by Toby Amidor in Food News, Food Safety, October 10, 2013
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, July 28, 2013
After nearly 300 people became sick from salmonella in 18 states, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert. The culprit is raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California. Luckily, proper handling of poultry can help prevent illness. To do so, make sure to follow these five food safety rules.
#1: Defrost Properly
Those days of defrosting on your counter top overnight are long gone. One bacterium can multiply to 1 billion over 10 hours—something you don’t want to fool around with. To properly defrost chicken, place it in the refrigerator on a tray the night before. If you have smaller pieces of chicken, you can defrost in the microwave (look for the “defrost” button), as long as you cook them immediately after.
#2: Store Chicken Properly
When placing raw chicken in the refrigerator, make sure it is wrapped and stored on a lower shelf. Only proper cooking can destroy the bacteria, so foods that will not be further cooked (like cheese, veggies or fruit) should be placed above the raw chicken so the chicken juices won’t drip on them.
#3: Skip the Rinsing
Could it be that Julia Child’s habit of rinsing chicken has stuck with us after all these years? A recent study conducted at Drexel University found that 90% of folks still do it! For the first time, in 2005, the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans included food safety, and they advise against rinsing chicken before cooking. The reason is that those chicken juices get all over the place—other dishes, the inside of the sink and the counter tops–creating a bacterial playground.
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, July 16, 2013
As tomato season picks up, you may be seeing more options out there, like the sweet yellow ones I serve with this smoky mesquite chicken. The technique behind the simple tomato side dish is macerating — a fun and super-cool way to jazz up a recipe. Macerating is similar to marinating, but the term is traditionally used when talking about fruits and vegetables. As fruits and/or veggies soak in acidic ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, wine or liqueur, they absorb the liquid, soften, and develop a more intense flavor. For the best results, once you combine the fruits/vegetables and their soaking liquid, let them “brew” for at least 30 minutes to develop full flavor.
In this recipe, I partnered the tomatoes with tangy white balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry-seasoned white balsamic vinegar – YUM!). I also added a little sugar (not uncommon) to draw moisture out of the tomatoes and create a syrup. The result is a sweet and flavorful embellishment for grilled chicken. You can also serve the tomatoes with fish, shellfish, pork, and steak.
Mesquite Grilled Chicken with Macerated Yellow Tomatoes
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, May 13, 2013
Growing up, I spent several summers visiting my grandparents in the Florida Keys. These days, when I see key limes at the market, I’m catapulted back to age 10–to my grandmother’s sublime key lime pie, her tart limeade and that tangy-sweet steak marinade she made with fresh key limes from her tree. When it was time to head home, we’d squeeze a bunch of limes so I could bring juice home (clearly this was before carry-on liquids were capped at 3 ounces).
These days, you can find key limes in grocery stores nationwide. Thin-skinned key limes are much smaller than regular limes (usually the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball) and they contain very few seeds. Green key limes are actually immature fruit and are fairly tangy, but as they ripen and turn yellow, the acidity drops and they get sweeter. There’s no shortage of uses for key limes–use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor, such as in marinades for meat, poultry and fish; dressings and vinaigrette; salsas, pies, quick breads, muffins, and more.
Here, I use them to give delicious flavor to chicken kebabs.
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, April 29, 2013
Most people love coconut-crusted chicken, fish and shellfish. Problem is, most coconut-crusted dishes contain lots of fat from heavy egg-based batters and pan-frying or deep-frying in lots of oil. That’s a shame because coconut “meat” is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. It’s also rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), which, unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), have no negative effect on cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. The good news is, you can create a crunchy coconut exterior without tons of fat and calories. In this recipe, I coated chicken with three simple layers: flour, egg whites and coconut. The crust is light and delicious and also works well with fish and shrimp. The tangy and slightly spicy pineapple salsa takes the dish over the top. Let me know what you think! Read more
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, April 2, 2013
The great thing about bacon is that everyone loves it and a little goes a long way to enhance a dish. You don’t need to pile it on to get huge flavor. I mean, look at the calories and fat in this feast — it proves that you can enjoy bacon without loads of extra fat or calories.
