Fish Tacos with Coleslaw

Hello there!  In the summer months when the sun is out, the temperature is up and the days are long, I love to keep the cooking outside on the grill and minimize the time and heat in the kitchen.  One of our new favorite recipes this summer has been fish tacos, made on a weekly rotation, which you can prepare a few ways.  The idea came from my dad and the abundance of sun fish he has been catching and sharing with us… he bought a great new tool from Weber just for the job and it makes grilling fish really easy.  And for those of us unwilling to commit to another kitchen tool, there’s a simple method available as well – a sheet of tin foil!

Here’s a couple prep photos to help you get the idea – using either method, coat the fish with oil, salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes per side on the grill at about 400 degrees.  The idea with the tin foil is to lay it directly on the grill and use it as a means of cooking the fish without them falling through the grates or burning.  We mostly use sun fish or tilapia for fish tacos since the filets are thin and cook quickly, and flake easily once cooked through.


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The finished product is a delicious and light fish that flakes easily.  

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These grilled fish are so delicious served as-is or on corn tortillas as a taco, topped with coleslaw.  The coleslaw recipe is a cinch to make and is best prepared just before serving as the longer you let it sit once prepared the more liquid will be drawn out of the coleslaw and things will get a little watery.

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Do you know how I can prove these fish tacos are really delicious?  I don’t have any photos of the finished product, just the fish and coleslaw separately.  And I’ve made this 4 times in the last month.  By the time it came to preparing the taco it went straight into my mouth and I entirely forgot to take a picture of it assembled so please forgive me and use your imagination here!

 

Fish Tacos with Coleslaw
Grill the fish and serve on corn tortillas topped with fresh coleslaw.
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Ingredients
  1. FISH
  2. 1 pound white fish, deboned and filleted, such as sun fish or tilapia
  3. Vegetable or olive oil
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. COLESLAW
  6. 1 bag shredded coleslaw
  7. 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  8. 2 Tbsp honey
  9. Juice of half a lime
  10. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  11. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  12. Corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Prepare the fish by assembling in single layer in a grilling basket or on a large piece of tin foil.
  2. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on the grill at 400 degrees, flipping the fish after 3-4 minutes once the edges begin to brown and it is losing its transparency.
  4. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the grill and place all filets on a large cutting board. Shred the fish using two forks.
  5. Heat corn tortillas in the microwave until warm.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, oil, honey, lime juice, pepper and salt, tossing until evenly coated.
  7. Serve fish on a corn tortilla topped with coleslaw.
Notes
  1. This recipe is naturally gluten free if you use corn tortillas labeled as such.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Roast Turkey Breast on the Grill

Do you ever have a hankering for something that’s entirely out of season?  I feel that way about Thanksgiving turkey throughout the year and have finally found a solution that doesn’t require hours of cooking, carving and clean up… a turkey breast roasted on the grill!  It’s perfect for summer months when you want to keep the oven off, and this meat can be served in so many ways – as the main course, in sandwiches, topping a salad or used in a pasta dish.  

First up, you’re going to need a whole bone-in turkey breast.  By the name of this, it sounds like a singular breast but it’s actually two, and includes the ribs which leads to really moist meat in the cooking process.  Essentially, the butcher has removed the wings and thighs and left the rest of the bird intact.  I can find these at my grocery store in the frozen turkey section.  

Second, you’ll also need a rotisserie kit for your grill in order to cook the bird.  I love the Weber rotisserie grill kit which includes a spit and two prongs, as well as motor.  Here’s a photo of it in action.  Notice that I’ve removed the middle three grates in the grill to allow the bird to turn on the rotisserie – it’s a big one!

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After you have seasoned and roasted the bird on the grill, it needs to rest before carving which is incredibly easy given it’s only the breasts.  Here’s the finished product!  The skin is crispy and delicious, the meat is moist and warm.  So easy, so good.  It’s like Thanksgiving in the summer, less the cold weather and three hours of oven cooking. 

