Saturday, August 1, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Some of the week's best
The best way to start out the weekend is with a mojito.
If the Mojito was one of Ernest Heminway's favorite drink it works for me too! Ernest Hemingway made the bar called La Bodequita del medio famous as he became one of its regulars. He even wrote on the wall " Mi mojito en la Bodeguita" (My mojito at the Bodeguita) These words can still be read on the wall in his handwriting. Note you would have to go to Havana to actually see this for yourself.
A Mojito traditionally is made of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime, sparking water and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint. In the past few years the mojito has become a popular summer drink.
Cook's note: There are a variety of Mojito recipes but an important step not to skip is making your own simple syrup  ahead of time. The syrup keeps in the refrigerator several weeks covered. This recipe makes one drink.
Simple Syrup
Heat equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan until just before boiling. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved.

  • 2-1/2 oz light rum or try using mango rum or Bacardi Limon or which really kicks up the taste
  • 1 lime
  • 1 TB. simple syrup
  • mint leaves
  • ice
  • club soda
  • Place 4 mint leaves and 1 TB. simple syrup in a glass and squish it all around with a spoon for 25 seconds till you have a good minty smell. This is called muddling.
  • Cut the lime in half and squeeze juice out from both halves into the glass.
  • optional at this step using a cocktail strainer to remove the mint leaves.
  • Pour in rum, stir with lime juice and simple syrup together. 
  • Add ice and top mixture off with club soda.
  • Garnish with a lime.

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki
A tasty Mediterranean lemon, garlic and oregano skewered grilled chicken that is perfect in pitas, in salads or right off the stick. Recipe serves 4 and comes from
Soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes in water before threading on chicken pieces. Add tomatoes and peppers.

  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 TB. yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp.pepper
  • Marinate the chicken in the mixture of the remaining ingredients in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight.
  • Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until cooked, about 6 minutes per side.
Alternative Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Gyro

Pitas stuffed with tasty grilled chicken souvlaki, tomatoes, onions, creamy tzatziki sauce, feta and roasted red peppers. Serves 4

  • 2 pitas, cut in half with pockets opened
  • 1 pound chicken souvlaki, warm
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce
  • 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced (optional)
Assemble the gyros and enjoy.
Pesto Chicken Salad

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