I love the way the bacon spruces up mild-flavored chicken and keeps the lean meat moist as it roasts. I wanted to create a fantastic presentation so I cut the bacon into little squares and arranged it on top of the chicken, like rooftop shingles. I used applewood-smoked bacon because I like the way the smoky apple flavor (from various apple trees) partners with the chicken and honey mustard. You can use any smoked bacon you want, including hickory or brown sugar. Read more
by Lauren Miyashiro in Healthy Recipes, March 2, 2013
A taquito (pronounced ta-kito) is a rolled up, filled tortilla that’s deep-fried until golden brown and crisp. In the classic Mexican dish, also known as a flauta, the tortilla is typically corn and the filling is beef or chicken. Taquitos are amazingly crunchy and delicious, and they make a fun hand-held treat. Problem is, depending on the filling, ONE taquito can have 200-500 calories, 8-28 grams of fat and 350-1,134 mg of sodium. And nobody eats just one. Since I want you to enjoy all the flavors without all of the calories, I revamped the dish to make it Healthy Eats-friendly. Not just friendly — consider this taquito your new best pal! The filling is a savory blend of grilled chicken, salsa and sharp cheddar cheese. And by baking the rolled tortillas instead of deep-frying, I was able to shed hundreds of calories and milligrams of sodium and dozens of fat grams. Check them out and let me know what you think! Read more
by Toby Amidor in Is It Healthy?, October 7, 2012
Mexican is quite possibly my favorite type of food. It’s the cuisine I crave most often. Unfortunately while it’s loaded with flavor, it’s typically packed with calories too. So the last time my craving for tostadas hit, I opted for a healthy variation.
Where do you get bold flavor without all of the fat? A zesty marinade of lime, garlic and chipotle peppers give Grilled Chicken Tostadas al Carbon their kick. Instead of frying the tortilla (as restaurants usually do), the chefs in the Food Network Kitchens toss it on the grill for a delightfully smoky taste. Add bright, bold toppings to the citrusy chicken and the fiesta really gets going.
The tomatillos bring a robust tang to the plate. After being charred on the grill, all that’s needed is a rough chop, a splash of oil and a pinch of salt. Throw on some shredded lettuce for body, diced onions for extra pow, and queso fresco, because a little bit of cheese is always a good thing.
The next time you’re searching for new chicken recipe, look no further. This lightened-up tostada comes in at just 365.5 calories per serving and will leave you completely satisfied. It’s so tasty, you won’t be missing the guacamole.
by Robin Miller in Uncategorized, October 1, 2012
This kid-friendly and wildly popular food is often DEMANDED by kids. Should you give into to your kiddos’ requests for these bite-sized poultry pieces?
At a first glance, breaded and fried chicken isn’t the best nor is it the worst food your kid could be eating. The chicken provides some B-vitamins and protein and served with a side salad or veggies and a whole grain, it can be part of a healthy eating plan.
Much of the nutritional value in nuggets depends on who’s making them. Store-bought and fast-food varieties aren’t without their issues (see below). You can always opt to make your own breaded and baked nuggets. This helps decrease the unpronounceable ingredient list, preservatives, sodium and fat.
by Silvana Nardone in Gluten-Free, May 16, 2012
Balsamic syrups and glazes are amazing and you can drizzle them over practically anything. I say “drizzle” because they’re thick and rich, a little goes a long way. The bottled varieties are pretty good but since they sometimes contain maple syrup, garlic, mustard and additional seasonings, they might add more flavor than you’re actually looking for (beyond that fabulous sweet and tangy balsamic flavor).
It’s very easy to make your own balsamic syrup – it’s basically a simple reduction of the vinegar. I like to add a little brown sugar for sweetness, but you can leave it out or use granulated sugar if you prefer. In this recipe, I serve the syrup over chicken and add salty feta cheese and chives. The dish also works great with crumbled blue cheese instead of the feta.
- Chicken Vegetable Braciola photo by: Stephen Scott Gross
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This was the case for an unsuspecting box of rice cereal I had ready and waiting in the cupboard for my son Isaiah’s morning breakfast routine. I had been thinking about a gluten-free replacement for breadcrumbs without the prep of toasting gluten-free bread at a low temperature for at least an hour, letting it cool completely and finally grinding it into crumbs in my food processor.
Then it struck me that cereal absorbs liquid just like breadcrumbs. I took the cereal box out of the cupboard, filled a Ziploc bag with rice cereal, took my rolling pin and crushed it into crumbs in just seconds. Even though I can now find gluten-free breadcrumbs at the supermarket, it’s cheaper and faster to still make my own.