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Roast Turkey Breast on the Grill
This roast turkey breast is a delicious and easy way to roast a bird without using your oven!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen whole bone-in turkey breast, thawed
  2. 1 tsp kosher salt
  3. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  4. 1 tsp dried thyme
  5. 1/2 tsp dried garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Heat the gas grill to 375-400 degrees, and place the rotisserie motor in its setting on the grill.
  2. Place the thawed turkey on a large plate. Trim any excess skin or parts that may hang loose when turning on the rotisserie to prevent burning.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all spices and rub all over the surface of the bird, both over and under the skin.
  4. Skewer the bird with the rotisserie spit, including both prongs.
  5. Place the bird on the spit on the grill, and close the cover. Cook for 90-120 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, keeping the grill temperature at 375-400 degrees.
  6. Remove from the grill and let the bird rest at least 10 minutes.
  7. Carve the bird and serve the breast meat in large slices.
Notes
  1. This turkey breast is great served as the main dish, on a salad, or in sandwich! Also, it is naturally gluten free, as long as your turkey breast is labeled appropriately.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Tuna Pasta Pea Salad

When I was about 10 years old, one of my favorite things to do on the weekend was to drive to the Southdale Mall with my mom to go shopping.  We’d go to Dayton’s (before it was Marshall Fields and then Macy’s) to shop for clothes, shoes, whatever my mom needed for the house…  It always felt like such a treat to wander this huge store and to take the place in. Growing up in a small farming town there was nothing of this magnitude within a 30 minute drive so it always felt special to me to visit.  Our shopping trip always included a stop for lunch at the top floor of the Dayton’s store in the deli where they served all sorts of salads and soft serve ice cream.  I ordered the tuna pasta salad with peas EVERY SINGLE TIME I went there.  Seriously.  Every. Single. Time.  And in my lifetime the number of store visits with lunch probably exceeds 50.  That’s a lot of pasta salad.  I’m not a fan of variety when I find what I like. 

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And look at that – what’s not to like?  This salad is a breeze to make and gets better the next day, so go ahead and make this for a light lunch, a shared salad for a party or an easy-to-transport lunch to bring to work.  Just beware that there’s mayo in this recipe so if you’re enjoying it outside in the hot summer months be sure to keep it on ice.  Food poisoning is no joke, people.

So on that light and happy note – let’s get down to business with the recipe!  Just a few considerations:

  • Canned tuna – this salad is best with Solid Albacore Tuna in water.  That’s not to say you can’t use Chunk Light or a tuna in oil, but I’ll go with Solid Albacore 100% of the time when I have the option.  The flavor is lighter and the color of the tuna is lighter in color as well. 
  • Pasta shape – I prefer to make this salad with the small rings you see in this photo, but really you can use any shape pasta you like, or a gluten-free one, too.  Just know that the larger your pasta shape, the more mayo you’re going to need to maintain the same moisture level given the increased pasta surface you’re trying to cover.
  • Mayo – I prefer the Hellman’s or Kraft brands but you could add some kick to this using Miracle Whip or another seasoned dressing instead or in addition to the mayo, like Dijon Mustard.

That’s it!  Enjoy, my food friends, and share feedback or ideas in the comment section!

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Tuna Pasta Pea Salad
This chilled pasta salad with tuna, celery and peas is a refreshing and light meal for a warm summer day.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box of small pasta rings
  2. 1 cup mayo
  3. 1/2 bag of frozen peas (do not defrost)
  4. 5 stalks of celery, halved lengthwise and diced
  5. 1 shallot, fined minced
  6. 1 can solid white albacore tuna, drained thoroughly
  7. Ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil water and cook the pasta according to the instructions, being sure to add salt to the water during the cooking process.
  2. Drain and rinse the pasta once done cooking.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mayo, peas, celery, shallot and tuna and stir to break up the tuna into smaller pieces.
  4. Add the pasta to the bowl and stir to combine all ingredients.
  5. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste, stir to combine and taste for flavoring.
  6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, or overnight.
Notes
  1. This salad is easy to modify to make gluten free - just substitute a gluten free noodle and make sure the mayo you use is gluten free - that's it!
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Broccoli Grape Salad

It’s about time I add some variety to this blog, meaning some vegetables, as the last few posts have been about delicious yet not necessarily good-for-you foods.  This recipe is not only great for you but it’s delicious, and is best when made the day before, so if you like get your work done ahead of time in order to enjoy the party or meal, this one’s for you.

