Ever since the weather has emerged out of the 20s and 30s, I’ve been dreaming of summer. The heat! The beach! The summer produce! I am craving me some summertime. Luckily spring break comes in a couple weeks. I always go to visit my parents, who live in Clearwater Beach. I’ll get my taste of sun, sand, and seafood. And piña coladas and daquiris. And my parents! I LOVE them. They are so great.
One great thing about teaching is that you never have to give up those fun breaks you had in school. I will forever have a Christmas break, a spring break, and a summer break to which I can countdown and rely on for a much needed mental break. Us teachers need this rest to power through, ever focused, through the overwhelming work of the school year.
Anyhow, before I head to Florida in a couple weeks, I had to get a little summer-ish cooking out of my system. I brought out the handy-dandy grill pan and got to work. If you don’t have a nice cast iron grill pan, I HIGHLY recommend it. Mine is a cast iron flat top skillet on one side, grill pan on the other. I got it a couple of years ago and it’s an essential piece in my kitchen. I brought some summer flavors to life: chipotle and honey, charred chicken and potatoes, corn and roasted red peppers, jalapeño and lime. It was sublime (intentional rhyme). (Also that time!) (I had some wine.)
So, corn is in season! Summer sweet corn can’t be beat, but spring corn is still a beautiful thing. It’s so important to eat seasonally, although holding back with year-round availability definitely requires self control and knowledge. When you eat seasonally, you’ll not only be eating that produce at it’s most delicious, but you’ll save money because the supply of that produce it at it’s highest. Plus, you can shop at Farmer’s markets and easily support local and sustainable farmers. I’m a fan of this simple site that helps me better meal plan.
The jalapeño, cilantro and lime relish that tops the potatoes is phenomenal. Just saying, you’ll want to make extra to make sharing easier. The chicken is spicy but not too much so, the chipotle being countered with the honey and host of other ingredients. I hope you enjoy this prelude to summer!
Honey Chipotle Chicken PlatePrint Recipe
- 1.5 lbs of boneless chicken tenders
- 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, separated
- 3 tbsp honey, divided
- 1 1/4 tsp instant coffee, divided
- 3/4 tsp cumin divided
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 lime, separated
- 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 3 ears of corn, shucked
- 1 red pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add the chicken in a ziplock bag. Combine 2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp coffee, and olive oil. From the can of chipotle peppers, take out one pepper and dice finely. Add the chopped pepper to the bag and take 2 more tablespoons of the adobo sauce and add to the bag. Add the rest of the adobo sauce (about 1 tbsp) to a separate container to be used for the glaze for the chicken after you grill it. Marinate the chicken overnight.
First, roast the red peppers. Cut the tops off and cut out the skins and seeds. Cut them into flat pieces (1 cut each pepper into about 8 pieces) and lay flat on a cookie sheet. Put them in the oven about 6 inched from the broiler. Keep a close eye and roast them for 5-7 minutes or until they are charred on top.
Remove them from the oven and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and let site for about 30 minutes. After this time, peel the skins off and discard the skins. Your roasted red peppers are ready!
While the peppers are sitting, prepare the sweet potatoes and relish. Using a julienne slicer (if available) slice the potatoes on the second thinned setting, about 1/4 inch. Combine 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced, 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro, juice on 1 lime, rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Get a pot of water boiling for the corn.
Heat your grill pan. You pan should be hot - heat it over medium high heat. Once it's very hot, brush olive oil over the pan and put the chicken on. Grill for 3-5 minutes each side or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once you flip the chicken, cover immediately with glaze. Save some glaze to brush right before serving, too! Brush olive oil over the potato slices and place on the grill pan. Cook 2 minutes each side or until charred. Salt and pepper immediately after removing from grill.
While you are grilling, make the corn salad. Your water should be boiling. Boil each ear of corn for 1-2 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Remove the corn from the cob. Dice the finished red pepper. Combine cooked corn, roasted pepper, 1 tbsp butter, and the juice of one lime. Salt and pepper to taste.