for air conditioning. Despite the weather, it has been a good season for my tomatoes and hot peppers . Besides that, local sweet corn is in peak season, as is other great produce like summer squash and zucchini. With all these great vegetable and it being too hot to turn on the stove, what better food to make than homemade Mexican condiments, and grilled chicken and corn. As you can see in the spread below, yesterday after work I got busy marinading chicken breasts in a chili-lime rub, making a classic pico de gallo (a fresh tomato salsa), a chunky guacamole and a fire roasted salsa.

Pico de Gallo

Combine the following in a bowl. You can eat it right away, or refridgerate and let the flavors meld for a while.

4 large tomatoes (I used a "better boy" hybrid I grew myself...they were big), diced small
1/2 a Vidalia (or other sweet/mild) onion, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice and zest of 1 lime
a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper

In a bowl, roughly mash 4 ripe avocados (I use a potato masher)
Combine with:
1/2 cup red onion, minced fine
2 jalapenos, minced
juice and zest of 1 to 2 limes
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 tsp of ancho chili powder

Fire Roasted Salsa
In a glass bowl, drizzle a little oil over
2 poblano peppers
3 jalapenos
3 large tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, halved

Coat the veggies in the oil and place on a hot grill. Occasionally turn the peppers. onion and tomato so all sides get slightly charred. Remove from the flame and let rest. Once cool enough to handle, peel the tough skin off the peppers.In a food processor, add:
- grilled tomatoes, poblanos, onions and jalapenos
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of cilantro
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 TBSP of lime juice

Pulse the food processor until mixture is well combined. The salsa should not be overly chunky.

Chili-Lime Grilled Chicken

In a large resealable bag, combine

- the juice and zest of 1 lime
- 2 TBSP of olive oil
- 1 tsp of ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
- a few dashes of salt and pepper

mix and add 4 done-in chicken breasts. Seal the bag and massage the chicken around to ensure it is well covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat your grill to med-high, and cook chicken just until internal temprature in the thickest part reaches 160 degrees. Any more and your chicken will overcook and begin to become dry. I also season my chicken with a little salt and pepper while on the grill. What you want is a crispy skin, and succulent, juicy chicken breast meat. The flavor of the lime and ancho chili doesn't take long in the marinade to work its way into the meat so this makes for an excellent preparation on a work night or impromptu weekend dinner. Great served with the fire roasted salsa and/or a Mexican salsa verde (tomatillo salsa).

When served with some grilled sweet corn, corn chips and an ice cold Corona, and you'll have an yourself a feista!

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