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My mom is the source of this Broccoli Grape Salad recipe and made it for us all the time as kids.  Imagine her glee that her 4 kids gobbled up this salad like it was dessert despite it containing broccoli, celery and nuts!  To be fair, this salad contains juicy grapes as well as a decadent dressing, so it’s not like you’re going to win some health nut contest for preparing this, but you’ll probably still get points for Vitamin E, fiber and protein – little known fact – broccoli is a good source of protein!

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Alright, food friends, a few more notes before we get to the recipe details:

1. Toasted almonds are optional, but delicious, and best if added to the salad right before serving.

2. This salad needs to be refrigerated at least 4 hours before serving, it not overnight.  You’ve got to allow the dressing time to do its magic and seep into those little broccoli florets.

3. Grapes vs Raisins – you can do either, or both, but I prefer fresh grapes, both green and red (seedless!!!) if available.  In the case of the batch I made for this post, you can see I didn’t have any grapes so opted for raisins and it is still great.  I’ve seen variations of this recipe online that call for yellow raisins or dried cranberries, so as I usually say on this site, add whatever makes you happy.  There’s no point in following a recipe to the letter of the law if you think a substitution could improve it.

 Enjoy!

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Broccoli Grape Salad
Serves 10
This salad is best served cold a day after preparation.
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 bunches of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 4-5 green onions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. 5 stalks broccoli, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  4. 3 cups of green and red grapes, washed and sliced in half
  5. 1/4 lb bacon, fried and chopped (or 1 package of bacon bits)
  6. 1 1/2 cup mayo
  7. 4 tsp white vinegar
  8. 3/8 cup white sugar
  9. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the broccoli, green onions, celery, grapes and bacon.
  2. In a small bowl combine the mayo, vinegar and sugar, stirring to combine.
  3. Pour the dressing over the contents of the large bowl, stirring to combine and fully coat the salad ingredients.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours or overnight, before serving.
  5. In a small saucepan, turn on the heat over low, and add the almonds. Stir almost constantly under they begin to brown and you can smell a nutty aroma. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the almonds onto a small plate to cool.
  6. When ready to serve, garnish the salad with almonds.
Adapted from Patricia Remes
Adapted from Patricia Remes
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and Vanilla Ice Cream

That title there is a long one, isn’t it?  I’ll be forthcoming – there is no recipe for ice cream in this link, though maybe another day.  It’s really just a serving suggestion. 🙂 This here post is about fruit crisp, summer farmers markets and knowing your audience.  

First, fruit crisps.  Know them?  Love them.  They are a cinch to make, flexible to include almost any fruit you have on hand and are somehow easy to make but still feel a little fancy when served, especially when topped with ice cream.

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Second, I was a late-joiner to the farmers market craze but am now hooked on my weekly Saturday morning visit.  It’s a great way to start the weekend, to explore local produce and product offerings, and to experiment with foods you might not otherwise try.  This last week there were lots of strawberries and rhubarb for sale so the makings of this fruit crisp were decided for me.

 Finally, know your audience.  This doesn’t apply just to food, but to life.  It’s probably the most important professional advice I’ve ever received when it comes to formal presentations at work, and is equally important (if not more) to keep this in mind in the kitchen.  Who are you feeding?  Do they have special dietary concerns, aversions or passions?  What did you feed them last time they were over?  (This one is hard to keep track of, and in my case, the answer is almost always “Mexican food”)  Is there something special they love to eat that would make them feel like the whole meal was in their honor?  If I can find something to hit that last point, I will go that route 100% of the time, time permitting.  In the case of this recipe I was looking for something to make for dessert for a belated Father’s Day celebration for my beloved Daddio and know that this man loves desserts, homemade treats and rhubarb, so a fruit crisp in his honor it would be the ticket.

