Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Photo of Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs over rice with broccoliHot Competition
For a lot of people, the start of College Football is a non-event. For others, like the majority of my family, it’s kind of a big deal. This year is especially wacky because, with my kids and my nephew off to college, we now have three more teams to cheer for.

If there was one silver lining for the heat we’ve had over the pasts few days it is this, there was a perfectly reasonable justification for camping out on the couch all Saturday to watch the full lineup of games. True, it wasn’t 155 degrees on Saturday but it was still hot. Hot enough that the chicken wings I had planned to make (because what else do you eat while watching football?) didn’t happen. I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the oven. I did, however, fire up the grill.

In lieu of wings, I made my recipe for Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs using boneless skinless thighs—which are the workhorse of my food repertoire. I always have chicken thighs in the fridge or freezer. I also always have teriyaki on hand because no matter what’s going on during the day you can get dinner on the table quick with a 30-minute dunk in teriyaki before throwing it on the grill.

Add some steamed rice and some broccoli and BOOM. Dinner is served. I also always make more than I need—so I can throw some on a salad for lunch or even make a sandwich.

There are plenty of good teriyaki marinades out there. But, lately, I have turned away from the super sweet ones for two reasons. First, the older I get the less sweet I want my food to be. Second, sugar in the marinade will burn on the grill if you’re not careful. That caramelized flavor has its time and place but I would rather taste the other flavors.

This is the teriyaki I have been using lately—though it does take a little bit more time to marinade than the open-and-pour options. To me, it tastes more like the grilled chicken you get in Hawaii. It’s sweet but not corn syrup sweet. Feel free to add a little chili garlic paste if you want some heat.

Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Recipe
Adapted from Favorite Family Recipes
Yields 6 servings Read more…

Grilled Corn Salad

Image of Grilled Corn Salad on a plateCorn on the Side
Summer dinners tend to be a lot easier to produce. There is very little in your fridge that can’t go on the grill. Chicken, fish, beef, and veggies can all take a turn over the flames. The same is true when it comes to your side dishes.

Since you are going through the trouble of heating up the grill, might as well get the most out of it. If you’re like me, you have garden zucchini coming out of your ears. It’s easy to toss some with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and throw it on the grill next to your steaks. Corn is another great vegetable to put on the grill. You can leave it in the husk and grill it as is for on-the-cob greatness. Or, you can grill it husk-free for the Grilled Corn Salad recipe below.

Just prep the ingredients before you start grilling and while your meat is resting, throw it all together for a tasty smokey side. Bonus points if you grill the peaches too…

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe
Adapted from Love and Lemons
Yields 4 servings Read more…

Amy’s Pimento Cheese Spread

Photo of Amy’s Pimento Cheese Spread in a jarGraduation Board
My two sons graduate from high school on Thursday. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. It doesn’t quite seem real. But, maybe if I keep saying it I will be able to wrap my head around it. I mean it really doesn’t seem that long ago that I dropped them off for their first day of kindergarten—one of them excited and one of them sobbing. But now it is on to a different chapter in their life. And, like the hundreds of other graduates in their class, we will be having a party on Saturday.

Based on the number of invitations we received for grad parties, we know that the day will be much more of a rolling party than everyone gathering all at once. This means the food will have to be more passive than active. This is a fantastic opportunity for my daughter and me because we have both caught the ART-cuterie board bug that has become all the rage. Just take a quick spin through Pinterest and you will get the gist.

ART-cuterie is essentially a cheese board that combines salami and fruits and nuts as well as dips and cheeses in a though out and artful way. It’s kinda silly, really. But, they can be very pretty when displayed on your buffet table. Plus, it doesn’t always have to be made with meat and cheese. You can do a s’mores board, or something with baked goods, or fruit and chocolate. An all-veggie tray is always a good idea. You can make them as big or as small as you need or do more than one if you want even more variety. The possibilities are endless as are the combinations.

We’re planning on doing a mixed grill. So, I’m thinking that my board should have things that go well with a Summer BBQ. I am going with basic favorites like sliced cucumbers, celery sticks, and bell peppers. Since the peaches and nectarines are starting to come in, I think I might slice some up and add them along with some crisp grapes and Marcona almonds. There will definitely be sliced salami and prosciutto. For crackers, I’m going to go with some water crackers and some butter crackers. The absolute must-have for me though is Pimento Cheese Spread.

Our cheese department has our Pappy’s Pimento Cheese Spread which is darn tasty. But, sometimes I just like to do it myself so I can customize it a bit. For example, I like Amy’s Pimento Cheese Spread with a little fresh diced jalapeño for a bit more kick. I also like a little green onion—which isn’t traditional. But, I likes what I likes…

Amy’s Pimento Cheese Spread Recipe
Yields approxomately 4 cups
Read more…

Tuna Burgers

Tuna BurgersCalifornia (Super Bowl) Love
I can’t decide if I am excited about the Super Bowl this weekend or not. The weather is going to be really nice. So, the idea of being outside is very appealing. Plus, I don’t really have a dog in the hunt. There are reasons to cheer for both teams since the 49ers didn’t make it. But, do I care enough to waste an 80-degree day?

The jury is still out. But, I am sure I will end up watching the game mostly for the halftime show, a few adult beverages, and the food…and because I have teenage boys.

Given the temps and the location of the game, I’m thinking margaritas and tacos for the game day nosh. But, you would never go wrong with wings and burgers. I even have the perfect burger. It’s a very “California” tuna burger that is just as satisfying as a beef burger.

The original Tuna Burgers recipe comes with an olive tapenade that is good. But, I like it better served with good quality tartar sauce or a lemon-herb aioli. Add your favorite chips or a salad on the side and you have a very LA feast. They would also be great as sliders.

Tuna Burgers Recipe
Adapted from Bobby Flay and the Food Network
Yields 4 servings Read more…