The heat and humidity has everything around here slowing to a crawl. An early-morning run, some gardening, and hanging out a load of laundry has about done me in !
I run on trails around our property, and this morning I decided that I would start a new routine of getting out early. I prefer to run after I’ve had a meal, in late morning, but the temps were already over 80 when I returned home at . These days, if I don’t get out early, then I don’t do it. And I need to run.
The woods were cool, although a bit on the humid side. I noticed that the wild yarrow is about to bloom, and that means summer is in full swing. The black raspberry bushes are mostly past their prime, but I found a few ripe ones remaining in a shady location. Next up are the blackberries and, if they produce like these raspberries did a couple of weeks ago, I may have to make some jam. And a pie. Looooove blackberry pie! Will need to run a lot more, then…
I found a cute little wildflower and looked it up after arriving home. Downy rattlesnake plantain. Named so because the American Indians used it to treat rattlesnake bites! Anyway, It is growing at the edge of a heavily-wooded trail and I looked around but saw no similar plants so I can’t imagine how it ended up there. The small, dark green leaves heavily veined with white were very noticeable.
From what I have read, the stalk growing from the center will have tiny white flowers. So adorable! Note the poison ivy clustered around it, though. Not so adorable. I am marking it so that I can watch the flower bloom, but since I have read that is rare and shouldn't be collected it will stay in its place.
Back to my run this morning. The woods start about ¼ mile from our house, so when I emerged from them this morning the sun was glaring above the meadow trail that leads home. It was a long trip back to the house, but when I came in the door into the kitchen I was hit with a wonderful aroma.
Eating Well’s BBQ Pulled Chicken is a favorite, and I started it just before leaving earlier. Although most often eaten as a sandwich, we enjoy it spooned over cornbread. I make dry cornbread. :( There’s so much butter or oil in the recipes that taste good, and I usually opt for the less-spectacular lowfat cornbread and use it as a base for something saucy. Or for a stuffing.
I prepared the recipe mostly as is directed; only adding a cornstarch slurry during the final half hour to thicken the sauce. And more chipotle powder, of course.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken
From EatingWell: February/March 2006
This fanciful reinterpretation of pulled pork uses chicken and lots of tomato sauce. Have sliced jalapenos, sliced red onions and some sour cream on hand to top this hearty main course.
8 servings | Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 5 1/2 hours
- 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
- Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.
Per serving : 184 Calories; 8 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 68 mg Cholesterol; 8 g Carbohydrates; 20 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 257 mg Sodium; 303 mg Potassium
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 other carb., 2.5 lean meat
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
My favorite accompaniment to the pulled chicken and cornbread is coleslaw, but today there is no cabbage in the refrigerator. I did find 3 ears of corn, bought a couple of days ago, so I made a grilled corn salad.
- 4 ears of corn, do not shuck (or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn for the non-grill option)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 5-inch long zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (best if you toast whole cumin seeds then grind)
- 1/4 cup crumbly salty cheese such as feta or cotija (optional)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Rub a little olive oil over the bell pepper. Place the corn (in their husks) and red bell pepper directly on the grill grates. Cover the grill.
Turn corn occasionally, so that every part of the husk is blackened. Turn the red bell pepper occasionally until the skin has blistered up all around it. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.
For the last 5 minutes or so, rub olive oil over the zucchini pieces and place the zucchini pieces directly on the grill grate, cut side down. Turn them over after a few minutes when they have some nice grill marks on them. Let them cook for just a minute or two on the other side.
1a - no grill version Alternatively you can prepare the vegetables on the stove-top. Shuck the corn and use a knife to remove the kernels from the cobs. If you don't have fresh corn, you can easily use frozen. Coat the
bottom of a large, sturdy relatively stick-free (can use cast iron) pan with a little olive oil. Heat the pan to high. Spread out the corn kernels on the pan. If frozen, they will defrost almost immediately. Don't stir them that much, just let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to toast. When they get a little browned, remove them from the pan to a bowl. Lay the zucchini pieces on the pan and brown on both sides, do not over cook, remove from pan. The bell pepper does not need to be cooked, it can just be seeded and chopped fine.
2 Let the corn cool down for a few minutes and pull back the husks. Stand the corn husks vertically, tip facing down, in a large shallow bowl or baking dish. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.
Once the bell pepper has cooled a bit, remove the outer peel. Cut open the pepper, remove the seeds and stem.
Chop the bell pepper into small pieces.
Slice the slightly browned zucchini again lengthwise and chop into small pieces.
3 Place grilled or toasted corn kernels, chopped bell pepper, chopped zucchini, red onion, cilantro, and serrano (if using) into a large bowl. Add the cumin, olive oil, vinegar or lime juice, and crumbly cheese (if using). Mix gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
This is the way all fresh corn should be used! It is so fresh and flavorful. I came across this recipe the other day and tried it, even though I already have at least one grilled corn salad recipe in my files. This one was darn good, and I may have to do a comparison and make both recipes the next time I buy fresh corn. I used lime juice instead of vinegar, and a jalapeno subbed for the Serrano (although, while chopping the jalapeno, I remembered that I did have a Serrano chili in the refrigerator. Somewhere.) . I also didn’t have zucchini. And I left out the cheese (intentionally, I’ve just been eating too much recently!).
I pulled the silk out of the tops of the ears of corn, and took off the loose husks. My grill registered 400F, and I
cooked the ears of corn for a total of 12 minutes, turning every 3 minutes. A few times I plucked off charred husks that had become loose.
The corn and bell pepper near the end of the charring...er...grilling process:
The peeled corn. I was surprised that, even though the outer husks were black, the corn kernels weren't. But they did have a very nice smoky flavor.
This would be an excellent side not only for the pulled chicken, but it would be great with any grilled food. I will, at some point this summer, try adding chicken for a cold main dish that would make this perfect for a picnic. The addition of black beans would also be quite good, but since I no longer seem to be able to eat black beans without repercussions, I will merely suggest that addition.
I am watching birds splashing themselves silly in our pond. One little sparrow seems to be having a particularly wonderful time. Dark clouds, however, are gathering in the west so it looks as though I need to get outside and take the clothes from the line. 92 degrees. With any luck the rain will cool things down a bit, but will probably only add more humidity into the atmosphere. Today is truly a Rosanna Rosannadanna hair day!