 

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The dessert was a hit on the patio on a hot summer Saturday night and some of us (*ahem me*) made it back for seconds.  If rhubarb isn’t your thing, leave it out, add some other berries, or go for straight strawberries.  Find your bliss here, my friends.  And don’t forget the ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream
Serves 8
This fruit crisp is super easy to prepare and bake, and delicious when served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 5-6 stalks of rhubarb, washed and diced into 1 inch pieces
  2. 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and quartered
  3. 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  4. 1/2 lemon, zested
  5. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  6. ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  7. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  8. ½ cup light brown sugar
  9. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  11. 3/4 cup cold butter, diced (1 1/2 sticks)
  12. Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, strawberries, ¾ cup granulated sugar, and the lemon zest.
  3. In a measuring cup, measure the orange juice and add the cornstarch, stirring until dissolved, then mix it into the fruit.
  4. Pour the fruit mixture into an 9 × 13 inch baking dish.
  5. For the topping, combine the flour, the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal.
  6. Add the cold butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles (the butter should be the size of grapes).
  7. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering the fruit completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is light brown.
  8. Serve while warm, topped with ice cream.
Notes
  1. This recipe is easily prepared gluten free by substituting gluten free flour and oatmeal.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa "How Easy Is That"
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Marinated Cheese

Hello there!  Who loves cheese?  I certainly do.  For a few years I battled lactose intolerance and the only thing I really missed eating was cheese… not ice cream, milk or yogurt.  Just cheese.  Now that I’m back on the dairy bandwagon I eat cheese with reckless abandon (all for the sake of calcium, right??) and this recipe is one of my favorite ways to gobble it up.

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I am probably too well known for serving a cheese platter with crackers and meats when hosting at my house and this recipe makes serving such a simple appetizer feel a little more special – and the prep is really simple!  Just make sure you allow at least 4 hours for this cheese to marinate in the refrigerator so that the garlic, herbs and oil can mix together and infuse into the cheese.

A big thanks to my friend Ann for sharing this recipe with me!

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Marinated Cheese
Cubes of Monterey Jack cheese marinated in garlic, herbs and olive oil.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
4 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
4 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 8oz Monterey Jack cheese, block
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil, good quality
  3. 2 gloves garlic, finely minced
  4. 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  5. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  6. 1/2 tsp dried basil
  7. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Cube the cheese by slicing the block into long slices, then cut each slice into 3-4 long sticks of cheese. Cut these sticks into cubes of cheese.
  2. Place cubes of cheese in a medium bowl, then top with herbs, garlic, salt and olive oil.
  3. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature with toothpicks. Great on an appetizer platter with other meats, crackers, dips and cheeses.
Notes
  1. If you cannot find a block of Monterey Jack cheese you can use Mozzarella instead. Also, the infused olive oil is delicious to use as a dip for slices of baguette!
Adapted from Ann LaPorte
Adapted from Ann LaPorte
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Buttermilk Brownies

Oh boy, this one is a keeper – if you’ve never made a recipe off this site, no hard feelings, but this is the place to start.  These brownies are incredibly moist, have a delicate cake texture and are oh so full of chocolate.  So tasty.  And you know what’s the icing on the cake?  The frosting for these brownies is made in the same bowl as the batter – no dish washing required.  And that’s a good thing because you need to pour the frosting on the brownies immediately when it comes out of the oven so there’s no time for dish washing at this stage of the game.  

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 This recipes comes from my mother via a woman named Carol Jacobsen, and my mom used to serve this as part of an awesome menu of homemade bread, lasagna and salad, followed up by this tasty treat.  And since my memory is terrible I’m sure I have the whole menu I just listed entirely wrong, but whatever, it ended with this dessert.  Additionally, because you pour the frosting onto the cake right when it comes out of the oven the frosting spreads over the cake incredibly quickly and soaks into the cake – check out the line where the cake and frosting meet.  Y. U. M.

