Citrus Marinated Chicken with Grilled Pineapple and Pickled Jalapeno Relish

While I was staring at the jar of delectably pickled jalapenos I used for my last food blog; I decided to use them again here and marry them with some grilled pineapple to make a sweet/spicy relish to accompany the citrus flavor in the grilled chicken.

The ingredients list here looks long, but the recipe is really quick and easy to put together aside from the marinating time for the jalapenos and chicken breasts. I guarantee it’s worth the wait!

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Grilled Tilapia Street Tacos with Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa Verde

Cinco de Mayo is coming up on Friday so what better way to celebrate than this healthy, spicy dish? I don’t know if it’s the simplicity of ingredients with big, bold flavors, or the fact that they’re so easy to prepare, however, I have absolutely fallen in love with the whole concept of street tacos. You can fill them with just about anything and top them with an unlimited number of garnishes and they taste amazing.

The grilled tilapia in this recipe is light, flaky, and picks up the flavors of the cilantro lime marinade beautifully. And there are two schools of thought when it comes to salsa verde. You can either roast the veggies first then puree them for a smokier flavor, or you can prepare them raw and fresh like I did here. The clean, boldness of the tomatillos, peppers, and cilantro marry so well together, they’re absolutely addictive. In fact, several spoonfuls of this salsa verde were eaten all by themselves without the tacos!

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Spicy Caribbean Grilled Chicken with Carrot and Jicama Slaw

spicy-caribbean-grilled-chicken-with-carrot-and-jicama-slaw

Remember last week when I warned you to get ready for a string of spicy recipes?  Here’s a spicy, sweet, tangy, acidic masterpiece of a marinade using chocolate habaneros that I’m definitely going to make again.   Don’t be daunted by the amount of garlic and habanero peppers here.  You can reduce the quantities down to your preferred level of heat and still get great flavor.

Once grilled, the chicken ended up being exceptionally juicy, and it picked up a great level of heat from the habaneros.   The addition of the bright, colorful, crunchy sweetness of the carrots and the dressing for the slaw balanced out the heat and made a beautiful plate.

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The Bloody Inferno

The Bloody Inferno

I’ve never understood the name for the cocktail called a ‘Bloody Mary.’ Some say its origin is about a spirit conjured to reveal the future by calling her name in a mirror three times, others say it’s about the legend of Mary Tudor who had hundreds of Protestants murdered in the name of Catholicism. There’s even a story about the drink first being called a ‘Red Snapper’ before it was changed to what we call it today. Regardless, it’s one of my favorite cocktails.

When it comes to the flavor of a traditional Bloody Mary, however, any true foodie would agree that vodka and tomato juice tend to be pretty flavorless ingredients, so they need a big flavor boost to make them tasty. What’s my favorite version? I add an elevated zing using my favorite trio of charred veggies, spicy peppers, and habanero-infused vodka.

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Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly

Pepper jelly isn’t your typical condiment found in the door of most peoples’ refrigerators. Personally, I think it’s more versatile than catsup or mayonnaise. We put this jelly on sandwiches with sliced turkey or ham, spoon it between slices of cheese and make sweet/spicy grilled cheese sandwiches, eat it with cream cheese and crackers, and even reduce it down to a glaze to brush on pork tenderloin and grilled chicken. A little bit of heat with a little bit of sweet – a perfect combination!

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Tamale Stuffed Fire-Roasted Poblanos with Red Chile Sauce

Tamale Stuffed Poblanos with Red Chile Sauce

If you’re looking for something spicy and a little unique to make for Cinco de Mayo this year, then this is the recipe for you! I combined three of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes into one. Fire-roasted poblano peppers, pork tamales, and rich, smoky red chile sauce. They were absolutely delicious!

Roasting peppers is easy, and with a little experimentation, you can control the smokiness of flavor by the duration of time you roast them. As you can see from the picture, I like a deep level of heat in my peppers, so they’re fully charred by the time I remove them from the heat. And if you have folks who are sensitive to spicy food, you could use fire-roasted red peppers in place of the poblanos. Both variations are great and have that authentic Tex-Mex flavor.

Have a wonderful Cinco de Mayo!

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Heat-Jacked Chicken Tortilla Soup

Heat-Jacked Chicken Tortilla Soup

One more soup recipe for the season before the spring weather arrives and we all start thinking about salads and grilled meat. That and I’ve been having serious cravings for hot spicy food lately.

I decided to switch the heat source this week to jalapeño peppers since my family has mentioned several times they’re concerned about my supposed Sriracha “addiction.” (This is not a cry for help, by the way. No way am I giving up my Sriracha!)

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Pan-Roasted Mussels with Bacon, Bourbon and Jalapeño

Pan-Roasted Mussels with Bacon, Bourbon and Jalapeno

I’ve been having this insane craving for bacon and jalapeños so get ready for a string of recipes featuring those two ingredients the next couple of weeks.

I made this dish last weekend, and as I was about to add the white wine to the broth, I looked over and saw my bottle of bourbon. Then I thought, “Hmm…”

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Making Your Own Roasted Peppers

Making Your Own Roasted Peppers

There are too many prepared food items on our grocery shelves today designed for our convenience. If you took the time to set aside a few minutes of your meal preparation time, you could prepare many of them on your own.  Not only could those few minutes of prep time be a lot of fun, quite often the end result is cheaper doing it yourself.

For example, have you ever checked out the price of a jar of roasted red peppers at the grocery store?  I did a price comparison between the stores by my house and on average, a jar of roasted peppers is anywhere from $6.00 to $8.00 a jar.  Roasting your own fresh peppers is half that amount, plus, you know what ingredients you are using – just the peppers and not any of the preservatives used in the liquid of the jarred version.

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Firecracker Pepper Poppers

Firecracker Pepper Poppers

What better way to kick off the 4th of July weekend get together than with these delicious bite-sized poppers.  Each one has the perfect ratio of smoky bacon, creamy cheese and spicy jalapeño.

One word of warning; make sure you have plenty of them on hand.  They’re always a hit and they’ll be gone before you know it!

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