It’s almost time for Super Bowl and our Atlanta Falcons are set for a big win.
Our great friends Jay and Valerie are hosting the party this year. I’m pretty happy to be a guest.
Of course, you can’t be a good guest without bringing something yummy to share. My dill chicken salad is always a hit and I love how it tastes when I grill the meat first. That will require cleaning the grill. And it’s been a while. My new friends at Napoleon Grills sent me some tips for a gleaming grill worthy of my chicken.
Clean the cooking grids and searing plates. Soak the cooking grills in warm water and soap before giving them a good cleaning to get rid of the grease and food crust that has been burnt on. Season them for the coming season and get ready from incredible grilled flavors all summer long. While your searing grids are soaking, remove the heat shields (give them a good scrape as well) so you can run your barbecue brush over the burners. This is also a good time to check your igniter and rear burner to make sure all is in working order.
Clean the grease cup. The more you use your grill, the more you will have to clean or replace your grease cup. Before firing up your grill, take out the old and put in the new.
Scrape off the grease tray. All the grease and food remnants from past meals collect and char on the grease tray. No need to get out the soap and water for this one, but give it a good scrape with a spatula or putty knife to clean off all the bits.
Check for leaks. Inspect your hose and fittings to ensure everything is in order and that there are no leaks. Do a soap test to be safe: in a spray bottle or small bowl, mix one part water to one part dish soap. Apply the mixture (spritz it or apply with a small brush) to all fittings. Make sure your lid is open and all the control knobs are turned off. Turn on your gas – any growing bubbles are a sign of a leak that needs to be addressed.
Last week John was in town and so we had to celebrate. We chose Venkman’s, one of faves. There was also an acoustic set of Beatles tunes thrown in for free.
Have you been to Venkman’s? Named after Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters. Thursday night their special is an entire fried chicken served with pickled veggies, slaw and potato wedges. All for $29. Eric and I decided to go for it and were rewarded with crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside chicken with puckery pickled veggies and creamy slaw. The potato wedges were a nice foil to all the tartness. And after we ate our fill of chicken, there was still plenty left to craft into a fabulous breakfast hash on Saturday.
And jalapeno corn muffins, too!
I love Venkman’s. You should go. And say hi to Chef Nick Melvin.
Golly gee whiz, it is HOT here in Georgia. Yes, I know, it’s August. But wow, all I want to eat is chopped salad these days. I’m on a kick and taking Eric with me.
Here is one of the salads we’ve been enjoying recently. I’m a big fan of California Pizza Kitchen and love their BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad. I could eat it everyday. But that would get pricey, so I learned how to make it at home. Would you like to make it for yourself? Let me help!
You can make this at home, too!
I didn’t say I was dieting, I’m just beating the heat. Add a Corona – don’t judge.
The recipe is from Food.com, and I can’t lie, I used tortilla chips and bottled ranch dressing and then threw it all together. If you have the time to follow all these steps, bless your heart.
To Make the Fried Tortilla Strips: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.
To Make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To Make the Grilled Garlic and BBQ Chicken: Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To Make the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.
Gobble down like hungry badgers. Crack open another cold beer. Sit in the air conditioning and watch Stranger Things. OMG, I love that show!
I love fried chicken. On Tuesday night here at the house I tried to fry some chicken for some friends. How did it go? I dang near burned the house down trying to fry chicken. It was wildly embarrassing. We ended up grabbing take out. See? It’s not all glam parties at my house. Every once in a while we have a clunker. But sparkling conversation made up for my kitchen gaffes and my husband’s running out to grab edible eats saved the night.