I’ve had some good culinary whims this week, which has brightened my spirits after the failed mac salad idea that I mentioned in my post about peaches. A couple of days ago I decided to make my quick & cool veggie soup for lunch, but I found myself without any fresh herbs and the only veggie I had was a cucumber. I figured a Granny Smith apple would be an acceptable veggie substitute since it is kind of “grassy” in flavor. What could replace the herbs though? I decided on using peppadew peppers. They added a nice bit of a heat and their sweet/tangy taste really complemented the apple. I think I might like it even better than the orginal. (If you would like the recipe for this, check out my comment on my Cold Soup for a Hot Summer Day post.)
Apparently I am not the only one who is having good culinary whims this week. I asked my husband to come up with something to go with the sweet potato wedges for dinner, and his idea was so good that I wanted to share that with you too. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not a fan of white meat chicken. It seems kind of boring and bland to me. I know most cooks see it as a blank canvas, an ideal backdrop to try out flavors–but it just doesn’t inspire me. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t share my ennui for chicken, and he came up with this great grilled chicken recipe that I’m sharing with you below.
But the star of this post–and the most unexpected part of my plan–is the spicy yogurt dipping sauce. As the sweet potatoes and chicken breasts were grilling I realized that we needed something to dip the potato wedges in for some extra flavor. I started messing around with ingredients we had on hand, and presto! It was like culinary magic–a final product whose yumminess was greater than the sum of its parts. Since it’s made with stuff I usually have around, I think this sauce will become a regular around here (especially since my oldest son is a big fan of dips and spicy stuff).
Lime-Cilantro Chicken (my husband’s creation)
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt & pepper
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- vegetable oil, for the grill
- If the chicken breasts are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Season with salt & pepper.
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and cayenne pepper (if using). Season with salt & pepper.
- Pour half of the marinade over the chicken.
- Heat a grill to high. Clean the grill with a brush. Dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and wipe it on the grill grates. Sear the chicken on both sides. Baste the chicken with the reserved marinade and cook until the chicken reaches 160 degrees in the center. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges (adapted from Rick Bayless)
- 3 medium sweet potatoes (look for ones that are relatively straight, it makes cutting them into wedges easier)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them lengthwise into wedges that are about 1/2-inch thick. (You will probably get about 8 wedges per potato.)
- Toss the sweet potato wedges with the olive oil in a large bowl. Make sure that they are well-coated in oil. Sprinkle them with the salt and toss again.
- Heat a grill to high. Clean the grill with a brush. Sear the wedges on each side so that they have some nice grill marks on them. Move the wedges to a cooler part of the grill (you might have to turn down your flame or turn off one of your burners to do this) and continue to cook until they are softened and cooked through, approximately 20-25 minutes.
Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce (my own creation)
- 1 chipotle in adobo
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Use a fork to mash up the chipotle in adobo into a paste.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the chipotle paste to the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and adjust seasoning if necessary. (If you like it spicier, add more of the chipotle paste.)
Time: 40 minutes (to make the chicken, sweet potatoes and sauce)
Notes: This is a very kid-friendly meal. In essence it is like chicken fingers & fries, only healthier and more appealing to adults.