I brought these bars to work a few years back and a coworker’s sister had moved to Texas and made him a similar recipe on a visit – but she called them “Texas Sheet Cake”.  Heck, I probably call these things cake, bars and dessert all in one conversation, and it doesn’t really matter what you them as long as you think they’re delicious and gobble them up.  With a glass of cold milk.

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 UPDATE:

  • My sister sent me a note after this post and I thought it was worth sharing – due to the risk of salmonella in raw eggs it’s risky to skip on washing the bowl before making the frosting.  Just to be safe, wash it up while the brownies are baking then head straight to making the frosting.
Buttermilk Brownies
Be sure to use a jelly roll pan when baking these brownies - it's important that these brownies are very thin.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. DRY INGREDIENTS
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. WET INGREDIENTS - TO BOIL
  6. 1/2 cup butter
  7. 1 cup water
  8. 1/4 cup cocoa
  9. 1/2 cup Crisco
  10. WET INGREDIENTS - DO NOT BOIL
  11. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 1 tsp. baking soda
  14. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  15. FROSTING
  16. 1/2 cup butter
  17. 1/4 cup cocoa
  18. 1/3 cup buttermilk
  19. 4 cups powdered sugar (unsifted)
  20. 1 tsp. vanilla
  21. A few grains of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a large jelly roll pan with Crisco and coat the pan with flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt.
  4. In a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat combine butter, water, cocoa and Crisco, and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour the boiling liquid over the dry ingredients, and stir just to combine.
  6. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla and mix well, quickly. Do not whip or overheat.
  7. Pour the brownie batter into the greased and floured cake pan and spread evenly.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then test with a toothpick. If it doesn't come out clean cook 1-2 minutes longer, then test again with a new toothpick. Watch the brownies closely as the edges will easily burn.
  9. While the cake is baking in the oven, pour 4 cups of powdered sugar into the same bowl used for the brownie batter.
  10. Using the same saucepan as used for the cake batter liquid, combine butter, cocoa and buttermilk and bring to a boil, removing from the heat as soon as it does.
  11. Add the boiling mixture to the powdered sugar and stir until smooth, then add the vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
  12. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately pour the frosting over them as it will spread more smoothly than when the brownies have cooled.
  13. Let the bars cool completely then cut into rectangles to serve.
  14. Wrap the remaining brownies in the original pan with plastic wrap to keep this fresh for a few days.
Notes
  1. You can easily make this recipe gluten free by substituting Betty Crocker GF Rice Blend flour 1-to-1 for the flour in the recipe - no need to use xanthan gum.
  2. And yes, I call this dessert both cake and brownies - feel free to use the terms interchangeably as there's no right name. 🙂
Adapted from Carol Jacobsen
Adapted from Carol Jacobsen
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

 

Green Beans with Shallots

I’m always looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into my diet and this green bean dish is my stand by, especially in the summer months when the grocery store is almost giving away seasonal produce and the weekend farmer’s markets are brimming with beans of many colors (have you seen the purple variety?).  

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These beans are a tasty treat – let’s talk about the straightforward prep – these bad boys are cooked for a few minutes in the microwave and then sautéed in butter and oil with shallots, that little purple cousin of the white onion.  Shallots are light in flavor and when sautéed become nearly translucent and impart a delicious but not overpowering onion flavor to the dish.  

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And that’s it!  You’ll have this dish on the table in less than 10 minutes.  This side dish is perfect to serve in the summer alongside grilled meats or corn on the cob, and if you’re serving a baguette with the meal you’ll want to be sure to clean your plate with a slice of bread to get the drippings from this dish.  

 

Green Beans with Shallots
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound green beans
  2. 2 shallots, finely minced
  3. 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  4. 2 Tbsp butter
  5. Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash green beans, and trim the ends. Place beans in a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 Tbsp water, and cover. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes.
  2. While the green beans are cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil and butter, and once the butter has melted, add the shallots.
  3. Remove the beans from the microwave, drain the water, and place in the pan with the shallots. Toss the beans to coat and cook for 5 minutes, periodically stirring to ensure even cooking.
  4. After 5 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and serve immediately.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

 

Chicken George Sandwiches

Hello there fellow food lovers!  Apologies for my extended blog absence, this warm weather has me outside most hours of the day while the sun is up (and I’m not at work) and I’ve fallen sorely behind here.  How about an easy transition back into recipe sharing with a simple and delicious sandwich that can be served, hot, cold or at room temperature? 

 

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This, my friends, is a Chicken George sandwich.  I have no idea where my mom got the recipe but it was always a favorite of mine growing up.  Best of all, you can easily make this sandwich your own by tweaking the toppings and creating many a related offshoot of the original.  The traditional Chicken George in the Remes house consisted of a whole grilled chicken breast on a bun, topped with swiss cheese, chopped bacon, a ring of pineapple and lots of thousand island dressing.  My updated version is very similar – I stick with a grilled chicken breast but chop it up to make it easier to take a bite without removing the whole breast, and leave out the pineapple ring because the Mr. holds a firm belief that meat and fruit don’t mix, and it has started to take a hold in me.  Or at least impact what I make us for dinner, at a minimum.

If this doesn’t sound quite up your alley, what could you do to make this your own?  Trust me, it’s quite tasty and quick enough to make that you’ll be back outside enjoying the sunshine in no time at all, but I firmly believe in playing with recipes until they fit just right to your liking.  Try a different dressing, say, ranch or blue cheese, and omit or swap the slice of cheese for cheddar, mozzarella or colby-jack.  There are no wrong answers here people.  Enjoy!

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 A little update from my mom after she read the original post: 

  1. I got the recipe from Suz (her sister) and it was called George after a woman whose first name I can’t recall but whose last name was George. I think she had a chicken business for a while.
  2. Do you marinate your chicken in Good Seasons Italian Dressing?
  3. Too bad Mr. doesn’t like the pineapple ring; I think that’s what makes this sandwich great.
Chicken George Sandwich
Serves 4
This sandwich is a cinch to make and so delicious - grilled chicken topped with bacon, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing - it's a great summer staple and also great year-round.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper
  2. 4 slices of bacon, fried and chopped, or 1/4 cup bacon bits
  3. 4 slices swiss cheese
  4. 4 buns, sliced in half
  5. Thousand island dressing
  6. 4 rings of pineapple (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes, then chop into medium-sized pieces.
  2. Take a sliced bun, remove the top half, and place the bottom half on a serving plate.
  3. Place 1/4 of the chopped chicken in a pile on the bun.
  4. Top with chopped bacon and a slice of swiss cheese.
  5. Place in the microwave for 10 seconds to get the cheese warmed but not melted. (this step is entirely optional and up to you)
  6. If desired, top with a ring of pineapple.
  7. Top with thousand island dressing, to taste, then cover with the remaining half of the bun.
Notes
  1. This sandwich can easily be made gluten free by ensuring your dressing is GF, and by substituting a GF bun or two toasted slices of GF bread.
  2. If you're having trouble fitting all the chicken and toppings on the bottom half of the bun consider this - when slicing the bun in half, slice it so that the bottom half is 60-70% of the total bun height. Remove the top, then hollow out the bread filling of the bottom half to make room for all the goodies. Replace the top half once you've compiled the sandwich and you have the same end product and a little less mess.
Adapted from Patricia Remes
Adapted from Patricia Remes
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Mother’s Day Brunch

As Mother’s Day came ’round this year I was excited to host my sister and her family as well as my parents at our place.  Last year we went out to brunch at my parents’ golf course and while it’s a nice spot, it can be less-than-relaxing to dine out at a nice restaurant with two 2 year olds and all their stuff in tow, so I was more than willing to have everyone at my place for a more low-key morning meal.  In my mind, the key to any good party is to make most of the food in advance so you can be a part of the fun and not stuck in the kitchen.  Here’s what we served up this Sunday morning to honor the three mommas – photos and recipes below!

Scrambled Eggs with Green Onions 

  • The key is to cook these “low and slow” and you’ll get incredibly soft and moist scrambled eggs!
  • This is your item to make at the last minute – they will dry out if you hold them in a warm oven

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Green salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Candied Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Mandarin oranges

  • Make the candied almonds in advance and toss this together just before serving

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Triple Berry Salad with Vanilla Bean-Infused Syrup

  • The simple syrup can be infused with other flavors than vanilla – think mint, orange or basil!

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Lemon Lime Bundt Cake

  • Use any blend of citrus you have on hand – this cake is delicious and easy to make with any combination of orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit

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Scrambled Eggs with Green Onions
Serves 8
These scrambled eggs are incredibly tender and moist - ensure you cook them low and slow and you'll wonder how eggs could taste this good!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 extra large eggs
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  5. 6 Tbsp butter, divided in half
  6. 2 Tbsp green onions, minced, green and white parts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick sauté pan.
  3. Add the eggs and cook them over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the desired doneness. Eggs should still appear wet and not stick to the pan.
  4. Off the heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the green onions.
  5. Stir until the butter is melted.
  6. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Candied Almonds
Keep your eye on these almonds while cooking them - once cooked and cooled they can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the almonds and sugar and stir nearly constantly until the sugar has caramelized and coated the almonds, about 3 minutes, being careful to not let the almonds burn.
  3. Pour the almonds onto a piece of parchment paper in a single layer to cool.
  4. Store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Green salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Candied Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Mandarin oranges
Serves 8
This green salad is coated in a light, refreshing champagne vinaigrette and topped with a trio of toppings - almonds, cranberries and oranges.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups organic mixed greens
  2. 2 Tbsp Girard's Champagne Dressing
  3. 1 small can of mandarin oranges
  4. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup candied almonds
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl pour the salad dressing and "dress the bowl" coating it with the dressing.
  2. Quickly add the greens to the bowl and toss to cover with the dressing.
  3. Top the center of the salad with the mandarin oranges, cranberries and almonds.
  4. Serve immediately.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Triple Berry Salad with Vanilla Bean-Infused Syrup
This simple syrup can be infused with many different flavors other than vanilla - try orange zest, mint or basil!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean
  4. 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  5. 2 cups raspberries
  6. 2 cups blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the water and sugar, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Heat the sugar-water mixture until simmering, then remove from the heat.
  3. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, scraping the beans from the pod, and place them in the syrup. Place the vanilla bean in the syrup as well.
  4. Let the syrup infuse with the vanilla bean for 2-4 hours off the heat.
  5. Once infused, remove the vanilla bean from the syrup and discard.
  6. Store the syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the berries and drizzle with 2-4 Tbsp of the syrup.
  8. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Simple syrup is a great ingredient to have on hand for many purposes! It's great to top fruit or ice cream or to flavor your beverages!
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Lemon-Lime "7-Up" Bundt Cake
Serves 16
This cake is perfect to make a day in advance and store in a covered container. I don't use 7-Up as this recipe traditionally calls for and substitute a mix of orange juice and carbonated water to add some more flavor to the cake batter.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. CAKE
  2. 3 sticks Butter
  3. 3 cups Sugar
  4. 5 whole Eggs
  5. 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  7. 3/4 cup carbonated water
  8. 1/4 cup orange juice
  9. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  10. 1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
  11. GLAZE
  12. 2 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  13. 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  14. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  15. 1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
  16. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  17. 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  18. 1 Tablespoon Water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Carefully add the salt, then the flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the carbonated water and orange juice until just combined.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of both lemon and lime zest and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  7. Scrape the bowl ensuring the batter is thoroughly combined.
  8. Spray a bundt pan very liberally with nonstick baking spray.
  9. Evenly pour the batter into the pan, evening out the surface.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes until lightly browned and risen.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 15 minutes.
  12. Using a knife, carefully lift the cake away from the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  13. Place the cake onto a serving platter.
  14. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined and drizzles off the whisk. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  15. Let the glaze set for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Notes
  1. Try any combination of citrus - orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit!
  2. I don't use 7-Up as this recipe traditionally calls for and substitute a mix of orange juice and carbonated water to add some more flavor to the cake batter.
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/